Rumford: Oxford will come out firing

Oxford head coach Tim Rumford will urge his players to get off to a quick start when they host Whitehaven on Sunday.

The two teams met in the League 1 Cup back in March, with the Cumbrian side running out comfortable 46-14 winners but Rumford believes Oxford are capable of gaining their revenge.

“We’re certainly looking for a better game – we went up there in the cup game and started really slow, honestly I think we were still on the bus,” said Rumford.

“By the time we got back into the game there was a 26/28 point difference. We’ll be looking to start a lot better and try and put Whitehaven under some pressure with the things we can do rather than wake up after twenty minutes and find ourselves behind.

“There will be no shortage of belief in our team on Sunday, but we’ve certainly got a lot of respect for Whitehaven.

“They’re very experienced, certainly in the middle of the field, they’ve got some big, aggressive forwards and then the centres and outside backs have got a lot of strike.

“Obviously it’s a big ask to turn Whitehaven over but it was a big ask to beat York and Hunslet and we managed to achieve both.”

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