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Liam: I want Oxford win
9:00am Friday 12th October 2012 in Sport
LIAM Hughes has made a case for the defence as Malvern look to record backto- back National Three South West wins at Oxford Harlequins tomorrow.
The Spring Lane side’s head coach will be without several of his heavy hitters from the back division this weekend, but he has backed his young pack to build upon the 30-26 victory over local rivals Old Patesians last time out.
Divisional whipping boys Harlequins are propping up the league table, having taken just one point from their opening six games of the season, so Hughes is eager to see his team register their third win of the campaign.
He said: “The team are feeling more confident after a hard-fought win against Old Pats on Saturday, which took a last-minute try by scrumhalf James Southall to defeat the big Cheltenham side.
“Although we are playing bottom of the table Oxford Harlequins this weekend, nothing is taken for granted as we are yet to encounter a weak team in the league this year.
“Without ball-carriers Nick Miller due to work and Richard Fleming, who broke ribs in the process of scoring last weekend, the challenge will be left to Ieuan Mustow and Tom Hale to provide our back line physicality.
“We are missing a couple of our bigger ball-carriers in the backs, but I’m fully confident in Ieuan and Tom’s ability to add a physical edge to our back play.
“Our pack are starting to find some form and really contribute led by captain Matt Williams and young back row players Rory Gratwohl and Harry Nuttall.
“The plan this weekend is to keep things simple and effective and really pile pressure on Oxford through an aggressive defence which we have been working hard on.
The important thing is to come away with a win, I’d take 3-0 on the road in this league.”
First XV v Oxford Harlequins (a): Milton; Hillier, Hale, Mustow, M Jones; Longley, Southall; Murphy, Prosser, Clark, Thomson, Williams, Marshall, Nuttall, Gratwohl.
Replacements: Rambridge, Hobbs, R Jones.