Wal­she rues scrum call as Not­ting­ham post first win

The Rugby Paper - - Championship Cup - By ROB WILD­MAN

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.

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