Reed pleased with Cooperians rewards
PUBLISHED: 14:30 22 December 2015
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Player-coach reflects on latest success
Old Cooperians player-coach Pat Reed was pleased with his team’s performance in their 19-15 victory against Stowmarket.
The final game before Christmas saw Old Cooperians continue their winning streak on home turf and after winning seven games straight, the team have climbed the London Three North East table to third place and are ready to continue their promotion battle in the New Year.
Reed said: “Overall the game was messy, but it was a good performance from the team as a whole; we dug deep and pushed for our victory.”
Coopers went into the game with brute force and within the first 10 minutes, winger Barnie Moul scored an amazing try after a daring sprint from the 22m line.
Shortly after, forwards George Wilkins and Reed himself scored convincing tries after a team effort to push the ball over Stowmarket’s line.
Man of the match full-back Tom Morgan, who kept his nerve to achieve the match winning kick against Epping Upper Clapton last week, brilliantly scored two out of three conversions from difficult angles with the wind against him as Cooperians sailed into a 19-3 lead at half time.
Reed added: “In the first half we played some great rugby by communicating and working as a team.
“Tom Morgan deserved to be our man of the match, but I would also like to say that George Wilkins, our number eight, and Ryan Leader, our front row replacement, played some great rugby too.”
In the second half, Stowmarket cut into the Cooperians lead with two tries after many attempts at breaking through the home side’s strong defence.
Reed added: “It all fell apart in the second half. I think it was because we were playing like we had already won the match. I have to give credit to Stowmarket, though. They really pushed back.”
The atmosphere both on and off the pitch became tense as the second half wore on, with both clubs unhappy with some refereeing decisions.
The frustration evidently affected the level of play and Reed said: “Our players became quite annoyed at the referee after a perfectly legit tackle by Barnie Moul was ruled a foul.
“As a team, we were busy worrying about the referee’s decisions and I think this ultimately affected our performance.”
There was some dispute at the end of the match too, as to whether the full 40 minutes had been played.
Both players and supporters appeared confused when the game finished abruptly.
Reed added: “I was told that the final whistle was blown about two minutes early. As soon as the ball went dead from the scrum, the referee blew.”
Nonetheless, Old Cooperians finished victorious and go into the New Year with confidence, when they face an exciting rematch against current leaders West Norfolk on January 9 after a narrow defeat earlier in the season.