On a mid-March afternoon Coventry welcomed Caldy to the BPA, as Alex Rae’s men went in search of another victory in front of another bumper home crowd.
It was the visitors who started the first half the stronger of the two teams, as, with just 8 minutes gone, fly-half Rhys Hayes went over the whitewash from a set play just inside the Cov 22m. Fullback Elliot Gourlay kicked the extras, and Coventry found themselves 7-0 down.
It would not take the men in Blue and White long to grow into the game though. On the 15th minute mark, from Caldy lineout ball on halfway, Pat Pellegrini ghosted in and snatched an interception, before running the remaining length of the pitch to dive over for Coventry’s 100th try of the season. Our Australian converted his own score from the tee, and Cov were level. (7-7)
Just 5 minutes later, Coventry grabbed another. From a lineout just inside our visitors 22m line, Will Rigg scored from first-phase ball and crossed under the sticks. Pellegrini’s boot added the two. (14-7)
After some more breathless, back-and-forth play it was Coventry who would strike decisively, grabbing two tries late on in the first half. The first came from a tap-and-go penalty, from which Coventry worked the ball wide, with Pat Pellegrini finding one of his trademark half spaces, before he offloaded to the waiting Will Rigg on the wing who went over for his brace. The second came following a series of one-out forward carries, with Rhys Thomas eventually powering over as Cov wrapped up the try bonus point on the brink of halftime.
HALF TIME: Coventry 24-7 Caldy
Coventry started the second half in much the same fashion as they finished the first, with Alex Rae’s men wasting no time in adding to the scoreboard. After a Caldy high tackle on Will Wand, Pellegrini
kicked us to the corner and Coventry again showed their effectiveness from the lineout, with Tom Ball the one to get over the line. Pellegrini’s conversion from out wide strayed just shy of the near post, and so it would remain 29-7.
Our visitors weren’t done yet however, as they responded to the Cov score in kind. After a Joe Murray break, Caldy got themselves straight back into the Cov 22m before Will Chudley was sent to the sin bin for interference in the ruck. Cov defended their tryline well for several phases with 14 men, but eventually visiting captain Sam Dickinson charged over in the corner. Gourlay’s conversion added the 2. (29-14)
The next 15 minutes was something of a scrappy affair, with neither side able to impose themselves fully and land any decisive blows. That was until the 62nd minute, when Cov grabbed their 6th try of the afternoon and Will Rigg his 3rd. From a penalty on halfway, Cov tapped quickly and attacked down the far side for Rigg to steam over for his hat-trick score. Pellegrini made no mistake from the tee. (36-14)
With only six minutes left on the clock, the BPA faithful were treated to something of a grandstand finish. On the 74th minute mark, Cov got the shove on from a scrum in the Caldy 22m and Adam Peters was the quickest to react as the ball popped loose, tipping the ball up to the waiting Will Lane who flew over under the sticks. (43-14)
Just a minute later we had another. Straight from the restart we broke down the near side, and Will Lane turned from scorer to provider as he threw a huge pass out wide to Louis James, who took it brilliantly at full pace to gallop home in the corner. Pellegrini’s touchline conversion drifted wide. (48-14)
Caldy would have the final say of the afternoon however, as they grabbed a late consolation at the death. From a scrum 5m out from the Cov line, replacement scrum-half Chris Pilgrim sniped across the line, in what proved to be the final act of an end-to-end game.
FULL TIME: Coventry 48-19 Caldy
Thank you to all the home supporters that came out to the game, as well as to our visitors from Caldy. We look forward to welcoming you back to the BPA in 2 weeks’ time as we face Hartpury, under the Friday night lights on the evening of the 31st March.