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Rugby Union: Old Cooperians want to become best club in Havering

PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 March 2017

Old Cooperians huddle before play (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Old Cooperians huddle before play (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

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

Coach Craig Ratford says club are aiming for the top ahead of derby with Romford

Coach Craig Ratford says a win for Old Cooperians over Romford in London Three North East this weekend will help the club take another step towards their goal of becoming the best club in the borough.

Coops head into the derby clash tomorrow (Saturday) just a point behind Romford with five games to go in the season.

Any win would take the St Mary’s Lane club above Romford in the standings, and Ratford hopes that if Coops are successful, they can maintain that advantage until the end of the season.

“The win is the only option for us against Romford and we want to be the number one team in Havering,” he said.

“Romford are a well-established club in the borough, but the fact we’re talking about possibly going above them probably does not sit well with them.

“We have a full team to select from this weekend, which has been rare this season, so it’s been hard for (fellow coach) Pat Reed and I to pick a squad for the game.”

There is added spice to this weekend’s derby clash after a scheduled meeting between the clubs in December in the Essex Intermediate Cup never happened.

With a number of players unavailable, Coops asked for that tie to be moved to another date, but that request was rejected.

It ultimately led to Coops having to withdraw from the competition, but Ratford can at least guarantee this weekend’s clash will go ahead.

“It’s a shame we did not get to play them in the cup, but there is no getting away from playing them this weekend,” he added.

“This game against Romford has been a long time coming and we still feel what happened was unjust.

“We’re a passionate team and the boys know what this derby means to the club. Nothing less than a win will do.”

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