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Canterbury Rugby Club head coach Matt Corker targets seventh-placed National League 2 East finish ahead of final three-match block of the season

Head coach Matt Corker is out to ensure Canterbury Rugby Club remain in seventh spot in the National League 2 East table ahead of their final matches of the campaign.

They failed to make it three wins on the spin as they went down 38-23 at Old Albanians last Saturday.

Shay Kerry takes a tumble for Canterbury Rugby Club at Old Albanians during their weekend defeat. Picture: Phillipa Hilton
Shay Kerry takes a tumble for Canterbury Rugby Club at Old Albanians during their weekend defeat. Picture: Phillipa Hilton

Now, Canterbury have a free weekend prior to their last three-game block of the season.

The city club are 11 points adrift of Bury St Edmunds - but just three points separate them and Westcombe Park in 10th.

Corker, whose team came 10th last term, said: “We want to defend where we are.

“Defending a position, psychologically, isn’t always easy.

“Sevenoaks and Westcombe Park, they’re our Kent rivals and we have got Sevenoaks on the last day of the season. I’m expecting real fireworks.

“In terms of us finishing where we want to be, that’s important so that we finish the season feeling good about ourselves.

Report: Old Albanians 38-23 Canterbury

“We have got Henley and Bury. I know Henley have had a tough run but they’re both above us.

“We have been very proud of being seventh. We have been there pretty much since Christmas.

“I’ve spoken to the players a lot about this being the business end of the season. We need to perform, otherwise we could drop a couple of places.

“I think we have improved from last season, but we need to be showing that, come the end of the season.”

There were patches of good rugby from Canterbury at Old Albanians.

But they struggled to hit the required heights consistently, despite Alfie Orris dotting down and good contributions by Dutch international Jesse De Vries and back-rower Cameron Murray.

“To go away and concede 38 points, it’s going to be difficult to win that game,” reflected

“There were two or three tries we conceded that we were really disappointed with.

“Our maul defence has been getting better week-on-week so, to give 21 points from that, that’s really disappointing.

“We didn’t make them work hard enough for the tries they did score. There’s some really
good tries from Old Albanians, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a poor performance from us after two good performances.

“After building over a few weeks, this felt like a step back.”

Corker was set to give his players a weekend off for Easter before starting their last
block at home to Bury next weekend.

He explained: “We will give them the weekend off.

“It’s that stage of the season where some have got quite a few injuries. A few of the boys have got knocks.

“We’re losing players and not really having anyone come back.

“Mentally, having a break before we get back to it, that could be massively beneficial.”

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