first_imgOxford’s rugby Blues had a tough start to their season with a tour to South Africa. Coming away with a win and two losses, the Blues showed considerable potential but will also have learnt some harsh lessons ahead of December’s Varsity match. A squad of twenty six flew off to Cape Town eager to make up for an early setback against Henley Hawks, losing 30-19. The Blues kicked off with a fixture against a Villagers development team, coming out with a 62-5 win. The next fixture was against Stellenbosch University, a much tougher propostion. Up against a heavier pack and under considerable pressure out wide, a brilliant individual try from Anthony Knox was able to carve out a form sent the Blues into the break 12-3 up. The Blues were once again under pressure after the break, their line finally breached by a kick behind from Stellenbosch. When a Stellenbosch penalty gave them the lead and Blues scrum half Kevin Brennan went off with a broken arm, the match looked lost and disappointingly the final score was 21-19. Beset by injuries, Oxford went into their final game against University of Cape Town unable to field a full match squad. Their backs were once more creative, scoring three tries; however, the powerful UCT side ran out 26-17 winners.Without doubt, the Blues’ early results have been a little disappointing. However, it should not be forgotten that as university sides go, their South African opponents were as strong as they come; when Cambridge toured South Africa last year, they went home winless, including a 60 point drubbing. The Blues have showed very considerable potential, with skillful and genuinely dangerous backs. Commenting on their tough tour Steve Hill, the Blues’ Director of Rugby, said that “sets us up very well” for taking on the Tabs at Twickenham.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005last_img read more