Finsbury Park coach Chapman expects tough test at Hendon

Finsbury Park RFC huddle (Pic: Finsbury Park)

Finsbury Park RFC huddle (Pic: Finsbury Park) - Credit: Archant

Finsbury Park head coach Gareth Chapman is expecting a difficult test against local rivals Hendon this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.

Second-placed Park will welcome the fourth-placed outfit to Downhills Park on Saturday for their crunch clash in the Herts/Middlesex One.

Both sides will be desperate to nab the points as the hosts bid to chase down league leaders Hitchin while their opponents will be eager to keep their own promotion hopes alive.

“I think they’re actually going to be a very difficult game for us,” Chapman said.

“They’re fourth and they’ve been on a pretty decent run as well, winning games and winning them quite comfortably.

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“We didn’t roll them over when we played them away, so we know they’re going to be a big challenge, but we’re looking forward to having everybody back fit.

“Obviously having the two-week break will help and hopefully we can carry on our winning ways.”

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Former player Chapman wants his side to win all of their remaining fixtures this season and push to become league champions.

But they currently sit two points behind title rivals Hitchin, although the top two do still have to face each other in a crunch clash on Saturday, March 23.

“I think we’ve got five games left in the league and the main thing is go out and try win all five,” said Chapman. “If we can do that, then we give ourselves every chance of winning the league as long as we get a few bonus points.

“We’ve got to make sure we stay right on Hitchin’s heels for the rest of the season and keep the pressure on them rather than on us.”

The second team will be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they take on Verulamium 2nd XV this weekend.

They sealed a 22-10 victory over Hertford 4th XV last weekend to bounce back from two straight defeats.

Two tries from Tom Barnstable and a penalty as well as one try each from John Portsmouth, Bertrand Debeuf and Dan Cunningham sealed the victory.

They now only have five matches of their own left this campaign.

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