RUGBY UNION: Williams sets the target in Chinnor's survival bid

8:00am Friday 4th April 2014

CHINNOR director of rugby Matt Williams has set his side a target of ten points from their remaining games to avoid relegation from National 2 South.

Last week’s 47-31 loss to London Irish Wild Geese sees Chinnor just two places and two points above the drop zone.

Tomorrow’s home match against mid-table Taunton Titans will not be easy, but Williams admits he is excited about the clash after this week’s training.

“We need ten points from our four games, and because this is at home we will focus on getting as many points as possible from this one,” he said.

Williams makes five changes.

Captain Liam Gilbert comes in at No 8, replacing Rudal Aiono, while player-coach Matt Goode, a replacement last week because of work commitments, starts ahead of Dan Barnes at centre.

Joe Winpenny is preferred to Ricardo Cano at prop, lock Michal Kruzychi replaces Andrew Smith and scrum half Lewis Hall starts ahead of Frank Jones.

“Some of the changes are enforced and some are decisions I have made,” Williams added.

“I am picking a team that I think will live, die and bleed for the cause.

“We had a meeting on Tuesday and afterwards we went out to train and it was the best session I’ve been involved in with the club.

“There was a real focus and determination about the players. I’m very excited about this match.”

Henley Hawks face arguably the toughest remaining test in their battle to avoid relegation when they visit fourth-placed Fylde in National 1.

Fylde have scored 102 tries so far, but lost 36-0 at Richmond last week.

Luke Carter replaces London Welsh loanee Ollie Frost at scrum half, while Alex Penny comes in for Ian Williams (unavailable) at tight-head prop.

Prop Ruari McLeod and flanker Ben Ashmore are added to the bench.

Champions Oxford Harlequins make five changes for their trip to struggling Marlow in South West 1 East.

Captain Luke Brown returns at lock in place of Adam Neal.

Matt Edney replaces Pete Boulton (unavailable) at tight-head prop, while Charlie Ward comes in for Will Clayton, who is also away, at openside flanker.

Player-coach Keni Fisilau is rested, with Ed Tickle coming in on the wing and Adam Walsh moving to centre. Ralph Jones returns at scrum half.

Quins head of rugby Steve Chadbone expects no let-up from his side.

“We can still be be 15 or 16 points clear at the end of the season,” he said.

“The boys have also said they want to get to 1,000 points scored, so we have got three games to get 97 points.”

Witney make a raft of changes for the clash with Newbury at Hailey Road.

Scrum half Will Spencer comes in for the unavailable Gareth Campbell, and will team up with fly half Phil Thomas, with Henry Lamb switching to the centre where he will partner James Lamb, with Carl Strutt dropping out.

Matt Clarke takes over from Robbie Mills at full back, with Arron Lambourne coming in on the right wing for James Monks, who drops to the bench.

In the forwards, flanker David Hyde replaces the injured Tim Muller.

Grove are at home to bottom club Salisbury, where a win would see them stay ahead of Witney in the table.


Henley Hawks (v Fylde, away): O’Neill, Andre, T Allen, Wells, Bart, Comben, Carter, Manning, Dwyer, Penny, Clements, McNally, Payne (capt), Newman, R Stapley. Reps: Maddocks, McLeod, Woodward, Ashmore, Yarnton.

Chinnor (v Taunton Titans, home): Mountford, G Blewitt, Goode, Hayes, Fielding, Millett, Hall, Winpenny, Townsend, Pickett, Kruzychi, Tibbatts, Hirskyj-Douglas, Betts, Gilbert (capt). Reps: Cano, Aiono, Smith, Jones, Barnes.

Oxford Harlequins (v Marlow, away): Hilton, Robinson, Walsh, Lee, Tickle, Norris, Jones, Marshall, Si Chadbone, Edney, Purchase, Brown (capt), Battson, Ward, Tupou. Reps: Neal, Johnstone, Goggin.

Witney (v Newbury, home): Clarke, Lambourne, H Lamb, J Lamb, Beasley, Thomas, Spencer, Richens, A Copperwheat, Burke, Bennett, Mortimer, Hyde, C Campbell, Rowles. Reps: Richardson, Leonards, Monks.


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