26th Jun, 2022

Rowland Winter hits out at Coventry performance despite home win over Esher

RUGBY UNION: HIS side may have taken a full five points at the Butts Park Arena on Saturday but Coventry’s director of rugby Rowland Winter hit out at team’s below-par performance following a 35-27 win over Esher.

The home side were losing 22-10 at one point early in the second half against a side who have yet to win on the road this season in National League One.

But an excellent-sized Butts Park Arena crowd of just below 1,400 got behind the Blue & Whites as they fought back from 12 points behind to claim a 12th league win of the season.

“We talk a lot about performance, and we need to forget about the result and the five points – Saturday simply wasn’t up to our standards and it wasn’t a good enough performance across the whole 80 minutes,” said Rowland.

“We pulled it out of the bag, but it isn’t a good enough springboard into next week. That wasn’t the standard we expect, not at all what we train for and not at all what our standards are about.

“We weren’t anywhere close to the accuracy or intensity we brought a couple of weeks ago against Blackheath or in the first 40 minutes against Hartpury last week. We were hoping to get a reaction, a response after last week’s defeat, and we simply didn’t get it as the second half of the Hartpury game continued into today.

“We missed tackles, we weren’t manning up, we weren’t communicating, and we weren’t working together – we had no trust in each other, and people were going off script individually. We just weren’t anywhere close to the work we’ve been putting in in training.”

The result could so easily have gone the other way had it not been for some suspect Esher kicking, with the visitors missing five kicks at goal which ultimately cost them dear, while in comparison Will Maisey was well-night faultless as he landed six out of seven for a personal points total of 15.

Coventry now face two difficult away matches in quick succession against Fylde this Saturday and Plymouth Albion a week later, and Winter wants to see a major improvement in his side’s performance.

He added: “We’ve got to continue to build because that’s a step back for me regardless of what it does to the league points.

“We’ve got big aspirations, we’re an ambitious side and Saturday doesn’t help us at all. We’ve really got to work hard in the week to get a performance at Fylde next Saturday – not a result, a performance.”

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