Blues fail to match Welsh class

first_imgOxford 12 – 52 Ospreys A PACKED house braved the bitterly cold elements on a crisp and clear Monday night to see the Oxford Blues take on welsh giants the Ospreys who currently lie third in the Magners Celtic League. The Ospreys fielded five Welsh Internationals plus one Tongan in their starting line-up while Oxford chose to rest their international star Joe Roff. Despite the greasy conditions, a scintillating, high octane game of rugby ensued providing the fans a welcome distraction from their ever-freezing extremities.From the first set-play of the game the Ospreys demonstrated their class and wealth of talent in the backline. A nicely timed inside ball saw young Welsh international Aled Brew skip through virtually untouched for the first score within two minutes. Things looked ominous for Oxford at this stage, but through the lively antics of scrum-half Henry and boot of fly-half McMahon they made their presence felt. Winger Jonan Boto threatened with a couple of half breaks and only some loose passes from the base prevented the Blues levelling up the scores. As it was, a couple of raking kicks from Connor relieved the pressure for the Ospreys and set up another attacking platform. The Magners League champions succeeded where Oxford had failed in keeping the ball tight and retaining possession, successive phases eventually freeing up winger Phillips to dart over unopposed on the blindside.As the half progressed, the gulf in class between the two back lines became apparent. The confidence of the Ospreys’ runners allowing them to attack at pace right on the gain line, putting Oxford on the back foot. The Blues, however, chose to attack from deep, allowing the Ospreys’ defence to advance and meet Oxford’s runners with real venom. The pressure this created meant Steve Hill’s side rarely completed set piece moves and attacks often broke down.Although shaded in the backs, the Blues pack were admirably holding their own up front against a set of forwards whose front row consisted entirely of internationals. The back row worked tirelessly, time and again arriving first at the breakdown and securing turnover ball. Only some dubious calls from the referee prevented Oxford from stealing possession more regularly.The pack’s efforts were rewarded on 26 minutes when a catch and drive saw fresher Chris Davies bundle over and reduce the deficit to just one score.Any hopes of reigning in the Welshmen were quickly dashed however, as slick interplay in the backs saw the Ospreys reassert their authority over the game. A second try from winger Brew followed by a try from fly-half Connor brought the half-time score to 24-5.The half-time substitution of Sam Humphrey-Baker into the centre injected some much needed physicality and aggression into the Oxford backline. He met the Ospreys’ attacks head on with bone crunching hits that seemed to lift those around him. With the ball in hand he also posed a real threat; unafraid to take on the Ospreys’ ferocious defence and running with steely determination. Unfortunately he could do nothing about a wickedly bouncing cross field kick from Connor that gave the Ospreys the first score of the half. He was however, instrumental in the construction of Oxford’s reply. His driving run through the heart of the Ospreys’ midfield setting up the ruck from which Henry dummied and dived over for the Blues’ second score.With ten minutes to go Oxford were drawing the second half, but some tired legs began to give way and allowed the Ospreys to rack up a slightly flattering scoreline. A push over try from hooker Hibbard was followed by a blistering finish from rapid replacement winger Ryan Bayliss. Substitute Ashley Beck completed the scoring after some silky offloading in the Osprey backline.Director of rugby Steve Hill remained upbeat despite the heavy scoreline. “We competed well up front against quality opposition. If we can do that in Varsity we’ll have an excellent platform from which to play.”He did concede that there are still problems to address, “We must make our first up tackles and try to show some of the ruthlessness in attack that the Ospreys displayed today.”last_img read more

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Ehrlich chair established at UF

first_img January 1, 2006 Regular News Ehrlich chair established at UF The memory of the late Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Raymond Ehrlich will live on in the form of a new eminent scholar chair at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.Ehrlich, a UF law alumnus who died in July, made provisions in his estate to establish an eminent scholar chair in the law school and another in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The positions were established in the name of Justice Ehrlich and his late wife, Mary, in honor of Ehrlich’s parents, Ben and Esther Ehrlich.“Justice Ehrlich was a giant in the legal profession,” said Dean Robert Jerry. “His wisdom and thoughts will be impossible to replicate, but his commitment to professionalism will resonate with our students for generations to come.”A 1942 graduate of the law school, Ehrlich practiced law in the Jacksonville area for 35 years before being nominated to the Florida Supreme Court. He served there for 10 years, including two years as chief justice. Ehrlich was appointed special counsel to Sen. Bob Graham in 1991, and received The Florida Bar Foundation’s Medal of Honor Award in 1993 for outstanding contributions to the administration of justice. Ehrlich chair established at UFlast_img read more

