The Blues first match on home soil saw them continue where they left off in Russia when they recorded a third successive win with a comfortable 38 points to nil victory over Henley Hawks RFC. From the kick off it was evident that the Blues were determined to build upon the foundations laid in Saint Petersburg and Moscow and it was not long before they notched their first score. A well constructed line-out drive was finished off when powerful No 8 Fraser Heathcote (St Edmund Hall) drove over form short range, with fly-half George Cullen (Kellogg) continuing his good form with the boot when he added the conversion. The next score came soon after when a Henley line-out was overthrown, with hooker Nick Gardner (St Anne’s) showing great footwork to break the line before pushing a ‘dump’ pass to his captain Zandy Macdonald (St Peter’s) who scooted in form 30 metres, Cullen was again on target with the extras. The Blues forwards were now hitting their stride and providing quality possession for the backs, who were looking incisive and sharp. Another well executed catch and rive line-out from a long penalty touch finder from Cullen, saw the referee award a penalty try to the hosts as the Henley forwards collapsed the driving maul. Cullen slotted the straight forward conversion. With half-time approaching the Blues were in no mood to take their foot off the gas and the crowd were rewarded with the try of the night. A midfield scrum saw Oxford attack the blind side with centre Macdonald hitting a lovely line, before making an exquisite behind the back pass to full-back Ed Doe (Kellogg) who then drew his opposite number to put Macdonald away in the corner. Cullen was unfortunately unsuccessful with this conversion, his first miss in 10 consecutive attempts. This made the score at half time 26 point to nil in favour of the Blues. The second half didn’t quite live up to the excitement of the first and became a bit disjointed as both teams made numerous replacements. The Blues continued to dominate possession and territory but forced passes and a few errors meant they couldn’t quite finish off a number of good opportunities. They did manage to add two tries in the second period, the first when the pack took a turn over at the scrum and lively scrum-half Sam Egerton (Keble) shot down the blind-side to beat two defenders and dot down under the posts, Cullen once again was on target. The final try came from a concerted passage of play between forwards and backs and new flanker George Messum (St Anne’s) crossed in the corner for an unconverted try. Whilst this was a good all round performance there is still a lot of work to be done and the team will now look towards the away fixture at Richmond next Tuesday 7th October, kick off 7.45pm.
Team Lewis Anderson, Nick Gardner, Ian Williams, Fergus Taylor, Tom Reeson-Price, George Messum, Gus Jones, Fraser Heathcote, Samson Egerton, George Cullen, Henry Lamont, Alexander Macdonald, Matt Janney, Henry Hughes, Edward Doe
Subs James Wisson (on for Nick Gardner), James Scaiffe (on for Lewis Anderson), Guy Western (on for Ian Williams), Graeme MacGilchrist (on for Fergus Taylor), Will Thomas (on for George Messum), Matt Geiger (on for Samson Egerton), Christopher Goodfellow (on for George Cullen), Will Boardman (on for Henry Hughes)
Scores T: Alexander Macdonald (2), George Messum (1), Samson Egerton (1), Fraser Heathcote (1) C: George Cullen (4)