JOB done, but a performance that leaves some work to be done was how director of rugby, Rowland Winter viewed yesterday’s 30-27 win over Bishop’s Stortford which puts Coventry on top of the National League One table.
Cov trailed four times in a see-saw affair before Will Maisey’s added-time penalty secured victory and were pushed all the way by a visiting side whose performance came as no surprise to Winter.
“I said before the game that Bishop’s Stortford are a well-drilled side, they’re a good outfit and a really tight team as well with a lot of home-grown players,” said Winter.
“They really tested us. Our discipline wasn’t good enough, our set piece wobbled a little bit, but I’m pleased that we’ve come away with five points when playing badly – hopefully it’s the sign of a good side.
“Our discipline overall has been good this season, but I think today that with some of our decisions in attack and knock-ons in the tackle we didn’t seem as secure as we have been in other weeks.
“We probably didn’t adapt our game to the referee’s interpretations of the Laws and our discipline allowed their kicker to take advantage and keep them in the game. We’ve got to do better than that.”
Injuries to scrum-half Pete White, in the first half, and later to Rob Knox contributed to the stop-start nature of the game which, overall, led to 18 minutes of added time.
“The injuries did disrupt us,” said Winter, “but we’ve got good players on the bench who come on and make their impact on the game. Once we settled we started to get bits of control, but today those bits of control were no longer than in three or four-minute patches.
“Our task was five points, and we’ve got that. Bishop’s Stortford haven’t surprised us because we knew they’re a good outfit and credit to them, they really disrupted us and they probably should have had more out of the game.
“We would definitely have lost that game last year – it shows an improved side that we’ve dug out a win, really battled to give ourselves the opportunity to score those tries and somehow squeeze a bonus point out of it. That’s encouraging and shows a good work rate and that the boys are working hard for each other.
“The boys have a bit of a break now, they’ve got Monday off from training, so hopefully they’ll use that as an opportunity to refresh mentally and physically so we can bounce back a little bit next week – that’s perhaps an odd thing to say when we’ve won, but that performance wasn’t up to the standard that we’ve set and that we’ve already had this season.
“It’s still early days, we’ve got a lot of work to do for next week and Fylde away is going to be a tough test.”