The Varsity Rugby Matches are back after a hiatus last year due to the pandemicLevente Koroes

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Join Varsity for all the latest coverage, photos and match reports from the Varsity Rugby Matches 2021.

  • Cambridge see out Oxford 10-5 to win the 34th Women’s Varsity Match 
  • Oxford cruise to 34-7 victory in the 139th Men’s Varsity Match
  • Cambridge fall short of their double victory at Twickenham in 2019, which saw respective 8-5 and 15-0 wins in the Women’s and Men’s Matches


And here is the match report for the Men's Match. A disappointing end to the day, but the Light Blues gave it their all, securing the victory in the Women's Match earlier on. Thank you for joining Varsity this afternoon and evening, and it's goodbye from Cameron, Jack and Levente :)

5:26pm FT Oxford 34-7 Cambridge

It looked as though Cambridge might have had a consolation try there from James Elms, who picked up the ball in space following a ricocheted pass, but it was called back for a forward pass.

And then the whistle goes for full time. Oxford incredibly dominant, especially in the second half where they picked up eighteen points to build on the 16-7 half-time score. Match report to follow shortly.

5:21pm Oxford 34-7 Cambridge

Oxford's Andrew Durutalo is awarded the Player of the Match award.

5:21pm Oxford 34-7 Cambridge

Tom Humberstone misses the subsequent conversion.

5:19pm Oxford 34-7 Cambridge

Cambridge getting sloppy with their passing now as Henry Hackett intercepts in acres of space and takes it the other way to score his second try of the day. Game over now surely.

5:15pm Oxford 29-7 Cambridge

Under ten minutes left and the cries of “Oxford!” ring out around the Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium.

5:14pm Oxford 29-7 Cambridge

And Oxford are awarded yet another penalty, this time well inside the 22. Looks like it might be all over for Cambridge now. But it is taken quickly, in search of a fourth try.

5:13pm Oxford 29-7 Cambridge

Some snaps from the start of the first half!

5:11pm Oxford 29-7 Cambridge

Under twelve minutes left now, and it's not looking great for the Light Blues.

5:10pm Oxford 29-7 Cambridge

That was an incredible effort from Andrew Humberstone, who launches the ball through the posts from just inside the halfway line.

5:05pm Oxford 26-7 Cambridge

Apologies for the delay there, the internet connection dropped (and is still slightly tenuous). Cambridge have just over fifteen minutes to capitalise on their one man advantage. 19 points might just be too great a challenge.

4:56pm Oxford 26 - 7 Cambridge

It's been disallowed! And Oxford's Herbert Watson is sent off.

4:54pm Oxford 26-12[sic] Cambridge

There is life in the game yet for Cambridge! The Light Blues respond with a very quick try of their own, in similar fashion to Oxford, working the ball past the try line with strong efforts from the forwards. It’s not over yet…

4:54pm Oxford 26-7 Cambridge

Oxford score again. Following more sustained goal line pressure, the ball comes out of the ruck to scrum half Callum Grant who finds a gap to score the third Oxford try of the game.

Tom Humberstone then knocks through another conversion.

4:48pm Oxford 19-7 Cambridge

The rain is coming down increasingly harder, as Cambridge's Dan Collins is receiving treatment for a leg injury. Play has been rather slow in the past five minutes or so, with the Dark Blues looking good.

4:41pm Oxford 19-7 Cambridge

Just as Cambridge looked to be getting back in the game through blocking an Oxford kick, the ricochet falls perfectly for Herbert Watson, who flies up the left wing, only to be stopped by a big Cambridge tackle.

4:39pm Oxford 19-7 Cambridge

Another penalty given away by Cambridge inside their own 22 allows Oxford to add three points to their lead, thanks to an easy kick down the middle from Tom Humberstone.

4:36pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

However Cambridge escape the pressure thanks to a penalty given away by Durutalo.

4:35pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

Cambridge look really under the cosh here as Oxford pile the pressure on inside the 5 metre line.

4:34pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

Oxford have now suffered a second injury, this time to hooker Will Barker, who has been replaced by Herbert Watson.

4:31pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

And the whistle has gone for the start of the second half.

4:31pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

And welcome back to the second half of the 139th Men's Varsity Match. After a quick start in the first half for Cambridge through a Gatus try and Dussartre conversion, Oxford eased to a comfortable lead going in at the break. You get the feeling that if the Dark Blues get the next set of points then it may well be their game to win.

4:18pm HT Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

And that’s half time as Tom Humbertsone launches the ball out of play. The tide has very much turned Dark Blue over the course of that first half after that promising Cambridge start. See you in about fifteen for the second half.

