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Vianney Gomezgil Yaspik try earns Cambridge University with Oxford University in 35th Women's Varsity Match



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Hetta Friend in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)
Hetta Friend in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)

Vianney Gomezgil Yaspik touched down for Cambridge University to earn a 10-10 draw with Oxford University in the 35th Women's Varsity Match.

It was a battle of defence against attack, and forwards against backs as the Light Blues dominated up front, but struggled to break down the Dark Blues, who then possessed a much more expansive game when they had possession.

It was definitely a stronger start to the game by Cambridge.

Their forwards had moved them into a good position in the Oxford bottom corner, but the only thing lacking was any points.

It meant that after exerting a lot of effort, they were left with nothing to show for it after 10 minutes.

One thing that was ticking up though was the penalty count against Oxford. By the time it reached eight after 15 minutes, the inevitable ‘team’ yellow card was shown to the Dark Blues’ skipper Jess Abele.

Millie Bushrod in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)
Millie Bushrod in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)

Almost immediately, Cambridge went on the attack through a tap penalty from Millie Bushrod that, a couple of phases later, led to Hetta Friend diving over for the first try.

That seemed to awaken Oxford, who had a much more expansive game than their rivals.

Full-back Clodagh Holmes and winger Chloe-Marie Hawley were the tandem threat for the Dark Blues, and the former was snagged twice by late tackles when seemingly through, once by Emily Bell and once by Friend.

There were some big hits going in by both sides, which was helping to gee up the crowd, and another one arrived from Tabbie Brough on Hawley.

With such last-ditch defence, it felt like a try was coming and it arrived at the end of the half.

Laura Bleehen in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)
Laura Bleehen in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)

A great pop pass by scrum-half Estefanía Ramírez Castillo was latched on to by a charging Megan Isaac just shy of the line and she burst over to score.

It meant that the sides were locked at 5-5 at half time.

There was a blow for Oxford at the start of the second half when Holmes had to go off through injury, but it did not deter them as, minutes later, Lauren Webb cut through on a great line and evaded a tackle to touch down.

It was a stubborn defence from the Dark Blues that was keeping Cambridge at bay.

Line break opportunities were few and far between, so it was collective will and effort that was driving them on.

Tabbie Brough in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)
Tabbie Brough in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)

When they finally got over the line, they were held up and so it was a drop out to clear their lines for Oxford.

There was a long pause for an injury to Robyn Halcrow, who was given a round of applause as she was stretchered off ,raising a fist to the crowd to show she was OK.

The encampment had begun for Cambridge but having the territorial edge does not always lead to points.

It was attritional stuff as they tried to wear down the Oxford defence, but it was standing firm.

An overlap seemed on at one point, but the pass was dropped and then it was knocked on again, diving for the line.

Try as they might to get back on level terms, Cambridge just could not cross the line.

Emma Jones in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)
Emma Jones in action for Cambridge University in the Women's Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk. (55841250)

After driving Oxford off their own scrum on 5m, Cambridge then had the put in.

Bushrod picked up at the base and although she was tackled, Sonia Ubong took over to take the ball to just shy of the line. A phase later and Gomezgil Yaspik dived over to get the Light Blues back on level terms.

The pressure was on Laura Vass to land the extras to give Cambridge the lead, but she was beaten by the clock as Oxford rushed out to close down the effort, which went wide to the right.

That was it as far as chances went, and so honours were even for the first time in the Women's Varsity Match.



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