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Wisconsin goes 0-2 on weekend

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoDespite starting the Big Ten season with a pair of home losses over the weekend, Wisconsin remains confident in its abilities as it prepares to travel to Ohio State and Penn State this week.The Badgers were unable to come away with victories in their first two conference matches, losing 2-1 to Illinois and 1-0 to Purdue. Nonetheless, head coach Paula Wilkins is somewhat satisfied with her team’s play.“The exciting part about it is I think we put together two halves again that deserved possibly a tie or a win against both Purdue and Illinois,” Wilkins said. “Unfortunately, those halves were in separate games, and we didn’t complete one whole one together.”Wisconsin played strong in each of the second halves over the weekend after starting slow in each game and trailing at the half. Wilkins also noted that the outcomes of the games were much closer this year after the Badgers suffered 3-0 and 4-0 losses to Illinois and Purdue, respectively.“I think the next step we have to take is making sure we open up pretty well in the first half against Ohio State,” Wilkins said. “I’m excited to bring our team on the road and hopefully continue improving in the Big Ten.”Defense strong despite offensive woesWhile the Badgers have struggled at times this season to get things going offensively, the defense has consistently played well, allowing only 11 goals in as many games. The defense is led by senior goalkeeper Jamie Klages, who has earned three shutouts so far.“I think we’ve taken a group effort in terms of our defending all over the field and taken some pride on it,” Wilkins said. “I think our one v. one defending needs to be a little bit better in terms of all over the field. When one thing breaks down, it seems to break down a lot.”With the start of the conference season, Wisconsin has to adjust defensively to the more physical type of play that is common in the Big Ten, something Wilkins believes her team is doing well.“I think they are getting a little bit more confidence in terms of playing better teams that are a little bit more physical than us right now athletically,” Wilkins said. “I think other teams have other things on us, and we’re doing better just being a little bit smarter and a little bit better tactically all over the field.”As a young team, the Badgers may be seeing more physical play than usual as teams believe they can use Wisconsin’s inexperience to its advantage.“They tend to be a lot more physical with us,” Wilkins said. “We’re still [doing] a little growing into how to deal with other teams physically and how to be physical ourselves.”Wilkins returns to Happy ValleyAs Wisconsin travels this weekend to Penn State, the game will carry extra significance for Wilkins and her staff.Before joining the Badgers, Wilkins spent 13 seasons at Penn State. She served as an assistant coach for seven years before taking over as head coach in 2001.In her six years at the helm, Wilkins guided the Nittany Lions to six NCAA tournament berths, six Big Ten regular season championships, two Big Ten tournament titles and a pair of College Cup appearances.“I’m excited to go back and see the people that I worked with,” Wilkins said. “It was very sad when I left because a lot of people had done a lot of great things for me. I’ll never look past that, but now that I’m at Wisconsin, it’s a little bit different challenge we have.”As much as Wilkins is looking forward to her return to Jeffrey Field, the Badger players may be more excited as they hope to get a win for her in Sunday’s game.“I know the players have been looking forward to this, but I think one of my biggest challenges is to make sure that we’re focused on Ohio State,” Wilkins said. “Then, when we get to Penn State, hopefully some of the emotional stuff for me, Pat [Farmer] and Tim [Rosenfeld] will sort of relate to the players and get them excited to get a result there.”Nonetheless, as much as Wilkins is excited to return to Penn State, she wants to make sure her players view the Nittany Lions as they would any other team on the field.“There are very good players at Penn State — I obviously know because I recruited them there,” Wilkins said. “However, they put their shorts on one leg at a time just like [we] do.”last_img read more

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