MATT Goode says Oxfordshire can ill-afford to dream of Twickenham when they take on Cumbria for a place in the Division 3 final tomorrow.

With both sides taking nine points from their two games so far, it will be a straight shoot-out in Wigton, near Carlisle, for top spot in Pool 1.

Oxon find themselves in a similar position to 12 months ago, when they headed to Essex looking to make it back-to-back finals.

Instead they fell to an 18-17 defeat and Goode, who has since taken over from Craig Burrows as head coach, wants no repeat.

He said: “We’ve been focusing on each game as it comes.

“It would be amazing if we won, but we have to concentrate on the game in hand.

“Cumbria will be a hell of a side and if we go out there and think about the final like we did last year against Essex we will come unstuck.”

Goode added: “The boys are buzzing.

“We have young and old players who have not played at Twickenham and it’s a great honour.

“The boys are clearly hoping they will put in a performance to get there.”

Oxon only top the group on points difference and are under no illusions they face their biggest challenge yet.

They are making the 270-mile trip today to ensure the players are rested for the clash and Goode believes his side will need little motivation to perform considering what is at stake.

“In some ways it will be an easier talk,” he said.

“But Cumbria haven’t made it easy by playing it on the furthest pitch away from us.

“We asked to change the times a little bit which they haven’t done, but that adds more fuel to our fire.”

Goode was unable to attend the victories over Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire & Derbyshire and North Midlands, but will be on the touchline this weekend.

Coaches Matty Mountford and Liam Gilbert took charge, assisted by Jamie Lakin, in the previous games.

Goode added: “They did brilliantly and now all of us are together – I just hope I’m not the jinx.”


Oxfordshire: from Brady, Davies, Deacon, Emery, Gray, Hall, Hyde, Janes, Jeffreys, Marris, Marshall, Mills, Myatt, Neal, Pietersen, Price, Portland, Primett, Purchase, Turetta, van Dijk, Webb, Wood.