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Your News Coventry 48 Otley 3
17
NOV

Coventry 48 Otley 3

Monday, 17 November 2008

Written by John Butler

Following on from the disappointing defeat seven days earlier and the talk that had been occurring nationwide all week over the future structure of the game, it was important Coventry applied themselves in positive terms over opposition most people would have expected the to beat.

Most of the boxes could be ticked after handing out a seven try beating, but it must be kept in proportion. Otley, despite running London Welsh close a week earlier have nevertheless lost every match so far this season and if Cov are to finish in the top eleven positions to achieve status in the new Championship division, home victories such as this simply have to be achieved.

Otley it has to be said did not help their own cause, three yellow cards for persistently offending the offside law meant they played 30 minutes with 14 men; and yet some of that could be attributed to the pressure Coventry were exerting on them.

Nevertheless it was still not all plain sailing in the first half, but as better continuity and support grew, the more all round Cov’s performance became, until finally in the second half 35 unanswered points were chalked up with some impressive and positive play.

There is no doubt the decision before hand to go with a replacement bench full of pace, power and quality paid dividends and thankfully as the injury situation had eased if was possible to go down that route.

Early action was pretty even before Otley through fly half with a well struck 42 metre penalty from fly half Whittaker took the lead briefly. On 15 minutes though Coventry finally got points on the board, Jamie Miller crossing wide out after some nice passing though several phases, Myles Dorrian missing the conversion as well as a later penalty attempt. By this time George Dixon after a heavy bang had been replaced by Tommy Hayes, Otley’s Whittaker being the first to receive yellow from which a Ronnie McLean penalty eased Cov to 8 –3.

With Coventry though despite numerical advantage not adding further to their total it was the 34th minute when Greg Thomas having a fine match stormed in for his maiden club try after a McLean break. Flanker Baldwin was next to receive ten minutes on the sidelines as Cov pondered a 13 –3 lead which probably should have been more.

Early second half action saw Ollie Winter lead a fine counter, Otley meanwhile having a rare sortie into the Cov ‘’22’’, before on 48 minutes the blue and whites showed real signs of pulling away. Ollie Winter, having a fine match, took a quick tap penalty to cross from close in, McLean converting , before three minutes later a grubber kick through just evaded Jamie Miller.

By now though the Yorkshire side were ripe for the kill, lock Sam Herrington finishing off a fine move in some style for try number four and his maiden club touchdown, again converted by Ronnie McLean. Visiting skipper Hyde was to become the third Otley player to receive yellow for a close in infringement, before Coventry finished off in style with three tries in the last 14 minutes, all converted by McLean. Firstly Laurie McGlone, just one of the effective replacements stormed over from a five metre scrum, a splendid build up seven minutes later leading to Ollie Winter finishing off in style for his second try, replacement hooker Chris Whitehead claiming the last near to full time.

Post match, the question was posed, was this Coventry’s biggest league win at the Butts Park Arena ? The answer to that question is ‘’ yes’’ in terms of the 45 points difference. Much tougher tasks are clearly ahead over the next three weeks, but this result in itself was a very important one, including of course another important bonus point.

Coventry. Ben Russell, Ronnie McLean, George Dixon, Donovan Sanders, Ollie Winter, Myles Dorrian, Nathan Jones, Laurence Ovens, Stewart Pearl, Rob Dugard, Sam Herrington, David Lyons, Henno Venter (Capt), Jamie Miller, Greg Thomas.

Replacements; Rudi Brits for Dugard, Chris Whitehead for Pearl, Carl Burgess for Herrington, Laurie McGlone for Venter, Darren Clayton for Miller, Mike Walls for Jones, Tommy Hayes for Dixon.

Coventry. Tries; Ollie Winter 2, Jamie Miller, Greg Thomas, Sam Herrington, Laurie McGlone, Chris Whitehead.

Conversions; Ronnie McLean 5. Penalty goal; McLean

Otley. Penalty goal; Tom Whittaker

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