RUGBY UNION: Chinnor boss Williams happy to go extra mile

No 8 Ledua Jope, one of five players brought in by Matt Williams, leads Chinnor’s attack against Launceston

No 8 Ledua Jope, one of five players brought in by Matt Williams, leads Chinnor’s attack against Launceston

First published in Rugby Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

MATT Williams says he has fallen in love with Chinnor less than a month after being unveiled as the club’s new director of rugby.

Williams achieved the first victory of his tenure when Chinnor beat Launceston 28-20 in National 2 South on Saturday.

And while survival is still his main objective, the former Harlequins hooker hopes to be at Kingsey Road in the longer term.

Chinnor have had a roller-coaster season since ex-Scotland fly half Craig Chalmers quit as head coach before leading them in a match.

Chalmers cited the distance he was travelling from his Surrey home as a reason for quitting, but Williams is happy to drive far further – from his base in Rawreth, near Chelmsford.

“It is a big commitment, but I have fallen in love with this club,” said Williams. “I love its aspirations.

“Once we are safe, then I will sit down with my coaching team and work out what we need to do to have a less tense finish to the season next year!”

Williams signed forwards Ricky Cano, Michal Kruzychi, Ledua Jope, Aaron James-Nicholls and Rudal Aiono after joining Chinnor, but is now happy with the squad.

He added: “I have been brought in to do a job and that’s to keep us up.

“It’s a strange league with so many teams within a game's points of each other.

“I have targeted winning four of our five remaining home games and Launceston was the first.

“If we can do that, we should be in mid-table, not near the relegation zone.”

Chinnor’s victory over Launceston could arguably have been more comfortable had they not passed up kickable penalties in the second half.

Williams said: “I wanted the four tries, which was why we kept kicking to the corner, but it didn’t come about.

“The most important thing was that we broke the duck of the losing run.

“To succeed at rugby, you have got to be able to win ugly and we did that.”

Victory took Chinnor out of the relegation zone, but Williams felt it was more significant than that.

“It was a character defining day for me,” he said.

“In previous weeks, we could have gone 10-0 down after ten minutes and lost heart as a result, but we used it to build from.

“For the middle 20 minutes of the first half, we were in total control.

“And again in the second half, they didn’t threaten us much.

“I’m proud of the attitude on the field. To use the old football cliché, it was a six-pointer.

“That last penalty denied them a point and that was important as well.”

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