London Two North East: Steve Barfoot gives Romford & Gidea Park warning ahead of showdown with South Woodham Ferrers
PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 March 2017
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Crow Lane club hoping to keep up fine form on home turf and boost their chances of finishing the campaign in third position
Director of rugby Steve Barfoot has warned Romford & Gidea Park to expect South Woodham Ferrers to go at them from the off during their London Two North East encounter tomorrow (Saturday).
The two top-four clubs go head-to-head at Crow Lane for what should be a thrilling contest with both in need of the points for different reasons.
South Woodham Ferrers are second and only five points behind leaders Diss, while Park are fourth and still in with a chance of pipping Cantabrigian to third place.
Barfoot said: “They are having a really good season and haven’t lost much, so it is going to be a really hard game for us.
“But we are back at home and our form at Crow Lane has been brilliant, so hopefully we are okay again on Saturday.
“South Woodham Ferrers can still catch Diss I believe, so they are going to come out all guns blazing and we have to be ready for that.”
Romford can take heart from the fact they have been almost unbeatable at Crow Lane this season with only Cantabrigian beating Barfoot’s team on home turf.
Diss were swatted aside in October and rivals Old Cooperians were put to the sword at the start of the month, as Park have improved throughout the campaign.
With just five points separating Diss and South Woodham Ferrers ahead of Saturday’s game, Barfoot reflected on who he felt was the best side in the division.
He said: “I think out of the two I would say Diss play the better rugby judging on the scores they have been getting of late.
“Diss have always been strong at home and seem now to have improved their away form, so for me they deserve to be top.
“Our last meeting with South Woodham Ferrers was close and I expect Saturday’s match to also be tight, but hopefully it goes in our favour this time.”
Romford were beaten 31-20 in the previous encounter on November 26, but revenge is not the focus for the Crow Lane club – they want to finish third.
Barfoot’s team have their future in their own hands. If they win their three remaining league games then they should almost certainly achieve their goal.
After hosting South Woodham Ferrers this Saturday, Park travel to Cantabrigian on April 1, before entertaining local rivals Woodford a week later, on what is the final day of the campaign.
“We have three games to go, so we need a big push and it would be fantastic if we could finish third,” said Barfoot.
“It is not going to be easy because all of our remaining fixtures are really hard, but we will do our best. We face second (South Woodham Ferrers), third (Cantabrigian) and then a local rival in Woodford, so we have some tough matches to play.”
If Romford want to finish third, they are going to have to produce some of their best rugby of the season over the next few weeks. But after improving throughout this campaign, you wouldn’t bet against Barfoot’s talented team doing just that.