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- FULL TIME - 135th MEN'S VARSITY MATCH: Oxford 18-23 Cambridge
- Light Blues win the world-renowned rugby fixture for the first time in six years
- OXF: PEN Strang (11', 42') TRY Hughes (60') CON Strang (61') TRY David (76')
- CAM: TRY Phillips (37') Triniman (73') CON Gillies (38', 74'), PEN Gillies (47', 52', 68')
- Cambridge's women come up short in 3-0 defeat to Oxford this morning
Twickenham, it has been a pleasure. So Cambridge have turned leafy southwest London into their stomping ground for the first time in seven years with a stunning five-point victory.
Thank you to our Sports Editor, Paul Hyland and photographer, Devarshi Lodhia, for putting in another sensational shift on the big stage. And it's goodbye from Ben Cisneros and Danny Wittenberg: goodbye.
4:19pm Time to take stock with a historic match report by our Varsity Sport Editor, Paul Hyland:
"CURUFC have won the men’s Varsity rugby match for the first time since 2009, defeating Oxford by 23-18. Tries from Mike Phillips and Rory Triniman, as well as a host of kicks from the brilliant Fraser Gillies, put the Light Blues out of sight and brought a much overdue title home to Cambridge..."
4:19pm That was a cracking game, ultimately won by a fantastic Cambridge try, scored by Rory Triniman. The intercept try at the end of the first 40 put them in a good position, and in the second half they controlled the game well. It was tight but, in the end, they managed to get their noses in front. There were some great performances around the park, whilst a huge amount of credit must go to the Oxford team for such a tough game. They defended fiercely for most parts, and there were some massive collisions in midfield. Ultimately, though, Cambridge had a little bit too much for them and are deserved victors! CONGRATULATIONS TO CURUFC!
FULL TIME! CAMBRIDGE HAVE WON THE VARSITY MATCH 2016 23-18!!
The game was ended by a knock-on as Oxford went in search of a match-winning try.
80' A great hit by Phillips in midfield stops an Oxford attack on halfway. But still they come...
The MAN OF THE MATCH is Cambridge's No.7 Brian Du Toit!
78' Cambridge turn the ball over just outside the Oxford 22 much to the delight of the crowd, but Oxford then win the penalty.
76' TRY OXFORD! The Dark Blues bounce straight back with a try of their own as Roberts-Huntley throws a lovely pass inside to Ed David who races away to score in the corner. Strang misses the conversion, though. It's 23-18 to Oxford...A converted try from Oxford wins it...
74' From the far touchline Gillies GETS THE CONVERSION!! That makes it a 10-point gap. 23-13 to Cambridge.
73' TRYYYYY CAMBRIDGE! The TMO says it's okay and WHAT a score that was for the Light Blues! That could be the all important score...
73' Cambridge work a lovely play up the right wing off the back of a scrum with Amesbury at the centre of it! Then they go left and try the cross-field kick! Erogbogbo catches it and feeds it inside to Triniman who goes for the line. Strang makes a great tackle in the corner and it's gone to the TMO...Triniman looks to have scored...the crowd certainly thinks so...
And...he's missed! Score remains 16-13 to Cambridge.
70' Penalty to Oxford and they tap quickly. They make some good yards and then win another penalty! This time it's well within Strang's range, and he's going for goal.
68' HE'S GOT THAT ONE!! Great Kick from the Cambridge fly-half and it's now 16-13 to the Light Blues!
68' PENALTY Cambridge for holding on. It's straight in front between the 22m and 10m, Gillies going for goal...
HISTORY - Both Erogbogbo twins are now on, becoming the first ever twins to play in a Varsity match!
66' Some loose play by Cambridge ends with a poor box-kick from Tullies. Oxford call for the mark and boot it up to the Light Blue 10m. Cambridge lineout.
He missed! Score remains 13-13.
63' PENALTY CAMBRIDGE pretty much in front of the posts just outside the Oxford 22. Gillies is going for goal.
SUBSTITUTION CAMBRIDGE: Captain Dass goes off to be replaced by Richard Bartholomew.
61' CONVERSION STRANG. The kick is good and it's now 13-13! The last draw in the Varisty match was 2003...what do the final 20minutes hold??
60' TRY OXFORD! They carry it up to the line a few times before spreading it wide when the Cambridge defenders were sucked in. They made it look easy in the end and Hnery Hughes waltzes in unopposed. Some gorgeous hands in there.
