OURFC’s winning run in 2013 came to an end last night when the Blues were defeated by 24 points to 17 in a hard fought contest at Iffley Road. Having seen off the Army, the Royal Navy and Crawshays the Blues entered this match with a degree of confidence in making it four from four, but the Penguins were not about to roll over timidly and a strong side put together by former OURFC Director of Rugby, Steve Hill came away with the spoils. It was the invitational side who struck first when with just two minutes on the clock, a missed tackle in midfield breached the Oxford defence and loose head prop Kelly XXX was on hand to take the scoring pass and dot down by the posts. Fly-half Scott Hadden added the straight forward conversion. The Blues then hit back quickly to level the scores when a well-constructed line-out drive resulted in tight head prop Jon Direen (Kellogg) being driven over, fly-half Charlie Marr (Trinity) converting. With the pitch nice and firm both sides were looking to play with ball in hand, but Oxford had difficulty with the referee on a frustrating night at the break down which eventually saw three Oxford players spend time in the sin bin! The Penguins went into the break 14 points to 7 ahead, when they were awarded a penalty try. Flanker Will Brock kicked ahead and just before the line, Marr gave what looked like an innocuous tug on his shirt to win the race to the ball, but the officials decided it was worse than it looked and awarded the penalty try and Marr to spend 10 minutes on the side lines! Hadden added the conversion from in front of the posts.
The second half saw plenty of action but it was the Penguins who extended their lead when replacement second row Dan Lloyd-Jones scored in the corner to make the lead 12 points. The Blues then worked their way back into the match with some enterprising play with backs and forwards linking well to create chances out wide which were finished off by the wingers Sean Morris (Trinity) and Henry Lamont (New) respectively. Unfortunately Marr was off target with both conversions which left the Blues two points behind, but with ten minutes to go they were in the ascendancy. However, with the clock ticking down Penguins replacement wing Joe Ajuwa made a powerful break through the Oxford midfield and a quick ruck saw the ball moved wide and with the Blues defence stretched centre and Captain Martin Nutt was able to cross in the corner for the decisive match winning score.
Whilst disappointing to lose the Blues will take many positives from this match against a strong Penguins outfit which saw Nutt pick up the Alan Wright Trophy for the second year running.
The Blues final fixture of the 2012/13 season is away to Trinity College Dublin on Saturday 9th March, kick off 2.00pm at College Park.
Team Lewis Anderson, John William Darby, Jon Direen, Michael Rickner, Tom Reeson-Price, Fraser Heathcote, James Harris, John Carter, Samson Egerton, Charlie Marr, Sean Morris, Marcus Alexander Neil, Oscar Vallance, Henry Lamont, Will Boardman
Subs John Nickerson, Jack Calvert, Gus Jones, Matthew Shorthose, Will Dace, Chris O’Halloran, Ben Symington, Philip Bell