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Romford coach ready for new rugby season

17:00 05 September 2014

Romford & Gidea Park celebrate winning the Essex Cup last season (pic: DNR Glover)

Romford & Gidea Park celebrate winning the Essex Cup last season (pic: DNR Glover)

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Henwood hoping for further improvements

Romford & Gidea Park coach Grant Henwood is excited ahead of his side’s London One North opener against Luton tomorrow (Saturday), but is expecting a tough battle.

Park make the trip to Newlands Road in good spirits after an encouraging pre-season and the opening match of the new campaign will be viewed as a benchmark for the young team developing at the Crow Lane club.

Henwood’s squad will hope to extract some revenge on Luton after suffering 38-0 and 25-12 defeats to them last season, but the coach wants them to focus on their own game first.

“I am very excited, but we didn’t have much of a break because we started pre-season earlier than most,” said Henwood.

“Luton is a really hard game. They are a well-structured team, but it is the first game of the season so we want to concentre on ourselves and worry about our own game.

“It was a heavy loss at home, but a lot closer away at their place. The home game they were a lot stronger and had two centres that have gone on to play at the national level.

“It is a very strong side and it is a good benchmark for us to see where we are and what we can do this season.”

The Romford coach would like his young side to demonstrate the lessons they learnt last season and close out more games this year.

Henwood’s team earned eight wins in 2013/14 and he wants them to improve on that and build on the 10th-placed finish they achieved.

He added: “There were a young side last season and the experience they gained certainly would have helped them.

“Closing out a game is the toughest thing to do in rugby, if you are young or old, and that is what I am looking for us to do this season because we struggled with that last year.

“We are learning, but if we can get a mid-table to sixth place finish we will be happy. But obviously it will be hard with such a young team.”

Campion, Old Cooperians and Upminster begin their league campaigns tomorrow week (September 13). See next week’s Recorder for previews.

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