Rugby Union: Relegation from London One North confirmed for Barking after Ruislip defeat

Barking head coach Ollie Smith (pic: Paul Page)

Barking head coach Ollie Smith (pic: Paul Page) - Credit: Archant

Gale Street club guaranteed to finish in relegation zone after loss to west London rivals

Barking head coach Ollie Smith admits the club had been coming to terms with the prospect of relegation from London One North weeks before it was finally confirmed.

A 59-26 defeat at home to Ruislip on Saturday means the Gale Street club will finish in the relegation zone this season, with four games remaining.

Smith, though, revealed he knew the drop was likely after a run of defeats against their relegation rivals earlier in the season.

“The reality was that when we lost Chelmsford, Sudbury and Old Priorians a few weeks ago we were going down,” admitted the former British & Irish Lions tourist.

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“You don’t deserve to stay up if you can’t even beat the sides directly above you, so we’ve been planning for next season for a few weeks now.

“We want to make sure for next season we have a good group to work with every week in training.

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“We’re looking to build something here and get a good group together that we, as coaches, can help win promotion.”

As for the positives from Saturday, Barking were at least able to collect a bonus point for scoring four tries.

Conrad Nicholaou, Teddy Hepworth, Darren Bowles and Jack Pearce all crossed for the Gale Street club in the defeat.

And Smith believes the bonus point for scoring four tries was well deserved by a Barking side who battled until the end.

“It’s always pleasing to score four tries and the lads deserved it against a good Ruislip side,” added the ex-Leicester Tigers back.

“We weren’t close to being full-strength, but the first half was quite evenly matched, though Ruislip were a little more cohesive.

“A couple of quick tries for Ruislip at the start of the second half seemed to kill the game off, but the lads battled to the end and were able to score some tries.”

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