The Men’s Blues welcomed top of the BUCS Super League side Northumbria University to Iffley Road on Monday night in a hastily arranged fixture with both clubs having a gap in their schedule. The Northumbria team have won 5 out of 6 league fixtures but rested a number of key players for this fixture which ultimately saw them out-powered by the home side, who also took the opportunity to ring the changes but their depth proved to be greater.
Oxford set out their stall early when captain Conor Kearns elected to kick a penalty and get the score board ticking over on 6 minutes, but it was only a matter of 3 minutes later before they crossed the line for the first of six tries, when left wing Tom Stileman, continung his fine run of try scoring form, dived over in thew corner, Kearns was unsuccessful with the conversion. The next 20 minutes saw Northumbria, as expected got themselves into the game, but strong defence from the Blues repelled each attack, although they did get on the wrong end of a high penalty count, something the coaching team will no doubt be mentioning in training! With half-time approaching Oxford extended their advantage with a second try, this time form right wing Rob Quinlan who used his power to score under rthe posts after a neat inside pass from Kearns who also added the extras and a second penalty to make the score at the interval 18 points to nil.
The second half saw both side use their full benches to give everyone game time, but this did not help the flow of the game which became a bit stop-start with a number of penalties too. However, the home side were always in control stretched their lead when Stileman made it 7 tries in two games, as he completed his hat-trick with two further scores in the first 15 minutes of the second half, Kearns unfortunately could not convert either. Northumbria showing the spirit that has driven them to the top of the BUCS Super League, eventually got their deserved score when they crossed in the corner with their fly-half slotting the difficult touchline conversion. It was the Blues who finished the stronger and with their scrum to the fore, they added two further tries from this weapon, one from the continually impressive back row forward Rob Talotti and the second a penalty try, making the final score a slightly distorted 40 points to 7.
OURFC would like to express their sincere thanks to Chairman Mark Richard, Coach Darren Fearn and all the players for making the long trip down from Newcastle to take on this fixture, we wish you all the very best for the remainder of your BUCS Super League campaign and on into the Cup competition and hope that we can enjoy a fixture with you again in the future.
Next up for the Blues is the annual Major Stanley’s Match on Wednesday 15th November, kick off 3.30pm.
Team John Aaron Henry, Ed Elvin, Kieran Ball, Ollie Adams, Hugo McPherson, Roberto Talotti, Andy Saull, William Wilson, Dylan McGagh, Conor Kearns, Ed David, Alex Hogg, Sam Moorby, Rob Quinlan, Daniel Barley
Subs Noah Miller (on for Ed Elvin), Ben Parker (on for Kieran Ball), Lisiate Fifita (on for Ollie Adams), Charlie Pozniak (on for William Wilson), William Thornton (on for Andy Saull), Tom Kershaw (on for Rob Quinlan), Tom Dyer (on for Conor Kearns), Tom Stileman (on for Sam Moorby), Sebastian Haddock (on for Tom Stileman)
ScoresT: Tom Stileman (3), Rob Quinlan (1), Roberto Talotti (1) C: Conor Kearns (1) P: Conor Kearns (2)