4:17pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

Very impressive catch from Oxford wing Louis Jackson, who takes in a long kick from one of his own backs, under the challenge of a Cambridge defender. Ultimately comes to nothing, despite looking dangerous.

4:15pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

Again, Tom Humberstone misses the conversion, this time by a significant distance. However, it was from the right touchline so was always going to be challenging.

4:14pm Oxford 16-7 Cambridge

John Aaron Henry scores for the Dark Blues, having taken a very quick line-out on the right flank and received the pass back, with barely a single Cambridge defender to stop him. 

4:10pm Oxford 11-7 Cambridge

Kicking duties handed back to Tom Humberstone, who easily knocks through a penalty from inside the 22 and just to the right of the posts.

4:08pm Oxford 8-7 Cambridge

Just under ten minutes to go in this half and Oxford are looking slightly better as we go into the break. A strong start from Cambridge leaves them a point behind for now.

4:04pm Oxford 8-7 Cambridge

The other Humberstone in the squad takes charge of this kick but fares no better, with his penalty hitting the post.

3:57pm Oxford 8-7 Cambridge 

Humberstone falls just short of the posts with his conversion effort from the left touchline.

3:55pm Oxford 8-7 Cambridge

The Dark Blues have really been piling on the pressure now as they've forced Cambridge to put everything on the line. After a few minutes of scrappy goal line play, they send the ball wide to replacement Henry Hackett on the left, who takes it across the line.

3:53pm Oxford 3-7 Cambridge

Oxford beginning to string a few phases together now as they progress through Cambridge territory.

3:49pm Oxford 3-7 Cambridge

Big chance for Cambridge! Gatus picks up steam again and breaks two tackles before failing to pull off an ambitious pass behind him.

3:48pm Oxford 3-7 Cambridge

Despite coming off at 28 minutes in 2019, Humberstone will be remembered for his 18-point worthy performance of 2018, in which he scored 5 conversions, one try and one penalty.

3:47pm Oxford 3-7 Cambridge

Tom Humberstone brings Oxford back into contention with three points from a tidy penalty.

3:45pm Oxford 0-7 Cambridge

And Oxford have been forced into an early replacement with Henry Hackett coming on for the injured Rob Quinlan.

3:41pm Oxford 0-7 Cambridge

That’s our first look at American international Durutalo, who looked to pick up a head of steam having stolen a line out, but Dussartre was more than able to stop him progressing any further.

3:34pm Oxford 0-7 Cambridge

A very lively start to this one as Oxford looked to have scored, but wing Rob Quinlan seems to have stepped out into touch before handing it off.

3:32pm Oxford 0-7 Cambridge

And former French U20 international Etienne Dussartre makes it 7-0 with his solid conversion. Wow.

3:31pm Oxford 0-5 Cambridge

HUGE start for Cambridge as full-back Joe Gatus takes it over the line! Great hands from Chibale and Jemphrey to get through the Oxford defence.


God Save the Queen rings out once again, the players take the knee, and we're underway!


Oxford Replacements: Louis Wright (Trinity), Barnaby Vaughan (Corpus Christi), Matt Dennis-Soto (Kellogg), Charlie Papworth (Jesus), Herbert Watson (St Edmund Hall), Rory Tegner (Pembroke), Henry Hackett (Christ Church), Oscar Marriott-Clarke (Magdalen)


Oxford XV: Dan Stoller (Queen’s), Louis Jackson (Oriel), Nick Greenlagh (Keble), Andrew Humberstone (Wolfson), Rob Quinlan (Jesus), Tom Humberstone (Jesus), Calum Grant (St. Anne’s), John Aaron Henry (Somerville), Will Barker (Keble), Euan Friend (University) Jasper Dix (Oriel), Piers von Dadelszen (St Edmund Hall), Sam Miller (St Edmund Hall), Andrew Durutalo (Green Templeton), George Messum (C) (Kellogg)


Cambridge Replacements: Luke Parry (Downing), Ben Jackson (Sidney Sussex), Iham Kasem (Emmanuel), Jack Blair (Hughes Hall), Matt West (St. John’s), James Elms (Magdalene), Max Loveridge (Jesus), Dougal Russell (St. John’s)


Cambridge XV: Joe Gatus (Corpus Christi), Sam Isaacs (Hughes Hall), Suwi Chibale (Queens’), Jake Hennessey (Trinity), Fergus Jemphrey (Homerton), Etienne Dussartre (St. Catherine’s), Charles Favell (Homerton), Dan Collins (Fitzwilliam), Jamey Chaudhry (Homerton), Matt Pettit (Clare), Tom Walton (St. John’s), Zac Bischoff (St. John’s), Hugo Lloyd Williams (St. John’s), Demi Obembe (Churchill), Stephen Leonard (C) (Emmanuel)


Cambridge will be looking to continue their success after their 15-0 victory over Oxford at Twickenham in 2019, and will want to emulate the 2019 double victory after the Light Blues beat the Dark Blues 10-5 earlier this afternoon.


