On Saturday afternoon the Men’s Blues brought the 2018/19 season to a close with a narrow 20 points to 14 loss to the Croatian national team in Dubrovnik. Having played previously in Zagreb (twice) and Split this was the Blues first visit to the historic city of Dubrovnik, but also proved to be the first time they experienced a loss to the Croatians who were using the match as preparations for their important international fixture against Malta this coming Saturday.
The Blues squad were very much a mix of experience (9 Blues) and youth (11 Under 20’s) and ultimately it was perhaps the lack of experience that proved their undoing towards the back end of the game. Having set up a 14 points to 6 half-time lead with tries from No 8 Sam Ridgway and wing Tom Stileman, both converted by fly-half David Wilkinson, they remained scoreless in the second half, as the home side began to eat away at the lead scoring the decisive try and conversion with less than 2 minutes on the clock.
Whilst the squad were disappointed to lose a game they felt they should have won, the lessons learnt will only stand them in good stead as they now look forward to the off-season and preparations for the clubs 150th Anniversary season.
Team Barnaby Vaughan, John Aaron Henry, Ben Parker, Jasper Dix, Charlie Pozniak, Euan Friend, Bertie Watson, Sam Ridgway, George Tresidder, Louis Jackson, Tom Stileman, Henry Hackett, Sebastian Haddock, Tobi Clarke, James Dempsey
Subs Joshua Navarajasegaran (on for John Aaron Henry), Tom Auckland (on for Barnaby Vaughan), George Warr (on for Bertie Watson), Dylan McGagh (on for Tobi Clarke), Jack Dalton (on for George Tresidder), David Wilkinson (on for Henry Hackett), Rob Quinlan (on for James Dempsey)
Scores T: Sam Ridgway (1), Tom Stileman (1) C: David Wilkinson (2)