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Home > News > Coventry 36 London Welsh 30 Saturday 11th April 2009
Your News Coventry 36 London Welsh 30 Saturday 11th April 2009

Written by John Butler

What a vital win and with a bonus point! Victory, the fifth achieved over sides in the top half of the table ensured under next season's revamped system, championship rugby will be played at the Butts Park Arena.

A first league double over London Welsh since 2004/5 was certainly not achieved without some heart fluttering moments but then, against a side who from the outset, were clearly a strong all round outfit, one would not have expected much else.

The Dragons, with their forceful, direct runners certainly posed problems throughout. Some of Covís first up tackling as well not being as tight as it should have been but after last weekís heroics against Exeter, it was always going to be a tough ask to expect the Blue and Whites to completely replicate that performance.

Nevertheless, 15 points gained from the last three games, two of them against sides in the top six, has ensured Cov secure their own survival without relying on others. After a Mike Walls break spelt danger, Ben Russell put three points on the board after the Welsh were penalised after being rucked off the ball. The ever dangerous Tagicakibau crossed for the visitors four minutes later with Cov at one point, after an aimless period of kicking, having two players lying injured, Harris converting the try.

Coventry soon regained the lead, Ben Russell from full back breaking to slip an inside pass to Chris Whitehead, Covís skipper storming in the last 22 metres, Russell badly missing the conversion.

8-7 became 15 -7 when Ollie Winter took advantage of a rebound off Welsh full back Harris to steam in from 35 metres for Russell this time to convert.

Still the scoring continued. First Tagicakibau from left to right crossed for a second, Harris missing the conversion before landing a penalty on 39 minutes for 15 -18.

Cov though, moved back in front by the break. The alert Walls took a tap penalty, fed Myles Dorrian for the returning fly half to power 60 metres down the touchline, totally catching the Dragons out, Russell converting.

22-18 with more points to follow. Another Russell penalty initially increased the margin before Welsh scrum half Runciman crossed after a period of pressure, Harris again converting, before after winger Sampson had impeded Myles Dorrian, Ben Russell stepped to land the 33 metre penalty, now 28 -25.

Shortly afterwards, after the visitors were caught killing the ball, Russell stepped up again with penalty number four. Eleven minutes from time, the Dragons, still looking very dangerous saw Harris power in for a bonus point try, his conversion attempt hitting a post.

It was Cov however, who were to produce the last defining score. With six minutes left, Rudi Brits appeared outside his backs to power over for his first try of the season and although Russellís conversion attempt just failed and Harris with a penalty again saw his kick rebound off a post, victory with a bonus point was achieved, leaving others to worry about who might be landed with the final relegation spot.

Coventry. Ben Russell, Ollie Winter, George Dixon, Donovan Sanders, Ben Toft, Myles Dorrian, Mike Walls, Rob Dugard, Chris Whitehead (Capt), Rudi Brits, Sam Herrington, Henno Venter, Jamie Miller, Darren Clayton, Laurie Mc Glone.

Replacements; Stewart Pearl for Whitehead, Kevin Davis for Dugard, Ollie Atkinson for Herrington, Tom Slater for Walls, Ronnie McLean for Dixon.

Not used; Tommy Hayes, Ricky Whitehall

Coventry. Tries; Chris Whitehead, Ollie Winter, Myles Dorrian, Rudi Brits.

Conversions; Ben Russell 2. Penalty goals; Russell 4

London Welsh. Tries; Michael Tagicakabau 2, Nick Runciman, Mark Harris.

Conversions; Harris 2. Penalty goals; Harris 2

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