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Murphy after more success at Highams

12:00 08 January 2015

Woodford were well beaten at Eton Manor 61-14 on September 13 (pic: Martin Pearl)

Woodford were well beaten at Eton Manor 61-14 on September 13 (pic: Martin Pearl)

Archant

Coach discusses no-show with rivals Eton Manor before Christmas

Woodford coach Andy Murphy admits his side must beat Ipswich this weekend as they look to move themselves off the bottom of the London One North table.

The Highams outfit secured a second victory of the season last Saturday as they beat Brentwood 19-16 in a close fought match.

They are still nine points off Ipswich, who are one position above them in 13th place.

Therefore this weekend’s match at Highams has greater significance.

“We definitely have to beat Ipswich,” said Murphy.

“We had a good turn-out at training this week so we should have another good side out and we should dominate up front and in the scrums.

“There will be no surprises about what each other’s team brings. But I expect us to win this weekend.”

Woodford have struggled this campaign, registering two victories all season. But Murphy hopes they can replicate their achievements last year.

They finished 11th in the table last season, but picked up six of their eight wins following the turn of the year.

Murphy hopes they can repeat that form and make home advantage count as their next three games are all at Highams.

“Last year we struggled to get results before Christmas,” he added.

“But then we turned it around afterwards. Again it is the same sort of pattern as we have players coming back from injury.

“Touch wood we are just adding to the squad each week, like last season.

“It does do us the world of good playing at home. We knew the opening half of the season would be tough with all the travelling we had to do so hopefully we can take advantage at home now.”

Murphy was delighted last weekend as they edged past Brentwood. Nick James and Murphy scored Woodford’s tries at Higham, but they needed a penalty try in the last play of the game to seal a three-point success.

The victory pleased Murphy, but he felt it could have been more emphatic, adding: “It was great to win, but we made it hard work for ourselves.

“They only scored one try and it was an interception. We did make it really hard work because we actually got over the line with an eight-man scrum, but we couldn’t dot the ball down.

“And it was the last play of the game when we got the penalty try so the nerves were going, but we managed to do it.”

Pete Hyett kicked the late conversion as well as they sealed a 19-16 victory.

It was their first match since losing 90-0 to Ruislip on December 13.

They were set to face rivals Eton Manor on December 20, but they couldn’t field a side.

Murphy praised club captain Tim Saull for sparking a turnaround.

“It was ridiculous really to have 70 registered players and not be able to put out a team,” he admitted.

“But if we could have got 15 players out we would have done.

“You might have expected us to crumble from a situation like that, but the reaction to it has been very positive.

“I left it to our club captain, who is injured at the moment, but he really rallied the troops.”

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