Hard Working Under 21s overcome by Oxford Firepower

Peter Rutzler 11 December 2014

 

Oxford Under 21s stormed to victory in the opening fixture of the day at Twickenham by a resounding scoreline of 36-12. The Dark Blues atoned for last year’s defeat, lifting the tankard and shield off the back of an impressive display.

Despite a relatively even first period, Cambridge soon found themselves overwhelmed by a competent Oxford, who were simply better with their use of the ball and their retention of it. Tries from Mansfield, Goodfellow and an excellent Hat Trick from Sam Williams were enough to see off the Light Blues, who scored through Schofield and Luscombe.

Cambridge missed the chance to take an early lead when Wylie missed a penalty, and Sam Williams soon went over for the Dark Blues to score his first try of the day. But Cambridge rallied, and courtesy of a superb drive from Dan Schofield, charging through the Oxford 22 to level the scores. Wylie this time made no mistake, giving Cambridge the lead by converting the try with consummate ease.

But in an end-to-end affair, Oxford made the most of their possession territory, scoring courtesy of a powerful run from Chris Mansfield. Goodfellow converted, and Oxford retook the lead. 12-7 the score at the break.

Oxford never looked like relinquishing their lead and began to dominate the fixture, as Cambridge struggled to put any decent passages of play together. Almost instantly, Chris Goodfellow scored and then converted.

Cambridge began to up the ante in search of a way back into the tie, but found themselves hampered by handling errors. In the 57th minute impressive substitute Ed David superbly tore through the Cambridge defensive line, covering in excess of 40 yards before offloading to Sam Williams for his second try of the afternoon.

With the score at 24-7, the game was all but done. Oxford took complete control, and were helped by George Bilclough’s trip to the sin bin for slowing the ball at the ruck. With eight minutes to go, Williams completed his hat trick. Shortly after, David piled further misery onto the Cambridge contingent, rounding off Oxford’s total with another try and conversion from Goodfellow.

But Cambridge didn’t capitulate, rallying to score a consolation try through substitute Rory Luscomb, who finished a well-constructed attack, a rarity for the Light Blues.

That was the last kick of the game, leading to jubilant scenes in the Oxford camp. A year to forget for Cambridge Under 21s, but rest assured, they’ll be back stronger than ever next year.