Three wins from four is Beccles’ target for rugby survival

Three wins from their remaining four home games will see Beccles safe according to Alan Cooper – starting with the visit of Woodford to Beef Meadow on Saturday (2pm).

Four wins from their five home fixtures this year could be enough for the Bulls to maintain their London 2NE status for a third season – a run successfully started with their first win three weeks ago 31-17 at home to Canvey Island.

A 71-14 thrashing at Ipswich a fortnight ago was a rude awakening off the back of genuine optimism – but Cooper is confident it is all about Beef Meadow in 2012 as far as Beccles’ survival is concerned.

“We must win four out of five home games this year to be sure of safety – three can possibly do it, but may have to rely on other results, so if we want to keep it our own hands then we must win against Woodford,” said Cooper.

“We’ve tried to close that Ipswich defeat as quickly as possible – they were in a completely different league and I don’t think they’ll be beaten again this season if they play like that.

“They’ve brought new players in over the new year and they were just at a new level; we couldn’t believe what we were up against.

“But we told the guys to ignore that result and go straight from Canvey Island to Woodford. We know at home we are much stronger. For some reason the local boys prefer to play at home!”

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Beccles lost 29-16 at Woodford earlier in the season, and while the Bulls sit bottom of the division but just four points from safety, Saturday’s visitors reside comfortably in midtable. Beccles will be boosted by return of influential back Marcus Sale, who has been out since October with a broken ankle.

“It’s a must-win game for us,” admitted senior player Cooper. “At Woodford we dominated in the first half earlier in the season, and they turned it around. Their number eight particularly dominated the game. They scored two soft tries and took the game out of our hands.

“But again, on form and confidence at home, we’re expecting to win. Our training will be specifically pitched at tackling their strengths and the game starts then, for my money. We’ll be ready. It’s going to be a good game – but I would give it to us.”

Cooper added: “The key things are responding from Ipswich and thinking about that win we got at Canvey, and taking that straight into Saturday.

“We got back in after that defeat at Ipswich and just started laughing. It was one of those where you have a day like that. After Canvey we were quite confident. At the lunch at Ipswich the vice-presidents were actually worried before the game because they knew we had turned a corner.

“But we had a meeting at the club last week and talked about our survival plan and the plans for next year, so there is some really positive stuff being done at the club to do our best to stay up but also rebuild for next year.”