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Home > News > Manchester 24 Coventry 41 Written by Tom Little
Your News Manchester 24 Coventry 41 Written by Tom Little

Saturday 23rd February 2009

On the face of it, a Manchester side that has only won once this season should have proved easy pickings for a resurgent Coventry side, following their excellent performances over Doncaster and Leeds.

However, Manchester are a more resilient side than their scores suggest and they play a brand of relaxed running rugby which can put most sides under pressure. Two early tries to Coventry seemed to help Manchester, who came back strongly, realising that they had to keep the ball alive away from the dominant Cov lineout. Coventry got back on track in the third quarter with three tries, although they did allow Manchester in for 2 late scores. In the end a 7 try bonus point win was deserved, although work needs to be done on discipline and the ruck area for the next game.

Before a meagre home crowd and with Cov facing a stiff cold wind, the Coventry side showed 3 enforced changes from that against Leeds. Ben Toft came in for Kurt Johnson, Ronnie McLean in for Donovan Sanders, and debutant Justin Lewis, on trial from Llandovery in for George Dixon.

The game started at breakneck speed with both sides running the ball at every opportunity. After just 4mins a Russell break was carried on by Dorrian, and the impressive Burgess. The ball was quickly recycled to Chris Whitehead on the wing for an excellent unconverted try. Manchester 0 Coventry 5.

Coventry maintained the pressure on the home side, and following intense pack pressure on the Manchester line, Rob Dugard forced his way over on 10 mins, for another unconverted try. Manchester 0 Coventry 10.

Any signs of complacency were soon dispelled as Manchester came storming back, Coventry started to make mistakes and fell foul of Mr Roberts, not for the first time this season. Something had to give and on 26mins following excellent recycling from the home side, centre Andre Wilson scored in the corner, for an unconverted try. Manchester 5 Coventry 10. Things became worse for Coventry on 35mins as Andre Wilson found another large gap in the centre for his 2nd try. Thomas Eaton converted to make score Manchester 12 Coventry 10.

Coventry were stung into action and an excellent quick passing movement gave Toft some space, he made 40m before passing onto the supporting Ronnie McLean for a try close to the posts. McLean converted his own try to make the half-time score Manchester 12 Coventry 17.

Earplugs were evidently needed if passing the Coventry dressing room during the break and the away team evidently took the lessons to heart in the next quarter with 3 tries.

After just 3mins a brilliant Olly Winter break was carried on by Miller and finished off by the supporting Sam Herrington, McLean duly converted to make score Manchester 12 Coventry 24.

Coventry continued to press and a searing Dorrian break almost led to a try. On 15mins another Dorrian break was carried on by Russell and finished off by Lee Parry, who had only been on for 15 secs after a surging 40m dash.

Parry's corner try went unconverted. Manchester 12 Coventry 29. 3mins later a Rudi Brits break and a long Russell pass put debutant Justin Lewis in for another unconverted try. Score now Manchester 12 Coventry 34.

Yet Manchester refused to lie down, it was only desperate defence by Darren Clayton, which prevented a home try. Intense home pressure finally told when replacement lock David Ward stormed over on 31m, try converted by Eaton. Score Manchester 19 Coventry 34.

With just 2mins to go David Ward repeated his try scoring by finding a huge gap in the Cov 22 for another unconverted try. Manchester 24 Coventry 34.

Yet 4mins into injury time, following good work by Clayton and pack pressure on the Manchester line, Herrington forced his way over for his 2nd try. McLean made an excellent conversion to make final score

Manchester 24 Coventry 41.

At the end Coventry players were disappointed to have given 4 tries away but after the exertions of the last few games, a bonus point win was the most important statistic.

Justin Lewis showed some deft touches and once he is fully match fit could prove a useful acquistion. For his overall passing and running contribution, I made Ben Russell my MOM.

Scorers Coventry tries Sam Herrington 2 Justin Lewis, Ronnie McLean, Rob Dugard, Chris Whitehead, Lee Parry,

Con McLean 3

Manchester tries Andre Wilson 2, David Ward 2

Con Thomas Eaton 2

Coventry Team

15 Ben Russell

14 Ben Toft

13 Justin Lewis

12 Ronnie McLean

11 Olly Winter

10 Myles Dorrian

9 Michael Walls

8 Laurie McGlone

7 James Miller

6 Henno Venter

5 Carl Burgess

4 Sam Herrington

3 Rudi Brits

2 Chris Whitehead

1 Rob Dugard


Stewart Pearl for Whitehead

Ricky Whitehall for Dugard

Oliver Atkinsonfor Burgess

Darren Clayton for Miller

Tom Slater for Walls

Lee Parry for Winter

Thomas Hayes for Dorrian

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