8:00am Friday 28th March 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
CHINNOR director of rugby Matt Williams says his side are playing well enough to pull decisively clear of the National 2 South relegation zone.
Williams’s team are just four points above the bottom three ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with fellow strugglers London Irish Wild Geese.
But he is in no doubt that if they maintain their current form, they will survive.
Williams said: “It is frustrating because in the last two weeks against Ampthill and Southend, we have been outstanding.
“We lost both games due to an insane ten-minute period.
“We were by far the better side in both games.
“If we play like that, we should be fine.”
Williams also believes Chinnor have an easier run-in than their rivals and expects Wild Geese and Redruth to contest the third relegation place.
Player-coach Matt Goode drops to the bench as his work commitments with Northampton Saints will mean a later than usual arrival at Kingsey Road.
This means a resuffle, with Dan Barnes moving to centre, Leo Fielding shifting to the wing and Matt Mountford coming in at full back.
Scrum half Lewis Hall is added to the bench, but regular captain Liam Gilbert may not even get the one remaining spot alongside him.
“Liam was away for two weeks and the back-row players in his place did well, so I didn’t want to change them,” said Williams.
Henley Hawks face crunch time in their relegation battle when they host Worthing Raiders in National 1.
Last season Henley hammered Worthing 55-17 to clinch the National 2 South title, but this time Hawks are one point above the bottom three, which includes Raiders.
London Welsh loanees Liam O’Neill and Ollie Frost come in at full back and scrum half respectively, replacing Ed Yarnton and Luke Carter.
Prop Dai Maddocks returns on the bench after injury.
Flanker Mike Denbee has been recalled from his loan by London Welsh.
Henley Hawks (v Worthing, home): O’Neill, Andre, T Allen, Wells, Bart, Comben, Frost, Manning, Dwyer, Williams, Clements, McNally, Payne (capt), Newman, R Stapley. Reps: Penny, Maddocks, Woodward, Jones, Yarnton.
Chinnor (v London Irish Wild Geese, home): Mountford, G Blewitt, Barnes, Hayes, Fielding, Millett, Jones, Cano, Townsend, Pickett, Tibbatts, Smith, Aiono, Betts, Hirskyj-Douglas. Reps: Winpenny, Kruzychi, Goode, Hall, tbc.
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