RUGBY UNION: Champions Quins out to kick on, says Chadbone

Oxford Harlequins (from left): Jamie Cope (coach), Luke Brown (captain), Steve Chadbone (head of rugby) and Keni Fisilau (player-coach) celebrate winning the South Wet 1 East title

Oxford Harlequins (from left): Jamie Cope (coach), Luke Brown (captain), Steve Chadbone (head of rugby) and Keni Fisilau (player-coach) celebrate winning the South Wet 1 East title

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

STEVE Chadbone says Oxford Harlequins are already looking ahead, just days after clinching the South West 1 East title.

Quins secured top spot after thrashing Maidenhead 52-8 on Saturday and will now target a double against Banbury in the Oxfordshire Cup final.

Head of rugby Chadbone was delighted with the title, but says there is more to come from the resurgent club.

“We have got aspirations to be playing in National 2 in five years,” he said.

“We don’t want to just sit back.

“First we want to be a really strong and competitive side in the league above us.”

He added: “The club has come on beyond what I anticipated.

“But I feel that we are a year ahead of ourselves. We still mustn’t try to run before we can walk.”

Quins needed a bonus-point victory over Maidenhead to guarantee the title, but always looked comfortable and scored four tries before half-time Chadbone said: “We are happy to get that win out of the way. It makes it so much easier when you are allowed to play rugby.

“It was a good refereeing performance, which can make the difference.

“It wasn’t so much a feeling of relief. It was satisfying to achieve what we set out to do at the start of the season.

“I am happy with where we are now. A year on from last season, the club is a totally different place.

“The hard work, which was done from this time last year, has really paid off.

“As a club, we have all pulled together and shown what can be achieved if you get stuck in and apply yourself.”

Chadbone said having a stronger squad had been key to Quins’ success.

“It has been difficult at times to say to players ‘we want to rest you this week’, but it has worked really well,” he said.

“There has been a fantastic team spirit and a great environment at the club.”

Chadbone added: “Recruitment is well under way for next year and we’ve got some great signings coming in.

“We have got a lot of players approaching us now, which is fantastic.”

Quins have three more league games to play before facing Banbury in the county final on Wednesday, May 7.

Chadbone said: “It’s quite fitting that the first team we played in pre-season was Banbury and they will be the last team we face this season as well.”

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