Wednesday night saw the Men’s Blues welcome the Crawshays Welsh RFC to Iffley Road as they looked to secure their second win of 2017 following last weeks encouraging victory over the Royal Navy. Whilst it was a dry evening, two hours of solid rain in the afternoon made the conditions underfoot treacherous, combined with a greasy ball making handling difficult, which lead to both teams making errors in their desire to keep the ball alive. The home side were first to score when prop Hugo Lu was driven over from close range, No 8 Will Wilson was unfortunately off target with the conversion from out wide. Whilst both sides had further opportunities, the rest of the first half remained scoreless, Oxford going in to the break just five nil ahead.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, after a period of pressure in the Oxford 22, the visitors eventually cracked the determined Blues defence, when No 8 Rob Dudley Jones burst over from a 5 meter scrum, fly-half James Dixon adding the extras to put the Crawshays two points ahead. Just five minutes later they extended their lead with a close range try from the forwards, Dixon was again on target with the conversion to put the Welshman more than one score ahead. The Blues responded as expected and narrowed the scores to just two points when Australian flanker James Beaufils scored, to round off a strong performance, replacement fly-half Tom Dyer kicked the conversion to narrow the gap to just two points once again and ensure an exciting final five minutes. Despite the Blues doing all they could to snatch a last minute victory the Crawshays defence stood firm and they held on to secure the victory by 14 points to 12.
The Blues next welcome the Penguin International RFC to Iffley Road next Wednesday (22nd February) for their final home match of the 2016/17 season, kick-off 7.30pm.
Team Lewis Anderson, Noah Miller, Hugo Lu, Fergus Taylor, Jonathan Marsden, James Beaufils, William Thornton, William Wilson, Tom Kershaw, Matt Geiger, Ed David, Alex Hogg, Patrick Tully, Tom Stileman, Daniel Barley
Subs John Aaron Henry (on for Noah Miller), Valentine Taylor (on for Jonathan Marsden), Robert Oliver (on for Fergus Taylor), Dylan McGagh (on for Tom Kershaw), Tom Dyer (on for Alex Hogg), Robbie Fraser (on for Daniel Barley), Tom Hammond (on for Ed David), Ben Parker, Isaac Uwins
Scores T: Hugo Lu (1), James Beaufils (1) C: Tom Dyer (1)