Trojans Chiefs 55 Oxford 12
The boys warmed up with real purpose and looked really sharp, despite not having had a game for four weeks. However, the Tuesday night training sessions on the artificial pitch were clearly influential as the boys put on an excellent demonstration of running rugby. The passing and support play was superb, resulting in 6 of the 7 backs getting on the score sheet.The Chiefs got off to an excellent start, scoring three tries before Oxford had even launched their first attack.
A couple of minutes into the game, Linton went on an incredible run through a forest of Oxford players and was just stopped short of breaking free and heading for the try line. Shortly after, Michael charged down a kick 5m out and dived on the ball in the goal area to open the scoring. The Chiefs put Oxford under immense pressure and pinned them in their own 22 for some considerable time. From a 5m scrum Matt switched with Christian who made a powerful run to go over for the second try. Some typical flowing attacking rugby resulted in centre Fin W. making a break and scoring the third try. This made the score 21-0 after only fifteen minutes. Oxford then got into the game and from a penalty in front of the posts moved the ball wide. Ollie C. prevented a certain try with a high tackle and Oxford were awarded a penalty try. The Chiefs immediately put the pressure back on Oxford and some excellent passing in the backs enabled Ollie to skip inside the last defender and score under the posts.
A couple of minutes before half-time, Euan went off feeling sick, so Louis came on at prop with Thomas going to hooker. Things got worse for Oxford when they spilled the ball over their own line. Matt was alert and pounced on it for the Chief's fifth try, He converted his own try and made it 5 out of 5 in the first half. The whistle blew with the score at 35-7. The game was effectively won, so the boys were asked to concentrate on executing a good game plan and encouraged to develop the pod system they have been working on over recent weeks. Adam came on for Linton at flanker. The second half began in the same vein as the first. In the first minute Ash made a penetrating run and when he was tackled 5m out he offloaded to Josh to score an easy try. Oxford fought back but 10 minutes later Josh sent a long high kick into the Oxford half. It was well followed up and the boys continued to gain ground with some excellent passing and offloading from the forwards. Then Josh put a long pass out to Fin W. who put Rodrigo in to score in the corner.
The only blight on the game was some high tackling from Trojans. Ollie was awarded a yellow card as a persistent offender. The Chiefs were down to 14 players and went to sleep shortly afterwards allowing Oxford to launch a good attack through their forwards and score their second try. Holden was brought on for Michael at flanker, but lasted only a few minutes due to a niggling back injury. Linton replaced him. With Ollie back on the pitch, the boys stepped up their game again. A good run from Joseph set up the next try. He passed to Thomas whose quick hands beat the last defender and left Josh with an easy run in for his second try. The Chief's ninth and final try come from a great run from Rodrigo who stepped inside his winger and fed Josh who wriggled out of a tackle to complete his hat-trick. With no conversions scored in the second half, the final score was 55-12. It was an impressive performance from the boys and Josh was awarded man of the match, profiting three tries from his excellent support play.