The 1st XV will travel to Oxfordshire on Friday night to take on the league leaders Chinnor.
The 1st XV find themselves travelling away from home in consecutive rounds, coming into the match off the back of that thrilling 24-24 draw away at Sedgley Park. As it stands, Park sit in 5th on 50 points, 1 point above Sedgley. Interestingly, only 5 points separate 3rd placed Plymouth (on 53 points) and 8th placed DMP (on 48 points) with Birmingham Moseley and Richmond also finding themselves among this group. With less than 10 matches left to play, things could not be tighter and every game will have serious implications on the league standings.
This weekend’s opposition come into the match amidst a scorching hot run of form as the league leaders have won their last 8 games which includes a win over fellow title challengers Rams as well as some monstrous scorelines such as the 57 points they put up against Cinderford, 47 against Sale, 40 against Leicester and 55 against Richmond. Their last defeat came back in November against Plymouth in a 17-22 slugfest that remains their only home loss so far this season, a streak the 1st XV will be looking to end.
In the reverse fixture at The Rock back in October, the 1st XV fell to unflattering 21-48 defeat in which the game got out of hand late on. Two quick yellow cards for Park overlapped and saw Chinnor add on 19 points in the final 15 minutes. In that match, Charlie Piper, Benji Marfo and Sunni Jardine all crossed the whitewash and TJ Wilstead had a stellar kicking day, going 100% from the tee.
The 1st XV will have to put in a big shift defensively on Friday against the free-scoring Chinnor akin to the one they put on back in early December to shutout Blackheath at Well Hall. The boys will be capable of getting a result but will be faced with what is likely their toughest challenge so far this season against a red-hot opponent with promotion in their sights.
Match details can be found here