Cambridge University win the 30th Women's Varsity Match
Cambridge University have won the 30th Women’s Varsity Match, beating Oxford 8-5.
It was a game of attrition in the first half as Oxford had the better of the territory and possession, but Cambridge defended like trojans.
The opening try came in the 30th minute as a powerful scrum led to No 8 Emily Pratt picking up at the base and then driving over the line.
The penalty count had been rising against the Dark Blues as the half wore on, and it led to Maria Bernier eventually being shown a yellow card for a high tackle.
At the start of the second half, Alice Elgar extended Cambridge’s advantage to 8-0 with a penalty.
It then became a battle in the middle of the pitch, with neither side able to get over the gain line, bar an exceptional break by Lara Gibson.
There was renewed hope for Oxford late on as they exploited an overlap on the left for Katie Collis to eventually touch down.
And there was a last-gasp tackle by Pratt to bring an end to proceedings.
FULL TIME: Cambridge University 8 Oxford University 5
13.05: TRY - Oxford are back in the game, with Katie Collis touching down after an overlap was created on their left. Cambridge lead 8-5.
12.58pm: There is lots going on in the game, it is just it is all very nitty gritty and battling for territory and possession. There have also been plenty of replacements for both sides.
12.31pm: PENALTY - Alice Elgar has slotted a penalty between the sticks for Cambridge to make it 8-0.
HALF TIME: Cambridge lead 5-0 at the break.
12.05pm: Two blood injuries for Cambridge, with Mary Coleman and Jenni Shuttleworth going off to be replaced by Sydney Bradshaw and Joa Hoshizaki.
12.00pm: TRY - The pressure finally tells as Cambridge have grown into the game and Emily Pratt picked up from the base of a scrum to touch down. Cambridge lead 5-0.
11.47am: It has been an extremely close start to the game, with some big hits going in from both sides - Cambridge's Mary Coleman and Oxford's Sophie Trott are probably tied for ferocity.
11.30am: We are under way in the Women's Varsity Match.
Cambridge University women: Lara Gibson* (Lucy Cavendish); Sophie Farrant* (Emmanuel), Bluebell Nicholls* (King’s), Mary Coleman* (King’s), Amelia Miller (Downing); Lucy Gimson (St Catherine’s), Kate Marks* (Murray Edwards); Jenny Orriss* (St Catherine’s), Samantha Chan* (Churchill), Emma Pierce* (St Catherine’s), Alice Elgar* (Girton), Jacqueline Bramley (Girton), Fiona Shuttleworth* (Pembroke), Jenni Shuttleworth (Churchill), Emily Pratt* (Emmanuel).
Replacements: Jessica Abele (Girton), Sophie Taylor (Homerton), Charlotte Spruzen* (Queens’), Joa Hoshizaki (Churchill), Elisha Clark (St John’s), Sydney Bradshaw (Wolfson), Maxine Meju (Fitzwilliam), Tabbie Brough (Queens’).
Oxford University: Hurton; Wigginton, Trott*, D'Cruz*, Potts*; Kennedy, Ling; Ellender*, Bidgood*, Sopher, Opara, Collis*, Bernier, Murison, Cooper*.
Replacements: Cartwright*, Rees*, Durbin, Vodounon, Male, Wellens, Carters, Simpson.
Referee: Nikki O'Donnell.