Blues Boss Ironmen
For the first time in years the sunshine appeared for an Oxford visit to South Wales as the Blues produced a solid performance to back up their Hunslet victory, with a professional second half display to quash South Wales Ironmen 38-18.
The first half produced a contest of errors with both teams capitalising in a ‘you score, we score’ pattern. The Ironmen’s tactics appeared to be to slow the Blues ruck speed to prevent the Blues’ momentum. However expansive play and quick hands set Kane Riley away to score the opening try. Riley splitting open the hosts defence to cross in the corner and Scott Fleming just missing the kick.
Ironmen were soon level. They won a scrum inside Oxford’s 10 metre line and from the third tackle of the resulting set, Shaun Owens powered over. Paul Emanuelli converted to give them the lead.
Oxford regained the advantage on 15 minutes after Marcus Brooker took advantage, to ground a testing grubber kick to the corner which the Ironmen failed to tidy up. The conversion missed from long range.
The pendulum swung again as a simple cross field kick was gathered by former Blue Yannic Parker who caught and touched down and Emanuelli converted to give the advantage back to South Wales and put them 12-8 up.
The Blues’ resilience emerged again in the form of hooker Casey Canterbury who powered over from close range at the side of the sticks which made Fleming’s conversion easy to put the Blues 14-12 up.
Next up was Stuart Biscomb using his strength to add another try and his first for the club to make it 18-12 but Fleming couldn’t land the conversion.
Half time loomed but the Ironmen spirit was evident as they leveled the score as Ross Price charged over the line for his first try. Emanuelli converted to send the teams in 18 – 18 and all to play for.
The past month has brought games thick and fast and challenging for the Blues and the young side’s maturity looks to be growing as they kept their composure and simply prevented the Ironmen to get started in the second half. Good hands and a Marcus Brooker break released Josh Atkinson to rip down the touch line and score under the cross bar for Fleming to convert. More Blues goal line pressure produced a try with London Broncos product Daniel Hindmarsh-Takji grounding the ball, following up another testing grubber kick, to extend the lead.
Callum Windley side stepped and sprinted his way over with 15 minutes left on the clock and with Fleming converting to make it 34-18, the match was in Oxford’s control. Brooker crowned an outstanding performance and a second try as he burst through the line and won the long range leg race to cap another solid display for the Blues in the last month.
Marcus Brooker scores his 2nd of the match
6 Andy Gay, 2 Yannic Parker, 16 Ashley Bateman, 4 Christiaan Roets, 3 Paul Edwards, 1 Paul Emanuelli, 7 Courtney Davies, 18 Morgan Evans, 15 Shaun Owens, 30 Mike Edwards, 17 Zak Williams, 24 Connor Parker, 11 Richard Jones,
Subs (all used): 9 Connor Farrer, 10 Kade Breen, 21 Ross Price, 28 Morgan Jeffries
Tries: Owens (10), Parker (19), Price (35)
Goals: Emanuelli 3/3
1 Kane Riley, 2 Josh Atkinson, 3 William Cooke, 4 Marcus Brooker, 5 Harrison Brough, 6 Callum Windley, 7 Daniel Scott Fleming, 8 Stuart Biscomb, 9 Casey Canterbury, 10 Anthony Cox, 18 Dwaine McRae, 16 Jordan Siddons, 13 Jake Joynt,
Subs (all used): 25 Brad Moules, 17 Aaron Nicholson, 11 Daniel Hindmarsh-Takji, 15 Jonathan Payne
Tries: Riley (5), Atkinson (15, 46), Canterbury (25), Biscomb (31), Hindmarsh-Takji (50), Windley (64), Brooker (74)
Goals: Fleming 3/8
Referee: Billy Pearson
The Blues next face Whitehaven at home on Sunday 4th June KO 2PM at Tilsley Park