1 February 2016
London Irish Head Coach Tom Coventry was disappointed with his side’s second half display on Saturday after going into half time only two points adrift.
The Exiles were beaten 38-10 by Steve Diamond’s outfit and the emotions felt by Coventry following the game were more those of disappointment as opposed to frustration.
“I’m not frustrated, just disappointed. We worked our way back into that game pretty well after going behind early on. I just don’t think we came out with the desire or the grit that was going to get us to the end. The boys would have had to roll up their sleeves and play hard in to those conditions and we just didn’t do that.”
Looking ahead to the crucial Aviva Premiership round 11 visit of Worcester Warriors next weekend, the New Zealander said his side will dissect most aspects of their game as they look for a response.
“We need to look at our game management and the options we are taking. The unforced mistakes we are making and our set piece is letting us down at vital times. These are all key in terms of turning our performance around.”
Irish made 11 changes going into Saturday’s match, having rotated the squad during the final two pool rounds of the Challenge Cup.
“This team hasn’t played together for a couple of weeks, we have played with different combinations in the European games and we did that for a reason, these guys looked a bit rusty and maybe there was a bit in that. We will have to look at that during the week, but we will have to be much better next Sunday that’s for sure.”
Irish have entered a block of 10 Aviva Premiership fixtures on the bounce and will have to play the most part of those without key front line players Ben Franks and Alex Lewington.
“Injuries are big part of the game, we have to rely pretty much on the squad we have got that’s been training with us all year. We need to get on with it. Losing Ben and Alex is a frustration, but we will have to manage without them until we get them back on the field.
The visit of Dean Ryan’s Worcester Warriors this Sunday becomes a vital fixture, with the West Midlands side currently four points ahead of the Exiles, a win for Irish could mean moving ahead of Worcester in the Premiership table.
“It’s a huge game. Obviously we are back at home, the boys have had a bit of a hurry up in the changing room and we have spoken about how disappointed we were with our second half performance. We have already spoken about next week and what we need to do. It is our responsibility to make sure that does happen in front of our home crowd.”
Alex Lewington injury update: Alex has had surgery on his thumb and is expected to return in five/six weeks.