Derby day beckons for Old Cooperians
PUBLISHED: 16:22 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:22 28 January 2016
Coops continue title tilt at home to local rivals Upminster
Old Cooperians head coach Pat Reed hopes the team can keep their emotions in check as they bid to set a new club record at home to Upminster tomorrow.
Coops are sitting pretty in London Three North East and are just three points back from leaders Epping in second place.
The team’s lofty position owes a lot to a remarkable run of 10 straight wins which started in October.
Coops have already beaten Upminster once over the course of that run, winning 26-11 at Hall Lane.
And a win in the return derby this weekend would see Coops set a new club best of 11 straight successes.
But Reed knows it will not be easy in a highly-charged affair against their closest rivals and a club that means a lot to some of the players.
“For a lot of us at Old Coops, Upminster was the club we played for when we were kids,” said Reed.
“Those of us who have played for Upminster still know a lot of the players and supporters there.
“We need to keep emotions in check, but I’m sure Upminster will be looking to make sure they do the same.
“People might look at it and think it should be easy for us with Upminster 10th, but we know it will be a big challenge like it always is against them.”
Coops will no doubt be boosted by a victory over Wanstead in their last match, winning 22-18.
Tom Morgan, Matt Carter and Tom Wheatley scored the tries that ensured the triumph over the Herons and it was a result that saw Coops equal their record of successive wins when they were last in the division.
But Reed admits the display at Roding Lane was not up to the same standards seen this season.
“We’re delighted to equal the record, but we know we have to play better if we want to win the title,” he added.
“We put ourselves in a good position on a couple of occasions to get a try, but we didn’t and we couldn’t get the bonus point.
“There’s a few games this year that we could look back on and think we should have got the bonus point and that might cost us. Epping have won the same amount as us, but sit three points higher because of the bonus points so that’s something we must look at.”
But rather than try to improve on what went wrong against Wanstead, Reed says training this week has centred on the threats posed by Upminster.
“We haven’t discussed the Wanstead game, our focus has been fully on this weekend’s match,” he added.
“It was such a scrappy game against Wanstead that there’s not much we can take from it.
“We know we have to be more clinicial, but apart from that we have drawn a line under it already and have moved on.”