There was a double dose of delight for the Dark Blues as both the men’s and women’s teams triumphed at home.
Sophie Behan’s Women’s team, the reigning Varsity Match champions, kicked-off the ‘perfect day’ with a 10-7 win over Bristol University in their opening game in the BUCS League. Then came a 20-17 triumph for the Men in their opening home fixture against Hartpury College.
Conor Kearns’ side were missing prop Mike Gorry, hooker John Aaron Henry and wing Ed David through minor injuries and kept England Saxons flanker Andy Saull in reserve on the bench. The three injured players should all be back in contention for the visit of Trinity College, Dublin next week.
The Dark Blues scored two tries, one of them coming from new recruit Roberto Talotti. He came on as a replacement for back row man Charlie Pozniak and made an immediate mark.
The 31-year-old, South African-born player won Italian Under 19 and 21 caps in his younger days and also played for Viadana in the Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup. He is studying form an MBA at the Said Business School.
The other try also came from the back row, with Will Thornton taking the honours. The rest of the points came from the ever-reliable boot of skipper and outside half, Kearns.
This was Oxford’s fourth win in five games this season, having opened their campaign with a hat-trick of wins on their unbeaten tour of the United States.
Scorers: Tries: Roberto Talotti, William Thornton; Cons: Conor Kearns 2; Pens: Conor Kearns 2
Oxford University: Sam Edgerley; Tom Stileman, Daniel Barley, Sam Moorby, Dan Moor; Conor Kearns, Tom Kershaw; Kieran Ball, Ed Elvin, Noah Miller, Lisiate Fifita, Ollie Adams, Charlie Pozniak, William Thornton, William Wilson
Reps Used: Lewis Anderson for Ed Elvin, Hugo McPherson for Ollie Adams, James Beaufils for Lisiate Fifita, Roberto Talotti for Charlie Pozniak, Peter Moore for Tom Kershaw), Alex Hogg for Daniel Barley)
Unused: Ben Parker, Andy Saull