Varsity Match 2017: Cambridge University paint Twickenham Light Blue with double glory

PUBLISHED: 10:47 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:24 08 December 2017

Charlie Amesbury and Lara Gibson celebrate their Cambridge University side's victories in the Varsity Matches. Pictures: Keith Heppell

Charlie Amesbury and Lara Gibson celebrate their Cambridge University side's victories in the Varsity Matches. Pictures: Keith Heppell


Captains react to a splendid afternoon for Cambridge

Charlie Amesbury and Lara Gibson led their Cambridge University sides to success over their Oxford counterparts in a Varsity Match double at Twickenham.

In the 31st Women’s Varsity Match, tries in the first half from Jess Gurney and captain Gibson, converted by Alice Middleton, were added to after the break by scores from Kate Marks and Bluebell Nicholls to give Cambridge a 24-0 win over Oxford.

“I thought our set-piece was incredible, our management of the game with our kicking was great and that’s something we were so determined to work,” said outside centre Gibson.

“We knew coming into the game that our kicking game would be superior, and if we just kept executing it, then they wouldn’t want to know and it would put them under pressure and keep them pinned in their half.

“It was great because as soon as we would get into their 22 we just knew we weren’t leaving there until we got the score.

“I was able to enjoy the game, I really was. After the try just before half time, that really got everyone going and I was loving it out there.”

A couple of hours later, in the 136th Varsity Match, Cambridge men triumphed 20-10.

Chris Bell touched down in the first half for the Light Blues, but Connor Kearns landed a penaty to cut the lead to 5-3 at half time.

Mike Phillips kicked a penalty for Cambidge after the break, and then Archie Russell darted round the Oxford defence to touch down for a 13-3 lead.

But Will Wilson scored for Oxford, with Kearns converting, to make it 13-10.

However, captain Amesbury had the final say as his try proved decisive, with Phillips adding the extras to seal a 20-10 win.

“It’s absolutely amazing. Connor (Kearns) put together an awesome team and the game was played in a tremendous spirit, but I think we just had bit more fight left in us,” said full-back Amesbury.

“We went to the darker places during the season but I think that showed in the latter part of the game when the bench came on and took it away from them, so it’s an amazing feeling.

“At the end of the day, the pack put it out there, got us the win and that’s all that matters.

“I knew we had the ascendancy in the maul, it seemed, the whole game it was just a case of one more body and luckily that was me for that one.

“Of course, there was a bit of worry as they had a great team and some really dangerous players out there but we just stuck to our game plan, we kept the defence hard, we kept it strong and they couldn’t find a way through.

“Yes, we had some jitters but we had some really great guys out there that stayed tight and because we have such a tight squad, that showed in the end.”

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