A late Cambridge try allowed them to retain the Varsity Match trophy after a thrilling draw against Oxford at Twickenham.
The Light Blues Mexican loose head prop Vianney Gomezgil Yaspik crossed the line fro a metre out six minutes from time to score what she claimed as “a great team try.”
Cambridge had early control in the game and this pressure came to a head in the 16th minute when Cambridge capitalized on a penalty from five metres out.
A pass back to Hetta Friend from a ruck five metres out allowed her to carve through the Oxford defence and leap over the line to make it 5-0.
However, Cambridge’s Laura Vass missed the conversion which denied them the chance to capitalize on their early success. Oxford’s main chance of the half came from a fluid run from Alexandra Travers down the right.
A savvy offload from Travers to Chloe-Marie Hawley left her with a run to try line, but this was brought back for a forward pass. Then five minutes later, Oxford faced the same issues but this time down the left wing as a forward pass halted the second time they had crossed the try line.
But the Dark Blues were on the scoreboard just before half time after a sustained period of pressure. From a ruck on the five- metre line, the ball was sent wide to Megan Isaac who fought through the grabs from the light blue and snuck over the line.
However, the conversion was missed from Oxford skipper Jessica Abele who conducts research for her PhD in finding a cure for prostate cancer away from the rugby pitch. Oxford started the first half as they had finished the first and found a lead in the first ten minutes.
Lauren Webb profited from early Oxford pressure and found herself with space to pounce down the left as she snuck through the Cambridge defence to make it 10-5. A third missed conversion of the afternoon left Cambridge just a try behind.
However, the Light Blue suffered a blow with 20 minutes to spare as Robyn Halcrow was stretchered off and replaced by Sophie Johnson. Nevertheless, they found their way back in the final 10 minutes after an onslaught of pressure and a building of phases found them metres away from the Oxford try line.
Sonia Ubong found some space and fought through the defence before being taken down but from the ruck it was Yaspik who picked it up and fought over the line.
A successful conversion would have given them a two- point lead but Laura Vass was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Despite some pressure in the dying moments from the Cambridge side, the game finished 10-10 and Cambridge head back having retained the trophy.
Scorers: Oxford: Tries: M Isaac, L Webb. Cambridge: Tries: H Friend, V Gomezgil Yaspik.
Oxford: C Holmes * (Chellaston Academy & University); C Hawley (JESS Dubai & St Catherine’s), A Travers * (Lady Eleanor Holles School & Worcester), C Gill (United World College of SE Asia & Queen’s), K Lawal (Ursuline HS, Wallington CG & St Catherine’s); M Cohen * (Norton HS & Jesus), E Ramirez Castillo + (School Hacienda los Alcaparros, Colombia & Geen Templeton); J Shorey (Nonsuch HS for Girls & St Hilda’s), R Martin (Ashby School & Brasenose), M Mellor * (Ripon GS & Somerville), I Kilcoyne (Henrietta Barnett School & St John’s), J Osborne (All Saints RC School, York & Regent’s Park), J Abele * (Schickhardt Gymnasium, Germany & Exeter, captain), L Webb (Solihull School & Corpus Christi), M Isaac * (King Edward VI, Camp Hill & Exeter)
Reps: I Zani (Nonsuch HS for Girls & Keble) for Holmes 42; A Wilkins (Pate’s GS & Lady Margaret Hall) for Shorey 54
Cambridge: E Bell * (St Philomena’s HS & Fitzwilliam); C Russell * (Stamford HS & Fitzwilliam), L Vass (The Perse School & Fitzwilliam), T Brough * (Oxford HS & Queens’), N Twigg (Llanfyllin HS & Homerton); E Jones * (King Edward’s School, Bath & Selwyn), M Bushrod * (Ysgol Gyfun Pencoed CS & Pembroke); L Bleehen * (Howell’s School, Llandaff & Girton, captain), S Hicks * (Colchester RGS & Selwyn), V Gomezgil Yaspik * (Bishop’s College, Canada & St Edmund’s), H Schneemann * (Regional School Pantarjin, Holland & Darwin), H Friend * (Wycombe Abbey & Robinson ), R Scowan * (Greenhead College & Magdalene),
S Lamont (King Edward VI, Morpeth & Corpus Christi), L Gregory * (Sussex 6th Form College & Corpus Christi)
Reps: D Burrowes (Dame Alice Owen’s School & Trinity Hall) for Russell 46; E Goddard (Durham Johnston CS & Pembroke) for Twigg 46; S Ubong (St Angela’s Usuline School & Darwin) for Gregory 46; C Prowling (Rodillian Academy & Pembroke) for Hicks 54; R Halcrow (Dowdale School & Fitzwilliam) for Schneehann 54; S Johnson (Bridgewater HS & Pembroke) for Halcrow 60
Referee: N Parsonage (RFU)