59' Another penalty to Oxford and again they go for the corner. This time they're 5m out with the lineout. Substitution Cambridge: Andrew Hunter goes off and Lola Erogbogbo comes on.
57' PENALTY to Oxford for Cambridge going off their feet at a ruck. The Dark Blues go for touch and have a lineout outside the 22. Substitution Oxford: Hogg goes off and Kearns comes on at inside centre.
56' Oxford going through the phases but Cambridge defence holding them on the 10m line. Looked like a Light Blue player might have been knocked out there.
55' An excellent clearance kick from Tullie gets Cambridge out of trouble and Oxford have the lineout on our 10m.
54' Henry Hughes breaks through for Oxford and has a two on won against Gillies with Geiger in support!! But Amesbury came across and he and Gillies bundled the Dark Blue full-back into touch to prevent a certain try. Lineout to Cambridge 5m out.
SUBSTITUTION: Ed Hart goes off for Oxford to be replaced by Will Thornton.
52' HE GETS IT! Another 3 points to Cambridge and now it's 13-6!
51' PENALTY to Cambridge for Oxford making contact with the man in the air at the lineout. Gillies going for goal...
49' Cambridge set up the rolling maul then throw it wide. Amesbury gets hit hard in midfield. We reckon there was a bit of a punch thrown in there but no one else seems to have noticed. Cambridge still on the attack. A lovely grubber kick through almost sits up for Phillips but Oxford manage to get it away.
48' Oxford attacking in the Light Blue half but Cambridge turn them over and then win the penalty. A massive kick from Gillies takes them up to the Dark Blue 22!!
47' PENALTY to Cambridge for not rollnig away just inside the Oxford 22. Gillies goes for goal and GETS IT! 10-6 Cambridge!
SUBSTITUTIONS: Burnett subbed at half time for Hugkulstone (hamstring injury) for Cambridge. De Berker off for Oxford - Kershaw on.
45' Cambridge steal another lineout and then Gillies shanks a kick. No worries though as Amesbury takes comfortably under some pressure.
42' PENALTY to Oxford for a no-arms tackle. Strang goes for goal from about 50m out on the angle and GETS IT! HUUUGE KICK! 7-6 Cambridge.
40' We're underway again! 7-3 Cambridge.
Cambridge add the extras to go into the half-time break 7-3 ahead. All the details are on our live blog: https://t.co/qvaVrHRrPE.— Varsity (@VarsityUK) December 8, 2016
HALF-TIME: An exciting first half from both sides despite the low-scoring. Both have showed glimpses of some exciting play in attack but you would say that Cambridge just about deserve their lead based on the amount of territory and possession they've had. Oxford defended very well for the most part, though, and will be frustrated to have let the Light Blues score such a soft try. The scrum seems fairly evenly balanced, whilst the Cambridge lineout seems to be edging it, particularly when they get that rolling maul going, and Burnett's 'darts' have been deadly accurate. At the back Amesbury is having a strong game - one hit in particular comes to mind - and we can hope that he'll get a bit more ball in attack come the second half. Score: Cambridge 7 - Oxford 3
37' TRYYYY CAMBRRIIIDGGEEEE!!! Oxford try a fancy play in midfield but Mike Phillips intercepts de Berker's pass and races clear to score!!! 7-3 Cambridge!
Sitting in a small town in Vietnam living it! https://t.co/7aYv0cqnpf— James Pinder (@nangronginfo) December 8, 2016
35' A fantastic run by Tom Stanley takes Cambirdge deep into Oxford territory! He shifts it to Hunter who is then bundled into touch, knocking on in the process. Both sides putting together some great rugby but just struggling with the final touch. Good covering defence too again by Oxford.
34' The Oxford lineout seems to be having a few troubles as Cambridge nick one off the top. Tullie tries to put a kick in behind but it goes long.
33' There's a knock-on in midfield by Dass and at the resulting scrum Oxford win a penalty. A great kick from Strang sees them up to the Cambridge 10m line.
32' Cambridge shift the ball wide and a lovely shimmy and delayed pass from Andy Burnett sends Davies away down the wing. Oxford's scrum-half de Berker makes the crucial tackle to take him into touch but seemed to injure himself in the process. He's back on his feet now, as a few players receive treatment.
30' Oxford win a free kick at the scrum followed by a penalty at the ensuing ruck for not releasing the tackled player. They clear to outside the 22.
27' A lovely passage of play from Cambridge which ends with a chip through. Davis looked to be tackled a bit early there and knocked on...the referee said it was fine. Scrum Oxford. That was oh-so-close to being a wonderful score for the Light Blues.
