8th Apr, 2020

Coventry back on track following Esher win

RUGBY UNION: DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter admitted there’s little time for his men to relax despite returning to winning form against Esher at the Butts Park Arena on Saturday.

Winter’s men lost their first fixture in almost a year when fifth placed Blackheath defeated Coventry in the capital.

But the table toppers downed Esher 57-12 at a muddy Butts Park Arena in front of another strong crowd.

Nine tries helped Coventry extend their lead at the top of the National League Division One to 15 points, though second-placed Darlington do have a game in hand.

The bad weather, coupled with two fixtures taking place in the 18 hours building up to Saturday’s game, left the playing surface in a poor state.

But it was Coventry that adapted best, quickly opening up a five-point lead when Anthony Matato crossed the whitewash out wide.

Returning Rob Knox made excellent ground on the right to help Max Trimble record Coventry’s second try. Maisey made no mistake with the conversion to make it 12-0.

Esher more than halved Coventry’s advantage when Niall Saunders’ kick created the visitors’ first points to move with five points.

But that was the closest Esher got to Winter’s side as Nile Dacres and Matoto added tries to open up a 24-7 lead at half time.

Stokes scored his 14th try of the season one minute into the second half following a inch perfect kick from Maisey.

Two penalties and a penalty try stretched Coventry’s lead to 38-7 before Trimble and Phil Nilsen scored tries rounded off the scoring.

Esher did bag a consolation marker as the game reached its conclusion, the match ending 57-12.

Rowland Winter said: “We wanted to make amends for last week and I felt we were mentally right.

“There had been lots of reviews and soul-searching all week to make sure we were ready to go.

“The scrum was very good, the maul was exceptional and the forwards did some good work in the week. Nine tries was double our target.

“We controlled the game well but still tried to play.

“The conditions were difficult to play in, but the boys did exceptionally well and the true strength of the squad came through – all 20 players were very good.”

Coventry are next in action this weekend against mid-table Bishop’s Stortford, who have won ten of their 18 games so far this season.

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