There will be some big bragging rights on offer for the winners of the Women’s Varsity Match at Twickenham this weekend as both Oxford and Cambridge come into the game level on one win each in the BUCS League.
Cambridge won 15-0 at home, while Oxford turned around their season with a 12-10 triumph at Iffley Road recently. That makes the game at Twickenham a true decider on who is the best team this season.
Jess Abele’s Oxford side will be seeking their first Varsity Match win since their epic and heroic 3-0 triumph at the home of English rugby in 2016. For Laura Bleehen’s Cambridge side, the ultimate prize will be a club record five Varsity wins in a row.
The first of the two BUCS Premier (South) league matches between the arch-rivals came on 23 November at Grange Road. It also provided Bleehen’s side with their first win of the season.
“That was a huge relief for us all and probably was a major turning point for us in the season. We were able to field our best team and give them a bit of a taste of what they can expect at Twickenham,” said Bleehen.
“I’ve been pretty confident every since that day that we can go to Twickenham and pull off another win. We’ve got 12 returning Blues and none of us wants to see the four match winning sequence end – especially not on our return to Twickenham.
“We weren’t able to complete the double over Oxford in the league. They scraped over the line 12-10 at Iffley Road, but it was a day when we didn’t want to reveal too much. I’m sure they will have taken great heart from that victory, but we will be ready for them on the day.”
It will be a day of mixed-emotions for Bleehen as she brings down the curtain on her three year rugby playing career at Cambridge. Prior to that she played in three football Varsity Matches as a goalkeeper.
“It is going to be a bitter-sweet occasion for me, knowing I won’t get another chance to play at Twickenham or in the blue and white hoops. But if we can win, that will off-set any hurt,” she added.