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Old Cooperians will have to work hard to hold Harlow at bay claims coach Ratford

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 September 2017

Old Cooperians win lineout ball at Woodford (pic Donald Hine)

Old Cooperians win lineout ball at Woodford (pic Donald Hine)

Archant

Old Cooperians coach Craig Ratford expects his side to have to work hard when London Two North East Harlow visit St Mary’s Lane this weekend.

Both sides celebrated wins last weekend, with Cooperians coming out on top 31-26 against Woodford at Highams, while Harlow beat Romford & Gidea Park by a 35-15 margin.

And Ratford says there can be no room for complacency as his squad look for a third successive triumph this season.

He said: “We haven’t played Harlow for over a year and they will be confident coming into this weekend.

“As a squad we know that we have to attack hard and make our tackles if we want to get another four points come Saturday.”

Cooperians followed up their emphatic opening-day success over Cantabrigians with a dogged display against Woodford.

Tony Bly kicked two penalties early on, before Andy Dennis touched down for the first try of the afternoon only to see the home pack set up a maul and score a try in the corner.

Coopers then saw Matt Carter sent off for a high tackle and Jason Ox sin-binned for not rolling away at a ruck, but they made light of their numerical disadvantage to extend their lead.

After scoring six tries against Cantabs, Kolade Awobowale turned provider to send Dennis over for his second score and Bly also touched down under the posts to make it 25-7.

Woodford rallied to score two tries from driving mauls, before Bly slotted another pair of penalties to make it 31-19 at the half-time interval.

And shortstaffed Coopers dug deep to hold the home side to a single converted try under the posts in the second half to claim their victory.

Ratford added: “I was really pleased with the boys attitude throughout the whole 80 minutes on Saturday.

“We were unfortunate not to get a bonus point, but to take four points after being down to 13 men for so long shows how hard we worked. Our pack were solid up front and really gave us our go-forward and a platform to express ourselves.

“The red card was unfortunate, it wasn’t an intentional high tackle, but the referee handled the situation well. The yellow I thought was quite harsh, but we reacted well and managed to score 15 points in that 10-minute spell.”

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