RUGBY UNION - Rae 'proud' of players after strong showing in Premiership Rugby Cup - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Rae 'proud' of players after strong showing in Premiership Rugby Cup

COVENTRY Rugby head coach Alex Rae insists he is ‘proud’ of his players despite missing out on a place in the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finals.

Cov suffered an agonising last-minute 32-31 defeat against Premiership side Gloucester as tries from Will Chudley, Jimmy Martin, George Smith, Ryan Hutler and Will Wand proved in vain at Kingsholm.

However, after a win against reigning Premiership champions Saracens and a draw with Harlequins earlier in their Cup campaign, Cov proved their class against top-level opposition.

Rae said: “I’m really proud of the boys – in fact I don’t think I’ve been that proud of a defeat in a long time.

“The lads had bags of belief that they could achieve something and that we’re a good team.

“They’re probably the most dogged bunch of players I’ve been involved with; we hung in there at times and had to weather some storms but managed to come out the other side.

“We spoke in the week before the game about being sure to go to Kingsholm and keep doing things our way.

“I thought the boys scored some fantastic tries – but that’s no surprise to us as we know what we’re capable of.”

And Rae hopes his team can take the confidence gained from their performances against higher level opponents into the start of the new Championship season.

Rae added: “We’ve enjoyed the Premiership Cup immensely. We played well against Saracens in the first week and probably should have won at Quins.

“After only losing by one point at Gloucester, if you do an aggregate score we’re ahead of the Premiership teams which is a good stat for us.

“We were also very close to going through the pool stage undefeated. Playing so well and almost leaving Kingsholm with a win gives us loads of confidence and belief going into the league.

“With what’s happened to Jersey we have a two-week wait now for our first game unfortunately. There will be some sore bodies for a few days but after that we can’t wait to get going.”

Coventry begin their 2023/24 Championship campaign at home to Caldy on Saturday, October 28 with kick-off at 4pm at Butts Park Arena.

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