THINGS to work on, but generally a good end to pre-season was how director of rugby Rowland Winter summed up Coventry’s 25-17 home defeat by Rotherham Titans.
Cov led their Championship visitors 14-10 at half-time but, despite remaining on top at the set scrum, were unable to press home the advantage as Titans steadily took charge after the break and sealed victory with a 79th-minute converted try.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the result, I thought we could have got a bit more out of it, but we performed well and it’s another one we can build on,” said Winter.
“Ultimately I think what paid was that they had 30 players and we used a squad of 22 to prepare for next week. Our fitness dropped off with ten minutes to go and we fell off a couple of tackles and looked a bit tired, especially when we had the sin bin at the end.
“But we wanted to try to work out how far off Championship standard we are, and we tested them and asked a few questions.
“The scrum went really well, we dominated that and I don’t think we got the reward we deserved from that, and for 60 to 70 minutes we looked in it.
“We were battling hard and if we’d looked after the ball a little bit better in certain areas we could have threatened them more, put more pressure on them, and it might have paid off with more points on the board.
“Our line-out is a work-on, we gave away too much ball there, and when to kick and when to run is another thing to look at. We lost the territorial battle in the second half, they pinned us back quite well and we responded with kicks that weren’t so well judged.
“We were a little bit too innocent at the breakdown as well, we could have reacted a little bit better to the referee’s decisions and interpretation which favoured Rotherham.
“Rotherham gave us a real test, they played like a top of National One-standard team which is where we want to be.
“Overall the last eleven weeks have been positive and I feel we’re prepared. If we can fine tune one or two of those things, we are ready to go at Hull Ionians next week.”
Match reports: https://www.coventryrugby.co.uk/2017/08/26/one-win-one-battling-defeat/