26' Cambridge get their rolling maul going again and as the play goes wide, Phillips kicks. David catches and calls for the mark. Oxford relieve the pressure up to their 10m line where Cambridge now have a lineout.
23' Some really nice rugby being played by both sides and some ferocious hits going in. Oxford look to build but Cambridge win the penalty for holding on after good work by Du Toit. The kick takes them deep into the Oxford half.
21' This time strang makes a good break up the middle but the defence gets back and Cambridge force the knock-on. Scrum to the Light Blues in their own 22.
21' The Oxford wingers are causing chaos at the moment, but Phillips covers well, taking David into touch. Cambridge are able to clear their lines.
19' Oxford break through again, but again Amesbury is there to cover. Some great tackling by Cambridge at the minute as Burnett is bundled into touch.
17' On the other wing Ed David makes a clean break and is away! BUT WHAT A HIT FROM AMESBURY! Living up to his billing, the professional player puts in a massive tackle to stop the attack.
Wil conducts the wave at Twickenham! pic.twitter.com/D1UzvmKb2n— Mike Porteous (@rlsporteous) December 8, 2016
16' The teams have decided to engage in some aerial ping pong. But now the ball goes wide from Oxford and Stileman is nearly away.
14' A quiet few minutes ends in an Oxford Penalty for a high tackle by Andrew Hunter of Cambridge. Strang misses touch.
12' He makes no mistake this time and it's 3-0 Oxford.
11' PENALTY Oxford. They win a PEN at the scrum and Strang is going for the posts - straight in front.
10' A shanked kick by Gillies gives Oxford possession just outside the Cambridge 22. Play breaks down and it's an Oxford scrum.
Not half started with some gusto have they? #Varsityrugby— Paul Hyland (@paulhyland08) December 8, 2016
8' A great kick by Cambridge with Amesbury on the chase, who makes the big hit. Starting to see some tactical kicking going on and Cambridge have a lineout on their 10m line.
7' Strang misses the kick and it remains 0-0.
5' The Oxford backs look dangerous with ball in hand, but the Light Blue defence stands firm for now. Oxford win a penalty for a breakdown offence and they're going for goal.
4' This Cambridge rolling maul is looking like a very strong weapon for them. Light Blue possession just outside 22. Tullie goes for the box kick but it's charged down. Oxford get possession and then win the penalty. They kick for touch and are well into the Cambridge half.
2' Some lovely handling sees the ball go wide for Cambridge but Oxford get the turnover and clear.
1' Cambridge have a linout just outside the Oxford 22. Burnett nails his man with the first throw and they set up a hell of a driving maul. The lads look well up for this!
0' Cambridge to kick us off here. We're underway! Referee is Tim Wigglesworth.
2:30pm The teams are out for the anthem!
2:27pm The Cambridge fans, seated in the South and East of Twickenham, are in strong voice ahead of kick-off. Much louder than the 'Other' folk...
2:19pm As southwest London continues to fill up with excitable Oxbridge students, hailing from as far away as north London, there's just time for a quick round of Varsity Did You Know.
Round One: Although Oxford have always favoured navy garms, CURFC used to play in pink. The Dark and Light Blues were only born when Cambridge changed to their customary azure and white kit back in 1876.
Round Two: Until 1877, it was the norm for rugby matches to feature 20 players-a-side. After both Universities and their Blues took the initiative and started fielding 15 men, however, the rest of the world followed.
Round Three: The Men’s Varsity Match has been played at Twickenham every year since 1921, except for during the Second World War (where the game was held twice each year at Oxford and Cambridge respectively).
