Goode looks for the cup to recharge the batteries

Banbury Bulls player coach Matt Goode tries to get clear against Salisbury at the DCS Stadium
Banbury Bulls player coach Matt Goode tries to get clear against Salisbury at the DCS Stadium

Head coach Matt Goode will be looking for Banbury Bulls to recharge their batteries in Sunday’s Oxon Knockout Cup tie.

Bulls travel to Oxford University Greyhounds for Sunday’s first round tie at Iffley Road.

We’ve got the talent and the structure but we need to be fitter, we can only do so much at training

Bulls head coach Matt Goode

In a repeat of last season’s final, the holders will be keen to keep their grip on the trophy. But Goode hinted there would be changes again and said: “We need to get back to winning ways but we’ll make a few changes for Oxford Greyhounds. We know what they’re like and it’s going to be a completely different game.

“Greyhounds will be keen to pay us back for the defeat in the final. It’s on their ground but Iffley Road is a very good surface which should suit our style of rugby.

“It’s a game we want to win but we will still give other players who have been impressing in the seconds their chance.”

Meanwhile, Goode said that his players need to be fitter if they are to stay in the top four in South West One East, having seen them wilt against Salisbury in Saturday’s defeat.

He added: “If we want to stay in the top four we’ve got to improve our fitness levels. We’ve got the talent and the structure but we need to be fitter, we can only do so much at training, it’s up the players to look after themselves.”

Goode also felt the lack of options on the bench proved decisive and said: “That was the first game we’ve had to play with the same front row for the whole 80 minutes and it showed in the second half.

“Missing Joe Winpenny and Pete Boulton was crucial, to be without a loose head prop and a tight head prop was too much. We’ve been able to make changes in the front row in most games this season but we didn’t have the players available to do that on Saturday.”