8th Apr, 2020

Coventry skipper Boulton delighted with team performance as Esher overturned in National League One

RUGBY UNION: COVENTRY overturned a 17 point first deficit to secure another National League One win against Esher on Saturday.

Dominating the set plays, Coventry took time to get into a rhythm but asserted their authority to lead 21-17 at the break before pulling clear with four tries in the final 25 minutes as their fitness came through in open play.

Rowland Winter’s men fell behind to a penalty after five minutes before conceding two converted tries in the space of five minutes.

With Esher down to 14-men following a yellow card, the tide quickly turned when Scott Tolmie went over for a converted try before Harry Morley crossed the line for Coventry’s second try, which was followed up by a penalty.

Esher regained the lead with a converted try midway through the third quarter, but Cov responded with a three-try burst from Kwaku Asiedu, Palmer and James Neal, two converted by Palmer for a 40-24 lead after 65 minutes.

The home side pulled one back, but Coventry had the final word when Asiedu scored his second try and Palmer converted to complete the scoring.

Skipper Phil Boulton was pleased with his side’s performance which put to bed any doubts about his side’s form away from the Butts Park Arena.

He said: “We’re not going to talk about it again, but obviously, although we won we were very disappointed the last time we played away.

“The coaches asked for a reaction and I asked for a reaction from the players because I didn’t think it was anything to do with how we prepared in the week or anything tactical or technical.

“It was down to attitude on the day, so we were pretty keen to put that right and I’d like to think we did.”

An in depth look at Esher on video prior to Saturday’s game helped Winter’s men prepare for the challenge, and Boulton admitted he was fully aware of the forward pressure the London-based side were capable of applying.

He said: “We watched a lot of their games and we knew they’d be quite handy up front, so we wanted to take it to them and try to nullify that.

“They’ve got some really dangerous backs as well but, obviously, if the backs don’t get the ball they’re not going to do anything, so we wanted to get them in a bit of an arm wrestle, we locked them in that and I’d like to think we came out on top.”

Backs Anthony Matoto and Tom Emery and prop Nathanael Titchard-Jones – or Turkish, as he is known in the squad – made their Coventry league debuts on Saturday, and from a front row perspective Boulton was delighted with the latter’s contribution.

“The pleasing thing about Turkish is that he’s been patient, he’s worked hard and he’s listened. He wants to prove his own point,” he said.

“It was his opportunity and I was really pleased he came through so well. I think he should be pleased with his performance – I certainly was.”

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