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Rugby Union: Old Cooperians coach Craig Ratford says there will be changes for Epping trip in London Two North East

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 September 2017

Old Cooperians were convincing winners on the first day of the season (pic Donald Hine)

Old Cooperians were convincing winners on the first day of the season (pic Donald Hine)

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Coops hit the road this weekend, but injuries have forced their hand in changing XV

Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford says there will be some alterations to the starting XV at Epping in London Two North East this Saturday, but does not believe it will hurt his side’s chances of success.

Coops have started the season brightly and head into the weekend’s game off the back of a 40-40 draw at home to Harlow last weekend.

The St Mary’s Lane club will look to return to winning ways on Saturday, even if they do make a number of changes, having won their first two games of the season before last weekend’s draw.

Coops come up against an Epping side yet to triumph this season in the league, but Ratford says that does not make the task of winning any easier.

“Epping will be another tough game, especially playing them away. They are still waiting to get their first win of season and our challenge is stop that from happening,” said Ratford.

“There will be a few changes to the squad this week, but I’m confident with the depth we now have that it shouldn’t unsettle our playing style.”

Last weekend saw Coops’ winning start to the season come end as they played out a thriller with Harlow that saw both teams score six tries.

Kolade Awobowale continued his fine scoring form at the start of the new term with another hat-trick for Coops.

Skipper Harry Fayers crossed for a brace, while Luke Taylor-Gassy also scored a try, with Tony Bly kicking three conversions and Ratford converting two.

Coops had led 40-26 heading into the final 10 minutes, before conceding two converted tries to allow Harlow back into the game.

And while Ratford was disappointed with elements of Coops’ defensive display, he was pleased with the overall performance from his side.

“I thought overall we played very well against Harlow. We lost four boys to injury which definitely changed the game,” he added.

“However, we conceded some soft tries which was ultimately our downfall.

“Our attack is improving with every game and the boys are really buying into the new plays that have been brought in this season.”


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