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London 2NE: Old Cooperians 62 Cantabrigians 12

PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 September 2017

Old Cooperians were convincing winners on the first day of the season (pic Donald Hine)

Old Cooperians were convincing winners on the first day of the season (pic Donald Hine)

Archant

Old Cooperians opened their London Two North East season in some style, with nine tries at St Mary’s Lane.

Kolade Awobowale runs in one of his six tries for Old Cooperians against Cantabs (pic Donald Hine)Kolade Awobowale runs in one of his six tries for Old Cooperians against Cantabs (pic Donald Hine)

The home side began their campaign in the same way as they finished the last, hosting the Cambridge-based outfit, and the crowd didn’t have to wait long for the first score of the afternoon.

Coops kicked off into the strong breeze and won possession to advance up the left hand side of the pitch, gaining territory inside the Cantabs 22. Outside centre Tony Bly then spotted a gap, executing a perfect grubber kick for right wing Kolade Awobowale to gather and score, with full-back Tom Morgan converting.

Cantabs replied with pressure of their own and but for an unfortunate knock-on would have levelled. However, from the resulting scrum, Coops retained possession and worked the ball out wide for Awobowale to outpace his opposite man and the full back to score under the posts.

Morgan added a penalty to his tally, but Cantabs replied with a score of their own and with the wind behind them and playing down the slope, the visitors put the hosts under more pressure.

This was soon alleviated as the Coopers pack disrupted the visiting lineout and the backs worked the ball wide, with Awobowale collecting his own kick to increase his team’s lead to 24-5 and secure his first-half hat-trick.

Cantabs fought back once more, but Awobowale was too hot to handle as he collected inside his own 22 and ran the length of the pitch to score his fourth try before turning provider minutes later, setting up Bly to cross in the corner, as Coops led 36-5 at the break.

The visitors had their best spell of the game after the restart as a swift counter led to their second try, superbly converted by the fly-half.

However, their joy was short-lived as Bly pounced on a loose ball, showing superb football skills to dribble down the right wing and kick inside for Awobowale’s fifth try.

Heavy rain made it tricky for both sides to keep hold of the ball and Awobowale was on hand to pick up and outpace the covering defence for his sixth try, with Morgan bringing up the half-century.

Cantabs then lost a man to the sin-bin and Coops made their extra man count as Morgan slid through a gap for a well-deserved try.

The hosts wrapped up proceedings in the dying minutes as Jason Ox burst through to score under the posts.

Coopers travel to Woodford this weekend, looking to maintain the strong start to the season.


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