RUGBY UNION: Chinnor moving in right direction, says Goode

Sam Stoop is back in Chinnor’s squad to face Ampthill at Kingsey Road in National 2 South tomorrow

Sam Stoop is back in Chinnor’s squad to face Ampthill at Kingsey Road in National 2 South tomorrow

First published in Rugby

DESPITE seeing his side secure a crucial victory last Saturday, Chinnor player-coach Matt Goode feels they have yet to hit peak form.

Chinnor scrambled home 28-20 at home to fellow strugglers Launceston to move a step away from the National 2 South relegation zone.

Ahead of tomorrow’s tester at home to third-placed Ampthill, Goode said they were not firing on all cylinders.

A recent influx of players, brought in by director of rugby Matt Williams, has strengthened their squad.

“With the new players, it’s taken some time to gel, but were moving in the right direction,” said Goode.

The only change sees the return of powerful centre Sam Stoop, who has missed much of the season due to teaching commitments and a knee injury. He is likely to start on the bench.

Mike Denbee, on loan from London Welsh, will make his first start for Henley Hawks as they continue their fight against relegation from National 1 at home to Blaydon.

The flanker, who came off the bench in Hawks’ impressive 52-22 win over Wharfedale, comes into a reshuffled back row.

Ryan Newman reverts to No 6 with Matt Payne taking over the captaincy at No 8 in place of Robbie Stapley.

The replacements include prop Ian Williams, who played for Welsh Students against England last week.

The only change behind the scrum is at half-back where Luke Carter resumes his partnership with fly half James Comben.

Grove, looking for their fourth win in a row, will be tested when they travel to third-placed Windsor in South West 1 East.

Henry Day replaces the unavailable Tom Clipsham in the centre as Grove aim to complete the double over their Berkshire opponents.

OXFORD University conclude their season when they face Bristol at Iffley Road tonight (7.30).

The Blues were originally due to take on Oxford-based London Welsh, but the Exiles are playing a rearranged Greene King IPA Championship match Cornish Pirates on Sunday.

TOMORROW'S TEAMS

Henley Hawks (v Blaydon, home): Yarnton, Bart, T Allen, Wells, Andre, Comben, Carter, Moss, Dwyer, Penny, McNally, Clements, Newman, Denbee, Payne (capt). Reps: Williams, Manning, Woodward, R Stapley, Nutt.
Chinnor (v Ampthill home): from Mountford, G Blewitt, Barnes, Goode, Stoop, Hayes, Fielding, Millett, Jones, Cano, Townsend, Vickers, Pickett, Winpenny, James-Nicholls, Tibbatts, Gilbert (capt), Betts, Aiono, Kruzychi, Jope.
Grove (v Windsor, away): Lewis, Carr, Day, N Sevier, G Nicholl, R Sevier, J Chivers, Eckert (capt), Dixey, C Chivers, Peel, Miles, Law, Young, Bellinger. Reps: Wallbridge, Wells, Smith.

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