RUGBY: Oxfordshire's Twickenham dream in tatters

7:40am Tuesday 27th May 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

OXFORDSHIRE’S Twickenham dream was well and truly crushed by a 52-12 semi-final defeat to holders Surrey at Grove.

The hosts needed to be on top of their game to stand any chance of competing against the favourites, but found themselves 26-0 down after 20 minutes.

Surrey’s pace and power, plus their set-piece domination, made for a formidable combination and Oxon were often living off scraps.

Trailing 40-7 at half-time, Oxfordshire played better in the second period, but the damage had been done.

Surrey, whose squad included 14 players from National 3 London champions Dorking, spent the opening ten minutes inside Oxon’s half and it was no surprise when the opening try came.

Some dominant scrummaging saw referee Claire Hodnett award a penalty try as Oxon illegally halted a pushover effort.

Fly half Neil Hallett converted and the former Esher man showed superb handling skills to scoop up a loose ball and score try No 2 three minutes later.

Hallett converted this and the third try on 16 minutes, a slick counter attack finished on the right by No 8 Ian White.

Oxon were reeling and shipped another score as Cyprus international wing Fidias Efthymiou ran a great line off full back Matt Betty to touch down.

The hosts brought on scrum half Joe Chilvers, who had an instant impact, dummying his way through for their opening try after a powerful carry from prop Pete Boulton.

Fly half Zac Norris converted, but the Surrey tries kept coming.

Hallett’s flat pass gave wing James Faatuata an easy finish on the left, then the same player benefitted from a lucky bounce for his second as Betty’s high hick deceived the home defence.

Hallett converted both and Surrey deserved their 40-7 lead.

Oxon had the wind behind them in the second half and came out with real purpose.

Wing Guy Nicholl, improvised well to dive over a pile of bodies and score their second try on 42 minutes.

Replacement Harry Carr almost got away on the right wing, but just put a foot in touch.

Although Surrey responded, the home defence impressed – and that was despite having hooker Steve Dixey sin-binned.

It took a piece of individual skill from Efthymiou, who jinked his way through from a standing start, to score Surrey’s seventh try.

Nicholl contributed much to Oxon’s defensive effort, but his yellow card on 70 minutes triggered more Surrey pressure.

Replacement Harry Watts supported well to bag their eighth try, with centre Matt Noble converting to wrap up the scoring.

Oxfordshire: Day, G Nicholl, Clarke, Bellinger, J Mills, Norris, E Phillips, Eckert (capt), Dixey, Boulton, Brown, Purchase, C Chilvers, Wells, Gratwohl. Reps (all used: Walsh, Haire, J Chilvers, Carr, Clipsham, Spencer, Monks.

Referee: C Hodnett (Newark).

Oxon man-of-the-match: G Nicholl.

Latest Sport news

Allen remains calm as United eye quick response

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 12th February 2016

IF there is one lesson Oxford United have learned from Tuesday night’s draw with Mansfield Town, it is that there is no need to man the panic stations.

Alex MacDonald says has seen a massive improvement in Oxford United since he joined 12 months ago

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 12th February 2016

Alex MacDonald believes Oxford United have made huge strides in the 12 months he has been at the club.

Hylton's return to form delights boss Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 12th February 2016

HEAD coach Michael Appleton admits he is pleased to see Danny Hylton rediscover his scoring form for Oxford United.

Pressure will be all on Oxford - Bentley

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 12th February 2016

MORECAMBE boss Jim Bentley insists the pressure is all on Oxford United tomorrow afternoon.

Link-up play with MacDonald instinctive, says Kenny

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 12th February 2016

THERE are signs a new partnership is beginning to flourish down Oxford United’s right flank.

Skarz eager to avoid Roche heroics

Oxford Mail:

7:50am Friday 12th February 2016

DEFENDER Joe Skarz is hoping Morecambe keeper Barry Roche does not repeat his goalscoring heroics when they make the trip to Lancashire tomorrow.

Cundy relishing chance to shine at Gloucester

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 12th February 2016

ROBBIE Cundy says he has grown in confidence since joining Vanarama National League North side Gloucester City on loan.

U's hope to build on Austria with pre-season tour to Spain

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Friday 12th February 2016

OXFORD United are confident their pre-season tour will prove even more popular with fans after the success of last year’s trip to Austria.

FOOTBALL: Banbury United boss Mike Ford determined to attack against Oxon rivals North Leigh

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 12th February 2016

Banbury United boss Mike Ford has promised an attacking performance as his side welcome fellow play-off contenders North Leigh to the Spencer Stadium tomorrow.

RUGBY UNION: Stunning win is a big boost says Chinnor boss Matt Williams

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Friday 12th February 2016

Chinnor hope their fantastic 17-5 victory away to high-riding Old Albanians in National 2 South will turn their season around according to director of rugby Matt Williams.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2016 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/