Double dose of Varsity Blues

Cambridge men celebrate scoring tries in their respective victories over Oxford. Pictures: Matt Impey / Wired Photography

There was double disappointment for Oxford University as both men’s and women’s teams suffered defeat in the annual Varsity matches at Twickenham last week.

The women were looking to make it back-to-back victories after their memorable win last year and a promising term’s results, but ended up losing 24-0, their third Varsity without managing to cross the Cambridge try line.

The men also arrived at the home of English rugby in confident mood having won eight out of 10 fixtures this term, but failed to repeat this form on the big day and suffered their second successive Varsity loss, 20-10.

In a fiercely contested game, Cambridge’s pack gained the upper hand, giving their back-line the platform to score three tries through man of the match Chris Bell, Archie Russell and Bristol full back Charlie Amesbury.

No 8 Will Wilson crossed the whitewash for Oxford but it was not enough to overcome their arch rivals in the 136th Varsity meeting between the sides.

It was a case of what could have been for the Dark Blues who had the better of the opening half but had three tries disallowed.

The Dark Blues’ defence was ferocious throughout as Cambridge put in a committed all-round display worthy of victory.

It was a one-sided affair in the 31st women’s match as Cambridge tries from Jess Gurney, captain Lara Gibson, lively scrum half Kate Marks and winger Bluebell Nicholls were enough to reclaim the Varsity trophy.

Cambridge were utterly dominant throughout and deserved their convincing victory.

Oxford gave their all up to the last play of the game, but the Light Blues’ physical dominance and their control of the conditions was too much for them to handle.

Next year’s matches have been scheduled at the same venue for Thursday, December 6.

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