On an overcast and bitingly cold early-March afternoon, Coventry welcomed London Scottish to the BPA, as Alex Rae’s side returned to league action.
Despite the weather, Cov were quick to warmup to the task at hand. Starting the game in the strongest possible fashion, Will Chudley found Josh Bainbridge from a scrum in the Exiles’ 22m, with the flanker going over under the posts. Mitchell’s conversion put us 7-0 up within 4 minutes.
Our visitors responded well though, as they enjoyed a good spell of possession for the next 10 minutes, with only a Will Talbot-Davies last-ditch tackle preventing a Billy Wara try in the corner. Two minutes later Scottish did get points on the board however, as Nathan Chamberlain pointed to the posts and slotted a penalty. (7-3)
In keeping with the breathless nature of the first half, Cov responded almost immediately. Directly from the restart, Cov won a penalty and Mitchell kicked us down into the corner, 5m out. From the resulting lineout, we worked the ball out wide, and, following a few strong carries, it was Will Chudley who turned from provider to scorer as he nipped over. Mitchell’s conversion slipped wide. (12-3)
The Butts Park faithful had to wait until just before the first-half was up for their next fix of excitement. On the 35 minute mark, Coventry would go over for their first of two quick-fire scores. From a counter-attack, Adam Peters threw a huge miss pass out wide to the waiting Will Rigg, who in turn found Adam Peters, with the big lock galloping over the whitewash. This time, Mitchell made no mistake from the tee. (19-3)
Just four minutes later, we had our next. From a lineout 5 metres out, the forward pack launched a powerful rolling maul which trundled over the line – and it was Suva Ma’asi who was the one to wrap up the bonus point score before the half-time whistle. (26-3)
HALF TIME: Coventry 26-3 London Scottish
It was our visitors who started the second period the stronger of the two sides, as the breathless nature of the first half turned into a slower, more stop-start affair in the second.
Not long after the restart the Exiles won a penalty in Cov territory, and Nathan Chamberlain kicked his side into the corner. From the lineout, Scottish got the driving maul rumbling towards the Coventry tryline and crashed over. Chamberlain’s conversion from out wide faded past the posts. (26-8)
Scottish had their second, and their second from a near-identical lineout, on the 64 minute mark. This time Coventry did well to sack the initial maul, but after a series of powerful, close-range carries from our visitors, it was Viliami Taulani who dived over. (26-13)
Coventry would have the final say of the afternoon however, as they responded in characteristically swift fashion to the setback. From the restart, Cov won the ball back almost immediately before forcing a penalty at the ruck. Following another Evan Mitchell kick to the corner, Alex Rae’s side worked the ball out to the far side from the lineout, and Jimmy Martin found a little half-space before pushing the ball out to the waiting Louis James on the wing, who ran in the score. (31-13)
FULL TIME: Coventry 31-13 London Scottish
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 2 weeks’ time as we face Caldy, on the 18th of March.