Rugby Union: Craig Ratford hopes Old Cooperians can put past displays behind them against Cantabrigians in cup

PUBLISHED: 17:30 12 October 2017

Old Cooperians players huddle together (pic Donald Hine)

Old Cooperians players huddle together (pic Donald Hine)


Coops hoping to end three-game winless run with success this weekend

Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford says Saturday’s clash with Cantabrigians in the first round of the London section of the RFU Intermediate Cup is an opportunity for the club to improve on recent performances.

After opening the campaign with back-to-back wins in London Two North East, Coops are without a win on their last three outings in the division.

Last time out, the St Mary’s Lane club were beaten at home for the first time this term, losing 50-7 against Sudbury.

With a cup game this weekend, it is expected there will be some rotation to the starting XV for Coops.

And with that in mind, Ratford hopes the team can deliver a display approaching somewhere close to what is expected.

“The game on Saturday is another good opportunity for us to get back to the level we should be playing at,” said Ratford.

“We have a new signing on the bench and also some boys who haven’t had much of a chance in the firsts also starting.”

Against Sudbury last weekend, Coops were left to rue a poor start that ultimately proved costly.

The hosts, who have been hit hard in recent weeks by a string on injuries, struggled early on and by half time, they trailed 31-0.

Coops improved in the second half, with Joe Bilton crossing for a converted try, but they were unable to haul themselves back into contention.

The defeat saw Coops slip to seventh in the table, below Havering rivals Romford who won at home to Ipswich last weekend.

And while Ratford was happy with the improvement in the second half against Sudbury, he knows Coops can ill-afford to start matches that poorly against good teams.

“We started far too slow and Sudbury picked us off with some very well worked tries,” admitted Ratford.

“We managed to get back into the game after 20 minutes, but by then we were always chasing the game.

“Our second half performance was very pleasing compared to our opening 20, but we can’t allow a team like Sudbury a 20-point head start.”

With Coops looking to return to winning ways this weekend, they draw on having beaten Cantabs once already this term.

The St Mary’s Lane club won on the opening day of the season against Cantabs and would love a repeat on Saturday.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 17:00

Havering rivals had been due to meet on Saturday, but game fell foul of weather for second time this month

Yesterday, 16:00

Estate agent Gary Singh won chance to manage Essex club in fundraising friendly against Premier League side Hammers

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Raiders completed home-and-away wins over Bracknell in front of a packed Romford crowd to book their place in the semi-finals of the National League play-offs.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Alastair Cook admits it is a daily struggle to conquer the self-doubts which can constrain even his all-time record run-scoring habits.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Raiders will bring a slender lead back to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre for the second leg of their play-off with Bracknell after a topsy-turvy battle in Berkshire on Saturday.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady has issued a public apology for the club’s problems on and off the pitch and said the board takes full responsbility for the Hammers’ predicament.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Former Birmingham City youngster has become a regular fixture in starting XI for Daggers in recent weeks

Friday, March 16, 2018

Romford boss Paul Martin is hoping busy fixture lists can play into their hands down the final stretch of the season, writes Jacob ranson.


Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now