Rugby Union: Old Cooperians can take Havering rivals Romford down with them from London Two North East

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 April 2018

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 +44 1376 553468

Coops already down, but can relegate borough rivals with victory this weekned

Old Cooperians saw relegation from London Two North East confirmed last weekend, but the Upminster-based club could drag Havering rivals Romford down with them on Saturday.

Coops were beaten 36-28 at Cantabrigian last weekend, a result that confirmed they would be returning to London Three level next season.

The St Mary’s Lane club, however, can now also relegate Romford, who are three points adrift of safety ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the borough rivals.

If Coops triumph in the derby, it would confirm relegation to London Three level for their fellow Havering side.

That is an added element to the derby, as is the fact the game has been postponed twice already.

The game was originally pencilled in for March 3, but was called off because of the ‘Beast From The East’.

The fixture was then rearranged for March 17, but was called off shortly before kick-off with Romford feeling the pitch at St Mary’s Lane was unsafe, despite the referee being happy for the game to go ahead.

With the game now due to go ahead this Saturday, everything points towards a hotly-contested derby between the two Havering sides.

And Coops prop Nathaniel John is looking forward to the game, saying: “There is understandably some animosity between the two clubs after what happened a few weeks ago.”

As for the defeat at Cantabs last weekend, Coops saw Pat Reed, Anthony Bottone, Kolade Awobowale and Barnie Moul run in tries.

Despite claiming a bonus point for four tries, it wasn’t enough to keep the St Mary’s Lane club up.

And John admits the difficult conditions underfoot in Cambridgeshire did not help Coops against Cantabs.

“It was a very wet pitch with a fair bit of standing water which worked in Cantabs’ favour,” he added.

“They have a big pack and aren’t great out wide, whereas we are a team that likes to throw the ball wide whenever we can and play some running rugby.”

Coops will hope to sign off from their season this weekend with a win over Romford.

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