Men's Blues 22 - 21 RAF, 24/01/24.
Photo Credit: Steve Karpa
The blues were rearing to go again after a performance against the England U20’s which left a lot to be proud of despite the scoreline. The blues started physically with some probing carries from the forwards. In particular Harry Pratt found some space being put through holes in the RAF defence by the trusty hands of Michael Fankah. This gained Oxford and early lead which the boys would seek to extend. Otis Walker produced the goods with another line break to put the blues two tries ahead. The RAF held their own in their backs line with some elusive runners allowing them to make ground from the set piece. This led to a response with a try and some sloppiness from the blues around the breakdown leading to a further penalty. This left the score at HT 16-10 to the blues. A blues penalty made the lead 19-10 with 30 minutes to defend. The second half was a close fought battle with the RAF clawing back points with the aid of their substitutions. The blues managed to hold on to a narrow 19-16 lead until the 77th minute when the RAF tumbled over the try line to make the score 19-21. A stroke of luck meant the conversion was missed leaving the blues with 2 minutes to secure their hopes of victory. All seemed lost when the RAF secured the ball in their half in the 80th minute, phase-play trundling on until the final whistle. Yet their over-eager defence meant they conceded a penalty for sealing off their ruck. This was our chance. The lineout was not even considered by a cool Ben Scher who waltzed up to collect the ball and place it on the tee for an almost touchline penalty kick. Silence fell over the crowd at Iffley road as he took his steps up. The ball lofted towards the posts. The silence was shattered by the screams of the players shortly followed by the linesmen’s affirmation, their raised flags releasing rapturous glee of the home crowd. A win to be remembered and done in true blues style with the final score 22-21.
By Eben Terry
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