15. Charlie Amesbury (Lord Wandsworth College & Queens’) 14. Simon Davies (Latymer Upper School & Jesus) * 13. Rory Triniman (Canford School & Hughes Hall) 12. Michael Phillips (Bedford Modern School & Emmanuel) * 11. Henry King (Chipping Campden School & St Catharine’s) 10. Fraser Gillies (Edinburgh Academy & Hughes Hall) * 9. Sebastian Tullie (Bradford Grammar School & Emmanuel) *
1. William Briggs (Bedford School & Magdalene) * 2. Andrew Burnett (RGS High Wycombe & Jesus) 3. Jonathan Dixon (Royal School, Armagh & Downing) 4. Andrew Hunter (Cranbrook School & St Edmund’s) 5. Tim Bond (Watford Grammar School & Pembroke) 6. Tom Stanley (St Andrew’s College, Christchurch & Magdalene) 7. Brian Du Toit (The King’s Hospital, Dublin & St Edmund’s) 8. Daniel Dass (Belfast Royal Academy & St Catharine’s, captain) *
Replacements: 16. Simon Hugkulstone (Whitgift School & Wolfson) 17. Henry Somers (Silverdale School & Hughes Hall) 18. Demitri Moros (Hampton School & St John’s) 19. Lola Erogbogbo (Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School & Clare) * 20. Richard Bartholomew (Berkhamsted School & Jesus) * 21. Chris Bell (St Paul’s School & Girton) 22. Lare Erogbogbo (Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School & Jesus) 23. George Griffiths (Adams’ Grammar School & St John’s)
15. Matt Geiger * (Manchester Grammar School & St Catherine’s) 14. Ed David * (Harrow School & St Hilda’s) 13. Henry Hughes * (Peter Symond’s College & Magdalen) 12. Alex Hogg (Whitgift School & Keble) 11. Tom Stileman * (Cranleigh School & St Peter’s 10. Basil Strang * (RGS Newcastle & St Stephen’s House) 9. Henry de Berker * (Cotham Comprehensive School & Green Templeton)
1. Kieran Ball * (Wellington College & Trinity) 2. Ed Hart (Berkhamsted School & St Edmund Hall) 3. Joe Morris (King Edward VI School, Aston & St Edmund Hall) 4. Fergus Taylor * (Sherborne School & St Catherine’s) 5. Andrew Grant * (The Oratory School & Kellogg) 6. Nic Roberts-Huntley * (Blundell’s School & Green Templeton) 7. George Blomfield (Brisbane Grammar School & Kellogg) 8. Will Wilson * (Wellington College & Keble)
Replacements: 16. Will Thornton (Sedbergh School & Lady Margaret Hall) 17. James Scaife * (Altrincham Grammar School & Linacre) 18. Hugo Lu (Reading School & Trinity) 19. Jonathan Marsden (The King’s School, Macclesfield & Christ Church) 20. Graeme MacGilchrist * (George Watson’s College & University) 21. James Beaufils (St John Bosco College, Engadine & Jesus) 22. Tom Kershaw (Portsmouth Grammar School & Worcester) 23. Conor Kearns (Glenstal Abbey School & Somerville)
* Denotes Blue
Journey to Twickenham It may always be scheduled for the second Thursday in December, but training for the Varsity Match starts in September, several weeks before the Michaelmas Term, with pre-season preparation and an overseas tour.
Whilst the Oxford men toured Toulon this year, Cambridge travelled to Portugal. Intense morning gym sessions and afternoon field practice meant that it wasn’t all tanning oil and budgie smugglers, though.
2:07pm Our Varsity photographer, Devarshi Lodhia, is feeling understandably peeved having missed out on some first-class broccoli and stilton soup from the Twickenham Rugby Writers' Room.
2:03pm The students have woken up and the atmosphere is building at Twickenham. Billed as the 'Battle of the Blues', this world-renowned rugby game will be played in front of approximately 40,000 spectators and an international television audience.
Ben Cisneros and Danny Wittenberg are still here to bring you live commentary and chat to accompany our stream. You won't miss a thing - unless we're busy dissing Oxford hacks.
1:55pm Our Varsity rugby columnist, Ben Cisneros, caught up with Cambridge Blue Andy Burnett in the build-up to the match:
"We’re not nervous. It ultimately comes down to who turns up. I do find it more difficult to prepare for a match with an overnight stay, but I try and think about the technical aspects of the game.
"You also have to remember you’re actually playing an important match rather than just a night away with mates! My roommate said last night 'F*** the game’s tomorrow!' – you do forget..."
1:47pm The Men’s Varsity Match has been played every year since 1872 but Oxford's win last year was a record sixth successive triumph.
Even the presence of Wales centre Jamie Roberts could not prevent Cambridge from suffering a sixth successive defeat when the sides met in 2015 and the Dark Blues eventually ran out 12-6 winners.
1:40pm The men’s match is now V minus one hour – not too long until we find out whether Cambridge can overturn Oxford’s six-game streak in this fixture and widen the 61-59 winning margin over their arch rivals.
1:25pm Our Sports Editor Paul Hyland is here with his on-the-whistle match report as Oxford's women head off to celebrate their first victory at the home of England Rugby.
