5th Jul, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Coventry hold nerve in Jersey to book place in Championship Cup final

Aaron Sutcliffe 16th May, 2022 Updated: 16th May, 2022

COVENTRY RFC survived a late fightback to book their place in the Championship Cup final with a thrilling 20-17 win away at Jersey Reds.

Senitiki Nayalo and Jordon Poole ran in early tries for the visitors with Tony Fenner adding 10 points from the kicking tee at Stade Santander International.

Jersey ran in two tries of their own late on but were unable to complete a memorable comeback as Coventry look to become just the second team in history to lift the Championship Cup trophy.

And Coventry made a fast start when Nayalo finished underneath the sticks on four minutes with Fenner converting after the returning Josh Barton burst through a gap in midfield.

Coventry struck again on 11 minutes when Poole crashed over following good work from the visitors’ driving maul with Fenner nailing the difficult conversion.

And the away side looked on course for a comfortable victory when Fenner extended Coventry’s lead to 17 points with a penalty after Jersey were penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown.

However, Jersey reduced the deficit before half time when Wes White scored from a rolling maul with Brendan Cope’s conversion sending Coventry into the break with a 10-point lead.

And Coventry were reduced to 14-men at the start of the second period when Nayalo was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle only for a huge defensive effort to keep Jersey at bay before returning to their full complement of players.

The game’s decisive score came on 70 minutes when Fenner landed a monster of a penalty from far out to push Coventry into a 13-point lead.

However, Jersey responded when another driving maul led to a try on 76 minutes only for Cope to miss the conversion to leave the home side requiring two scores in the final four minutes.

And the hosts came close to completing a remarkable late fightback when they grabbed another try out wide in the final seconds with a quickly taken conversion drifting wide to the sound of the final whistle.

The win means Coventry will play Ealing Trailfinders in the Championship Cup final on Saturday, May 21 with kick-off at 3pm at Trailfinders Sports Club.

To buy tickets to the final click on the following link: https://bit.ly/3wu3ccn

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