Coventry returned to the Butts Park Arena this weekend, after a couple of weeks on the road, to face London Scottish in the third round of the 2022/23 Championship Cup.
On a cold, clear and crisp afternoon it was our visitors who struck first through a Harry Sheppard penalty, following a Coventry infringement at the ruck. The home side soon switched on however, as just a few minutes later Coventry recorded the first try of the encounter. Off a lineout drive, the ball was spread out wide by the backline, and fullback Louis Brown beat his man excellently with a fend, before offloading to the waiting Will Talbot-Davies on the wing who went over in the corner. Pat Pellegrini duly supplied the additional 2 points. (7-3)
Coventry grew into the game, and it wasn’t long before we had another score. In the midfield, Louis Brown ducked between a couple of tackles, before smartly popping the ball to James Martin, who carried brilliantly to within 5 metres of the Scottish line. Cov recycled the ball well, and Lucas Titherington straightened-up and glided over the whitewash from a few metres out. Pellegrini again added the extras from the tee. (14-3)
The final score of the half came on the stroke of halftime, with Pellegrini poking a lovely cross-field kick over into the far corner, which James Martin gladly connected onto the end of, to dot down. Our Australian fly-half extended the lead further with his conversion from the byline. (21-3)
Half time: 21-3
Coventry started the second half as strongly as they had finished the first, with something of a Louis Brown wonder try coming in the 43rd minute. Out of seemingly nothing, following a looping Pellegrini miss pass, the fullback accelerated past the Exiles winger on the outside, before running over half the length of the pitch to go over in the corner, much to the delight of the home crowd. Pat Pellegrini’s perfect day so far off the tee continued, with another fine conversion. (28-3)
Just 3 minutes later, Cov had another score. James Martin chipped over the top of the oncoming Scottish defence, and regathered his own kick excellently, taking us to just a few metres out. After a couple of phases on the Exiles’ line, Pellegrini spun the ball out wide for Suva Ma’asi to dive over. (33-3)
A yellow card for the Scottish fly-half Harry Sheppard led to a Coventry lineout in our opponent’s 22m, following a penalty. The forwards did their job, as the resulting maul rolled ominously towards the Exiles’ tryline, before Pat Pellegrini pulled away and dummied a pass out wide to go under the posts himself. The Australian converted his own score, in what was his final contribution of the afternoon. (40-3)
Our visitors struck back through replacement-hooker Austin Wallis, who barged over from close range following a Scottish lineout. It wasn’t long before Coventry were back down the other end though, and, after some resilient Exiles defence, Will Biggs found a hole to go over under the posts. Evan Mitchell, on for Pellegrini at 10, added the extra two points. (47-8)
After an excellent Sheppard touch-finder to put our visitors deep into our 22m, Coventry were deemed to have infringed at the maul, and second-row Adam Peters was sent to the sin bin. The Exiles made the extra man count, as Wallis grabbed his second of the afternoon, and Sheppard made good of the conversion. (47-15)
With only a couple of minutes to go, Coventry were searching for one last score to finish in style. A powerful Lucas Titherington carry in midfield gave us the momentum to force our way to just outside the Scottish line, before our opponents were penalised at the ruck. After taking a quick tap-and-go penalty, replacement prop Harry Seward drove over the whitewash, bringing up the 50 points for Coventry. (52-15)
Thank you to all the home supporters that came out to the game, as well as to our visitors from London Scottish. We look forward to welcoming you back to the BPA in two weeks’ time, as we face Doncaster Knights on the 3rd of December.