Oxford refuse to hibernate

Blues Rugby The bulk of the season may be over, but for the Blues rugby
side, this week has brought a starting amount of satisfaction,
with the captaincy of Canada and a place in the London Wasps
squad amongst the honours picked up. A fantastic comeback against NEC Harlequins began
Oxford’s challenge at the sevens tournament at Rosslyn Park,
with Graham Barr and John Bradshaw crossing the line in the last
two minutes to overturn a ten-point deficit. The Blues continued to compete with professional opposition,
and a 28-7 defeat of London Scottish followed. Wasps, boasting
the likes of Scotland winger Kenny Logan, were too strong in the
semi-finals and ended the Oxford challenge, running out 35- 7
winners. Individuals have been the toast of the side this week,
however, as props Kevin Tkachuk and Henry Nwume would testify.
Tkachuk, who played for his native Canada in the World Cup in
Australia and scored a try, was named as his country’s
captain this week for the approaching Churchill Cup tournament,
beginning on 12 and 13 June, with matches against England, New
Zealand Maori and the USA providing him with a mouth-watering
prospect. Tight-head Nwume, whose thirty- yard charge down the inside
left provided Oxford with their only try of December’s drawn
Varsity match at Twickenham, came off the bench for Wasps on
Sunday. The score stood at 43-13 in their Zurich Premiership semifinal
against Northampton Saints, and by the end an emphatic 57-20
victory saw Wasps book their place in the final at Twickenham. As
the side’s attention turns to this weekend’s Heineken
Cup final against Toulouse, Cherwell has learnt that coach Warren
Gatland is growing warm to the idea of granting Nwume a role in
the side. Meanwhile, the annual OURFC dinner at Wadham college saw
Richie Woods of St Anne’s named Blues player of the year,
with sponsors Aggregate honouring Univ’s Peter Raftery. St
Hughs’ Chris Abbott was named Greyhounds player of the year. The only dampener on the week for the Blues was the
side’s inability to overcome the Blues netball side at their
own game (see Jock Strip, opposite).ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004