Rugby Union: Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford expects big month for top of London Two North East
PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 October 2017
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Coops fly half says there could be plenty of change at top of standings in coming weeks
Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford believes there could plenty of movement at the top of London Two North East over the course of the next month.
Coops start October at home to Sudbury on Saturday, and also visit Ipswich and host Wanstead in the league before the month is out.
Just seven points separate early leaders Rochford from the St Mary’s Lane club, who are currently fifth.
Ratford believes it could be all change at the top by the time November comes around, but first has his focus on helping Coops win on Saturday.
“Sudbury will be tough, but I know the squad are looking forward to another game at home,” he said.
“The squad will once again change due to unavailability, but we have a couple guys coming back which is good.
“October is a big month and I’m sure we will see a lot of movement within the league.”
Coops host Sudbury off the back of a first league defeat of the season as they went down 16-10 at Epping last weekend.
After conceding the opening try of the game inside five minutes at Upland Road, Barnie Moul crossed for a try in the 35th minute, which Tom Morgan converted to send the sides into the break level.
However, the hosts kicked three penalties in the second half to pull away from Coops, with a late one of their own through Morgan all the visitors could muster in the second half.
Morgan’s late penalty did at least mean Coops secured a losing bonus point, but Ratford was sad to see the St Mary’s Lane club’s unbeaten record go.
“The defeat at Epping was disappointing for the boys. We didn’t turn up with the intensity that was needed to get the win,” he added.
“Epping overall deserved the win and were good value for it.
“I was proud of the way the boys kept fighting and managed to pick up a bonus point.”
By taking a point last week, Coops head into Saturday’s game level with Sudbury in the table.
Come Saturday evening, though, Ratford will hope his side have a gap over their opponents in the table.