Sunny intervals with a breeze from the West.
The ground was firm under foot but with a good covering of grass.
Oxford Harlequins (Alex Stevenson) kicked off right to left as viewed from the stand and to his right.
A lively Bournemouth performance in the first half sealed the Quins’ fate before half-time. But for some very determined last-ditch tackling, Bournemouth would have scored many more tries as they threatened to run riot with the forwards securing quick ball to release a set of quick and elusive backs. The second half lacked the precision of the first and many chances went begging with only three tries scored and two of them late in the half as Bournemouth struggled to register 50 points when at one point that might have been the least they would have scored. Newcomer Gavin Hart made sure he was in the record books early with a try on his debut after ten minutes or so and remained a constant threat throughout the game. The centre combination of Scott Chislett
and Dan Connolly
caused all sorts of problems for the Quins’ defence and it is testimony to their defence that the visitors didn’t concede a hat-full of tries through that midfield channel. As it was Connolly got two and Chislett one. Man of the Match Anthony Dunkerley
rounded off his own game with a terrific effort. Having chased the Quins’ ball across the pitch as they moved it right he brought the ball carrier down, he then helped recover the ball to be on hand to receive the pass wide out on the left. He then still had the strength to run in from just inside the Quins’ half brushing off would-be tacklers to crash over in the corner for a tremendous try to bring up the fifty points.
So a good start to the new season with the highest score we have ever achieved in the first game of a league season and as a result we lead the division. There will be harder games, Oxford Harlequins were not as strong as last season, and there is a long way to go but I am sure we will be able to mount a strong campaign on the evidence we saw in this game.