Monday Night Rugby
Nothing guarantees attendance at an event like value for money, which explains why Iffley Road saw an almost packed house for the game with Wasps last week. As the Aviva Premiership grinds on with an at times crushing monotony – two matches last weekend were decided solely by penalty kicks at goal – Blues games on Mondays are a free-flowing, high-scoring spectacle with £1 drinks thrown in for good measure. What’s not to love?
If the best things come in small packages, nowhere has this been truer than on Oxford’s football fields these first two weeks of the season. Carrying on their run of form from last year, Merton/Mansfield – not exactly two colleges that would spring to mind if you were asked for sporting powerhouses – are top of the league after winning their first two matches. A thumping 3 – 0 win over Teddy Hall in first week was followed up by an equally emphatic victory over Hugh’s this, making them an early contender for the title.
One of the common facts that are banded about around Oxford is that you can get from St John’s College, Oxford to its namesake in Cambridge only walking on land owned by the two colleges. If this is true then presumably their Oxford sports ground marks the halfway point where above-averagely enthusiastic testers of Oxbridge legends can have a break before continuing their journey. I don’t care if it has under-floor heating, why is it so bloody far away?
A thumping loss to Wasps at rugby, a defeat by Brookes in a football friendly, and the most undergraduates ever selected for the OUBC squad with only one returning Blue. It hasn’t been a great start to the season for the elite of Oxford sport. Meanwhile in Cambridge their Blues also lost to London Irish. However this was only by 12 points, and against a team that contained occasional England Fly-half Shane Geraghty. Their boat club – whilst also having a healthy dash of undergraduate talent – has four returning Blues and a medallist from the under 23 world championships. Obviously this doesn’t take into account the fact that Cambridge are our natural inferiors, but still, I’m getting a bit worried. I only like playing up to the idea of the Varsity grudge when we win.