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Oklahoma Thunders Past UNT

College Men

Oklahoma Thunders Past UNT

The University of Oklahoma defeated North Texas 62-7 Saturday in a nib-conference game on Senior Appreciation Day.

The Sooners, a little stung by their overtime loss in the Big XII 7s last week, bounced back nicely against the Southwest Conference Champions, showcasing some excellent defense and good work in the pack.

Senior Tom Murphy moved from center to fly-half in the place of the injured David Wallace, and did well, starting the game with a try within two minutes. Anthony Barthas converted to give the Sooners a 7-0 lead.

From a five-meter scrum, scrumhalf Manny Soto linked with crashing inside center Jon Lucas, who exploded through the UNT line to go in for the second Sooner try. Fullback Will Neff dotted down at 12 minutes to make it 17-0.

UNT was dominant in the scrums and forced a turnover at the base on one put-in, and quickly mounted an attack that ended with a nicely-taken try for 80 meters out.

But Oklahoma rebounded. The forwards, including first-time starter flanker Vincent "Zatera" Fairbain, a freshman in his first semester playing, scored after a number of rucks at the North Texas line. Fairbain then scored again just before the break to make it 29-7.

The second half was all Oklahoma as lock Logan Baker sliced in at 47 minutes. Fairbain secured his hat trick at 51 minutes. In what may have been the play of the game, halfback Manny Soto hit a forward off the ruck, who turned and popped to back to Soto, who burned the edge of the UNT line to go in from 60 meters. Fairbain notched the conversion, making it 46-7.

No. 8 Robin Persegol pounded the ball over the line at 60 minutes and then newcomer Sam Keith broke a 50-meter try to make it 57-7. . Fairbain finished off the rampage with his fourth try of the day.

Coach Doug Neubauer said he was pleased with the performance, but tempered the celebration with the knowledge that they will have to get better in order to beat Jamaica in Negril in a couple of weeks, conference foe Texas in Austin, and Army at West Point.