Walshe rues scrum call as Nottingham post first win
COVENTRY departed believing they should have completed a Championship Cup double over their midland rivals.
In another high-scoring game, following last Saturday’s 45-35 win for Cov, it was Nottingham who seized their chances to win by five tries to four.
“Very frustrating,” was the view of Cov coach Nick Walshe. “We had the chances to win but gave away two soft tries when we didn’t make tackles.”
Walshe also disputed a decision at the end of the first half which saw referee John Meredith penalise Coventry at an attacking scrum near the Nottingham posts when they had taken charge.
“That was a big turning point,” Walshe added about a decision which allowed Nottingham to escape the pressure to turn round 19-14 up.
Nottingham coach Neil Fowkes praised the effort which brought a first win after three defeats in Pool 1.
“I can’t fault our guys for effort and commitment. Both teams tried to play and there were some good tries again.”
The teams had served up 12 tries last Saturday and this match brought some good entertainment plus plenty of mistakes.
Nottingham, who had prop James Penman and hooker Jake Farnworth sin binned for persistent infringing, are developing a reputation for a counter-attacking style.
Cov had the bulk of the territory and possession but paid for a failure to make their supremacy count. Nottingham survived an opening burst of pressure to score first, flanker Will Owen finishing a break by Leicester loanee Charlie Thacker.
The score was part of a lively first half in which Nottingham scored two more tries through centre Jack Cobden, following a neat grubber by scrumhalf Darryl Veenendaal, and wing David Williams.
Williams scooted from his own half to catch out Coventry who had traded tries through scores by fly-half Will Maisey and flanker Latu Makaafi.
The second half was more forward based. Cov dominated after Nottingham No.8 Jordan Coghlan had scored against the run of play.
Coventry’s best play came in the middle of the half when quick scores by Dan Faleafa and Tom Kessell cut Nottingham’s lead to 26-24. But Nottingham’s determination proved crucial and a fifth try, following a yellow to Cov substitute Will Flinn for a high tackle, ended in a score for Farnworth.
Cov finished held up over the Nottingham line.