Rugby Union: Old Cooperians to use rest of season to assess squad strength

Samuel John goes on the attack for Old Cooperians against Campion (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Samuel John goes on the attack for Old Cooperians against Campion (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Coops virtually safe in London Two North East, but lost further ground in race for promotion

Coach Craig Ratford says it is important Old Cooperians use the remainder of the London Two North East season to assess the club’s strength in depth.

Any hopes Coops had of earning back-to-back promotions looked to have ended last weekend with a 32-18 loss at home to leaders Diss, though the St Mary’s Lane club are well clear of the relegation zone.

And with seven games to go

in the season, Ratford insists it is vital Coops use those games

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to assess the talent at their disposal with little more than pride to play for.

“It’s only fair that we do have a look at the strength in depth we have over the rest of the season and give some chances to a few other boys,” he said.

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“Sam Wheeler, for example, impressed in training, so we started him at flanker against Diss. There’s been others too who have got their chance this season, like Ross Milroy, who have deserved their chance and have all been there on merit.”

Barnie Moul and Tom Morgan crossed the line against Diss, with the latter also adding a conversion and two penalties.

It was a second straight loss in the league for the hosts, but Ratford says there are positives to take from the reverse.

He added: “It was a good test for us; it’s one thing to win, but we competed well against a side pushing for promotion to London One North.

“There are little moments in a game where you need things to go your way and that was the difference. You couldn’t fault our effort for the whole game, but Diss were clinical.”

n Campion slumped to their 15th successive defeat, going down 51-7 at South Woodham Ferrers.

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