Coventry travelled to the capital and the Trailfinders Sports Club, aiming to pull off a huge upset by beating the champions and league leaders. Cov have experienced many a heart-breaking loss at Vallis Way over the years, none more so than the Championship Cup Final at the end of last season. Alex Rae’s men arrived in London looking to put things right.
The game started just as Coventry would have hoped, with early points inside the opening two minutes of the match. After a huge turnover in midfield, Pellegrini kicked Coventry deep into Ealing territory before Adam Peters secured the lineout ball and drew an infringement from the home side. Pellegrini happily stepped up to score the first points of the game as his first penalty attempt sailed over the posts. (0-3).
The champions didn’t take long to respond and show why they are in fact, champions. Following a scrum penalty and a subsequent kick to the corner, Ealing went through the phases before mounting enough pressure to force a penalty. A smart quick tap allowed Tizzano the chance to barrel his way over the line in the 8th minute. Craig Willis was successful with his conversion. (8-3)
Carlo Tizzano manged to double his team’s and personal tally 10 minutes or so later, as the flanker finished off a drive after another penalty in midfield that was kicked to the corner. As Willis scored his second conversion on the 22-minute mark, Cov fans must have allowed the thought of yet another disappointing day at the Trailfinders Sports Club to creep into their heads. Although, you wouldn’t have been able to tell with the amount of noise they were making…
Coventry began to get more of its attacking threat on display as the rest of the first half took place, however, there was no change to the scoreboard as both sides went into the sheds with score held at 14-3.
An 11-point deficit wouldn’t normally be considered an entire mountain to climb, but away to the double champions, Cov certainly had their fair share of work cut out for them. The second period began as it had to (from a Coventry perspective) as Rhys Thomas crashes over after some hard-earned yards from the forward pack. Pellegrini converted and we had a real game on our hands in the capital. (14-10)
Less than 10 minutes later, the maybe possible turned into the quite probable as Cov took the lead in the match for the second time. After a huge scrum which earned the penalty, Coventry kicked to the corner before the forwards did what they’ve been doing all season and marched their way over the line from the resulting driving maul. (14-15)
Things were gearing towards an incredibly tense finish in London as the clock drew ever closer to 80 minutes. A huge moment in the game then had the away set of fans on their feet as a clever inside pop found Lucas Titherington who managed to race through the Ealing defence to score and extend Coventry’s lead to 14-22.
Ealing being Ealing were never going to go away quietly and continued to knock on the door until the Coventry defence finally wavered as Luke Daniels went over in the 76th minute. (19-22).
The next two minutes of play manged to remove every fingernail in the crowd as Ealing searched for a dramatic winning score. However, in the final play of the match, Coventry won a turnover and put an end to a simply superb second half performance.
Final score: Ealing Trailfinders 19-22 Coventry Rugby
Thank you to all the travelling support, and we look forward to welcoming you all to Butts Park Arena next Saturday 4th February as we take on Doncaster Knights in the Championship Cup.