Welcome back, as the 139th Men's Varsity Match will get underway in around five minutes! 


And here is our match report for the Women's Varsity Match. We'll be back in around five minutes for the Men's!


Match report to follow shortly, before our attention turns to the 139th Men's Varsity Match at 15:30 (BST).

2:46pm FT Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

The Light Blues have done it! Cambridge finally spot the clock has hit zero and knock the ball out of play to end.

2:44pm Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

Anna Park, who has just been nominated the official player of the match, fails to put Cambridge out of sight by missing a somewhat challenging penalty from the left of the posts.

2:43pm Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

That’s two huge hits from Cambridge's Maggie Simpson in just as many minutes. Looking like one of the best players in this game.

2:41pm Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

Under three minutes to go as Oxford’s Ruby James replaces former Cambridge player Jessi Abele.

2:36pm Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

Cambridge were away there! Three players overloading the left wing but the pass from Jenni Shuttleworth was just behind Osborne and she couldn’t quite bring it in.

2:33pm Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

Oxford’s Ginny Gough replaced Maya Mellor just before that penalty.

2:32pm Oxford 5-10 Cambridge

Anna Park extends Cambridge’s lead by another three points by converting an easy penalty!

2:32pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

It’s Oxford’s turn to make a change as Laurel Chor comes on at right wing. Maddie Hindson moves to the left wing as Helen Potts comes off.

2:27pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

And now Rhiannon Osborne takes the place of Saffron Hicks for Cambridge. 17 minutes left.

2:24pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Emilia Bushrod comes on for Colette Rusell with 19 minutes left to play.

2:23pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Quick line out taken to Fiona Shuttleworth catches the Oxford forwards off guard and sets Cambridge off past the 5 metre line. A knock on gives Cambridge the ball back and although Anna Park takes it across the try line, it is held up yet again. Intense rugby halfway throughout the second half.

2:16pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

It looks as though both Alice Elgar and Laura Bleehen have come on for Cambridge. With this appearance, Elgar will match Cooper’s total of six Varsities.

2:10pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Megan Isaac makes a very dangerous run into the Cambridge half à la Maggie Simpson, but is stopped by a strong one-on-one tackle on the left wing.


Both sides now having a quick drinks break after a fast-paced opening ten minutes to this second half.

2:08pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge 

Oxford’s Wales international Manon Johnes looks to be getting more in the game now, despite playing as scrum-half instead of her usual back row, as she breaks three tackles to take it into Cambridge territory.

2:06pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Great play from Cambridge’s 2019 captain Fiona Shuttleworth as she capitalises on Oxford’s failed line-out. Very nearly breaks past the 5 metre line.

2:05pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Cambridge look on top here in the first 10 minutes of the second half, as Oxford can’t really seem to get out of their own half.

2:02pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

And that’s some really nice hands as Oxford work it out to their right wing Maddie Hindson. A big tackle from Maggie Simpson stops them in their tracks however.

2:02pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Maggie Simpson with yet more strong running as she breaks more Oxford tackles. Unfortunately, her fellow centre Emily Bell drops the hand-off.

1:59pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Interestingly, Oxford No.8 Hannah Cooper is playing her sixth Varsity this year, having first played in 2015. Her first two games were, in fact, in Light Blue, as she switched in 2017.

1:58pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

And we’re back for the second half! Anna Park kicks to Hannah Cooper to get us underway.

1:45pm HT Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

And that’s half-time. An intense forty minutes of rugby with Cambridge just taking the lead. The second half should be just as dramatic - see you shortly!

1:43pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Frustration for Cambridge! They're over the tryline yet again as Anna Park intercepts a wayward Oxford pass inside the 5 metre line, but the referee has called it back and the try won’t stand.

1:38pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Some photographs of the first-half action!

1:37pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

And Maggie Simpson is off again! With Jenni Shuttleworth winning the ball back, she hands off to Simpson, who races down the left flank again but is stopped just short of the Oxford 22.

1:32pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Ten minutes to go in this half and it really is anyone’s game as the rain starts to come down.

1:30pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

However Oxford are by no means out of the game. Megan Isaac very nearly breaks the Cambridge defence but is stopped by an important tackle.

