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Oxford University Match
Tuesday 3rd March 2009 KO 7:15px, Iffley Road, Oxford

The match kicked off in wet and windy conditions which worsened into a gale storm. Both teams are to be complimented on playing running rugby and a high pass-completion rate.

Penguins kicked off into the wind and the Blues had the better of the early exchanges with well-supported forward drives and two clearing penalties. After 10 minutes, Penguins were getting into the game when a pass went to ground and was collected by Blues on the halfway line and with Penguin’s defence wrong-footed, Blues right-winger, Tom Tombleson sped over for a try, which was not converted – 5 – 0 to the Blues.

Penguins were moving the ball well, interspersed by handling errors, usually leading to a turnover by the Blues. After 20 minutes, they ran one penalty, which led to an interception by Blues followed by another penalty awarded to Blues at 35 metres – kicked by Tom Gregory - 8 – 0 to the Blues.

Blues pressed Penguins back in their own 22 and this was relieved by a long clearing kick. Then after 37 minutes, Blues handled well to send Jon Burnett in for a try converted by Tom Gregory making the half-time score 15 – 0 to the Blues.

Penguins started the second half strongly and after some 5 minutes of possession scored a close-quarter try by Marty Veale, which was not converted – 15 – 5 to Blues. The Blues came back and won a scrum against the head, followed by a “Cipriano moment” when Penguins’ scrum-capped fly-half had his left footed kick charged down.

Alan Nash, Penguins full back caught a high ball on his 22 and sent it back with interest – setting up a line-out on their 22. The Penguins gained possession again and Marty Veale scored another try which was converted by Howard Graham – 15 – 12 to the Blues

With some 15 minutes, both teams started using their bench – not so much “fresh legs” as “dry shirts”. During this period, the Penguins were kicking their possession away.

Blues seemed to be lasting longer and with 10 minutes to go Jon Burnett made a fine break down the middle and handed on to the supporting, Stan McKeen, who scored between the posts. Tom Gregory converted – 20 – 12 to Blues

Blues regained the ball and a jinking run by Ross Swanson started a the move finished off by Jon Burnett with Tom Gregory converting – final score 27 – 12 to the Blues Jon Burnett was awarded Man of the Match.

The 100 or so spectators enjoyed the entertaining game, with the scoreline having been tight throughout. Defences of both sides had also been tight and the match officials ensured the game flowed, what else in the conditions!

It was agreed in the bar, that the fittest side won, but if that’s what these two teams can do in a windstorm, how well they would have shown up on a drier day.

Chris Mahoney15Alan Nash (Watsonians)
Tom Tombleson14Paul Kendall (Cambridge)
Jon Burnett13Steven Ward (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Gregory12Howard Graham (Coventry - Captain)
Will Browne11Geoff Caldwell (Currie)
Ross Swanson 10Tim Walsh (Randwick)
Brendan McKerchar9Chad Shepherd (Otago Highlanders)
Chris Davies8Hugo Ellis (London Wasps)
Nick Cheesman7Ollie Brown (Currie)
Stan McKeen6Alan Miller (Exeter Chiefs)
Bert Payne5Rob Sugden (Army)
Nic Van Zyl4Marty Veale (London Wasps)
Will Johnson3Ken Dowling (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Rosen2Dan Leek (London Scottish)
Richard Lutton1Charlie Beech (London Wasps)
David Rogers16Matt Price (Rugby Lions)
Ellis White17Carl Hutchin (Coventry)
Alex Nicholls18Marshall McCormack (Watsonians)
Simon Ackroyd19James Glasson (Crusaders Colts)
Toby Henry20Gareth Williams (Harlequins)
William Klopper21Ben Breeze (Exeter Chiefs)
Chris Martin22Michael Rust (Rugby Lions)

Match official

Referee – Richard Kelly (RFU)

Jack Speak
Community Group
Jack Speak
Community Group