LIVEBLOG: The Varsity Rugby Match 2016

The Tab brings you live updates from the Battle of the Blues

camrbidge Oxbridge Oxford Rugby Sport twickenham Varsity

Could this be the year Cambridge break their run of losses to Oxf*rd? The Tab sports reporter, Miles Kekwick, brings you all the live updates from Twickenham with the heated ‘Battle of the Blues’. If you are at Twickenham, or just watching from the comfort of home, send your pictures to [email protected].

FULL TIME WOMEN’S SCORE: Cambridge 0 – Oxford 3

FULL TIME MEN’S SCORE: Cambridge 23 – Oxford 18

16:26 Cambridge raise the trophy. Finally breaking our Varsity dry run, they’ll be partying hard tonight. That’s it for the liveblog, see you at the Boat Race.


This is a match Cambridge can be proud to win. A real quality match with fluid, high-paced rugby, with Cambridge the deserved winners.

The fans are singing as the darkness descends over Twickenham. It’s been a historic day. Let’s see if we can make it 2/2 in the Boat Race.

16:06 Oxford score. Oxford have to get another try to win. 3 minutes left. We’re up 23-18

16:05: We could win this. Another 3 points. As fast as I can type, Cambridge have slotted home a penalty again. We’re up 23-13.

16:02 WE’VE SCORED. Rory Triniman finishes up a great phase of play from Cambridge with a try in the corner.

15:58 Cambridge score. 6″5′ Oxonian Basil Strang gives away another penalty. Our fly half Fraser Gillies coolly slots it between the posts. We’re winning by 3 points.

15:55 CAMBRIDGE MISSED PENALTY. Substitutions are made. Lots of tired feet out there. But we all know Cambridge students perform best under pressure. 12 minutes remaining. #GDBO

15:48 Oxford Try. As we enter the final 20 minutes the crowd is treated to some great flowing rugby. Cambridge concede their 9th penalty, and the Oxford rolling maul sets up an overlap. The conversion means the SCORE IS TIED 13-13. Squeaky-bum time for Cambridge.


15:42 LOOKING GOOD Cambridge win another penalty and take the three points. Oxford break along the right wing but Charlie Amesbury takes him into touch. He’s good that Charlie. Cam now up 13-6

15:35: Cambridge win a penalty and get 3 points. Now we lead 10-6 with half an hour to go.

15:28 We’re underway again. Oxford win a penalty and a huge kick from Basil Strang wins them 3 points. Cambridge up 7-6.

15:26 Cantab and all-round Cambridge man Aditya Basrur is watching from Hong Kong. If you’re streaming the match in exotic places let us know.

15:15 HALF TIME: Cambridge 7 – 3 Oxford. Now for the dulcet tones of John Inverdale.

15:11 Trryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Centre-Half Mike Phillips intercepts a sloppy Oxford pass and paces it to score under the posts. Cambridge winning 7 – 3 as we near half time.

15:04 Varsity Match or Robbie Williams’ concert? Lots of schoolkids making noise in the crowd today.

14:55 Oxford go through some phases in the Cambridge half. Light blue and Bristol pro Charlie Amesbury makes a slick try-saving tackle. Cambridge win a penalty to reset.

14:50 Aerial dual

14:50 Huge dump tackle on Oxford 14 as he makes a break. You tried…

14:43 Oxford 10 is doing an MSc in ‘learning and teaching’. Hmmm. Maybe Cambridge can teach him a few things as they make ground in the opposition half.

14:41 A cagey match 10 minutes in. Oxford have penalty…and make it for the first points of the game. Oxford 3-0 up.

14:16 Resident rugby expert and Girton captain Joe Meredith is sensing a Cambridge victory.


14:00 The Tab sport’s team are enjoying the free food in the Media box along with the rest of the #MainstreamMedia – Sad! Will be back in a bit for the men’s game at 14:30. #GDBO

13:53 Oxford Second row appears to kicking…rogue.


13:46 Most importantly, Middleton discussed the role of women’s sport, and thought that the Varsity Match had seriously helped it grow: a “massive match at Twickenham, televised, this is a definite positive”.

13:44 Speaking to our sports editor, Alice Middleton said “we felt we had momentum but it ultimatly didnt come to anything”. She thought that more kicking in the game could have helped, as there was “less kicking game than last year”.

13:37 Team captain Alice Middleton after the match – a valiant effort put in by the entire team!

13:13 There is now a break of just over an hour until the men play at 2:30. We will keep you updated with comments and pictures in the mean time! As always, if you have something to say, send it to [email protected] or message the Tab Facebook page!

13:07 Full time: Oxford win 3-0. 🙁


13:05 This is more tense than US Election night. Cambridge 5 feet from the try line.

13:00 Katherina Sanchez-Schilling on for Gabriella Johansson at second-row. Soon after Oxford put in a big tackle to deny Cambridge. Last three minutes…

12:56 Cantabs on the edge of their seats

12:53 Captain Alice Middleton breaks again – she nearly has the overlap but the Oxford sweeper puts her into touch with a big shunt.

12:50 Chance as our Laura Suggitt breaks the Oxford line only for a last ditch tackle by the Oxford 14 to stop Cambridge scoring. Cambridge threatening…

12:45 Sources in the William Webb-Ellis Spoons in Twickenham tell us some Oxonians have just bought a bottle of Moet and said it would be a “waste of time” watching the women’s game”. Stay classy Oxford. #EverydaySexism

12:41 Some tired legs out there, Jeff.


12:37 Oxford closed flanker has an injury scare. Luckily she is ok. Game still very evenly matched.

12:32 Cambridge going through the phases in the Oxford half – some excellent hands from the back line.

12:22  With the first half over, there is still everything to play for from the Cambridge women. Oxford have seriously upped their performance from last year, when the victory was clearly Cambridge’s from the start.

11:56 Miscommunication with the Cambridge forwards provides the opportunity for another Oxford scrum

11:45 Yes they scored – Oxford now take the lead with 3 points. Huge support from the Oxford side of the stadium! Here’s hoping Cambridge can catch up

11:45 Oxford have a penalty – will they get points on the board?

11:30 The match has begun! The first comment we have received is not from a Cambridge student, but from an anonymous Pembroke student “I’ve already seen my prep school headmaster on my way from the station”. Good for them.

11:27 The teams line up as they sing the national anthem.

11:21 The match is due to begin in just under ten minutes. The Cambridge team has 22 players fit to play today.

10:57 From 11am, the women’s match will be screened from this link, as well as on the BBC.

10:50 Fans are beginning to arrive at Twickenham, ahead of the women’s match due to begin at 11:30. Also spotted at Cambridge station, former MP Julian Huppert – we wonder if he is on the way to Varsity.

10:45 It seems the excitement is a little too much for the Varsity match website. When trying to access team lists to share (okay, you’ve got me – I know very little about rugby), all we were met with was an error page…


10:39 The pre-game hype is beginning, with the women’s team excited for their game beginning later this morning.