Rugby Union: Wanstead set for London Three North East title showdown at home to Harlow

PUBLISHED: 11:00 17 February 2017

Wanstead celebrate a try against Ilford Wanderers earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Wanstead celebrate a try against Ilford Wanderers earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Herons host leaders on Saturday

Wanstead face a potentially season-defining match at home to Harlow this weekend as the top two in London Three North East meet at Roding Lane North.

The Herons head into Saturday’s clash three points back from leaders Harlow, knowing a win would likely see them take over at the top of the standings.

With just five games left in the season, whoever comes out on top this weekend will receive a huge boost in their title challenge.

And the importance of the match is certainly not lost on Wanstead head coach James Reyburn.

“If we beat Harlow this weekend, we go top and that puts an awful lot of pressure on them,” he said.

“Harlow are top for a reason and they beat us earlier in the season, but we have a much stronger squad now and the confidence is flowing.

“It’s probably a three-horse race at the top and it’s a big game. There are only five of those left, one of which is against Harlow and the other is against East London in third.”

Wanstead head into the match on the back of an impressive 39-24 win at Southwold, which almost certainly ended the Suffolk club’s hopes of a promotion challenge.

Jack Handley, Mindaugas Norvaisas, Tim Coughlan (2), Sean Jones, Jack Quirke and Lewis Pruce all crossed for tries in the success as the Herons claimed maximum points.

And Reyburn believes the success was down to the work rate of the forwards at Southwold, who often found themselves among the backs.

“The forwards were good in open play and we look to get them wide in the channels because they are good ball carriers,” he added.

“Our back row ran riot, but overall everyone was up for it and it was great to get three early tries.

“Tactically, it was a good win and everything seemed to go our way and helped us get the win.”

Norvaisas’ display saw the Lithuanian international in contention for the man of the match award, along with Jordan Martin.

And Reyburn was full of praise for Norvaisas, with the lock causing havoc for the Sufffolk club throughout.

“Mindy is someone who has been with us for a while and he’s a great lad to have around the squad,” said the Wanstead head coach.

“He’s had some great experiences playing for Lithuania and can cover a load of positions.”

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