On Sunday afternoon in front of a partisan crowd in excess of 25,000 the Men’s Blues played their first match of the 2018 Varsity campaign against Madagascan in Antananarivo, the first of two ‘Test Matches’ with the Malagasy National team. This was an historic first meeting between the two teams and another country ‘ticked-off’ in the OURFC tour diary! With clear blue skies and temperatures touching 26 degrees, the conditions were perfect for an open and fast style of rugby, which was certainly favoured by the local team and the Blues entered the spirit too which saw the large crowd royally entertained with a total of 74 points scored in a compelling contest. The lead changed hands several times throughout the game and went down to the wire, with the Malagasy side scoring after the 80 minutes were up to seal a 39 points to 35 victory.
Captain Dom Waldouck and Head James Wade, whilst disappointed to have lost at the death, were encouraged by the performance which saw new players and returners developing on field relationships. With a second week of training and preparation to come, they will look forward to the second leg next Sunday, determined to not only show an improved performance but to tie the series with a virctory.
Team Alasdair King, Joshua Navarajasegaran, Niel Naude, George Warr, Ollie Adams, Charlie Pozniak, Sam Miller, Sam Ridgway, George Tresidder, Tom Humberstone, Patrick Haughton, Dom Waldouck, Daniel Barley, Tom Stileman, Ben Ransom
Subs Abhijeet Oswal (on for Joshua Navarajasegaran), James Mash (on for Alasdair King), Vincent Tang (on for Niel Naude), Tristan Louveaux (on for Sam Miller), Ryan Jones (on for Sam Ridgway), Robbie Fraser (on for George Tresidder), Sebastian Haddock (on for Dom Waldouck)
ScoresT: Tom Stileman (2), Ben Ransom (1), Joshua Navarajasegaran (1), Dom Waldouck (1) C: Tom Humberstone (5)