OURFC’s busy weekend of rugby kicked off on Saturday afternoon when the Greyhounds travelled to Aldershot to take on the Army U23’s with a squad containing a mix of experienced players and new players, including five Freshers. The Army started strongly exerting early pressure on the Hounds defence and were rewarded with a successful penalty goal after just five minutes. This turned out to be the only score for the servicemen, as the Greyhounds soon found their rhythm and had the score boards ticking over in their favour with three converted tries in the first half. First to cross was flanker Tristan Louveaux who continued his remarkable try scoring feats, soon after debutant American winger Justin Dunn finished off a blindside break by scrum-half Rory Tegner (also on debut) before fly-half David Wilkinson produced a ‘canny’ show and go to glide through the Army defence to touch down under the posts, he also added all three conversions to make the score at the break 21 – 3. The second half so both side make multiple changes which disrupted the flow of the game, but the Greyhounds added two further tries, first replacement full-back Louis Pincott intercepted and ran in from half-way, before centre Henry Hackett completed the scoring when he latched on to a smart grubber from fellow centre Michael Kramer to dot down out wide, substitute fly-half Luke Butcher added one conversion to make the final score 33 points to 3. The Greyhounds next face the Kew Occasionals next Saturday at Iffley Road, kick-off time TBC.
On Sunday lunchtime a mixed Women’s Blues/Panthers squad hosted Bath Ladies Spartans in a friendly to conclude their preseason week, and glorious October sunshine proved conducive to the students playing an ‘all court’ game which saw them run in no fewer than twelve tries, five of which were converted with none in reply. The backs dominated the scoring, with experienced centre Abby D’Cruz leading the way with two tries and five conversions, fellow centre Meg Carter , full-back Connie Hurton and wing Clodagh Holmes also added a brace of tries each, whilst Helen Potts, Nina Jenkins, Joss Barker and Maddie Hindson notched one each to complete the scoring making the result 70 points to nil at full-time. Coach Kevin Moggridge and Captain Hazel Ellender were pleased to be able to cast their eye over some new players as they look ahead to their first BUCS League fixture at Iffley Road on Wednesday 9th October against Sussex University, kick-off 2.30pm.
Following the successful Women’s Blues game, the Men’s Blues completed the weekend’ rugby with a fixture against International opposition in Croatia, their seventh such encounter with a record of five wins and one loss in the previous games. With a strong squad selected the Blues proved too strong for a game Croatian side and ran in twelve tries, eight of which were converted with just two in reply. As with the Women’s Blues, it was the backs who scored the majority of the tries with ‘veteran’ wing Tom Stileman seeking a fifth Blue in December running in no fewer than six tries, with a hat-trick in each half. Scrum-half George Tresidder, centre Louis Jackson, full-back Dan Barley, replacement scrum-half Jack Dalton, flanker Sam Miller and replacement hooker Josh Nav added a try each, whilst fly-half Tom Humberstone converted three, Jackson four and replacement full-back one to complete the Blues scoring. Croatia’s tries came from wing Marin Vlajcdvic and replacement hooker Stipe Brcic to make the final score 76 – 10 in favour of the home team. The Men’s Blues now have short turn around when they host the Royal Navy at Iffley Road on Friday 11th October, kick-off 7.15pm.