Rhinos relegated as fitness fails
Haringey Rhinos have been relegated from London League division three (north west) with the final nail being hammered into their coffin by local rivals Enfield Ignatians at New River on Saturday - writes Jonny Weeks.
Haringey Rhinos 8
Enfield Ignatians 20
Haringey Rhinos have been relegated from London League division three (north west) with the final nail being hammered into their coffin by local rivals Enfield Ignatians at New River on Saturday.
The Rhinos led 8-3 after 65 minutes, thanks to a penalty from Alan Cooper and a try from Tom Pert. Pert crossed the line after several good phases of play and quick hands had put him through.
But poor fitness cost the Rhinos dearly in the final 15 minutes, according to Cooper.
"It was a good measurement of where we are and the season we've had," he explained.
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"We were relying on London New Zealand to beat Hampstead, which they didn't, so we would not have stayed up whatever our result. We're bitterly disappointed.
"We could not have prepared better for the game - we trained with punch, focus and real passion. It was a narrow defeat but the visitors' superior fitness turned the game."
The Rhinos drop into London League Four where Cooper is confident they can mount an instant promotion challenge next season.
"To say that we're relieved to go down is a bit strong, but there's certainly a sense that it could be a good thing for us," he added. "The club is struggling off the pitch and hopefully going down will allow us to rebuild.
"It does hurt to be relegated but the thought of winning a championship and holding silverware again next season eases the pain."
Haringey Rhinos: Cordy, Brown, Thompson, Mills, Howson, Healey, Hasse, Hawkes, Fletcher, Cooper, Fozard, Foy, Pert, Olak, Petterson, Watson-Jones, Buller, Gold.