OXFORD RL suffered their heaviest home defeat of the season as they went down 52-0 against Newcastle Thunder at Abingdon’s Tilsley Park.

The Blues conceded eight tries in slipping to a third successive defeat in Kingstone Press League One.

Defeats to Whitehaven, London Skolars and now Newcastle have seen Oxford slip to 12th in the table.

There are still five games to play before the division splits in half, with the bottom eight teams contesting the Shield.

In-form Thunder proved too strong for the Blues, with a potent attacking display and tenacious defence inflicting a third home defeat of the campaign.

However, almost a quarter of the game passed before the visitors broke the deadlock.

Both sides were guilty of making errors in the hot conditions, but Newcastle struck with two quickfire converted tries from Lewis Young, and never relinquished their control.

Benn Hardcastle was on target with the boot to make it 12-0.

The game settled down, but Newcastle worked up another head of steam, extending their lead to 26 points after 39 minutes.

Firstly, Derrell Olpherts crossed, before Hardcastle dived over.

The latter converted both tries and kicked a penalty to leave Oxford with a mountain to climb at the break.

Any hopes the Blues had of a second-half comeback vanished within 20 minutes of the restart as Thunder added a further three tries.

On 45 minutes, Aaron Teroi extended the visitors’ lead with a converted try, before Stephen Snitch crossed.

Hardcastle added the extras on both occasions as Thunder led 38-0.

The advantage was soon extended to 44 points as Hardcastle converted his own try on the hour mark.

With both sides tiring, the match began to peter out, but there was still time for further salt to be rubbed in Oxford’s wounds.

Hardcastle charged forward and a superb kick off the side of his boot found Young, who scampered over to complete his hat-trick.

A good day individually for Hardcastle was completed when the half back converted the try and kicked a penalty to make it 52-0 and take his personal tally to 28 points.

Oxford will now be hoping to end their winless run when they make the trip to tenth-placed University of Gloucestershire All Golds on Saturday.