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Rugby Union: Craig Ratford ‘proud’ of 2017 for Old Cooperians ahead of London Two North East clash with Woodford

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 December 2017

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

St Mary’s Lane club play final game of calendar year this weekend

Head coach Craig Ratford hopes Old Cooperians can round out a ‘year to be proud of’ by beating Woodford in London Two North East on Saturday.

Coops play their final game of 2017 this weekend when they welcome the division’s bottom side to St Mary’s Lane.

With the final match of the year to come, it has allowed Ratford a chance to reflect on 2017, and he believes Coops can be happy with how it has gone on the whole.

“It’s our last game of the year and as a club we can look back and be proud of our achievements,” he said.

Coops head into the weekend’s match looking to end a winless run in the league that stretches back to their last meeting with Woodford in September.

In the nine league games which have come since then, the St Mary’s Lane club have lost eight and drawn the other, a run which has seem the team drop down the table.

Woodford, meanwhile, have lost each of their last seven in the league and slipped to last place last weekend.

With both Coops and Woodford at the wrong end of the table, this weekend’s match between the sides looks vital.

And Ratford knows both will be doing all they can to end their poor run of league form.

“Woodford will come knowing that a win either way is huge. They have a strong pack and we know if we don’t front up early on, the game will be a close one,” he added.

Last weekend saw Coops suffer a surprise 29-13 defeat at previously winless Chelmsford.

As has been the case for much of the season, the St Mary’s Lane club saw their plans left in tatters owing to a number on injuries.

It meant Coops made the trip with plenty of players absent, and with that in mind, Ratford said he was happy with the display those who were fit enough to play gave.

“I couldn’t have been more proud of the way the boys kept at it on Saturday,” he said. “We are down to the bare bones of the squad available at the moment, and we kept battling.”

Ratford will hope the New Year brings better luck for Coops on the injury front to help them climb the table.

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