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RUGBY PREVIEW

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 January 2011

Old Cooperians face the camera at Brightlingsea

Old Cooperians face the camera at Brightlingsea

Archant

Romford face crunch clash

London Div 2NE

Braintree (12-0-1) v Romford & GP (10-0-3)

First meets third in a crunch promotion clash and Park coach Mark Collins is glad his side are the underdogs.

Edged out 17-15 when the two sides met at Crow Lane earlier in the season, Park are currently enjoying a five-match winning streak, easing to a 25-0 success over Ipswich last weekend.

Braintree can top that, though, with eight successive wins since they tasted defeat for the only time this season at Saffron Walden.

Park may well have the underdog tag, but if they want to push for a top-two finish, they need to produce something of an upset to change the status quo.

London Div 3NE

Norwich (9-0-4) v Upminster (6-1-6)

Three successive wins have catapulted Upminster into the top half of the table since the turn of the new year.

And, playing with the level of confidence as they currently are, they will make the long trip to Norfolk fancying their chances of shocking third-placed Norwich.

Beaten 23-6 when the two sides met at Hall Lane, Upminster certainly have the incentive to redress the balance. And they can take heart from their recent success at Newmarket, which ended a threeyear home unbeaten record.

Wisbech (4-1-8) v Campion (5-0-7)

Back-to-back wins have lifted Campion out of the basement and given their survival hopes a major lift.

They followed up their success at struggling Mersea Island with a home win over promotion hopefuls Newmarket to suggest their mid-season slump might be over.

Wisbech now occupy the bottom of the table, but only since a 13-point deduction, so Campion should not be fooled as they travel up to Cambridgeshire.

Essex Division 1

Pegasus Palmerians (4-0-6) v Old Cooperians (7-0-4)

Coopers remain firmly in the hunt for second place behind runaway leaders East London.

They have chalked up four wins in a row, but have had to roll up their sleeves in the last two to see off neighbours Brightlingsea (21-15) and Clacton (10-7).

It was 16-5 when Pegs visited St Mary’s Lane earlier in the season and, other than defeat against the leaders and a close-fought reverse to Clacton, they have won their other home games so may well fancy their chances of upsetting the formbook.


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