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Coventry claimed an eighth consecutive bonus point win when two tries in each half delivered a 27-14 verdict over London Scottish.

In pouring rain the hosts were unable to find the fluency which typified recent 50-point romps over Nottingham, Bedford and Cambridge.

However, led by a useful display from their front five and a man-of-the-match effort from Matt Kvesic Cov had enough in hand to bank the five points which took them to the top of the table.

An error-strewn opening 15 minutes saw the blue-and-whites enjoy plenty of territory without threatening to open the scoring.

Their two best opportunities ended with a five-metre attacking lineout being overthrown then a penalty kicked dead from just outside the visitors’ 22.

It was therefore something of a relief for the home crowd when second row Rhys Anstey forced his way over for the opening score following Matt Kvesic’s well-timed pass.

A clever piece of play from Tobi Wilson who leaped from outside the touchline to bring the ball back into play then prevented Scottish from entering the home 22 for the first time.

And Cov got their reward when Adam Nicol won a scrum penalty against the feed on the visitors’ ten-metre line which Evan Mitchell slotted between the posts.

Mitchell was then narrowly wide from 37 metres after Scottish infringed on the ground. However, the hosts did soon extend their lead through Will Wand whose 14th try of the season followed a lengthy spell of kick tennis which ended with Wilson recovering a Scottish knock-on and releasing the pacy no.13 down the left.

But it was the visitors who had the last word of the first half through centre Hayden Hyde who applied a neat finish to a move which featured some good support running.

Alec Lloyd-Seed’s conversion reduced Cov’s interval advantage to five points but Will Chudley soon took advantage of a gaping gap on the blindside of a scrum just inside the visitors’ 22 to race to the corner for a try which Mitchell upgraded.

Ollie Betteridge in action against London Scottish (Photo – John Coles)

Scottish’s driving lineout impressed throughout and they seemed certain to score late in the third quarter only for Cov to force a last-gasp turnover five metres from their own line.

As the contest moved past the hour mark Cov continued to threaten without quite producing the end product. Typical of this were powerful breaks made by Obi Nkwocha and replacement Chester Owen neither of which resulted in a score.

Cov were now piling on the pressure and only a fine Will Hobson turnover prevented Suva Ma’asi from getting his name on the scoresheet.

With the penalty count 15-4 against the visitors referee Joe James reached for his pocket and sent Lloyd-Seed to the sin bin when he infringed on the ground.

And from the resulting penalty the blue-and-whites sent replacement hooker Ma’asi over from a neatly-worked lineout move for a try which Mitchell converted from the touchline.

Scottish then failed to convert two good scoring opportunities when the last pass went behind Luke Mehson with the home line gaping then a powerful lineout drive was held up in goal.

But the visitors did finally register their second score through replacement hooker Austin Wallis who went over from a five-metre lineout.

Two outstanding pieces of Wilson skill brightened the closing stages of a game which closed with young back Theo Mannion making his Coventry league debut from the bench.


Coventry Rugby:

Tries: Anstey (16), Wand (35), Chudley (44) Ma’asi (73)

Cons: Mitchell (44) (73)

Pens: Mitchell (27)

London Scottish:

Tries: Hyde (40), Wallis (78)

Cons: Lloyd-Seed (40) Nutton (78)


Coventry Rugby: Wilson; Hutler (Opoku 65), Wand, Betteridge (Mannion 69), Martin; Mitchell, Chudley (Lane 59); Trinder (Nairau 47), Poole (Ma’asi 47), Nicol (Salt 57); Tyas, Anstey (Owen 47); Nkwocha Ball, Kvesic (Ryan 73)

London Scottish: Brown; Talbot-Davies, Hyde (Ferdinand 60), Simonds (Sheppard 62), Mehson; Lloyd-Seed, Law (Nutton 47); Cave (Osborne 47), Musk (Prior 70), Hobson (Charalambous 70); Wilkinson (Davies 68), Huis; Ransom, Ingall (Wallis 62), Marshall  

Referee: Joe James

Attendance: 2771

Star man: Matt Kvesic (Coventry)

Half-time: Coventry Rugby 13-7 London Scottish