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DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter conceded that Coventry had been ‘well beaten by a better side’ after yesterday’s 50-19 defeat at National League One leaders Hartpury College.

Cov were right in contention approaching half-time, trailing 13-12, but Hartpury took full advantage of two yellow cards to pull away in the third quarter with a performance Winter described as a bench mark for where Cov aspire to be.

“In the first half we had two chances – James Stokes was a couple if millimetres short of the line , then there was the yellow card for their number 9 when we had an overlap – that could have put us in the lead at half-time, and they had two chances and they took the two,” said Winter.

“That was probably the difference between the two sides in the first half.

“In the second half the yellow cards killed us. We were matching them at times and competing 15 on 15, but 13 on 15 was too much.

“Hats off to them, we knew it would be a tough day. We’ve given it a good shot in the first half, and the second half has given us something to work on for next week.”

Added Winter: “I was really happy with our first half, we rattled them a little bit and if we’d taken our chances it could have been a different story and we could have run them a bit closer.

“But credit where it’s due, Hartpury are a strong side, they’re well resourced, and they’re top of the table and 19 from 19 for a reason.

“It’s something for us to learn from, they’ve set the bench mark now for where we want to be in the next couple of years and that’s a good lesson for us.

“It’s a setback which we’ll learn from, but it’s not a disaster. Were back at home next week against Esher, we owe them one from down there, and we want to get another run going starting from there.”