Bicester travelled to Witney for their re-arranged League match on a bitterly cold day hoping to carry on their good form of recent weeks. With a changed backs line up Bicester knew that they needed to take the game to the opposition, however unfortunately this was the day that Bicester decided to leave their tackling skills still tucked up in bed.
From the kick off early indications were that it was going to be one of those days as the kick did not go 10 and Witney showed their power from the resulting scrum. Witney began to pick and drive and were first to the ball rucking over ball that normally Bicester would secure. From one of these drives the Witney flyhalf ran the ball and ghosting through tackles went over for the first score 0 – 5. Again the kick off didn’t go 10 giving Witney the impetus to again drive forward resulting in their 2nd row diving over in the corner 0 – 10. Bicester now decided to wake up and their rucking improved securing ball that could be used more creatively. Slowly the game began to change with Bicester starting to knock Witney back at the rucks. From a penalty Bicester popped the ball to Dan T who ran wide and through Witney to score in the corner 5 – 10. Bicester again came back and put pressure on the Witney line but from a scrum Witney broke down the blind and running through tackles went the length of the pitch to score a real sucker punch to end the half 5 – 17.
The second half started with both sides contesting the ball up front with Witney counter rucking well to steal Bicester ball where from one on these a simple overlap allowed Witney to score 5 – 24. Bicester stuck to their task and started to put in some good defensive tackles to hold Witney out but again an overlap was found to allow Witney to score 5 – 31. Bicester now upped their game and took the ball down close to the Witney line however a turnover ball was fed out to the Witney fullback who with plenty of Bicester cover defence ahead of him still managed to run the length of the pitch to score 5 – 38. All that was left was for Bicester to play for a bit of pride which they did, this time it was Bicester who stole the ball and Ieuan made a break before passing out to Garin to score in the corner 10 – 38. Witney were determined to come back at Bicester but now, a bit too late, the tackles went in stopping Witney in their own half. A final flourish saw the Bicester forwards driving down the middle of the pitch for Josh to crash over and Max convert for the final play of the match 17 – 38.
A game in which if Bicester’s first up defence had been improved 4 of Witney’s tries could have been saved. But Bicester never gave up and kept going right to the final whistle. It has been a hard introduction into a very competitive league but if the basics are done right the game becomes so much easier, plenty still to work on before we can consistently show what the Bicester boys can really do. Squad of Josh, Alfie, Tom B. Oscar, Dan T, Ashley, Harrison, Dan B, Adam, Cameron D, Mark, Christian, Max, Rhys, Ieuan, Lewis, Benjamin, Louis, Ben L, Garin.