ROYAL Wootton Bassett opened their South West One East campaign in blistering fashion as Oxford Harlequins were comprehensively put to the sword 45-8 at Ballards Ash.

The Quins finished fourth in the division last season and boasted a huge pack of forwards, but found themselves outgunned as the home side ran in six tries.

Early Quins possession saw a series of forward drives being held up by spirited Bassett defence, and a lightning-quick Bassett break, orchestrated by fly-half Ieuan Clements, hinted at what was to come.

Quins opened the scoring with a penalty but Bassett took the lead in the 24th minute when a series of attacks left the line exposed and number eight Neil Smith was able to drive over.

A quick tap penalty from scrum-half Tom Fieldsend then allowed winger Sean Marsden to race over unopposed in the corner.

The home side lost wing Hamish Forbes-Keith to a hamstring injury, but just before the interval, second row Chris Patterson managed to offload to replacement Tim Gallimore, who scored with his first touch of the match.

Fieldsend converted to give Bassett a 17-3 interval lead, and in the second period, Oxford continued to look vulnerable to pace as a free-flowing Bassett attack and high tackle saw the referee award a penalty try.

Centre Elye Darragh then powered over, Fieldsend adding the extras, before second row Joe Pettit’s offload to Fieldsend allowed him to score and convert. Patterson pirouetted to touch down and Fieldsend converted before Quins managed a consolation score.