RUGBY UNION: Oxfordshire must be on top of their game, says coach

8:00am Friday 23rd May 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

Oxfordshire will need to hit the heights against Surrey at Grove tomorrow if they are to secure a Twickenham final spot (3).

That ics the message from head coach Craig Burrows, who admits Shield holders Surrey are favourites for the semi-final clash.

“Most of their team will be from Dorking, won won the National 3 London title,” said Burrows.

“They are reigning champions and favourites.

“We have got to put in a performance along the lines we showed against Berkshire in our first match.

“Surrey have not been tested yet and we have got to make sure we test them from the start.”

Pete Boulton (Oxford Harlequins) replaces Martyn Walsh (Grove) at tight-head prop, while Rory Gratwohl starts ahead of Grove clubmate Richard Haire at No 8.

Flanker Cash Chilvers (Grove) returns after illness and Zac Norris (Oxford Harlequins) starts at fly half, with Henry Day (Grove) preferred to James Monks (Witney) at full back.

Burrows added: “It will be better for our players knowing that there is a really big challenge for them.

“They know they will have to be at the top of their game to compete.

“That will suit us better rather than going for one point or losing by less than 18 as we needed to against Dorset & Wilts to qualify.”

Burrows captained Oxon the last time they played at Twickenham – a 2006 Shield final defeat.

“It’s a huge incentive for us to get there,” he said.

“That’s one of the reasons why people want to play county rugby, but there is a lot of hard work to do before we can even start to think about that.

“There was a bit too much talk about that (Twickenham) before the game against Dorset, although we did try to stamp it out.”

The winners will play either Cumbria or Leicestershire in the final at Twickenham on Sunday, June 1.

Proud hosts Grove are planning a barbecue and an outside bar.

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

Latest Sport news

Stick with us, says Oxford skipper

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

Jake Wright believes Oxford United’s attractive style will mean supporters continue to back the team while they attempt to recover from a slow start to the season.

Slow start no cause for concern - Oxford United boss

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 22nd August 2014

NO points, no goals from open play, no clean sheets – Oxford United’s start to Sky Bet League Two would give plenty of coaches sleepless nights.

Hylton's happy to roam in quest for Oxford United goals

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

DANNY Hylton says he is enjoying being given added freedom by Oxford United boss Michael Appleton to cause other teams problems.

Appleton seeks 'clever' solution to Oxford United's lack of goals

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United have to be creative while they continue to search for targets up front during the transfer window.

RUGBY UNION: Scott ready to stake his Welsh claim

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

Nick Scott is fully aware that London Welsh’s friendly at Pontypridd tomorrow is the last chance to stake a claim for a starting place against Exeter Chiefs.

Busy fixture list welcomed by Oxford United's Brown

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

JUNIOR Brown has welcomed Oxford United’s packed fixture schedule as he edges closer towards reaching match fitness.

Portsmouth boss looking forward to Oxford United return

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

THERE will be familiar faces all round in the technical areas at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.

Oxford United striker gets Scotland call-up

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

ALEX Jakubiak will miss Oxford United’s visit to Cheltenham Town next month after a call-up to Scotland’s under 19 squad.

CRICKET: Eason wary of Chesham threat

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

HORSPATH captain Will Eason expects no easy ride at basement boys Chesham tomorrow as the leaders continue their Division 2 title push.

FOOTBALL: Skipper Mullings banned as City to keep run going

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

Captain Darren Mullings starts a three-match ban as Oxford City bid to extend their unbeaten start to the season when they visit Solihull Moors tomorrow.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/