Oxfordshire v Berkshire U15 Match report (22 May 2022)
On a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon, Oxfordshire welcomed Berkshire to Bicester RUFC. The pitch was looking fantastic and thank you to all of the volunteers and coaches who set up the posts and cleared the goalposts.
The game was split into 4 x 20 Mins Quarters, however, the timings were amended after a series of injuries to Berkshire players who requested a shortened game.
In the first quarter, Oxfordshire were led out by skipper R. Fincken and the team gave debuts to I.Miller, A.Knight and C.Walters. All of the new players gelled quickly and started to show their talents. It was a tight and cagey first twenty minutes with both teams trying to find a foothold in the game. As the quarter went on, the set-piece starts to show dominance with the front row of M.Blizzard, R. Fincken and I. Pomroy turning scrums over and being difficult to handle in the loose.
More of the forwards start to grow in the game with E.Xioroupps having some outstanding runs often drawing in several defenders to tackle her and the ever-present E. Southwell-Sander was in support or asking for the offload. The second-row pairing of E.Stone and T. Carpenter with T.Payne were working hard at the breakdown and tackling anything that moved.With the forwards on top, it gave our backs a platform to perform and they did, I. Miller was commanding the backline and able to put the hard running J.Harris and A.Knight in space. The centres were starting to connect with our very dangerous back three of C.Walters, O Sheriff and C.Rudman. The ball was distributed quickly by A.Brown at 9.
Despite, being in control of the game, unfortunately, we could not cross the try line and the quarter was ended with a nasty injury to one of the Berkshire players, we wish her a speedy recovery.
In the second quarter, we introduced our red team led out by skipper E.Wilson with C.Luitz making her first appearance. Oxfordshire were focused from the start and showed strong pod work with L.Peirsegaele, V.Sedwards, A.Rucker and E.Wilson carrying hard. After a series of strong carries and interlinking backs play with A.Holton straightening the line wonderfully, the team were closing in on a try. A series of close metre pick and goes were dragging the defence in, and E.Wilson crashed over for her first of 3 tries and she also converted the try as well.
With a powerful scrum and high work rate from A. Rucker, M.Phillips and L.Peirsegaele the Lineouts worked well. The backs were able to have front foot ball and we had some lovely runs from A. Holton, I. Carter, E Smith and C Luitz who were making ground. J Hendon was looking dangerous with her amazing pace and fantastic defence. The tempo was lifted by the excellent C Warwick, who added a running threat at 9 too. M Coates, T Allum and A Grapes seemed to be covering every blade of grass on the pitch. The team were on the edge of the 22 and E.Wilson put in a testing high kick which was allowed to bounce and the bounce fell into the hands of G. Harrison, who showed great determination and strength to score the try. A fierce combination when you add in her blistering pace and the conversion by E Wilson was successful
At the half time at the request of Berkshire, we agreed to play 15 Mins and then a ten min final quarter. In the 15 Min quarter, there were some excellent performances and highlights. The pack were still working hard in the loose and the set-piece enabling our pacy backs to get on the ball.
E Southwell-Sander was being a menace at the breakdown and the pressure was still on Berkshire. However, a few penalties gave them field position and eventually Berkshire crossed the lines for their only try. C. Marsden came on as winger as well as H Bowen. C Marsden put two fantastic tackles one after the other. There was more strong defence for the forwards with some massive hits going.
In the final quarter, the team changed again and we introduce T McSweaney and S Empson, this did not affect our pressure or dominance against Berks. After more strong carriers and interlinking play with some great runs for C Walters and
E Smith. The forwards were again so close to the line and after a strong carry by L Peirgeale and the other forwards, E Wilson crashed over, and the conversion was narrowly missed by A.Holton
Oxfordshire were on the attack again and it was good hard running by the forwards and the backs were screaming for the ball with an overlap. Once again Ellie W crashed to complete her excellent hat trick and it was converted by A.Holton
The final play was very fitting with E Wilson kicking the ball out of play.
After the game our player of the match was announced by Berkshire, it went to J. Harris who had been outstanding in defence and attack.
Also, a special mention to skipper E Wilson who scored 19 of 26 points today.