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Cooperians keen to keep working

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 December 2015

Old Cooperians huddle up before kick off (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Old Cooperians huddle up before kick off (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Coach Reed reveals training plans

Old Cooperians player-coach Pat Reed says his team will look to train hard over the Christmas break in order to continue their winning streak in the New Year.

Coopers sit third in London Three North East at the halfway point of the season, having won their last seven matches.

They return to action at leaders West Norfolk, having lost 15-13 when the sides met earlier.

“Having narrowly lost to West Norfolk in our second game of the season, the team is confident that we can beat them – especially in the form we are in right now!” said Reed, who admits he is finding it difficult to coach and play.

“Since we entered the London league, I’ve found it difficult to be both a player and a coach.

“We have brought in another coach – Ian Cleverly – and also have Andy Pudney as our sports manager now.”

Nonetheless, Reed was in fine form last weekend and scored a brilliant try as Cooperians beat Stowmarket 19-15 at St Mary’s Lane.

He added: “I’ve been struggling with injuries recently, so I was really pleased I scored a decent try and played my best game of the season so far.”

Winger Barnie Moul ran in the first try, with forward George Wilkins also going over, and full-back Tom Morgan slotted two of the conversions in a difficult wind.

Morgan, who kept his nerve for a match-winning kick at Epping Upper Clapton a week earlier, saw Coopers into a 19-3 lead at half-time and was later named man of the match for his fantastic all-round play.

“Morgan undoubtedly deserved to be our man of the match,” said Reed. “I’d also like to say George Wilkins and Ryan Leader played some great rugby too.”

Stowmarket cut into Coopers’ lead after the restart with two tries, after many attempts to break through a strong home defence.

Coopers produced some great passing moves and attacks of their own, but they failed to add to their tally for the rest of the game.

Reed said: “It all fell apart in the second half. I think it was because we were playing like we’d already won the match. I have to give credit to Stowmarket, though, they really pushed back.”

The atmosphere on and off the pitch became tense as the second half wore on, with a few decisions questioned by both clubs.

Reed said: “The players became quite annoyed at the referee in the second half after a perfectly legit tackle by Barnie Moul was ruled a foul. As a team, we were busy worrying about the decisions and this affected our performance.”

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