"Oxford University Women’s Rugby Football Club have won the women’s Varsity Match at Twickenham Stadium for the first time in their history. A try-less match was settled at 3-0 thanks to a penalty from Oxford fly-half Catherine Wilcock.
"Wilcock’s right boot struck the decisive blow scarcely 15 minutes into the contest. The Dark Blues’ number 10 calmly dispatched her kick just outside the Cambridge 22 metre line after referee Claire Hodnett spotted an infringement from Trinity lock Gabriella Johansson, drafted into the starting line in the absence of scrum-half Lydie Thorne.
"Cambridge, who spent little time in Oxford territory, had been playing far too much rugby in their own half, generally opting to break forward instead of kicking, and were punished with a 3-0 deficit at half time..."
Tight game in the women's Varsity Match. Congrats to Oxford, especially as they got trounced last year. #thisgirlcan— Vic Goddard (@vicgoddard) December 8, 2016
1:22pm That concludes our coverage of the first of the two Varsity matches here at Twickenham today. A scrappy and dogged encounter ended in the narrowest of victories for the Oxford women, with Wilcock's penalty in the 15th minute the only score. Cambridge were dominant in the second half and spent large periods in the Oxford 22. Ultimately, though, handling errors cost them, and they were denied repeatedly by the Oxford defence. The Light Blue full-back, Middleton, showed her class with some lovely moments of individual brilliance throughout the game but it was her opposite number Sophie Trott who won the day. Stay tuned for more post-match reaction and pictures, and for the men's match which kicks off at 2:30pm.
It may be the lowest scoring Rugby win ever, but what a game in the Womens Varsity match! Cambridge kept on battling, but Oxford held firm!— Powered by Tea (@zeetha) December 8, 2016
1:14pm Sophie Trott is deservedly named Player of the Match, after an inspirational performance from full-back. Some of those tackles - as well as her searing breaks - will live long in the memory. Congratulations to her and the whole Oxford team!
FULL TIME: The game ends with a knock-on at the line-out and Oxford are the 2016 Varsity Match winners. A scrappy game has ended 3-0 to Oxford. Cambridge had so many opportunities in that second-half - right up until the final whistle - so they will undoubtedly be disappointed with the result. Heroic defence from Oxford won it in the end.
79' Charlton almost scores for Cambridge but some heroic defence does it for Oxford. Last lineout for Cambridge with no time left!
It's been a better performance from Cambridge so far. Improved handling, more hungry going forward. But this game still feels try-less.— Paul Hyland (@paulhyland08) December 8, 2016
79' Cambridge throw it wide and the ball goes to ground - it's hacked through and Trott clears up at the back for Oxford. Cambridge lineout 15m out.
78' An Oxford knock-on in their 22 gives Cambridge a scrum. With under 2 minutes to go, this has to be it.
77' Substitution: Evans on for Marks for Cambridge at No.10.
76' Gibson goes clear down the wing! A great run by the Cambridge winger takes play up to the Oxford 22 again, but she is stopped by yet another phenomenal hit by Trott.
75' (time correction) There's now another scrum in midfield after a Light Blue knock-on. You wonder if Cambridge's chance has gone. Rose races away for Oxford but there was clearly a forward pass.
75' PENALTY to Cambridge at the scrum and they've opted for the tap and go when 3 points were on offer. They go wide and knock-on...
73' It's looking like a one-try game at this point and Cambridge are so close. But Oxford hold them up in the tackle and win the turnover - scrum Oxford 7m out.
72' Cambridge win the ball back and are over the line! The referee says the ball was held up, much to the crowd's frustration. Scrum to Cambridge 5m out.
Still 3-0 with ten minutes left for Cambridge to make a decisive move. No more shoulda, woulda, Kuda, please! pic.twitter.com/W9TWCEheLN— Varsity (@VarsityUK) December 8, 2016
70' Try-saving tackle again by Trott!!! Brilliant Cambridge attack as Farrant speeds towards the corner. She looked destined to score but WHAT a hit by Trott. Oxford line-out 5m out.
67' A clean break in midfield by Cambridge's Laura Suggitt! What a move! She takes play into the 22 but the ball is knocked on as the Light Blues look to go wide...Have to say, a great tackle by Oxford's full-back Trott who was one-on-one with Suggitt - she's had a great game.
66' An aimless box-kick from Bliss gifts possession back to Cambridge who come forward again, led by Middleton (of course).
65' A cheeky chip over the top is scooped up by Trott and Oxford break out. It's now Dark Blue possession on halfway.
