OXFORD RL were unable to make it three wins on the bounce in falling to a heavy 62-18 defeat at home to Newcastle Thunder.

The visitors were out of the blocks quickest at Tilsley Park in the Kingstone Press League 1 Shield encounter, opening up a 22-point lead.

Oxford responded through Harry Griffiths’s unconverted try, but the Blues trailed 22-4 at the break.

Two quick tries for Thunder at the start of the second half saw their lead extended to 28.

But the Blues refused to roll over and battled back.

Firstly, Josh Nathaniel pounced on Scott Fleming’s grubber to cross, before he added another.

Newcastle hit back, though, making it 38-12 thanks to a converted try.

The pendulum swung again when Aaron Nicholson went over under the posts for the home side and Danny Allan kicked the extras.

But Thunder found their clinical edge, ruthlessly putting Oxford to the sword with a further four converted tries.

The Blues will bid to bounce back at South Wales Scorpions on Sunday, where a victory would ensure them at least a 13th place finish in the table.