RUGBY UNION: Chinnor out to secure their safety

8:00am Friday 11th April 2014

If results go their way, Chinnor could be safe from relegation tomorrow night and so face a more relaxed end to their National 2 South campaign.

Chinnor’s side of the bargain is to win away to already-relegated Bourne-mouth and then hope that rivals Dings Crusaders lose to at home to Launceston.

Head coach Matt Williams is sure Chinnor will be fine, provided they can knit both parts of their game together.

Following his side's tense 20-18 victory over Taunton last week, Williams pronounced: “We should have won by 20 points.

“I’m very proud of the way the boys defended.

“But we were so focused on defence that we lost our attacking game.

“We’ll concentrate on putting that right in training.

“I’ve set a target of six more points and we’ll be safe and I’m confident we’ll achieve that.

Williams makes one change, with prop Ricky Cano coming in for Joe Pickett, who will sit on the bench.

Joining him there will be Ricky Hopwood, who is back in the squad after recovering from concussion.

Chinnor are better off that Henley Hawks, who could be relegated from National 1 if they lose to at home to fellow strugglers Loughborough Students.

Former captain Martin Nutt returns on the wing for Henley, replacing Xavier Andre, who suffered an ankle injury in the defeat at Fylde.

Ed Yarnton replaces Liam O’Neill, who has been recalled by London Welsh, at full back.

Another Welsh loanee, Ollie Frost, comes in for Luke Carter at scrum half.

Henley would go down if they lose and Cinderford win at home to Esher.

Oxford Harlequins, already crowned South West 1 East champions, took their eye off the ball last week, when losing to lowly Marlow.

Quins’ head of rugby Steve Chadbone is expecting them to be more focused for the clash at home to Newbury.

“The players just didn’t turn up – and they know it,” he said.

“Our intensity and hunger will be back. We have a 100 per cent home record to defend, something we’re very proud of.”

Against Marlow, Quins’ No 8 Seisoni Tupou was yellow-carded for the third successive game, but he will not be getting a lecture from Chadbone about his discipline.

“He is a physical player, but I feel he’s being treated unfairly by referees.”

There’s a tight battle for fourth spot, currently held by Grove following their record-breaking 107-7 win at home to Salisbury last week.

Victory in their last game at Swindon will go a long way to sealing it.

They could still be overtaken by Witney, who recall scrum half Gareth Campbell at home to Buckingham.


Henley Hawks (v Loughborough Students, home): Yarnton, Nutt, T Allen, Wells, Bart, Comben, Frost, Manning, Dwyer, Williams, Clements, McNally, Payne (capt), Newman, R Stapley. Reps: Penny, Maddocks, Woodward, Jones/Ashmore, Carter.

Chinnor (Bournemouth, away): Mountford, Blewitt, Goode, Hayes, Fielding, Millett, Hall, Winpenny, Townsend, Cano, Tibbatts, Kruzycki, Hirskyj-Douglas, Harrison, Gilbert (capt). Reps: Pickett, Aiono, Smith, Jones, Hopwood.

Oxford Harlequins (Newbury, home): Hilton, Walsh, Lee, Fisilau, Robinson, Norris, Jones, Marshall, Chadbone, Bolton, Brown (capt), Purchase, Basttson, Clayton, Tupou. Reps from: Edney, Goggin, Tickell, Neal, Ward.

Witney (v Buckingham, home): from Monks, Clarke, Strutt, H Lamb, J Lamb, Lambourne, Thomas, G Campbell, Richens, A Copperwheat, Burke, Bennett, Hyde, C Campbell, Rowles, Muller, Lennards.


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