Sun 12
Oxford Quins (L)
Bicester U16s 43 – 5 Oxford Harlequins U16s (League)

Bicester U16s 43 – 5 Oxford Harlequins U16s (League)

By Christopher Baldwin
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After a nervy start Bicester went to the top of the league with a solid win and their first bonus point.

After the Christmas break it was straight back into a League game against Oxford Harlequins moved to the windy Chesterton as Oxford Road was waterlogged.

The game kicked off and both sides keenly contested for the ball. Bicester couldn’t establish their normal go forward as they found themselves up against a determined Quins side. However with pressure in the backs Ashley secured a loose ball and with quick recycling the ball was passed down the line to Lewis who beat his winger for the first score with Christian converting 7 – 0. Quins began winning ball up front and not allowing Bicester to counter ruck made their way into the Bicester 22. From a Bicester scrum Christian made an excellent clearing kick straight down the middle of the pitch, Louis was up quickly in the chase and was first to the ball before being stopped by scramble defence but Mark was up in support to take the ball on and score 12 – 0. Bicester were now on top but without looking dominant in the forward battle and losing the rucks, but in open play Bicester were dangerous and Adam picked up a loose ball and set off before off-loading out of the tackle and with Bicester players in support the ball went through a series of hands before Rhys popped the ball just short of the line to Dan B to go over for a great team score with Christian converting 19 – 0. Quins seemed to change their tactics and started to pick and drive close to the rucks and made progress, slow but effective, up the pitch. They were helped by several infringements from Bicester and from a penalty close to the line they went up the short side to score in the corner 19 – 5. This seemed to galvanise Bicester who drove back at Quins and soon had a 5m scrum. Cameron picked up at No.8 and drove over the line with Quins hanging on to him with Christian converting 26 – 5 to end the first half.

After a stern talking to Bicester started the second half in a more positive way and after some good pressure the ball was simply passed down the line from a scrum for Lewis to go over in the corner 31 – 5. Quins kept fighting and again tried to play the ball through their forwards but this time Bicester were up to it in defence and started to match them up front. Quins kicked through and whilst Ieuan was there to cover Mark was deemed to have obstructed an opponent and was yellow carded. Bicester were now down to 14 men for a period but still looked the more dangerous with ball in hand. Bicester kept the pressure on and started to win more ball up front and following a series of drives Ed charged his way over to score with Christian converting 38 – 5. Bicester wanted to finish in style and again came close to scoring but good defence held them out but with an infringement. From the penalty Tom pressed and almost went over for the ball to be recycled and then offloaded to George to dive in at the corner 43 – 5. The referee blew for an early end to the game with Bicester now 6 tries ahead.

Bicester finished the game better than they started and it was a solid win against a gritty Quins side whose forwards deserve a lot of credit. However with ball in hand and excellent support play Bicester proved to be too strong and now look forward to Henley next week where Bicester will need to be back to their best. Well done to the squad of Ed, Garin, Dan B, Oscar, Harrison, Tom, Alan, Adam, Ashley, Cameron, George, Christian, Ieuan, Lewis, Aaron, Rhys, Mark, Louis, Dan W and James.

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Match date

Sun 12, Jan 2014