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DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter admitted that yesterday’s 27-23 home defeat by Hartpury College was “tough to take.”

Behind from the second minute, Cov fought back to go 23-15 up with five minutes of normal time remaining only to let the National League One leaders through for a decisive fourth try and victory in a game which provided plenty of talking points, particularly around the scrum.

“After last Saturday’s performance at Blackheath the boys have worked incredibly hard in the week to try to right a few wrongs, and today they’ve done themselves proud in terms of their effort and attitude,” said Winter.

“We’ve clawed our way back from a sloppy start to put ourselves in the match at half-time and then pushed Hartpury all the way.

“I’m gutted for the boys because we’ve given ourselves so many good opportunities and we haven’t taken all of the chances we created, but on this performance we’ve now got a good base line to take forward to next week.

“The boys have worked their socks off to put things right, last week we weren’t happy with our attitude and didn’t show how much it meant to us, and one thing we can take from today is the attitude and work rate we put in.”

Added Winter:  “Our scrum is a dominant area for us, it has been all season, and each week there seems to be some sort of controversy. But the Law allows Hartpury to collapse the scrum, and because we can’t go forward, it’s just a yellow card – they can keep giving away penalties and we don’t get any reward.

“They’ve gone down to 13 men and we probably could have put a bit more pressure on them at that point, we haven’t taken all our opportunities, but it’s tough to take.

“We move on to next week now, we’ve got a lot of returning players to come into the reckoning so we’ve got a big squad to pick from to go away to Esher where, hopefully, we can pick up our first away win.

“We’ll put in the work again this week, we’ll go to Esher buoyant, and now it’s about moving forward.”