IN their first league fixture in a month, Henley Colts travelled to Oxford Academy and with two Wasp apprentices in their line-up of Owyn Thatcher and Shek Sheriff, the visitors expected to win. However, Oxford proved to be a well-organised team, both defensively and in their rucking technique.
The game started with Oxford establishing a strong forward platform within Henley territory leading eventually to a straightforward kick at goal.
Oxford followed this with a series of driving mauls from attacking line-outs, stoutly defended by the Henley forwards, but eventually changing the point of attack Oxford managed to drive the ball over just by the posts for the only try of the match, which was converted.
Henley responded by attacking and having a series of penalties, kicked into the corner for several line-outs, each thrown in accurately by hooker and Henley captain Ed Waldron, and caught by lock forward Ross Gilbert. Although Henley came close to scoring, robust defence from Oxford held out until the half-time whistle, with the hosts leading 10-0.
Oxford started the second half camped on the Henley 22m line, and over robust counter-rucking by visiting flanker Dan Folley led to a yellow card, and a further penalty kick by Oxford to increase the hosts’ lead to 13-0.
Henley themselves managed to attack and turning down a kick at goal in favour of going for a line-out, Oxford defended well until Henley were awarded another penalty, kicked by winger Jack Antoniou.
Nearing the end of the match Henley again kicked at the posts in an attempt to gain a losing bonus point but the kick went wide.