64' Middleton is smashed in posession and stays down. Play is brought back for an earlier infringement, though, and Cambridge kick to the corner - finally they have the ball in the right area! It's a Cambridge line-out just inside the Oxford 22.
63' Cambridge have a penalty just inside the Oxford half as the Dark Blues are penalised for not rolling away.
61' Gibson goes clear for Cambridge! But, unsurprisingly at this point, the referee calls it back for an earlier knock-on.
57' Things are continuing to be quite messy, as Oxford's fly-half Wilcock decides she's had enough and boots it out to the 10m line. Another Cambridge knock-on gives Oxford possession. A neat hack through from Trott creates an opening for the Dark Blues but Middleton deals with it comfortably. There's a nice battle going on between the two full-backs...
53' I've been impressed with the Oxford half-backs so far - their distribution and kicking game has kept Oxford going forward in spite of some stronger Cambridge pressure. There are plenty of big hits going in but Cambridge are still struggling to find space.
51' Oxford make a very loose clearing kick which heads straight towards Farrant with acres of space. Unfortunately she knocks on trying to catch it, so Oxford have a scrum.
49' Sub reversal: Kate Marks is back on for Sophie Evans. Cambridge are now up into the Oxford 22. Much better territorial control in this half so far.
47' Middleton is Cambridge's best player at the moment - the Light Blues need to get her more into the game. Oxford possession in their own 22.
45' A Sonny Bill-esque offload from Middleton sees Farrant break clear from the Cambridge 22 and well into the Oxford half. Another knock-on brings the play to a halt though, and Oxford now have possession.
44' Substitution: Cambridge make a change at fly-half with Sophie Evans replacing Marks.
43' Bliss puts in a great kick to get Oxford out of trouble, and after a couple of knock-ons Trott goes clear down the wing for Oxford! Middleton comes racing across and puts in a huge hit to knock her into touch! Best play of the game so far.
40' We're underway again already - a short half-time! - Cambridge are already into the 22 as they look to start the second period brightly.
Both sides have plenty to discuss in half-time huddles, but it's Oxford with the scrappy 3-0 in the Varsity Match. pic.twitter.com/a4QRRpcTq0— Varsity (@VarsityUK) December 8, 2016
HALF-TIME: It's been a scrappy game so far with lots of handling errors from both sides. Both have put together some good passages of play, though, and there have been a couple of outstanding breaks to get the crowd excited. Cambridge, though, have been guilty of trying to play too much rugby in the wrong areas of the pitch. They seem to be suffering from the lack of a good kicking option to win them some field position. If they don't start getting the ball in the right areas in the second half they could be in trouble. Oxford's defence has been very strong and both sides have been putting in some impressive hits. It's a close game and reamins 3-0 to Oxford.
40' In the last play of the half, Oxford win the ball back but knock on. That's the end of the first half.
Both Oxford and Cambridge keep the blue flags flying high in south London. Still 3-0 to the Other Place. pic.twitter.com/UZl5nJMMwV— Varsity (@VarsityUK) December 8, 2016
39' Our time updates have gotten a little out of syn with the stadium clock but with under minute to go Cambridge are still trying to play their way out of their own half. They're starting to put some more phases together but are struggling to really break through the steely Oxford defence.
43' Oxford's No.5 Heerden is putting in some great hits in midfield, knocking Cambridge back well into their own half.
Coleman is taken off and Sophie Farraant comes on. Cambridge have possession on half-way.
38' Play resumes for a few moments, and Cambridge's No.13 Mary Coleman puts in a huge hit. She's come off second best, though, and looks to be in some discomfort as play is stopped.
37' The No.13 is back on her feet, though and the game is restarted. Oxford's No.22 Gemma Robson is finally on to replace Bunting.
37' Oxford's rush defence hits Cambridge well behind the gainline and forces the turnover. Cambridge win it back though and are trying to play their way out of their half again. Meanwhile, Oxford's Ashilokun is down injured, bringing play to a halt.
35' Cambridge are playing their way out of their half well as they make the most of the fact that Oxford are yet to bring Bunting's replacement on. Some lovely exchanges in midfield get them up to halfway.
@VarsityUK well seeing as the team probs consists of Land Economists.. expected, really..— Nigel John Short (@JohnShort70) December 8, 2016
32' As Wilcock misses touch, Bunting leaves the field after that dangerous tackle.
