Rugby Union: Old Cooperians set sights on third place finish in London Two North East

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 February 2017

Barnie Moul goes on the attack for Old Cooperians against Holt, with Kolade Awobowale in support (pic Stuart Young)

Barnie Moul goes on the attack for Old Cooperians against Holt, with Kolade Awobowale in support (pic Stuart Young)

Coach Craig Ratford has set squad target for end of season

Old Cooperians coach Craig Ratford has stoked the fire ahead of next weekend’s London Two North East derby with Romford by admitting his squad would love to finish above their rivals this year – and are aiming a lot higher than that.

After the latest round of matches, Coops trail the Crow Lane club by a point with just five games left in the season, the next of which is away to Romford next weekend.

But Ratford insists it is not just leapfrogging Romford, who are fourth, that will drive Coops on for the rest of the campaign, with the St Mary’s Lane outfit looking even further up the table.

“We’re looking up the table and aiming for third, which would be well above what we expected when we set our aims during pre-season,” said Ratford.

“There is no point floating around in mid-table and we know we have to go as hard as we can in the final few weeks of the season.

“It’d be a fantastic achievement for us to finish third in our first year back at this level and that’s what we’re aiming for now.”

Coops enjoyed a superb win last weekend as they romped to a 64-10 success at home to Holt which lifted them up to fifth in the standings.

Kolade Awobowale and Noel Evans scored a brace of tries apiece, with Josh James, Tom Scott, Pat Reed, Jack Portsmouth, Nathaniel John and Harry Fayers also going over, as Joe Bilton kicked seven conversions on a superb day for Coops.

Greg Fox was named man of the match for Coops, while centre Evans also impressed, and Ratford was pleased with the big success.

“It was a big win for us, but we had to work hard to get it. Holt are not a bad side and have done well in recent weeks, so we knew it would be a tough game,” he added.

“Once we got through the first 20 minutes, the scores seemed to come quite quickly and we were able to get the bonus point.

“It’s just a shame that there is no game this weekend after such a good win, but that is something we just have to get on with.”

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