London Two North East: Steve Barfoot hopes Romford & Gidea Park give him early present at rivals Campion
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 December 2016
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Two locals rivals go head-to-head at Cottons Park for last competitive fixture of 2016 before breaking up for Christmas
Romford & Gidea Park’s director of rugby Steve Barfoot hopes his squad can sign off for Christmas with a win at local rivals Campion in London Two North East this weekend.
The Crow Lane outfit travel to Cottons Park to face their old foes, who are bottom of the table and have lost all 11 games this season.
Park, in contrast, have enjoyed an encouraging campaign and claimed five victories to sit seventh, only eight points off the top four ahead of their final match of 2016.
Barfoot said: “Hopefully we can get a win. We just need to turn up with the right attitude and we should be successful.
“It would be nice to get a final victory of the year and then the boys can go off for Christmas feeling good about themselves.”
Romford defeated Campion 36-22 at Crow Lane on September 17 and put 14 tries past the same opposition last season at Cottons Park.
Yet Barfoot’s team lost 11-9 to their rivals in October 2015 so know they cannot take anything for granted tomorrow (Saturday).
While Park have made positive strides this season, Campion are firmly rooted to the bottom with minus five points after losing 31-3 at Ipswich last weekend.
Barfoot added: “I’ve said it so many times that you can’t take any team for granted in this league. I’m sure they will be looking to beat us so we’ve got to turn up with the right mentality.”
Romford head into the derby off the back of two defeats where they have been in winning positions late in both games.
Third-placed Cantabrigian scored two late tries to win 32-21 at Crow Lane last weekend and Park had been ahead at South Woodham Ferrers a week earlier, before going down to a similar scoreline – 31-20.
“We know what we are capable of and it is just stupid mistakes which are letting us down, but we do need to focus on the positives from the last two games,” said Barfoot.
Having run South Woodham and Cantabrigian close, and defeated the leaders Diss this season, Park have shown they are more than capable of competing with the big boys.
Paul Bradley and Jamie Harbour crossed over in the early exchanges on Saturday to put Park 10-0 up in their final match of the year at Crow Lane.
But Cantabrigian’s strong front row helped them get back into the game, before young Danny Maling added Romford’s third try.
Two Mitchell Smith penalties put the hosts ahead, yet the visitors hit back with two late tries to end Park’s unbeaten home record this season.
Barfoot said: “The boys played really well in the first half and I couldn’t fault our performance. There was no moaning or shouting after the match. Cantabrigian turned the screw with the scrum, but the effort from us was excellent.”
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