1:28pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

That seems to have given Cambridge a real boost as they dominate again straight from kick off.

1:27pm Oxford 5-7 Cambridge

Number 8 Anna Park adds to the points tally, scoring a seemingly impossible conversion from the far left flank. 

1:26pm Oxford 5-5 Cambridge

TRY FOR CAMBRIDGE! Great running from Maggie Simpson again as this time she gets all the way to the left hand corner and scores the Light Blues' first try.

1:22pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

A quick drinks break marks the halfway point of the first half.

1:21pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

More roars from the stands as Cambridge reach the tryline, but again Oxford hold the ball up.

1:20pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

Cambridge break the Oxford lines twice in quick succession to approach the Oxford 22 as scrum-half Colette Russell carries it deeper.

1:18pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

Cambridge withstand a spell of Oxford pressure on their own 22 and receive a penalty to show for it. The ball goes out and normal play resumes.

1:14pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

Coming up to fifteen minutes in and, aside from the first few minutes, these sides have looked relatively even. Some wild kicking from both sides too, which has lost them possession on a few occasions.

1:08pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

Encouraging signs for Cambridge. Maggie Simpson very nearly breaks the Oxford line but is held up just short of the tryline.

1:06pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

Oxford captain Fiona Kennedy misses the conversion from a convenient position to the right of the posts.

1:04pm Oxford 5-0 Cambridge

Try for Italian international Bianca Coltellini, who is given the ball from a free kick on the 5 metre line.

1:04pm Oxford 0-0 Cambridge

Oxford looking very dangerous in the early moments of this game. A lot of possession inside the Cambridge 22.


And we're underway!


A quick rendition of the national anthem and we’re ready to go.


The speakers are booming as the women's teams walk out to the Leicester sunshine


Cambridge will be looking to catch up to Oxford in this women’s game, as the latter currently sit 21-12 behind over the course of the last 33 games.


Today’s referee for the men’s game, Andrew Jackson, said about the changed format: “With no scrums or mauls I think we are going to have a lot of running and creative rugby”


If you’re not yet aware, we will be playing with the RFU’s COVID-19 Law Variations in both matches today. This means that there will be no scrums and no mauls. Instead, play will be restarted by a free kick and players are forbidden from binding to a ball-carrying team-mate.


Oxford Replacements: Ruby James (Brasenose), Ginny Gough (Regent’s Park), Iris Maxfield (St Anne’s), Alex Allum-Pearce (St Hugh’s), Rachel Martin (Brasenose), Stella Farmer (Worcester), Laurel Chor (Christ Church), Chloe Hawley (St Catherine’s)


Meanwhile for Oxford, their Starting XV: Clodagh Holmes (Chellaston Academy & University), Maddie Hindson (Monks Walk School & University), Megan Carter (Lincoln), Bianca Coltellini (Keble), Helen Potts (New), Fiona Kennedy (St Hilda’s), Manon Johnes (St Catherine’s), Maya Mellor (Somerville), Milly Cadman (St Hugh’s), Jessi Abele (Exeter), Katie Collis (Lincoln), Carla Schmidt (New), Megan Isaac (Exeter), Alex Travers (Worcester), Hannah Cooper (Worcester)


There is a lot of Varsity experience in this Light Blue squad, as 12 of the 23 have played in at least one Varsity match before. This contrasts with Oxford’s 8.


Cambridge Replacements: Rhiannon Osborne (St Catharine’s), Laura Bleehen (Girton), Alice Elgar (Girton), Rose Scowen (Magdalene), Cara Prowling (St John’s), Emilia Bushrod (Pembroke), Jen Atherton (Jesus), Suzi Pozniak (St Catharine’s)


Cambridge Starting XV: Ella Harcrow (Murray Edwards), Hetta Friend (Robinson), Emily Bell (Fitzwilliam), Maggie Simpson (Hughes Hall), Emma Jones (Selwyn), Elisha Clark (St John’s), Colette Russell (Fitzwilliam), Liz Stevenson (Darwin), Charlotte Spruzen (Queens’), Vianney Gomezgill Yaspik (St Edmund’s), Saffron Hicks (Selwyn), Hilde Schneemann (Darwin), Jenni Shuttleworth (Churchill), Fiona Shuttleworth (Churchill), Anna Park (Newnham)


Welcome to Varsity’s coverage of the Varsity Rugby Matches 2021, live from the home of Leicester Tigers at the Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium! We are looking forward to bringing you all the latest developments this afternoon as they happen, with the Women’s Match just under ten minutes away.