Rugby Union: Old Cooperians head coach Pat Reed says battle to survive in London Two North East will be exciting

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

Old Cooperians in action earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Just six points separate bottom five in league with five games remaining

Old Cooperians head coach Pat Reed says he is relishing the battle to survive at the foot of London Two North East.

After a 32-22 win at high-flying Wanstead, just six points separate bottom club Coops from Cantabrigians in eighth.

With just five games remaining in the season, it seems Coops, Woodford, Chelmsford, Epping and Cantabs are in a battle to avoid finishing in the bottom two.

And Reed is anticipating a thrilling climax to the campaign with so little to separate the bottom five at such a late stage.

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“It’s going to be a fun few weeks! When you get to this stage of the season, it’s always interesting to have something to play for,” he said.

“For the bottom five, it’s almost like a mini-league now and we’ll all be battling to stay up.

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“The final few weeks of the season is something all of us at the club are relishing.”

Against Wanstead last time out, Coops enjoyed a first away win in the league since September.

Tries from Harry Fayers, Danny Seward, Lewis Nichols and Jason Ox, as well as 12 points from the boot of Joe Bilton, helped the Upminster club to success over the Herons.

And Reed was delighted with the display from the team as Coops collected an important success.

“It was a good win for us. We spoke in the week of how we felt it would be a close game, but that we knew we could get the win,” he added.

“We still made a few mistakes, but it was good for us to get the victory and to collect five points was great.

“It was important to get the five points because a few of the other teams around us also won, but the focus remains on what we do as if we don’t win, it doesn’t matter how other teams get on.

“When we had a first glance at the fixtures on Saturday, it looked like the other results didn’t go our way, but on reflection it’s dragged more teams into the fight at the bottom.”

Coops are now without a game until March 3 when play host to Romford & Gidea Park in the Havering derby, and Reed has mixed emotions about the break.

“We would have liked another game this weekend after the win at Wanstead, but it’s hard to name a squad during the Six Nations. Players at this level are going off to watch games, so maybe that’s something the league might have to consider in future.”

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