Oxford were frustrated for a second time by Sydney University at the World Universities Rugby Invitational Tournament in Japan as they finished fourth overall in the eight team tournament.
The inaugural hosts in 2015, Oxford travelled to Japan with high hopes of reaching the final, but were beaten by reigning champions Cape Town University in the final four and then went down 10-5 to Sydney in the play-off for third and fourth place.
They had been pipped 10-8 by the Australians in their earlier pool match – the games were two halves of 20 minutes each – having bating host side Waseda University 3-0 in their opening fixture. The Dark Blues went on to beat the Siberian Federal University 8-0 to qualify for the semi-finals, where they were beaten 15-0 by the unbeaten Cape Town team.
Prior to the tournament, skipper Ed David’s men played a warm-up fixture in Tokyo. In what was literally a game of two halves, they faced the professional players of the Mitsubishi Dynoboars in the first-half and amateur All Mitsubishi team after the break.
The captain led the way in the first 40 minutes as he followed up a kick ahead from centre Louis Jackson to gather the bouncing ball and touch down near the posts for fly-half Tom Humberstone to add the conversion. Humberstone completed the Oxford scoring with a penalty, although he was off target just before the interval with a second attempt.
That made it 19-10 to the pros, but the second half was a different story. Despite multiple changes by head coach James Wade, the students ran in 10 tries to win the day 66-19.
Oxford: Daniel Barley; Ed David, Louis Jackson, Daniel Stoller, Tom Stileman; Tom Humberstone, George Tresidder; Euan Friend, Abhijeet Oswal, Ben Parker, Jasper Dix, Calum Haggett, Charlie Pozniak, Sam Miller, Ryan Jones
Reps: Barnaby Vaughan (for Friend), Sam Ridgway (for Jones), Bertie Watson (for Miller), George Messum (for Haggett), Jack Dalton (for Tresidder), Henry Martin (for David), Ollie Quinn (for Humberstone), Henry Hackett (for Stoller), Peter Moore (for Jackson)
Scorers: Tries: Henry Martin 3, Peter Moore 2, Charlie Pozniak 2, Daniel Barley 2, Ed David, Ollie Quinn; Cons: Ollie Quinn 4, Tom Humberstone; Pen: Tom Humberstone
2019 World University Rugby Invitation Tournament
Wednesday, 18 September
Oxford 3, Waseda 0
Sydney 29, Siberian Federal 7
Bordeaux 6, NZ Unis 5
Cape Town 40, British Colombia 0
Friday, 20 September
Sydney 7, Waseda 0
Oxford 8, Siberian Federal 0
Siberian Federal 7, Waseda 47
Oxford 8, Sydney 10
Cape Town 33, NZ Unis 7
British Colombia 8, Bordeaux 13
Cape Town 52, Bordeaux 0
British Colombia 6, NZ Unis 3
Sunday, 22 September
Oxford 0, Cape Town 15
Sydney 7, Bordeaux 22
Monday, 23 September
Oxford 5, Sydney 10
Cape Town 17, Bordeaux 3