RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby slip to first-ever defeat at Caldy - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby slip to first-ever defeat at Caldy

Coventry Editorial 5th Feb, 2024 Updated: 5th Feb, 2024   0

COVENTRY Rugby lost 26-22 to suffer a first-ever defeat against Caldy as Alex Rae’s side were made to rue a number of missed chances.

First-half tries from Obi Nkwocha, Jordon Poole and Rhys Anstey put Coventry in command only for Caldy to complete an impressive turnaround with two second-half scores at Paton Field.

After coming away with a losing bonus point, Cov sit fourth in the Championship table, seven points behind leaders Ealing Trailfinders.

Rae’s men made a fast start as Nkwocha scored the game’s first try on five minutes after he broke a tackle before dotting down.

And Cov extended their lead to 12 points soon after when Poole crossed from a driving maul following a lineout and Pat Pellegrini converted.

However, Caldy responded as Connor Wilkinson scored the home’s side first try on 23 minutes after he broke two tackles with an angled run to the line.

The visitors struck again on the half-hour mark when Anstey touched down after several hard carries from the away side’s forward pack to stretch Cov’s lead to 14 points.

The hosts remained a threat at the other end and crossed four minutes before the break as Matt Gallagher dotted down his first try of the game from a driving maul at a lineout with Lewis Barker converting.

Cov spurned a golden chance to score at the start of the second period after Jimmy Martin broke through a pack of defenders and burst 50 metres into the Caldy 22 with nobody in support.

A simple Pellegrini penalty proved to be Cov’s only score in the second half after the same player set up a try scoring chance soon after only for the away side to knock-on metres from the line.

And Caldy made the most of those missed chances to reduce the deficit as Gallagher wriggled over for his second try of the game and Barker added the extras on the hour mark.

Caldy piled on the pressure, winning three consecutive penalties, and duly scored the game-winning try with 11 minutes left to play as Gallagher completed his hat-trick from another driving maul.

Coventry are next in action at home to Ampthill on Saturday, February 24 with kick-off at 2.30pm at Butts Park Arena.

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