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Rugby Union: Craig Ratford believes returning players can boost Old Cooperians against Wanstead

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 October 2017

Old Cooperians players huddle together (pic Donald Hine)

Old Cooperians players huddle together (pic Donald Hine)

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Coops entertain Herons in London Two North East on Saturday

Head coach Craig Ratford says Old Cooperians are looking forward to welcoming more players back from injury when they host Wanstead in London Two North East on Saturday.

Coops entertain the Herons at their St Mary’s Lane base this weekend, with the visitors having adjusted well to life in the league following promotion last term.

Wanstead are currently second in the standings, with their only defeat from their opening six games coming against leaders Rochford, while they have won their other five, taking a bonus point for scoring four tries in each success.

It looks set to be a tough test for Coops, but with boys returning to fitness all the time, Ratford knows that will be a welcome boost.

“We are back at home and are still welcoming boys back from injury. The squad is slowly getting back to full strength and there have definitely been some tough decisions to make,” he said.

“Wanstead will offer a different challenge once again, it’s just all about applying ourselves and having the confidence to express ourselves if we want to win.”

Coops head into Saturday’s game off the back of a 27-20 defeat away to Ipswich in the league last weekend.

The St Mary’s Lane-based outfit headed to Suffolk believing they could end their three-game winless run in the league, but knew they would be facing tough opposition.

Unfortunately, it proved to be another game without a win for Coops, though they did at least pick up a bonus-point for finishing within seven points of hosts Ipswich.

It was the final quarter that proved costly for Coops as they saw Ipswich comeback to triumph, leaving Ratford to rue what might have been.

“Saturday was tough, we were in control of the game for over 60 minutes and then some decisions went against us and Ipswich took their chances,” he added.

“The boys were gutted after the game, but know that on another day the result could have gone the other way.”

Ratford will help the return of more players from injury for Coops at home to Wanstead in the league on Saturday can see them end their wait for a win.

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