HEAD coach Nick Walshe felt Coventry Rugby’s second penalty try award on the stroke of half-time was the critical moment in Saturdays 47-3 home win over Fylde.
Cov were leading 7-3, but had been frustrated by a spiralling penalty count against the visitors, as well as some stubborn defence, before the second score deep in added time which also produced the first of three yellow cards.
“I think the second penalty try was crucial,” said Walshe. “It settled us down and gave us that little bit of a buffer going into half-time when we talked about just keeping the ball more in hand, even in those treacherous conditions, and making headway doing that.
“In the first half we tried to get some field position by kicking but – and fair play to Fylde, their back three covered back well enough – I thought we lost that battle.
“Towards the end of the half, when we actually kept the ball, we looked good and we might have made more yards that way. The conditions were really tricky to play in, but we were making it hard for ourselves and it was a change we had to make at half-time.
“I don’t know how many penalties they gave away and it was a bit frustrating that they didn’t get a card earlier because every time we got in to their red zone, there was a penalty. They defended our maul quite well, to be fair to them, but our scrum was quite dominant at times.”
Walshe was pleased with Cov’s response to the half-time talk as they went on to score five more tries.
“Seven tries in those conditions, on a pitch that was very, very difficult to play on, is a real credit to the boys,” he said.
“The second half was really good. It just showed the quality that we can play at even in those conditions. We felt at half-time that if we’d kept the ball more in hand we might have made more yards, and that’s what we came back out and did.
“We knew our power game would hurt them, we just had to keep going forward and get some good momentum and they’d struggle with it.”