6th Dec, 2016

Superb first half performance puts Coventry in control against Macclesfield

Steve Carpenter 20th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A SUPERB opening 40 minutes saw Coventry score no fewer than eight tries as they thumped Macclesfield 61-14 in National League One but the club’s director of rugby Rowland Winter was far from satisfied.

The home side produced the most sublime rugby in the opening period of Saturday’s encounter at the Butts Park Arena and although the visitors steadied the ship in the second period, Coventry had already wrapped up their second win in three league matches.

“I’m happy with the five points and parts of the first half, and, yes, there were lots of nice tries and good team tries as well which is always pleasing,” said Winter. “But games of rugby aren’t won in 40 minutes.

“At half-time it was key that we performed for 80 minutes. We told the boys we can’t take things for granted, we can’t take our foot off the gas, we’ve got to put in this 80-minute performance, and still we’re left searching for that.

“We’ve got to play Blackheath, Hartpury and Esher in the next three weeks, really tough games, and if we only perform for 40 or 50 minutes, or like last week at Moseley slip off the first 15 minutes, we will have problems.

“We can’t let the first half gloss over what was actually quite a poor performance in the second half – we’ve really got to up our standards, we can’t be nappy with just 40 minutes of hard work.”

The opening half will be remembered for a good while by those 1,089 fans fortunate enough to witness it.

It took just three minutes for the try bonanza to begin when hooker Scott Tolmie drove over on the catch and drive and Will Maisey converted the extras.

By the 11th minute it became 12-0 thanks to captain Eoghan Grace who was sent clear on the right and ten minutes later the home side forged a 33-0 lead to already secure a bonus point.

On the quarter hour mark the referee deemed that the Macclesfield had impeded illegally as Coventry went for a pushover try and just three minutes later Brett Daynes crossed as the Blue & Whites displayed real signs of running completely amok.

The try fest continued as Dan Rundle set Corey Hircock free on the right, before in their first attack of any real note, Macclesfield scored themselves through hooker Sam Moss and Matt Bradley converted well for 33-7.

Coventry though were far from finished in the half as they produced three more tries before the break, all of which Maisey converted.

First Tolmie crossed for his second and a superb team try ended with Darell Dyer crossing in style between the posts.

There was still time for Grace to set up Rob Knox who ran in a 70-metre try to give the hosts a convincing 54-7 lead at half-time.

Sadly Coventry were unable to carry on the momentum after the break but they did manage to move past the 60-point mark thanks to a ninth try from Stokes and Maisey converted to give him 16 personal points for the match.

Macclesfield, to their credit, kept going and from close in captain Ryan Parkinson scored for Bradley to again convert but there were no further additions to the scoreline.