Rugby Union

Army Rugby Side Suffer Big Defeat To Oxford University

The match at Iffley Road saw many trialists make their debuts for the Army first team.

The Army rugby union team have started their season with a heavy 31-0 loss away to Oxford University.

After a successful trial week, a number of debutants were pulling on the red shirts for the first time at Iffley Road.

However, a poor performance meant disappointment for head coach, Major Burnie Burnard, as they fell to the defeat.

George Messum opened the scoring for the Blues with a converted try before Tom Stileman added two more in a lively first half for the students.

Stileman grabbed his hat-trick at the start of the second period before Charlie Pozniak completed the rout for Oxford after poor defending from the Army.

The military players will get another chance to impress Maj Burnard when they play Rosslyn Park on 6 November.

Speaking after the match, Maj Burnard said: "Sometimes when you pull on the Army jersey, there is a weight that comes with that.

"They were nervous before the match. We felt that."

Major Burnie Burnard speaking to his players at full-time.

"We tried to get the lads to relax but sometimes, people get nervous and drop the ball. That happens in rugby and tonight wasn't our night.

"It's really important to me as the head coach to give everyone an opportunity. Off the back of the Inter Services last year, we won that and we want to retain it. 

"We have set ourselves the goal of getting better every time and if there is any players out there, I will have a look at them.

"That's what this match was about and Rosslyn Park will be about in November."

It is the second time in a month that the service suffered a heavy defeat against the student side, with the Army under 23s going down 33-3 in Aldershot.