The Men’s Blues travelled to Richmond on Tuesday night for their first match back in the UK following their successful tour the Eats cast of the US and were perhaps brought back down to earth by a very good Richmond side losing by 21 points to 3. There is a ‘buzz’ about the Richmond club right now after successive victories over Jersey and Rotherham in the Championship and this was reflected in the strength and ability of their midweek team.
The tone for the game was set when Oxford failed to deal with the opening kick-off and were under pressure on their own goal line for the next 10 minutes before the home side were rewarded with a try from a catch and drive line-out, converted by the full back. Oxford the started to get a foot hold in the game, with their scrum proving a particularly potent weapon and were rewarded with a penalty at a scrum time which captain Conor Kearns cooly converted to notch up three points. With half-time approaching it looked as though this would be the score line, but from a line out on half way, the Richmond inside centre burst through the Blues defence to send the full-back away to score out wide, the full-back then stepped up to add the extra points and give the home side a 14 points to 3 half-time lead.
Richmond started the second forty minutes in similar fashion to the first and scored another catch and drive line-out, with the full-back continuing his 100% record off the tee with the successful conversion. This proved to the final score of the game, with the remaining 35 minutes seeing both sides create chances but a lack of accuracy or a handling error meant chances went begging. Final score 21 points to 3.
The Blues will now look forward to the visit of Hartpury to Iffley Road next Wednesday with plenty to work on as they continue their journey towards Twickenham.
Team Kieran Ball, John Aaron Henry, Noah Miller, Lisiate Fifita, Hugo McPherson, Charlie Pozniak, Andy Saull, Ollie Adams, Tom Kershaw, Conor Kearns, Dan Moor, Alex Hogg, Daniel Barley, Tom Stileman, Sam Edgerley
Subs Ed Elvin (on for John Aaron Henry), Ben Parker (on for Noah Miller), Michael Gorry (on for Kieran Ball), George Warr, James Beaufils, Ed David, Sam Moorby, Peter Moore
Scores P: Conor Kearns (1)