STEVE Chadbone says Oxford Harlequins’ victory over Oxfordshire Cup holders Chinnor 2nd can inspire them to aim high.
Quins battled to a 6-3 win in Wednesday night’s quarter-final at Kingsey Road to end Chinnor’s four-year reign as county champions.
And while victory was against Chinnor’s second team, head of rugby Chadbone believes it can boost their South West 1 East promotion bid, starting with tomorrow’s home clash against third-placed Towcestrians.
“We probably had 70 per cent of the territory,” said Chadbone.
“I felt we did enough to edge it. It was a very defensive game.
“With a lot of their players having played in the first team this season, it was quite satisfying for us.
“We can only aspire to where they are at the moment. They are in National League 2 and we want to be in that league.”
Spencer Goggin replaces Allan Johnstone (hamstring) on the wing for leaders Quins.
“The next month is going to be very important for us,” added Chadbone.
“We play Towcestrians, Reading and Windsor, who are all near the top.
“If we can get three wins, I am confident that we can push on into the rest of the season with a good cushion at the top.”
Grove manager Phil Rennie praised the impact of brothers Joe and Cash Chivers ahead of their home clash with Devizes.
Scrum half Joe and prop Cash again start at Cane Lane after moving from Merthyr Tydfil.
“The Grove Welsh conection goes on,” said Rennie. “They have been a great addition to the squad.”
Jamie Burke returns at loosehead prop for Witney’s trip to bottom club Salisbury.
Xavier Andre returns to the Henley Hawks squad for their home clash with Cinderford in National 1 after a month out injured.
The pacy wing is on the bench after last appearing on December 21.
Dave Manning switches to tighthead prop in place of the injured Alex Penny, with Jim Hadfield starting at loosehead.
Robbie Stapley replaces Will Woodward at No 8 after recovering from a hand problem.
Having beaten basement boys Hull Ionians last week, victory over struggling Cinderford would keep Henley away from the drop zone.
Flanker Nick Harrison, lock Sam Blewitt and wing Joe Marston come into Chinnor’s squad to visit National 2 South leaders Hartpury College.
Centre Matt Goode is out with a calf injury, while second row and fellow player-coach Andrew Smith is rested.
“It is going to be quite a quick game and I think Smudger feels others are better suited to it,” said Goode.
“Hartpury are running away with the league. They are a very good side and even better at home.
“We are going there looking to put a performance together.
“I am not saying we can’t go and win it, but it will probably the toughest game of the season.”
Henley Hawks (v Cinderford, home): Yarnton, Bart, O’Neill, Wells, Nutt (capt), Comben, Carter, Hadfield, Brennan, Manning, McNally, Dwyer, L Allen, Newman, R Stapley. Reps: Maddocks, Woodward, Long, T Allen, Andre.
Chinnor (v Hartpury College, away): from Hopwood, G Blewitt, Barnes, Fielding, Millett, Jones, Winpenny, Townsend, Pickett, Mowbray, Tibbatts, Hastings, Gilbert (capt), Whelan, Vickers, Betts, Stoop, Hall, Harrison, S Blewitt, Marston.
Oxford H (v Towcestrians, home): Hilton, Goggin, Lee, Fisilau, Robinson, Norris, Jones, Marshall, Selby, Boulton, Purchase, Brown (capt), Battson, Tupou, Achilles. Reps: Si Chadbone, Tickle, Mott.
Grove (v Devizes, home): Lewis, Carr, N Sevier, Clipsham, G Nicholl, R Sevier, J Chivers, Eckert (capt), Dixey, C Chivers, Miles, Haire, Peel, Gratwohl, Bellinger. Reps: Westaway, Wallbridge, Johnson.
Witney (v Salisbury, away): Clarke, Monks, Landray, H Lamb, Strutt, Thomas, G Campbell, Burke, A Copperwheat, Richens, Mortimer, Rowles, C Campbell, Catherall, J Hicks (capt). Reps:Richardson, Muller, Lambourne.