RUGBY UNION: Survival leaves Williams buoyant for next season

Chinnor hooker Joe Pickett shows the battling qualities they needed to defeat Exmouth on survival Saturday in National 2 South

Chinnor hooker Joe Pickett shows the battling qualities they needed to defeat Exmouth on survival Saturday in National 2 South

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

CHINNOR director of rugby Matt Williams says he can’t wait for the new season to come around.

Williams steered Chinnor to safety on the final day of the National 2 South season after they beat Exmouth and London Irish Wild Geese lost at Ampthill.

This ensured the Thame-based club will have a third successive season in English rugby’s fourth tier.

And having been as high as second and low as 14th in a topsy-turvy campaign, Williams said staying up was of “massive” importance to the club.

“My goal now is to finish at the other end of the table next season,” he said.

“With the building works and the improvements that this club is putting into place, it deserves to be a top national league club.

“Now it is a case of looking forwards not backwards.

“I am already excited about next season and we have just finished this one.”

In previous seasons as few as 50 points from 30 matches have been enough to survive, while last year Chinnor finished sixth with 76, albeit from 28 games.

Fron that perspective, Chinnor’s final tally of 65, which saw them finish two points ahead of Wild Geese, was not a bad effort.

“Any team to go down in the 60s is unlucky,” said Williams.

“It is a just below mid-table score normally, but to have a season where you have four teams on the last day fighting to stay up is amazing.

“That’s job done, achieved. Now it is a case of rebuilding and re-focusing for the new season.”

Williams, who joined Chinnor in February, believes the club can climb the table again.

The key will be consistency and improved preparation.

“It will take the boys to understand the discipline and focus we need through the season,” said Williams.

“We will have a full pre-season and a couple of exciting new signings.”

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