10:30am Tuesday 20th August 2013
Kingstone Press Championship One
OXFORD RL slipped to a 54-10 defeat at promotion hopefuls North Wales Crusaders, who came on strong in the second half.
Wrexham-based Crusaders led just 18-10 at the break, but Oxford fell away in the last 20 minutes.
Crusaders opened the scoring when Simon Stephens collected a short ball from Dave McConnell and touched down underneath the posts.
But a mixture of errors and poor discipline on the home side's part gifted Oxford plenty of field position – and they took full advantage as they turned the game on its head.
Sean Morris’s pass sent Shaun Robinson in at the corner and Robinson was in once again moments later, this time from a superb cut-out pass from Martin Roden at acting half. Jonny Leather converted one.
However, Crusaders came up with a quick response, Steve Bannister crossing in the right corner after Andy Moulsdale popped the ball out to him after a break.
And Rob Massam added a fourth for North Wales when he took advantage of a loose pass on the left wing to race clear and score.
Oxford would have been hoping to start the second half with a response.
But Crusaders built on their lead within a couple of minutes as a perfectly timed pass from Tommy Johnson, who also kicked an impressive nine out of nine conversions, sent Leon Brennan through a gap.
Brennan added Crusaders’ fifth, collecting Dallimore’s pass on the blind side, before Stephens capitalised on Leather’s error in-goal to touch down next to the posts.
Massam and Brennan crossed for their respective second and third tries and Bannister completed his brace.
Oxford: Leather, Johnson, Fiander, S Morris, S Robinson, B Robinson, Rowland, Hadden, Roden, Clarke, Baird, Hoggins, Thompson (capt). Subs: V Bentley, Calladine, J Morris, Clough.
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