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Romford ready for home Tees test

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 September 2014

Romford & Gidea Park's Ben Lawrence touches down for a try at Luton (pic: DNR Glover)

Romford & Gidea Park's Ben Lawrence touches down for a try at Luton (pic: DNR Glover)

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Henwood hoping to build on opening-day draw

Romford & Gidea Park head coach Grant Henwood is hoping his side can pick up their first win of the new London One North season tomorrow (Saturday), but will not be underestimating fierce rivals Thurrock.

Park play their first home match of the campaign at Crow Lane against newly relegated Tees, having beaten them in the Essex Cup semi-finals last season on the way to lifting the silverware.

And Henwood hopes his charges can achieve a similar result this weekend, saying: “It would be lovely to get a win, you don’t play rugby to lose.

“it will be an interesting match. We beat them 25-22 in the cup last year. It was a first-half performance, we scored four tries, but they responded well.

“They are a quality outfit and we aren’t going to be underestimating them.”

Thurrock started their season with a 14-10 victory over Old Priorians, but Henwood isn’t going to judge too much from that result.

Park kicked off their own schedule with an encouraging 24-24 draw at Luton, who were among the strongest teams last year.

Henwood now wants his young side to use that as a platform for the rest of the season, adding: “You can’t take much from Thurrock’s opening game because it was against another team promoted last season.

“The point is a good platform for us. The boys have got their goals set for this weekend, we didn’t pick up any injuries so everyone is ready to go again.

“I’m hoping the structure is more in place. I am expecting a strong battle up front, it will be a good contest.”

On the weekend draw at Luton, Henwood praised the effort of his players after they nearly shocked a side who finished fourth last year.

Tries from Matthew Catchpole, Darren Cooper and Ben Lawrence had given Park an eight-point lead in the second half, but Luton hit back before missing some late chances to win the game.

Henwood said: “We were 24-16 up with 15 minutes to go, but some unlucky calls against us during the game have cost us and we’ve drawn.

“The boys stepped up and played with their heart and soul. They played an 80-minute performance and it was probably a little bit of inexperience perhaps that meant we couldn’t close the game out.”

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