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Canterbury Rugby Club head coach Andy Pratt says his side have not given up hope of winning promotion from National 2 South

By Alex Hoad
Canterbury Rugby Club head coach Andy Pratt
Canterbury Rugby Club head coach Andy Pratt

Andy Pratt insists Canterbury have not given up in their quest for promotion, despite their hopes being dealt a huge blow with a crushing defeat at rivals Ampthill on Saturday – their biggest loss of the campaign.

The city club held a five-point lead over their third-placed rivals going into the game, occupying the sole promotion play-off spot in National 2 South on the back of three straight wins. However, they were comprehensively beaten 41-8.

The result saw Canterbury slip to third on points-difference to sit eight points adrift of leaders Hartpury College – whom they beat last weekend – with both their rivals having a game in hand.

On Saturday, fourth-placed Bishop’s Stortford visit Merton Lane, with the city club knowing a win would secure their highest ever finish in the National League ladder and apply crucial pressure on Ampthill, who travel to Hartpury

Head coach Pratt said: “We are fully focused on this week now. It’s out of our hands again but it will be difficult for Ampthill going down there, although they are capable of getting a result.”

He added: “Like Jose Mourinho said recently, the table is fake. We’ve been sat in second but all the while Ampthill have had a game in hand and us not having played them away, we were always in position 2.5. It was never a true reflection.

“We’re not giving up the ghost though. We’ll keep playing and are still in with a chance of the play-offs but even third would still be a great achievement.

“Bishop’s Stortford have been in fantastic form and will want to finish third too. It will be another difficult game.”

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