Middleton beginning to light up this contest. A 50 metre run stopped at the last by her opposite number. Real buzz when she gets the ball.— Paul Hyland (@paulhyland08) December 8, 2016
31' Oxford's Bunting makes a great break down the right wing and is brought down by a high tackle - penalty to Oxford just inside the Cambridge half on the far-right flank.
28' This time it's Alice Middleton's turn to make a 50m break! Cambridge make it into the 22 but Oxford manage to turn it over an clear to touch. Cambridge line-out on the Oxford 10m line.
27' A great break by Oxford's No.15 Sophie Trott sees Oxford well into the Cambridge half but the Light Blue defence holds out and forces yet another knock-on.
24' This time Cambridge win a penalty at the breakdown and they're now into the Oxford half with some great stepping by fullback and captain Alice Middleton.
23' I'm beginning to wonder if the players' hands are as cold as mine as yet another ball is dropped. It's adjudged to have gone backwards and Cambridge maintain possession around halfway.
22' Oxford are doing great work at the breakdown and win another penalty for holding on. They take the quick tap but the ball goes to ground and Cambridge have a scrum - plenty of work for the front rows early on!
21' Both sides' handling skills are letting them down at the moment. Both are wanting to play good rugby but things aren't quite clicking just yet, and both defences are strong.
20' A slip-up in midfield by Oxford gives the Light Blues some much needed territory and possession, and they are now almost into the 22.
19' Another good box-kick from Oxford's No.9 puts pressure on the back three and Cambridge knock-on.
Cambridge behind, but Charlton their best player so far. Some big hits put in by her so far. Pen scorer Wilcock just felt the full force.— Paul Hyland (@paulhyland08) December 8, 2016
18' Although the quality of the handling has been poor so far, there have been some great hits going in as Cambridge turn it over and are up to the Oxford 10m line.
16' Excellent clearance kick by Oxford's Bliss and Cambridge have a lineout on their own 10m line. Knock-on though and Oxford have another scrum. Basic errors costing the Light Blues at the moment.
15' 3-0 Oxford! Wilcock makes the kick and now Cambridge can finally get out of their 22...
14' After Cambridge got possession back following a forward pass, Oxford win a penalty for holding on. It's right in front of the posts and Catherine Wilcock is going for points.
12' Having opted to try and play their way out, Cambridge knock on and Oxford have another scrum in a good attacking position.
11' But Cambridge win the penalty for holding on! Pressure momentarily relieved.
Cannot describe how cool it is to be able watch a uni women's rugby game officiated by a woman, commentated by women at Twickenham— El Matthews (@eljmatthews) December 8, 2016
11' Some great defence from Oxford wins them the turn over and now they're 5m out from the Cambridge line.
10' This time it's Oxford's turn to knock on, and Cambridge have a scrum out wide on the 22m line.
8' Cambridge fumble twice in their own 22, though the referee (Claire Hodnett) only spotted the second. Scrum to Oxford inside the Light Blue 22.
7': Some strong carries from Cambridge earn them some yards around halfway but it is ultimately in vain as Oxford hold them up and win the scrum.
5': Oxford manage to string a few phases together but a crunching tackle knock them into touch and the Light Blues have regained possession on their side of halfway.
3': Oxford manage to turn it over but then knock on in midfield - Cambridge scrum on the halfway line.
1': Penalty to Cambridge early on as Oxford are pinged for not rolling away. Cambridge line-out on their own 10m line.
11:30am 0': It's Oxford to kick us off for the 2nd ever women's Varisty match at Twickenham, and we're underway!
11:29am The anthem has been sung and the teams go into their huddles to prepare for kick-off. Here we go!
11:28am Shout-out to our journalistic counterparts over at 'The Other Place'.
11:25am With kick-off just over five minutes away, the Cambridge fans are clearly the louder, as they hope that their side can make it three in a row in the Varsity Match. Fun fact: in the history of the women's fixture, there has never been a draw... here's hoping for an exciting game!
Freshers Prepare for First Oxbridge Clash In an endeavour to find out how students achieve anything in their first term, Danny Wittenberg has spoken to some of his fellow Freshers ahead of their Varsity debuts.
Sophie Evans (Wing, 1st Year MML, Gonville and Caius): “I'm obviously feeling a little nervous, given that Twickenham is the home of England Rugby and that a crowd and camera crew will be there, but I’m also really excited.
“It isn’t every day that you get the chance to play at this famous venue and I want to savour every moment. The team have been training exceptionally hard and it is shaping up to be a really great game.
