RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby suffer surprise home defeat against Hartpury - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby suffer surprise home defeat against Hartpury

Coventry Editorial 4th Dec, 2023 Updated: 4th Dec, 2023   0

COVENTRY Rugby saw their 15-match unbeaten run at home come to an end following a surprise 47-29 defeat against Hartpury University.

The home side led at the hour mark courtesy of tries from Matt Kvesic, Elliot Chilvers and Will Rigg only for Hartpury to score four tries in the remaining quarter at Butts Park Arena.

Will Wand crossed for a try in the dying seconds to ensure Coventry did at least come away with a losing bonus point on an afternoon to forget for Alex Rae’s side.

Hartpury lost centre Jack Reeves to the sin bin early on following a clash of heads in the tackle with Coventry’s Ryan Hutler.

And the home side took advantage of the extra man to score the game’s opening try on nine minutes as Kvesic went over from a five-metre lineout and Evan Mitchell converted.

However, Hartpury responded with a try of their own on 16 minutes when Jarrard Hayler drove over the line from a lineout and Harry Bazalgette kicked the extras.

Hartpury then lost Bazalgette to the sin bin for obstructing Pat Pellegrini‚Äôs chip and chase as Coventry once again exploited the man advantage when Chilvers dotted down on 21 minutes from Tom Ball’s pass.

The visitors hit back a second time after forcing a scrum penalty as James Tyas collapsed the ensuing maul with the referee awarding Hartpury a penalty try.

With Tyas sent to the sin bin, Coventry wing David Opoku made a thumping tackle before the break to prevent Jake Morris from running to the line as the home side trailed by two points at the interval.

However, Hartpury stretched their lead to nine points on 46 minutes as Josh Gray forced his way under the posts and Bazalgette added the extras.

Mitchell kicked Coventry back into the contest with a penalty from 20-metres out before Rigg exchanged passes with Hutler down the right before crossing under the posts with Mitchell converting to put the home side in front.

Hartpury reclaimed the lead on 67 minutes when replacement prop Mikey Summerfield dotted down and Bazalgette converted.

And the visitors struck again three minutes later as Gray went under the posts with Bazalgette converting before Kite raced over on 75 minutes to seal the points for Hartpury.

There was still time for Matty Jones to score Hartpury’s seventh try on 79 minutes before Wand touched down Coventry’s bonus point try in the final minute and Mitchell converted.

Coventry are next in action away at Cambridge on Saturday, December 16 with kick-off at 2pm at Ellgia Fields.

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