THERE’S no great secret behind Coventry Rugby’s winning start to the season – it’s just down to hard work and making the right decisions, according to head coach Nick Walshe.
Saturday’s 63-14 win over Ampthill took Cov to 14 from 14 for the current campaign, and 22 in a row going back into last season, and with another nine tries boosting their total to 88, they are well on course to eclipse last season’s club record of 130.
“We just keep working hard and the boys are fantastic in their attitude,” said Walshe. “We’ve got a good group here and everybody works really, really hard for each other.
“We keep our feet on the ground, we work hard in the week and we then try to put in a good performance in every game.
“A lot of detail goes into the week and we analyse the teams we are playing, but we concentrate a lot on ourselves and trying to play with good skills, intensity and good intent.
“Of course we want to score tries, but we’re not just going out to throw the ball around willy-nilly, from side to side – we try to coach the boys to make the right decisions at the right time.
“Whether that means being direct or whether it means we go out the back, play in front, kick, drive, scrum, whatever it is we try to get the boys to make the right decision and at the moment they seem to be doing that.
“We just go out to attack well, defend well, be physical and run teams off their feet, and if we win 3-0 or 80-0, or whatever it is, we’ll take it.”
Walshe concedes that while the size of Cov’s victory over Ampthill was a bit of a surprise, there were some things Cov could have done better.
“It was a really good performance – we prepared well, we wanted to play at a good tempo and with physicality, and try to move the ball around a little bit, and I felt we did that,” he said.
“Before the game I’d have settled for one try and a good win, so nine tries was absolutely fantastic. I was hoping we’d get five points, but I didn’t think it would be that emphatic.
“I can fault the performance because we probably bombed a couple of chances early on, we had a lot of pressure but didn’t come away with much in the first 20 minutes, and we messed up a couple of line-outs, we let them mess up our drive and we dropped the ball a couple of times near the line.
“Being the pernickety person I am, I want us to be perfect – but that’s never going to be, and to be honest, I can’t really complain and the beat the fourth-placed team by that amount of points is huge.”
Thoughts now turn to thus weekend’s game at second-placed Darlington Mowden Park, a game Cov will start with a 13-point lead over their hosts in the table and which marks the end of the first half of the season.
Said Walshe: “Darlington are going really well, they are very tough to beat up there so it is going to be a difficult game, but again we will do our analysis and make sure we rest well and train well.
“They’re a strong physical side, but they’ve also got some pace as well so we need to be prepared for a hard battle and make sure we defend well and have our systems in order.”