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Rugby Union: Old Cooperians want an improved display to see off South Woodham Ferrers in London Two North East

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 December 2016

Action from the derby between Old Cooperians and Romford & Gidea Park (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Action from the derby between Old Cooperians and Romford & Gidea Park (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

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

Coops hope to get back on winning trail against promotion rivals

Old Cooperians head coach Pat Reed says the club must return to winning ways in London Two North East by any means possible when they host South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday.

Coops have not won either of their last two games in the league, going down 36-13 at Rochford before drawing 11-11 at Epping.

The match against South Woodham will be Coops’ final one at home in 2016, but the flanker says the hosts’ focus is on getting the win rather than ending the calendar year with a bang.

“We need a display for ourselves because we have been off the pace in recent weeks,” said Reed.

“We were given a hiding at Rochford and we wanted to improve at Epping, which we did, but we weren’t clinical enough to win.

“There was an improvement and while we want to entertain those who come down to watch us, this weekend is about ensuring we do what we have to do to win.”

While Coops have fallen off slightly in recent weeks, South Woodham’s form by contrast has been splendid.

South Woodham have won their last three and currently sit second, but also have two games in hand over those around them.

And Reed is aware the brilliant form of the visitors will make them a dangerous proposition this weekend.

“South Woodham have only lost one game all season, so they are showing how good they are.

“I know a few of the people at South Woodham and they’ve committed a lot more to training this season and it is showing.

“We had a good start to the season ourselves and want to make sure we build on that, but we expect a tough game against South Woodham.

Coops’ struggles in the league have coincided with the absence of top try scorer Kolade Awobowale.

The winger picked up an injury in the Essex Intermediate Cup win over Basildon on November 12 and has been on the sidelines ever since.

But Reed revealed there is an outside chance that Awobowale could be back to face South Woodham this weekend.

“Kolade is one we’re not too sure about and that’s a decision we’ll have to make closer to the game,” he said.

“He feels that he’s fit, but the physio is a little more cautious and does not want to rush him back too soon.”

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