RUGBY UNION: Penguins prevail in Iffley Road thriller

Nick Gardner on the charge for the University last night

Nick Gardner on the charge for the University last night

First published in Sport

OXFORD University went down 47-28 to HSBC Penguins in a feast of running rugby at Iffley Road last night in the annual match to raise funds for Against Breast Cancer.

The Dark Blues, playing in pink, came out of the blocks at breakneck speed and were 21 points up via tries from James Bloxham and Matt Shorthose, plus a penalty try. Captain Jacob Taylor converted all three.

Shell-shocked Penguins were level by the interval, thanks to three converted tries of their own from Mike Denbee (2) and Rhys Crane, impressive fly half Andy Hall adding the extras.

Both coaches made numerous changes at the break, but it was the visitors’ bench that proved to have more depth.

Penguins scored four more tries in the second half, including a brace from wing Joe Ajuwa, who showed impressive pace and power.

Hall, who kicked well off the tee all night, converted three of the four.

The Dark Blues kept plugging away and were rewarded when the referee once again headed under the posts to award the home side a second penalty try, converted by Taylor. So the invitational side’s captain, Doug Abbott, lifted the Alan Wright Trophy for the third year in succession.

Oxford University: Anderson (Irvine), Gardner (Symington), I Williams (Scaiffe), Patch, Heathcote (Beale), Macdonald (Morlet), Jones (Western), Shorthose (de Berker), Taylor, Postlethwaite (Benning-ton), Hughes, S Williams (Arras), Dumigan, Boardman, Bloxham.

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