Oxford v Cambridge Varsity match
Cambridge University coach John Evans called for his players to be given full Blues honours after his side were defeated 60-10 in the annual Varsity Match at the Twickenham Stoop. It was the biggest win by Oxford since the inception of the fixture in 1981 and for Evans it was the most embarrassing night of his life.
However he said he feared the worst as far back as November given the difficulty the Rugby League club were having in recruiting players. And he believes things have to change if they are to compete with Oxford.
He said: “My own person view is that with them (Oxford) having full Blue status for the sport it’s the biggest recruiting sergeant in Oxford and Cambridge sport.
“Cambridge University doesn’t recognise Rugby League as being at the top tier. If they want us to keep turning up and taking a good hiding, the university has to have a think about it and maybe give us a little bit more discretion.
“Fair play to Oxford they’ve set their stall and it’s bearing fruit for them now.”
The Dark Blues looked fitter, stronger and better organised with skipper Marcus-Alexander Neil going over for the first try after just two minutes, which Hugh McCormick converted.
Despite this early set back Cambridge did exert some pressure on the Oxford line, earning a couple of goal line drop outs but they were vulnerable when their opponents looked to move the ball.
Winger Larry Knight collected a first half hat trick in just eight minutes and the Light Blues went in at the interval trailing 36-0. Although they showed more fight in the second half Oxford continued to score at regular intervals notching up 11 tries in all with McCormick landing six goals.
Cambridge restored some pride with tries from Mat Thomas, David Stansbury and James Bousher while Greg Cushing, a scrum-half with a fine kicking game, landed two conversions.
Dan Garbutt, the Oxford coach, said: “The win was a result of some good work leading up to the game. I think it really showed today the effort they had put in throughout the year.
The platform was set by the forwards and the pivots were superb today.”
Oxford stand off Ben Calverley was named man of the match.