A much improved performance from the Blues was still not enough to secure a win against a young Gloucester side who showed enough rugby ‘nous’ to keep their noses in front form almost the first whistle to the last. The famous Cherry & Whites had an excellent catch and drive line-out, which they used repeatedly throughout the match as an effective weapon to gain territory and indeed after just 2 minutes they crossed the Oxford line for a try by hooker Will Haly converted by fly-half Carwyn Penny. The Blues hit back almost from the restart, when they regathered the kick-off and set up an attacking position in the Gloucester 22, and following some good continuity, young centre Alex Hogg sliced through the visitors defence to score under the posts, fly-half Basil Strang adding the simple conversion.The only other score of the first half was scored by the visitors, when scrum-half Harry Randall darted over from short range, Penny again adding the extras to make the score at the interval 14 points to 7 in favour of Gloucester.
Oxford started the second half in fine style when Freshman full-back Dan Barley outpaced the Gloucester cover defence to race through to score near the post, Strang was again successful with the conversion to tie the scores. The second period saw both sides make changes which did little to help continuity and the rain had started to fall more heavily which alos made conditions difficult to play open, attacking rugby – despite the intent of both sides. On the 50 minute mark, a defensive lapse by the Blues allowed a Gloucester player to break free and from the resulting maul a forward was driven over from short range for the try, with Penny converting. For the remaining 30 minutes both sides continued to make half breaks, but were unable to convert these chances into scores and with just 4 minutes remaining, the visitors showed their determination to come away from Iffley Road with the win, when Penny slotted a straight forward penalty to stretch their lead to 10 points, this was the concluding score of the match making the final score 24 points to 14 to Gloucester.
Next up for the Blues is the annual Major Stanley’s Match on Wednesday 16th November, when a large crowd is expected for this traditional pre-Varsity encounter, kick-off at 3.30pm.
Team Kieran Ball, Noah Miller, Joseph Morris, Fergus Taylor, Andrew Grant, Jonathan Marsden, George Blomfield, William Wilson, Dylan McGagh, Basil Strang, Ed David, Alex Hogg, Henry Hughes, Tom Stileman, Daniel Barley
Subs William Thornton (on for Noah Miller), James Scaife (on for Kieran Ball), Hugo Lu (on for Joseph Morris), Jacob Goss (on for Jonathan Marsden), Tom Dyer (on for Daniel Barley), Graeme MacGilchrist, James Beaufils, Sebastian Haddock
ScoresT: Alex Hogg (1), Daniel Barley (1) C: Basil Strang (2)