Rugby Union: Old Cooperians ready for Havering derby at London Two North East rivals Romford
PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 November 2017
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Borough rivals go head-to-head at Crow Lane on Saturday
Head coach Craig Ratford says Old Cooperians are looking to give a better account of themselves on Saturday than they did in their previous London Two North East derby at Romford last season.
The Havering rivals meet at Crow Lane in the league this weekend, with bragging rights and points up for grabs.
When Coops last made the trip to their borough rivals, they suffered a disappointing 27-13 defeat in March.
Ratford admits Coops did not reach the standards they are capable of in that match and says they are looking to right those wrongs this weekend.
And he knows that everyone associated with the club will be eagerly anticipating the trip to Crow Lane on Saturday.
“Romford away will always be an exciting fixture for us,” said the head coach.
“We didn’t perform the last time we played there so we are looking forward to Saturday and the challenges they bring.”
Coops head into the game looking to end a run of five league matches without a win.
Last weekend, the St Mary’s Lane club took on second-placed Wanstead, who the previous Saturday beat Romford 57-10.
In a tight game, Coops were edged out in the end by the Herons, going down 27-24 at home.
Ratford admits there was a sense of frustration for Coops in that match, knowing they were in a position to win.
But against one of the league’s promotion chasers, he knows there is plenty for his side to take from the defeat.
“We knew Wanstead would be tough, but ultimately we know we let the game slip,” he added.
“The boys know we are close to finishing a game off, but it’s another case of what if.
“We are creating chances, which is a positive, and have the confidence in the team to come good.”
Romford, meanwhile, also lost out last weekend as they went down 85-7 at home to current leaders Rochford.
With both local teams beaten last weekend, Romford and Coops will be desperate to return to winning ways come Saturday when they meet at Crow Lane.
And with bragging rights on the line, as well as league points, it looks set to be a fierce battle between the two Havering teams as both look to move up the table with a vital victory come Saturday afternoon.