On a bright chilly, autumnal evening the Men’s Blues secured their fourth win in a row when they defeated a strong Army side by 27 points to 21 at Iffley Road on Friday night. Oxford started strongly and posted their first try after just two minutes when full-back Robbie Fraser finished off a flowing move when he dived over in the corner, fly-half Tom Humberstone was off target with the conversion from out wide. The Army hit back soon after when their centre burst through a tackle in midfield and then outpaced the cover defence to dot down under the posts, with the conversion a formality they took the lead 7 points to 5. Oxford then enjoyed a concerted period of pressure bu could only come away with a penalty for Humberstone which put them one point ahead. However they were rewarded just before half-time when another period of attacking play resulted in right wing Ed David finishing off some fine play involving backs and forwards, unfortunately Humberstone was again off target withe conversion, but this meant the Blues lead 13 points to 7 at the interval.
The second half saw the Blues again exert pressure on the Army defence and the referee had no option bu to award the home side a penalty try when the visitors repeatedly offended as the Blues forwards drove to the line, this extending their lead to 20 points to 7. The Army came back strongly and following a well constructed catch and drive they scored a try near to the post which the replacement fly-half converted. Not long after the referee awarded the second penalty try of the match when Ed David in the act of diving for the line, was illegally tackled by his opposite number, the Blues were now 20 points ahead with less than 15 minutes to play. The Army displaying the spirit they are renowned for hit back on the stroke of full-time when their forwards drove over with replacement fly-half once again on target t make the final score 27 – 21 to the Blues.
At the conclusion, ARU President General John Lorimer presented the Michael Campbell-Lamerton Trophy to the Blues Captain Dom Waldouck, the first victory for Oxford since February 2013. Next week the Blues welcome the Royal Navy to Iffley Road kick off 7.15pm, as they continue their journey towards Twickenham and the 2018 Varsity Match in December.
Team Ben Parker, Joshua Navarajasegaran, Conor Hennessy, George Robson, Jasper Dix, Ryan Jones, Tristan Louveaux, Sven Kerneis, George Tresidder, Tom Humberstone, Ed David, Dom Waldouck, Daniel Barley, Tom Stileman, Robbie Fraser
Subs John Aaron Henry (on for Joshua Navarajasegaran), Niel Naude (on for Conor Hennessy), George Warr (on for George Robson), Sam Ridgway (on for Tristan Louveaux), Dylan McGagh (on for George Tresidder), Ben Ransom (on for Robbie Fraser), Vincent Tang, Sebastian Haddock
Scores: T: Ed David (1), Robbie Fraser (1) Penalty try (2) P: Tom Humberstone (1)