RUGBY UNION: Oxfordshire told to keep pressure on

7:00am Friday 16th May 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

There can be no let-up as Oxfordshire target top spot in Pool 3 when they host Dorset & Wilts in the County Championship Shield at Witney tomorrow (3).

That is the view of head coach Craig Burrows, whose side need a solitary bonus point to finish first and reach the semi-finals.

“The County Championship is all about momentum,” said Burrows, whose team opened up with a 37-19 victory over Berkshire last weekend.

“To get just a point and lose would be mentally very difficult going into the semi-finals.

“That is not the way to approach it if we want to get to the final at Twickenham, which is the aim.

“Before that, Saturday is the big focus “We want to be positive and keep winning.”

Oxfordshire make two changes to their starting line-up, with Oxford Harlequins fly half Zac Norris and Grove prop Martyn Walsh coming in.

Joe Bellinger (Grove) moves from centre to No 8, with Matt Clarke (Witney) shifting from No 10 to 12.

Jamie Burke (Witney) is unavailable, while fellow prop Pete Boulton (Oxford Harlequins) comes in on the bench.

Burrows added: “We have lots to build on for next week.

“Dorset & Wilts have been a bit of a bogey team for Oxfordshire for the last five years.

“It is going to be a really tough game and a totally different proposition to Berkshire.

“They are going to be strong out wide. Berkshire were strong up front.”

Oxfordshire: J Mills (Banbury), G Nicholl (Grove), Day (Grove), Clarke (Witney), Clipsham (Grove), Norris (Oxford Harlequins), E Phillips (Banbury), Eckert (capt), Dixey, Walsh (all Grove), Brown, Purchase (both Oxford Harlequins), C Chilvers, Wells, Bellinger (all Grove), Reps: Boulton (Oxford Harlequins), Monks (Witney), Haire (Grove), C Phillips (Banbury), J Chilvers (Grove), Spencer (Bicester), Peel (Grove).

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