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Woodford well beaten again but Redfern proud of effort, focusing on Sudbury fixture

PUBLISHED: 15:30 07 February 2020

Woodford RFC vs Harpenden RFC, London 1 North Division Rugby Union at Highams on 9th November 2019

Woodford RFC vs Harpenden RFC, London 1 North Division Rugby Union at Highams on 9th November 2019

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Woodford player-coach Tom Redfern had few complaints following their 55-17 loss at London One North rivals Colchester.

Woodford RFC vs Harpenden RFC, London 1 North Division Rugby Union at Highams on 9th November 2019Woodford RFC vs Harpenden RFC, London 1 North Division Rugby Union at Highams on 9th November 2019

A 16th defeat in 19 outings left next-to-bottom Woodford 11 points adrift of Old Priorians with seven games remaining this season.

And they now face a blank weekend as they prepare to welcome mid-table Sudbury to Highams on February 15.

Redfern said: "Colchester are a quality side and fair play to them. They were a bit stronger than they were at our place, whether they were a different team we're not sure, but they are a quality outfit.

"We had a young side, which was a positive for us and shows we're on the right path with regards to transition and boys coming through.

"We had four 18/19-year-olds playing in our first team against second in the league and that doesn't happen often at this level. But their quality and a couple of mistakes from us, turnovers where we coughed the ball up, punished us."

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Woodford worked hard against the elements in the opening 40 minutes at Mill Road, but were then blown away after the restart.

Redfern and Ben Owen claimed consolation tries late on, though, and the coach was pleased to see his players keep fighting until the final whistle.

"It was 24-3 at half-time after we'd played into the wind," he added. "We thought it was a 20-point wind, but in the second half, playing into the wind had fatigued us and they had a quickfire 20 minutes where they killed the game off.

"We then got our two tries late on and I was pleased with how we finished and how we worked. Simple errors gave them opportunities and quality sides punish you. We didn't help ourselves, with a bit of naivety and lack of maturity, but I was proud of the effort."

Redfern is now hoping his side can defy the odds and ensure a second successive season at this level, adding: "Nobody really backs us. Colchester really opened up on us, but we've not got to focus on the next one.

"I'm really pleased with what we're doing across the club. Sudbury are mid-table but we were poor at their place, we didn't get going and were sloppy (in a 57-12 loss).

"We've improved massively since and hopefully will have a couple back from injury. We will give it our best shot. Three wins and some bonus points and we could be safe. We've got four sessions to prepare and will make the boys aware they need to be ready."

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