By Alan Poole, Coventry Telegraph.
September 17 2012
RELIEF all round as Coventry got their National League One campaign on track at the third attempt with a convincing five-try win.
And it really was as comfortable as the scoreline would suggest with Cov spot on in their tactics and consequently always in control against a Cambridge side that persisted in running the ball from all over the field but lacked the power to make it count.
The visitors saw plenty of the ball in the first half with the wind in their backs, but the only scoring opportunity they had was a long-range penalty attempt in the 40th minute which was both short and wide as Cov kept a tight grip in midfield while easing their way into a 12-0 lead.
And fly-half Cliff Hodgson took full control after the break, pinning Cambridge back with some excellent kicking and establishing a solid platform for his forwards who were well on top by the final whistle.
Lewis Barker had an excellent game alongside Hodgson at half-back, and there were signs throughout the whole Cov performance that the side is coming together as a unit with confidence growing.
Cov went ahead on 13 minutes, Hodgson forcing his way for a try after sustained pressure around the Cambridge line before then adding the conversion, and the home side continued to repel any threat with ease until going further in front when Matt Tibbatts broke off a close-in scrum to score the second try with Cambridge scrum-half Ross Kevan on his way to the sin bin.
Cov could not have asked for a better start to the second half, the ball going loose from a towering Hodgson up-and-under and Heath Stevens hacking on to the posts and winning the race to the touchdown.
Hodgson’s conversion went over via the left post, and although Cov’s tackling let them down when Pat Tapley jinked his way through for an unconverted try for the visitors, Hodgson responded immediately with a drop goal from 40 metres to stretch the lead back out to three scores at 22-5.
Cov had further chances before Jacques Le Roux took a lovely reverse pass from Lewis Barker to race over for the bonus point try with 11 minutes of normal time remaining, and replacement lock Tom Poole had been on the field for less than three minutes when he made it five with a try in the right corner – Hodgson converting from wide out before sealing the result with a penalty.
Coventry: tries Hodgson (13), Tibbatts (30), Stevens (42), Le Roux (69), Poole (72); conversions Hodgson 3 (15, 43, 73); penalty Hodgson (80); drop goal Hodgson (58). Cambridge: try Tapley (56).
Coventry: Russell; Gregson (Tom Harris 77), MacBurnie, Stevens, Evans; Hodgson, Barker (Murray 77); Steenkamp, Price (McGregor 66), Dugard (Herriott 57), Wright (Poole 70), Morgan (captain), Tibbatts, Daynes, Le Roux.
Cambridge: Ayrton; Tapley, Portsmouth (Hale 50), Carrington, Gillick; Bale (White 40), Ross; Fidler (Cutts 66), Taylor (Palmer 66), Hunter, Jenkins, Conquest, McComb, Watson (Mayhew 50), Hipwell.
Referee: T Foley (RFU).
|17 Sep, 2012 20:01||Report|
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