I went up to Oxford on Wednesday evening to watch Jack, my son, make his debut for the Penguins aagianst my old side......I was wearing two hats - I am a trustee at OURFC and a member of the Penguins committee......and before you ask I had no hand in my son's selection!
Here is their match report:
The Penguins secured a hard fought 36-22 win against Oxford University at Iffley Road last night. In perfect playing conditions the Penguins hit their stride quickly when after ten phases of play full-back Peter Clarke scored the first try. Eight minutes later a series of offloads amongst the forwards, centre Paddy Smith was released to cross the line with Luke Cousins converting.
The university then came back into the game but struggled to break through resilient defence. The Penguins backrow of Poff, Waddingham and Glassen proved a real handful and the third Penguins try was scored by openside Julian Poff.
A very loose pass by the Penguins backs allowed Oxford to pressure the Penguins line which eventually resulted in a try for full back Matt Janney. This score re-invigorated the university who came close to scoring until on the Penguins 22 metre line Penguins centre Martin Nutt intercepted a pass and ran through to score under the posts, thus giving the Penguins a 24-5 half time lead.
The first twenty minutes of the second half was a very even affair with both sides cancelling each other out. Trying to run the ball out of their own 22 metre area the Penguins turned the ball over and this lead to an Oxford try by Oxford prop Lewis Anderson. Within three minutes Oxford scored again when flanker Louis Mather crashed over. Janney’s conversion brought the scores within seven points with just eight minutes left on the clock. The Penguins responded almost immediately when after a great break by lock Jack Wyatt , quick hands saw wing Tim Catling score in the corner. Peter Clarke added an important two extra points.
The University refused to give up and with five minutes left saw Mike Harris score. The Penguins, as is their tradition, refused to shut up shop and again attacked from inside their own 22. A break by Nutt eventually found Catling on the wing who passed beautifully to James Crozier to go over for the last score of the game
At the end of the match former Oxford Blue Captain Simon Griffin, who captained the University against the Penguins in the first ever game, presented Penguins captain Will Johnson with the brand new Alan Wright Trophy.
OURFC Tries: Janney, Anderson, Mather, Harriss
Cons: Janney (2)
Penguins Tries Clarke, Smith, Poff, Nutt, Catling, Crozier
Cons Cousins (2), Clarke
1 L Anderson * (University) 2 J Wisson (St Anne's) 3 J Direen (Kellogg) 4 W Rowlands (Pembroke) 5 W Fell (Somerville) 6 D Asbun * (Kellogg) 7 J Morlet (St Peter's ) 8 L Mather * (University) 9 R O'Donovan * (Exeter) 10 H Guinness * (St Anthony's) 11 H Cho (Brasenose) 12 G Turner * (Kellogg) 13 O Vallance (St Edmund Hall) 14 S Wareham (Christ Church) 15 M Janney * (Oriel)
Replacements: 16 H Macdonald * (Wadham) 17 A Grounds (Kellogg) 18 H Hughes (Magdalen) 19 AJ Connor * (Keble) 20 M Harris (New) 21 S Fernquest (Oriel) 22 JJ Dargan (St Edmund Hall)
1 S Beckett (Henley) 2 B Gotting (Rosslyn Park) 3 W Johnson *# (London Irish) 4 A Bretnon (Bedford Blues) 5 S McDonald (Rosslyn Park) 6 J Glasson (Canterbury B) 7 J Poff (Sidcup) 8 A Waddingham (Chinnor) 9 J Wilson (Richmond) Captain 10 L Cousin (Richmond) 11 T Catling * (Richmond) 12 P Smith (Eastern Suburbs) 13 M Nutt (Oxford Harlequins) 14 J Rudd (Rosslyn Park) 15 P Clarke (Richmond)
Replacements: 16 D Simmons (Richmond) 17 J Gregg (Richmond) 18 M Dawson (Chipping Norton) 19 J Wyatt (Bath University) 20 A Mumford (Rosslyn Park) 21 C Lewis * (Rosslyn Park) 22 J Crozier * (Colchester)
* Denotes Blue, # denotes International