Coventry Rugby Director of Rugby Rowland Winter admits he was impressed by the Blue and White’s victory over Birmingham Moseley but admits the side looked “a little rusty” at times during the match.
The Butts Park Arena outfit won the first-ever Harry Walker Memorial Cup in spectacular fashion on Saturday scoring ten tries in the process.
“The key components of our game were there, our set piece was strong and provided a great platform all day, and there was real hunger and desire in attack and defence which was really pleasing,” said Winter.
“It’s normal for the first pre-season game to not flow because of the amounts of sub changes, debuts for players and combinations, and the unfortunate injury stoppages, which meant that we didn’t really ever get into our full stride.”
Coventry showcased a number of their new signings including powerful Tongan wing David Halaifonua who made several crusading runs into the heart of the Moseley defence, and managed to pick up the Man of the Match accolade in his first outing in Blue and White.
Winter believed the game was difficult due to the stop start nature with injuries and stoppages causing disruption to the rhythm of the hosts’ game plan but believes the squad performed well.
He said: “We looked a little rusty when executing that final pass on a few occasions, which can be ironed out over the next few weeks. I am pleased that we created so many opportunities to score and we really should have had quite a few more than 10 tries.
“Today was an opportunity for the players to individually and collectively showcase what they can do in a game situation, with many wearing the Coventry shirt and playing at BPA for the first time, they all did well and quite a few stood out with strong performances.”
The Blue and Whites now face Leinster Development at Energia Park, followed by a Wasps development XV side before hosting Jersey Reds in their return to the Greene King IPA Championship season.
Winter admits he is “excited” to see the squad perform again in the coming weeks before they set sail on their voyage into the second tier of English rugby and believes the side completed set targets before the 62-14 against Birmingham Moseley.
He said: “I am excited to see us perform as we begin to settle and grow further as a group over the next few weeks.
“This game will act as a great building block for us to now work from, fine tune, and show an improved performance next week against Leinster Development in Dublin.
“The side managed to tick many boxes for our league preparation, but to get the win in the derby against Moseley for Harry Walker, his family, and all the supporters who attended today was really important.”
The Blue and Whites will face up against a Wasps side on the 25 August, which will be the first meeting between the two sides since their move to Coventry and Winter admitted that the support of the side has been boundless.
He added: “It was great to see so many supporters there, and I hear that tickets are selling really well for the Wasps game in two weeks, which should be another great occasion.”