The Oxford players lifting the well-deserved trophyLevente Koroes

Oxford have thrashed Cambridge 34-7 to ease to victory in the 2021 Men’s Varsity Rugby Match, following Cambridge’s 10-5 victory in the Women’s Match earlier this afternoon (04/07).

Following a second round of the national anthem, the men kicked off just after 15:30 and Cambridge made an electric start. Within a minute, the Cambridge backs found themselves in a lot of space up the left flank as Chibale offloaded to 2019 hero Jemphrey, passing it once more to full back Joe Gatus, who raced to the tryline to score the first try of the game. Despite a tricky position towards the left side of the pitch, former French U20 international Etienne Dussartre converted to make it Cambridge 7-0 Oxford very early on. Within moments, Oxford looked to respond, as they too raced up their own left flank and would have scored, were it not for wing Rob Quinlan stepping into touch. And that was to be one of his few contributions as Quinlan was forced to be replaced just ten minutes later by Henry Hackett, following a heavy tackle.

From this point onwards, Oxford seemed to take a stronger hold over the first half, as Tom Humberstone scored a penalty around the 15 minute mark to make it 3-7. This was followed by a period of intense Oxford pressure on the Cambridge try line, which, after an impressive few minutes of defensive work, came good when the ball was flung wide to left wing Henry Hackett, who found enough space to finally reach the try line. With Humberstone failing to add to his tally with a conversion, the score remained tight at 8-7. Following this miss, Andrew Humberstone took over, but failed to score a penalty soon after. With Tom Humberstone resuming kicking duties, he knocked through an easy penalty to make it 11-7 with eight minutes remaining. With less than five minutes left, Oxford prop John Aaron Henry caught Cambridge napping with a quick line-out deep in Cambridge territory, which he then received back to squeeze past the tryline. The scoreline at half time read 16-7, but it was by no means a done deal.


Mountain View

Oxford 5-10 Cambridge: Light Blues victorious in 34th Women’s Varsity Rugby Match

Oxford continued to dominate, ultimately scoring 18 more points unanswered in the second half. Within ten minutes, following sustained goal line pressure, Humberstone scored another penalty to make it 19-7. Two minutes later, Herbert Watson, who had come on just after half time to replace the injured hooker Will Barker, picked the ball up after it ricocheted off a Cambridge block and took it the distance to score Oxford’s third try of the game. With 15 minutes left, Callum Grant was given the ball out of a ruck on the Cambridge try line and managed to find a gap to add to the Oxford onslaught. Humberstone’s conversion made it 26-7, with the game looking increasingly out of sight. But there was life in the Light Blues yet as they seemed to have scored a try through some strong forward play, but it was disallowed by the referee, who proceeded to send replacement and try scorer Herbert Watson off.

Despite this one man advantage, Cambridge failed to get back into the game, conceding another penalty, this time scored by Andrew Humberstone from very long distance. With seven minutes left on the clock, Cambridge’s passing became sloppy and Henry Hackett, the replacement Oxford wing, capitalised, intercepting a ball around the halfway line and taking it back all the way to the Cambridge try line. As a thunderstorm set in and the scoreline read Oxford 34-7 Cambridge, the game was well and truly over.

This evening’s victory sees Oxford reduce the overall deficit in the fixture, claiming their 61st win since the inaugural match in 1872, while Cambridge remain three ahead on 64 wins.

Varsity’s Player of the Match: Henry Hackett (Oxford)


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 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)

Oxford XV: Dan Stoller (Queen’s), Louis Jackson (Oriel), Nick Greenhalgh (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)

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)