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Cambridge Bosch Oxford's chances

06 December 2005

6 December 2005
Oxford University 16 Cambridge University 31
Four second half tries, including two in two minutes midway through the half, helped battling Cambridge snatch the MMC Trophy from Oxford's grasp in the 124th Varsity Match at Twickenham today.

The second half haul included a second try for South African prop Rudi Bosch, who had scored the Light Blues only first half points while MMC man of the match fly half Jon Ufton converted three of the four as Cambridge dominated the half.

It was Cambridge's 42nd win in 121 matches played at Twickenham, since the Varsity match was first played at Oxford back in 1872 

MMC man of the match Jon Ufton said: "This win means so much to all the boys. It's a unique feeling in rugby because the Varsity is just one game. But you could see from the supporters and the players just how much it means to us."

Winning coach Tony Rodgers added: "I would have liked to have kept the ball a bit tighter but this was a wonderful result - fantastic! We had a shaky star but the push-over try gave the team a lot of confidence."


The match started badly for Cambridge who had full back Ian McInroy stretchered off after just nine minutes and then lost his replacement Stefan Thomas four minutes later.

And to make matters worse Oxford went in front with two penalties from centre James Whittingham in the 10th and 13th minutes to lead 6-0.

But, as the half wore on, Cambridge, well marshaled by Ufton, came more and more into the game and when Bosch was driven over for a 23rd minute try on the end of a 15 metre drive from the pack Cambridge suddenly began to gain in confidence.

Bosch, however, headed for the bench on 37 minutes following a yellow card from referee Wayne Barnes and within minutes Whittingham had kicked his third penalty to put Oxford 9-5 ahead at the break.

Despite starting the half with 14 men, the Cambridge pack startled their opposite numbers with the intensity of their driving and four minutes into the half they had driven flanker Nick Alberts over for the first of their four second half tries.

Minutes later Alberts was again held up over the line and, with Oxford down to 14 men following a yellow card for prop Sean Brophy, the Light Blues stunned Oxford with two tries in three minutes.

The first came as dangerous wing David Akinluyi was stopped inches short of the line and lock Andrew Clements was on hand to pick up and drive over and it was Akinluyi who scored the second himself.

The left wing got in the way of full back Anthony Knox's chip ahead and picked up the rebound to scorch in from 30 metres and for Ufton to add his second conversion.

Although the Dark Blues enjoyed a brief period of pressure that resulted in a yellow card for Alberts for deliberately collapsing the scrum and a penalty try for Oxford it was Cambridge who once again had the final say.

With Oxford left wing Tom Tombleson forced to touch down over his own line Cambridge's rampant forwards applied the pressure at the scrum to drive Oxford back over the line for Bosch to touch down his second try and for Ufton to convert.   

 

Oxford University's U21 team gave the Dark Blues some comfort by beating Cambridge U21's 23-6 in the warm-up match.

Oxford led 15-6 at half-time following early tries from Adam Healey and James Squires plus a conversion and penalty for fly half Jules Allfrey before Cambridge hit back with two penalties from full back Davidson.

Oxford again took control after the break with Allfrey adding a penalty and replacement Tim Catling rounding off a wonderful break from centre Sam Humphrey-Baker.

 

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