Coventrians 3 Claverdon 13
Midlands Four West (South)
CLAVERDON remain unbeaten in the league this season following this disjointed performance on Saturday which Brian Westmacott – father of Tim Westmacott – referred to as “the worst rugby match he had watched in years”, writes James Williams.
In truth, this is a fair reflection of what was a game filled with errors, ill-discipline and questionable decision-making. It is certainly good to win when you are not at your best, but serious improvement needs to be made in the forthcoming weeks.
The Lions started strongly and were awarded an early penalty in front of the posts and Doz Ward was successful with his first attempt.
With some strong running and good handling, the Lions were soon back in the Coventrians’ 22 but struggled to find the right option to convert the pressure into points.
Claverdon were soon rewarded when some good work at the breakdown and quick recycling of the ball allowed Steve Grimsley to muscle his way over from a couple of metres out and Ward successfully added the extras.
The next 60 minutes must have been hard to watch for both the travelling supporters and Coventrian VPs. There were penalties aplenty and possession of the ball changing far too frequently for either side to gain any momentum.
Claverdon gave away two penalties within kicking distance of the posts but fortunately for the visitors only one was successful, narrowing their lead to 10-3.
A rare opportunity saw Claverdon with an overlap on the left wing and, unsurprisingly, given the nature of the game, the ball failed to make it wide, knocked on in the midfield.
Fly-half James Williams was taken late off the ball by the Coventrian flanker who had clearly set a target on the back of the No 10 shirt and the resulting penalty was successfully kicked by Ward to restore the ten-point margin.
The second half was, unfortunately, a continuation of the poor decision-making and persistent infringement, while neither team really threatened their opponent’s try line.
There was not even a penalty shot at goal. Both teams remained resolute in defence and, with the set plays frequently going awry, there was little in the sense of attacking rugby.
Charlie Byrd and Ross Pollard continued their good work at the breakdowns while the front five all contributed in the loose. Big tackles from Williams and Seru Rokotuiloma prevented the Coventrian backs from breaking the gain line.
Claverdon have only conceded one try in their first three games and boast the second best defensive record in the league having won all three matches so far.
Saturday brings the visit of Coventry Welsh to Ossetts Hole Lane.