On a wet night at the Army Rugby Stadium in Aldershot both teams tried to play with ball in hand but the conditions were not helpful, which led to some scrappy but nonetheless exciting passages of play over the night. It was the Blues who started the brighter and were rewarded after 8 minutes when they attacked the blindside releasing winger Ed David who beet his man on the outside to score with a quality finish in the corner, fly-half Tom Dyer was off target with the conversion. The Blues continued to press forward searching for a second score, but as one would expect the Army defence was resolute and kept the visitors at bay. On the 20 minute mark, the Army forwards had a line-out in the Oxford 22 and a well constructed catch and drive lead to their hooker and Captain being driven over to tie the scores. On the stroke of half-time the Army replacement fly-half added a straight forward penalty to make the score at the interval 8 – 5 in favour of the servicemen.
The second 40 minutes saw both sides make multiple changes which didn’t help the flow of play, but the Army bench was considerably ‘deeper’ than Oxford’s with a number of large, athletic Fijians entering the fray who added plenty of pace and power to the home sides attack. This resulted in 3 tries in a 20 minute period and with the referee awarding a penalty try with the very last play of the game, a somewhat distorted scoreline of 32 – 5 was the final outcome. Therefore the Army retained the Mike Campbell-Lamerton Trophy for another year.
The Blues next game is against the Royal Navy at Iffley Road on Wednesday 8th February, kick-off 7.15pm.
Team Lewis Anderson, Noah Miller, Kieran Ball, Hugo McPherson, Ollie Adams, William Thornton, James Beaufils, William Wilson, Tom Kershaw, Tom Dyer, Ed David, Alex Hogg, Tom Stileman, Jack Holmes, Matt Geiger
Subs John Aaron Henry, James Scaife, Fergus Taylor, Robert Oliver, Valentine Taylor, Dylan McGagh, Tom Humberstone, Robbie Fraser
ScoresT: Ed David (1)