Canterbury RFC head coach Andy Pratt not thinking about National 2 South promotion, despite climbing to second with win over Cambridge
Andy Pratt refused to get carried away despite Canterbury Rugby Club landing a mighty blow in the National 2 South promotion fight with a gutsy win at Merton Lane on Saturday.
Canterbury went second in the table after a battling 8-3 victory over Cambridge to move above their rivals into the sole promotion play-off place.
Just 41 clubs were ranked higher than the city club nationwide this Christmas – the highest place Canterbury have occupied in the English rugby ladder since being founded in 1929.
A large crowd roared them on to victory despite strong winds, driving rain and a heavy pitch, and head coach Pratt said: “The crowd played their part. The conditions really were not conducive to free-flowing rugby and scoring tries.
“The game was all about guts and determination on the day and I think both teams had plenty of it and deserve great credit.”
Despite the win, leaders Hartpury pulled 12 points ahead at the summit, while the three teams chasing them are separated by just two points.
However, Pratt insisted: “It’s way too soon to start talking about anything like promotion. The table is so tight. We’re one ahead of Ampthill and two ahead of Cambridge.
“It’s a very strange year in the division. We have played everyone already, but it’s still difficult to know what to expect in the second part of the season.
“We have to go away to Launceston the weekend after New Year which is going to be very difficult.”
Eight of the city club’s last 14 games are on the road, and though they have won eight straight at Merton Lane, only losing once this term, away from home they have lost five of their seven games.
Pratt said: “We have more away games than home ones in the second part of the season so that is something we’re going to have to improve on if we are to do anything.
“We’re certainly going to need some repeats of the performance from Bishop’s Stortford (a 27-22 win on December 14).”
The Canterbury players will benefit from an extended break before their next game on January 4, with Pratt adding: “We won’t train, we’ll have the club open for players to get treatment but we wanted to give the players the opportunity to have a well-earned rest, mentally and physically.”
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