A TRY in each half from Max Trimble and Charlie Beece as well as ten points from the boot of Will Maisey guided Coventry Rugby to a battling 20-15 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie.
However, the bottom-of-the-table visitors, who responded through Pete Lucock and Andy Forsyth pushed the home side very hard in cold, greasy conditions, before a fourth home win in five Championship starts was secured.
Coventry’s rugby director Roland Winter said: “I don’t think any area of the game was perfect. It was a case of character and mindset having to be there and we had that.
“We’ve lacked it at times so far this season but it was there in abundance so we just about got ourselves through.
“Saturday was about a win. We had to get four points, however it came, and we did that.
“Four out of nine so far is not the best return but it’s not bad for a promoted side so I’m pretty happy.”
The first scoring chance fell to Carnegie following a slashing midfield break from Andy Forsyth.
However, as the ball was recycled and spun right, the retreating Phil Nilsen interfered from an offside position and was duly dispatched to the sinbin.
But despite being short-handed, it was the hosts who took the lead through a routine Maisey penalty after Carnegie infringed on the ground on their own 22.
The away side worked George Watkins free on the right and won a five-metre attacking scrum from his chip ahead.
Following a sequence of reset scrums, centre Lucock crashed through a couple of tackles to the home posts for a try which Chris Elder converted.
This sparked Coventry into life and they hit back immediately through Trimble’s fourth touchdown in three games.
The pacy winger out-sprinted the cover to Andy Bulumakau’s perfectly-weighted chip ahead to claim a score which Maisey improved.
Heath Stevens then broke the visitors’ defensive line on halfway and burst into their 22.
However, Cov’s handling failed to locate first Trimble on the left, then Junior Bulumakau on the right before a forward pass ended the attack.
Shortly before half-time, Cov poached possession on the ground in their own 22 and some good support took them 60 metres upfield close to the visitors’ line.
However, Carnegie’s scramble defence repelled the original threat after which a forward pass ended the attack.
A simple Maisey penalty left the home side with a six-point interval advantage which they threatened to increase when the Bulumakau brothers combined to take play deep into the Carnegie 22, only for the visitors to win a turnover in the tackle.
Elder kicked a 35-metre penalty for Carnegie after Cov were caught offside and after Winter had introduced a handful of replacements, Maisey was narrowly wide from 40 metres.
The hosts then won three quick penalties which gave them the attacking platform on the Carnegie five-metre line from which they eventually secured the match-clinching score.
Latu Makaafi was held in goal from the first line-out, however, from the resulting scrum a series of forward surges eventually took former Carnegie prop Beech over for his first try in blue-and-white which Maisey improved.
With 13 minutes remaining, a ten-point cushion seemed comfortable but the visitors set up a grandstand finish when the impressive Forsyth broke a number of tackles to go 40-metres before forcing his way over in the corner.
For a fourth time this season, this sentenced Cov to a nervy finale which required possession to be retained through a number of phases in the home 22 to secure four very welcome points.