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IT was another bonus-point win, but director of rugby Rowland Winter acknowledged that Coventry’s performance was some way below par as they overcame a determined challenge by Rosslyn Park, 32-27.

Cov trailed twice before two scores in the final quarter saw them through in their first game back at Butts Park Arena since clinching the National League One title.

“The reception we got from the Butts Park crowd was exceptional, to have over 2,000 people here to welcome us back to Cov is brilliant, and we probably didn’t do them justice” said Winter.

“Yes, we got the bonus point and scored some good tries, but it wasn’t a performance to the high standards we’ve had all season.

“We were a little bit rusty, we weren’t at the races at all in any areas of the game, and when we lack that energy and drive a little bit, other teams will take advantage of it.

“Rosslyn Park’s four tries came mainly from our mistakes – that’s not taking any credit away from them, but the boys just weren’t quite switched on enough today.

“We feel the pressure of defending our home record every week, it’s something we’re really proud of, but it can be quite tough maintaining motivation.

“We’ve been talking about a target for two seasons now, pitching that all the way through, and when you’re talking about something for such a long time and then you achieve it, it’s difficult to maintain the motivation.

“If we had pre-season now we could re-set, focus and go again, but to have four games left when you win the title makes it difficult.

“Nick Walshe is tremendous with his motivation and his team talks, but you could see the boys were just a little bit off and a bit in holiday mode and that’s something we’ve got to change for next week.

“We want to finish the season with 29 wins out of 30, we want to maintain our home record and go the whole season unbeaten at Butts Park, and we want to keep putting the pressure on.

“We play the third team in the league next week and then the second the week after, and we want a bit of momentum to take into the summer like we had last season.

“We started this season so well because we had that momentum of a winning run from the end of last season, and to get that again the boys need to put more effort and energy into their performances for it all to come through in the final three weeks.”