Carter leads Blues to fourth win in a row

A foggy morning gave way to a brisk, but dry, afternoon which was perfect for a winter’s day of rugby. Although the Oxford U-21s lost bravely to their cantabrian counterparts, the blues team stormed to a 33-15 win despite a controversial red card for last year’s hero, scrum-half Samson Egerton.

The game began with a taste of the dominance that the Oxford forwards would enjoy throughout, but Cambridge initially dealt with the Dark Blues well, and raced into a 7-0 lead thanks to a Nick Jones try which was duly converted by fly-half Donald Stevens. 

Oxford’s talismanic captain John Carter responded though, bundling over at the end of a powerful drive from all eight Oxonian forwards. Unfortunately for those of an Oxford persuasion though, the conversion was missed by number 10 Jonathan Hudson, who struggled early on to find his range, hitting the post on this occasion. 

A penalty for the tabs was then followed by a wonderful break from Henry Lamont which left the score at 10-10, and then Hudson knocked over a penalty to finally edge the Oxford side in front as the teams went into half-time.

The second half began at an electric pace, with Egerton breaking through in to ground in the corner and put some daylight between the teams. Hudson made a tricky conversion, and at 20-10 up, it seemed as though the Oxford pack had laid the foundations for the team to pull away. 

Minutes after this try however, the referee spent a seemingly interminable amount of time deliberating an infraction at a ruck. Controversially, his deliberation ended as he called Egerton over and sent him to the stands for what was officially described as “interfering with the face of an opponent.” The first red card ever shown in this fixture was always going to provoke a reaction, and fascinatingly it was the fourteen men who stepped up, camping out in the Cambridge half as we edged towards the last quarter of the game. 

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The pressure told as hooker Nick Gardner scored, and then after a consolation try from prop Toby May, two more penalties from Hudson put the game beyond the light blues as the game drew to a close. 

Man of the match went to the imperious, and seemingly ageless, Oxford captain Carter, and all eyes are now looking forward to next year and asking whether the boys from Iffley can possibly make it an historic five-in-a-row. 

Teams:

OURFC: Taylor; Hughes, Janney, Turner, Lamont; Hudson, Egerton; Anderson, Gardner, Williams, Rickner, Rowlands, A Jones, Harris, Carter.

Replacements: Heathcote, Wisson, Macdonald, Reeson-Price, MacGilchrist, Shorthose, Macdonald, Doe.

The Tabs: May; N Jones, C Morrison, Cook, Murdoch; Stevens, Peck; Briggs, Pascoe, Sanders, Annett, J Baker, Mather, Smith, Farmer.

Replacements: Calvert, Yeeles, Alderson, Viljoen, O’Sullivan, Tullie, Abraham, Boyd-Moss.

Here are a selection of tweets from the @CherwellSport account which live-tweeted the game: