RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby backs coach Ross delighted with half-backs after Cambridge rout - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby backs coach Ross delighted with half-backs after Cambridge rout

Coventry Editorial 11th Apr, 2024 Updated: 12th Apr, 2024   0

IN VETERAN Will Chudley, Coventry Rugby have a scrum-half of proven quality whose ability to read the game and direct those around him has been a huge part of his club’s consecutive outstanding seasons in the Championship, writes Paul Smith.

But the former Exeter and Newcastle no.9 is now 36 and in recent arrival Toby Venner who marked his first start in a Coventry shirt with a hat-trick of tries it may just be that a worthy successor is beginning to emerge.

Before arriving at the BPA last month Venner was without a club after his departure from Hartpury and a lengthy spell of injury rehab.

Those who had seen him prior to this career break spoke of his electric pace – and after his leading role in Cov’s 64-12 demolition of Cambridge last weekend, a near-3000 crowd have now witnessed this for themselves.

Venner’s first try was a close-range dart, but his second saw the after-burners turned on from 35 metres as he exploded through a gap.

And his third score immediately after the restart required him to track Pat Pellegrini’s 50-metre break before applying a simple finish.

Cov backs coach Gordon Ross heaped praise on his half-backs.

Ross said: “Toby is very quick and he poses a real threat to defenders around the fringes. He worked really hard all week in training and deserved his tries tonight which he took very well.

“Pat also works very hard at his game and in very different conditions at Hartpury the last time we played two weeks ago he kicked superbly and got us into a match-winning position by half-time.

“Tonight was a very different game on our fast-paced artificial surface and he put in another outstanding shift – he looked electric at times with ball in hand and that all comes from the training he puts in during the week.”

Ross confirmed that with the match effectively won by half-time the blue-and-whites took the chance to rest some experienced legs while giving a few of their promising younger players a chance to shine.

Ross added: “We decided to look after Tiki Nayalo and Jordon Poole a bit tonight and took them both off at half-time.

“They’ve both played a lot of minutes recently and we have a tough trip to Nottingham coming up next weekend.

“We also wanted to give young guys like Chester Owen an opportunity to turn the hard work he puts into training into some game time in front of a big crowd and it’s great for the squad that the whole bench got opportunities to play.

“This season has felt a bit stop-start with the breaks in the schedule but we can’t control that. The lads keep turning up and putting in the effort that result in good displays and we’re delighted with that.

“We have a nice little three-week run now with Nottingham away next Sunday then Bedford coming to the Butts Park Arena the week after and that helps us build some momentum.”

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