Old Cooperians’ Yarrow delighted with ‘important’ opening day win over rivals Ilford Wanderers

Old Cooperians in action against Ilford Wanderers. Old Cooperians in action against Ilford Wanderers

Old Cooperians in action against Ilford Wanderers. Old Cooperians in action against Ilford Wanderers. Picture: Old Cooperians RFC - Credit: Archant

Old Cooperians celebrated an opening day victory over local rivals Ilford Wanderers in the London Three Essex.

In a tight contest, a new-look Cooperians side edged past Wanderers by a score of 32-26 thanks to tries from Shaun Holmes, Mitchell Fallon and Sam John.

Tony Bly also kicked two penalties and three conversions to help his side to victory.

Director of rugby Andy Yarrow was full of praise for his team's performance as they picked up five points.

"It's a tough place to go and get a result," he said.

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"To get the win was really important for us.

"We have had new faces come in and old faces return which is exciting.

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"From a positive point of view, I'm really impressed with our line-outs."

Coops took an early 11-0 lead with a try and two penalties before Wanderers' pressure forced a mistake, creating an opening for centre Tom Clancy to run in from 25 metres.

After a poor start, Ilford managed to improve and went into half-time just four points adrift.

And Ilford scored again soon after the restart through Lawrence Brown.

However, Yarrow's side came on strong towards the end of the game to snatch victory.

Cooperians return home on Saturday to face Braintree, who picked up a narrow 13-10 victory over Harlow in their first game of the season.

After a strong opening day away display, Yarrow is delighted his team can now return to having home advantage.

He added: "We're looking forward to playing at home. We have been on the road a lot.

"They are a well drilled side. It will be interesting to see where we are at.

"We just need to keep that focus, it's very important."

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