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Match report: Oxford V Cambridge – Varsity match 2017

Cambridge pushed through to beat Oxford by 10 points in the 136th annual varsity match at Twickenham stadium on a cold December afternoon after a tough game which was neck and neck right up to the dying minutes.


Cambridge V Oxford 2017 Varsity Rugby match

Cambridge showed strong passing skills throughout the match.

The varsity match, one of sports oldest fixtures, played out between two of sports oldest rivals, Oxford and Cambridge universities, or as its more commonly known the Battle of the blues.

With 135 matches behind us dating back to 1872 Cambridge have won 62, oxford 59 and 14 ending in draws. Oxford where looking to use this year’s fixture to get one step closer to Cambridge but fell short by 10 points conceding a try in the final minutes.

Cambridge started strong and rightly so just an hour before in the women’s match Oxford suffered a 24-0 defeat, they showed this confidence by pushing towards the oxford line in the first five minutes falling just inches short causing referee Christophe Ridley to call no try.

Cambridge V Oxford 2017 Varsity Rugby match

Kershaw storming past the oxford line to score the first try of the match

After this scare oxford picked themselves up and even began to look like the dominant team keeping play in the Cambridge half and reaching the ten-meter line on several occasions. It wasn’t long however before Cambridge fought back again falling inches short of the line with a no try decision after the ref consulted the TMO. They didn’t have time to feel the disappointment of a second missed try as just minutes later their number 9 Tom Kershaw Rocketed through a gap and across the line giving Cambridge a 5-point lead.


Oxford may have been disheartened by conceding the first points of the match, but some consolation may have come from scoring three points via a penalty kick just 5 minutes after Cambridge had failed to convert their try. It Cleary wasn’t a kicking day for Cambridge has just before the half time whistle they failed to score a further three points from a penalty.

As the teams emerged from the tunnel to play the second half the score was 5-3 to Cambridge and the game was anyone’s much like the first half Cambridge came out strong keeping the ball in the oxford half and finally scoring from a kick for a further three points, however after just 11 minutes of play their number 6 Matt Watson was badly injured and was stretched off, not to be deterred just four minutes later Archie Russell brushed past the oxford defence to make the score 13-3, although once again Cambridge failed to grab an extra 3 points from a conversion.

Cambridge V Oxford 2017 Varsity Rugby match

Oxford put in plenty of strong tackles but it wasnt enough to win the match

With only 15 minutes remaining and trailing by 10 points things were not looking good for oxford until No 8 Wilson put the ball over the line and with oxford managing to convert the difference was just three points.

After trading blows for a further five minutes and edging ever closer to the final whistle Cambridge put the nail in the coffin for oxford with a converted try in the last 10 minutes bringing the score to 20-10 a difference which was too great for the battered oxford side ending the match 10 points below Cambridge.


As the players collected their trophies and went to great their families in the stands the disappointed was obvious on the faces of the oxford players but while Cambridge where victorious they had been battered hard by the Dark blues a sight which became obvious when several of their men returned to the pitch to celebrate with the team with blood covered faces

The teams will return next year to face of against each other once more with Cambridge pushing for a 64th win and oxford hoping to close the gap the battle of the blues is sure to stay as one of the most exciting fixtures in the English rugby calendar  





Cambridge V Oxford 2017 Varsity Rugby match

Oxfords James elms consoled after the tough loss

Cambridge V Oxford 2017 Varsity Rugby match

Batterd but unbeaten: A blooded Cambridge player returns to the pitch to celebrate










                                     Final Score Oxford university 10 – Cambridge university 20

                                                                             63 Wilson                        27 Bell


                                                                                                                       69 Amesbury


Full Team sheet

Oxford: (15) Edgerley (14) David (13) Moor (12) Moorby (11) Stileman (10) Kearns                             (9) Kershaw (1) Henry (2) Elvin (3) Ball (4) Fifita (5) Pozniak (6) Talotti (7) Saull (8) Wilson.

Replacements: (16) Thornton (17) Miller (18) Parker (19) McPherson (20) Adams (21) Hogg     (22) Waldouck (23) Barley

Cambridge: (15) Amesbury (14) Phillips (13) Russel (12) Hennessy (11) King (10) Phillips                (9) Bell (1) Briggs (2) Burnett (3) Dixon (4) Koster (5) Hunter (6) Watson (7) Leonard                       (8) Richardson

Replacements: (16) Huppatz (17) Dean (18) Troughton (19) Rose (20) Hammond (21) Elms       (22) Griffiths (23) Triniman