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Rugby Union: Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford says injuries are hitting hard ahead of hosting London Two North East leaders Rochford

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 November 2017

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Coops entertain Rochford at St Mary’s Lane on Saturday

Injuries continue to hit Old Cooperians hard ahead of hosting London Two North East leaders Rochford on Saturday.

After enjoying a bright start to the season that saw Coops go unbeaten in their first three matches, the St Mary’s Lane club have lost their last five in the league, with a long list of injuries certainly not helping.

The squad has been hit by more knocks this week ahead of hosting Rochford, who have been in rampant scoring form so far this term.

And Coops head coach Craig Ratford could only rue his team’s misfortune with injuries ahead of such a difficult game.

“There is plenty of rugby to be played over the course of the season, but we aren’t having any luck with injuries at the moment,” said Ratford.

“We are very light in numbers in the front row and we just aren’t catching a break at the moment.”

Coops head into the clash with Rochford off the back of a 30-10 defeat at Havering rivals Romford last weekend.

Again, injuries hit hard in the build up to that game for the St Mary’s Lane club, with Ratford switching to scrum half having played much of the campaign so far at 10.

Despite a spirited effort from Coops, they were unable to claim bragging rights over their borough rivals.

And while Ratford was disappointed with the end result, he did admit he was pleased with what he saw from Coops.

“Saturday wasn’t the result we were after. Romford was always going to be a tough game for us, but to be hit with four serious injuries and a yellow card, we were always chasing the game,” he added.

“We started well, but then fell off the pace as boys had to play out of position.

“Credit to Romford for sticking to their guns and the final score was tough to take, but on reflection the boys gave it their all and that’s all I can ask.”

The defeat against Romford saw Coops drop to ninth in the table, below their local rivals.

However, a win at home to Rochford could see them rise as high as sixth should other results go their way.

But with plenty of injuries still to contend, it looks set to be another tough weekend.

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