Mary Coleman (Centre, 1st Year, Kings): “We're really excited. I can't wait to play in front of a huge crowd and show everyone what we've got to offer. It should be a really good game.
“We think the preparation has gone really well. Varsity has always been in the back of our minds since the start of the season and the last few weeks have been especially intense, making sure we iron out any small weaknesses so that we can be as good as possible.”
11:10am For those of you just joining us, Ben Cisneros will have every detail covered from both games here at the home of England Rugby, while Danny Wittenberg will try his best to bring you the banter.
The Women's Varsity Match kicks off at 11.30am, before Oxford and Cambridge's men take to the Twickenham turf at 2.30pm.
There has been a slight re-shuffling of the Cambridge line-up, and they have only 22 players fit to play today. The team is now as follows:
1. Alice Elgar*(Girton) 2. Emma Pierce (St Catharine's) 3. Laura Nunez-Mulder* (Emmanuel) 4. Gabriella Johansson (Churchill) 5. Livvy Probert (Downing) 6. Nikki Weckman (Trinity) 7. Chloe Withers* (Fitzwilliam) 8. Emily Pratt (Emmanuel) 9. Molly Byrne* (Jesus) 10. Kate Marks (Murray Edwards) 11. Lara Gibson* (Lucy Cavendish) 12. Jessica Charlton* (Newnham) 13. Mary Coleman (Kings') 14. Laura Suggitt* (St Edmund’s) 15. Alice Middleton (Captain)* (Lucy Cavendish)
Replacements: 16. Katerina Sanchez-Schilling (St Edmund’s) 17. Catriona Brickel (St Catharine's) 18. Jacqueline Bramley (Girton) 19. Tabitha Burgess (Fitzwilliam) 20. Sophie Farrant* (Emmanuel) 21. Sophie Evans (Gonville & Caius) 22. Katherine Monks (Homerton) *Denotes Blue
1. Sophie Trott (Wadham) 14. Affi Bunting (New College) 13. Princess Ashilokun (Magdalen) 12. Heli Copley (Keble) 11. Millie Rose (St Anne’s) 10. Catherine Wilcock (Capt) (Wadham) 9. Carly Bliss (St Edmund Hall) 1. Jenny Smith (St John’s) 2. Pat Metcalfe-Jones (Christ Church) 3. Cecilia Peker (St John’s) 4. Leanne Robinson (Keble) 5. Elmarie van Heerden (Lady Margaret Hall) 6. Hester Odgers (Lady Margaret Hall) 7. Caitlin McArdle (Green Templeton) 8. Sophie Behan (St Edmund Hall)
Replacements: 16. Gwen Cartwright (New College) 17. Carolina Matté-Gregory (Mansfield) 18. Harriet McCay (New College) 19. Sophie Taylor (St Hilda’s) 20. Mollie MacGinty (St Hilda’s) 21. Imogen Duffy (Oriel) 22. Gemma Robson (St Benet’s) 23. Katarina Martinovic (St Catherine’s)
10:55am Varsity's Sports Editor, Paul Hyland, has been talking tactics, tries and Twickenham with the Cambridge Women's skipper, Alice Middleton, ahead of this morning's game. Read the full interview on our website before kick-off. Paul will be back with reports and reaction post-match.
10:50am Cambridge's women, it should be noted, trail in the overall standings with 11 wins to Oxford’s 18 but the Light Blues have romped to victory in their two most recent meetings, including a famous 52-0 in 2015.
10:45am The Women’s Varsity Match was first played in March 1988 at the Oxford University Sports Complex as Cambridge edged home with a last-gasp try in front of a few hundred spectators.
The major breakthrough came last year when Oxford and Cambridge's women clashed for the first time at Twickenham, the biggest rugby stage in the world.
10:37am The 30th Women’s Varsity Match is less than one hour away. Following a landmark game last year, the first time that the female fixture took place alongside the men’s match at Twickenham, Cambridge will be aiming to repeat their victory over Oxford, who lead 18-11 overall. No doubt, the nerves are mounting in both dressing rooms.
Welcome to the 135th battle in one of the world’s oldest and fiercest sporting conflicts. Female and male teams from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford are once again poised to compete for the most prestigious prizes in amateur rugby union, at the spiritual home of the sport – and only handful of victories separate the sides in the history books.
Stay tuned for every tackle and tweet throughout the day with our constantly-updating coverage, live from the press box at Twickenham and around the ground. It is called the Varsity Match after all.
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