Our Nearest Rivals Come To Town
This SUNDAY the Oxford Saints are hosting the Swindon Storm in a highly anticipated rematch following a a 50-16 loss earlier in the season.
The Saints and the Storm competed in separate divisions in 2014 but were aligned together this year following a league restructure.
Come down to Abingdon Rugby Club for a 2:30 PM kickoff to see the Saints in action. A victory over Swindon will put Oxford in a good position for the playoffs.
For many years there has always been a “Oxford against Swindon” rivalry which encompasses multiple sports, most notably are the big clashes in soccer between Oxford United and Swindon Town. The Oxford City Stars Ice Hockey team also enjoy rivalry battles with the Swindon Wildcats.
Competition between the Oxford Saints and the Swindon Storm adds to the growing list…
Rapier Employment – Gameday Sponsor
We would like to thank local company Rapier Employment who join us as our gameday sponsor. Their support this year helps us to strengthen our club and their commitment is hugely appreciated.
Rapier is the UK’s specialist supplier of workforce solutions to the transport and warehousing sector.
They offer over 20 years of excellence in providing dedicated warehouse, production line and all-class driver workers to leading third party logistics organisations, major supermarket retailers, car manufacturers and food packaging companies, among other clients.
Visit their website www.rapieremployment.co.uk to find out more.
Oxford VS Swindon – 3rd May 2015
Oxford’s high spirits following a strong 2-0 start to 2015 were dealt a huge blow on 3rd May when the team travelled to take on the Swindon Storm.
The Saints offense struggled to find it’s rhythm and under torrential rain, the game slipped further and further away. Powerful running from Swindon’s Dan Thorne saw him break through the Saints with ease. The game ended as 50-16 and presented a strong wake up call for Oxford.
(photo by Chris Janes)
Oxford’s Previous Game – 42-41 Defeat To Bristol
The Saints last saw action on 21st June with a fierce road game against current division leaders, the Bristol Apache. In game 2 of the season, Oxford handed Bristol a crushing blow with a 35-34 victory, after Oxford were down 28-6 at half time.
The rematch this time was hotly contested from kickoff, with both teams maintaining near equal scores throughout the game, with victory once again being decided by just a single point. 42-41 to Bristol.
The game featured more strong running from James Walter and Grant Tebb. Bringing their unique playing styles, they are fast becoming a deadly duo for opposition defenses to handle.
Oxford dominated on the ground whilst Bristol’s precision passing wreaked havoc above. Depending on how the rest of the regular season progresses, it’s entirely possible for Oxford to play Bristol again in the playoffs.
You can read the full game report here.
Swindon’s Previous Game – 78-34 Victory Over Torbay
Last week Swindon hosted the Torbay Trojans and came away with a huge win. However the earlier stages of the game were much closer, with the score only 15-14 at half time.
Despite the impressive first half showing by the Trojans, the Storm blew them out of the water in the 2nd half with non-stop touchdowns. Despite reports that Swindon had lost some key players due to injuries, this did not seem to cause them any difficulties on Sunday as they came away clear winners.
Currently in their 2nd year of competition, the Trojans are having a rough season but continue to show signs of promise. The Saints won both games against the Trojans, an unimpressive 18-6 season opener followed by a much improved 72-30 performance.
(photo by James Booth)
When Oxford last faced Swindon, they were a run-heavy team and attempted only 2 or 3 passes. Their power came from Dan Thorne in the backfield who would routinely break through the line picking up big yardage on the ground.
Scouting reports show that Swindon have mixed up their game since, with their latest game featuring a different quarterback under centre who threw for 300 yards and 5 TD passes.
Looking at how Swindon have fared against other opponents in the division, they suffered two losses at the hands of the Cornish Sharks, who the Saints were able to swiftly dispatch.
They also fell at the hurdle against Bristol, whereas Oxford were able to hold their own in two nail-bitingly close fixtures.
Oxford will therefore be hoping to put on a different display then last time.
Saints quarterback Ben Denton, playing his first year at the position, continues to improve and has several more games under his belt since the last outing against Swindon. With additional players added to the deep Saints roster, Oxford will be hoping to find the solution to the Swindon problem this weekend.
(photo by Chris Janes)
Oxford Chairman Martin Fitzpatrick:
“It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the single most important game of the year so far.”
“The last game against Swindon was a rude awakening for many of our hugely talented, but relatively inexperienced players. Yet it taught all of our guys some valuable lessons about underestimating your opponent and the importance of physicality in the game of football.
“I think we all know that we’re going to be in for a tough game on Sunday, but after losing by the narrowest of margins to Bristol two weeks ago in a game that really could have gone either way, I’m confident that we have the talent and desire to take control of our season.”
SFCW – Division II
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We’re at home so come down and see the action at Abingdon Rugby Club. On offer as always will be a licensed bar and the Saints Diner, serving a variety of cooked food and snacks.
A BBQ will be available instead if the weather is suitable. Parking is free and there is plenty of space for guests.
If you can’t make it, be sure to follow us on twitter @oxfordsaints for live score updates!
For anyone who is visiting us for the first time, please use the address below:
Abingdon Rugby Club
Southern Sports Park