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

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win against Cambridge United

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

3:03pm Sunday 26th April 2015

WATCH the best moments as Oxford United signed off at the Kassam Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 win against Cambridge United.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Cambridge?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:53pm Saturday 25th April 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Roofe 31, Hylton 45+8), Cambridge Utd 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:02pm Saturday 25th April 2015

GOALS from Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton saw Oxford United win their final home game of the season at a canter against Cambridge United.

Oxford United v Cambridge United - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 25th April 2015

All the latest news from Oxford United's final home game of the season, against Cambridge United.

Collins eager to avenge Oxford United's 5-1 defeat by Cambridge United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

Michael Collins expects a reminder of Oxford United’s heavy defeat at Cambridge United earlier in the season will be pinned up in the changing room to act as motivation ahead of their rematch today.

Minute's silence at Bradford so poignant for Oxford United skipper Wright

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

A minute's silence will be held at Oxford United before kick-off this afternoon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Ollie Smith aware of big threat from former club Leicester Tigers

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

IT is never a good time to play Leicester Tigers, according to assistant coach Ollie Smith as London Welsh travel to Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership today (3).

RUGBY UNION: Upbeat Olly Barkley optimistic for Welford Road tester

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

OLLY Barkley believes London Welsh head to Leicester Tigers today off the back of the best week of training this season.

RUGBY UNION: Chris Elder remains level-headed as London Welsh bring in trio

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

CHRIS Elder says London Welsh cannot take promotion back to the Aviva Premiership for granted next season.

SWIMMING: Superb Oxford land seven golds in a stunning display

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

CITY of Oxford won seven gold medals at the Ealing Short Course Open in London.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

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

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