Bish-bash Bosch destroys Oxford

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Cambridge powered their way to a crushing victory over arch rivals Oxford in the 124th annual Varsity match at a half-empty Twickenham yesterday.

The match - and Cambridge - really took off in the second half when the Light Blues forwards took complete control to record their highest points total in this fixture for 20 years.

Hero of the five-try blitz was the loose-head prop Rudi Bosch, with two touchdowns. The South African also became the first player to be sent off in this fixture when he was shown a yellow card in the eighth minute of first-half added time.

"I have never been sent off before," said Bosch later. "I was so ashamed for letting down my team-mates. The crucial thing for me was that they didn't score more points when I was off."

The omens had not been good for Cambridge. There was the defeat of the Light Blues Under-21 side, and then the early loss of full-back Ian McInroy, who was knocked out after five minutes in a collision with Oxford blindside Douglas Abbott.

Oxford took an early lead through two James Whittingham penalties, but the Light Blues gradually asserted their superiority up front, culminating in the first of Bosch's tries from a marvellous driving maul.

Although Whittingham had stretched the Dark Blues' lead by the interval, Cambridge's pack subsequently dominated, producing some stunning driving mauls.

Nic Alberts, Andrew Clements and Bosch all benefited from the magnificently organised Light Blues power pack, while left wing David Akinluyi scored a fine solo tryafter charging down Anthony Knox's attempted clearance kick 30 metres out. All Oxford had to show was a late and inadequate penalty try.

Oxford: Try Penalty; Conversion Whittingham; Penalties Whittingham 3. Cambridge: Tries Bosch 2, Alberts, Clements, Akinluyi; Conversions Ufton 3.

Oxford University: A Knox (Keble); J Boto (University), A James (Wolfson), J Whittingham (St Cross), T Tombleson (Wolfson); J Fennell (Pembroke), K Brennan (Linacre); P Laffin (St Cross), A Dalgleish (St Anne's, capt), S Brophy (St Catherine's), R Graham (New), A Harris (St Cross), D Abbott (Somerville), D Palm (St Cross), J Jones (St Anne's). Replacements: D Rosen (Green) for Dalgleish, 78; M Street (Kellogg) for Palm, 53-63; C Hadfield (University) for Graham, 72; P Jenkins (Keble) for Brennan, 78; S Fauth (Brasenose) for Knox, 79; R Lavery (St John's) for Fennell, 60.

Cambridge University: I McInroy (Hughes Hall); D Akinluyi (Christ's), J Ansbro (Robinson), E Carter (St Edmund's, capt), C Desmond (Girton); J Ufton (St Edmund's), R Evans; J Bosch (both Hughes Hall), J Clark (St Edmund's), E Kalman (Fitzwilliam), J Blaikie (Hughes Hall), A Clements (St Edmund's), N Alberts, D O'Brien (both Hughes Hall), M Harfoot (St Catharine's). Replacements: T Woolsey (Queens'), T Kirkman (St Edmund's) for Harfoot, 39-49; for Kalman 75; A Gilbert (Fitzwilliam) for Clements, 78; R Bartholomew (Jesus) for O'Brien, 74; C Worsley (Hughes Hall) for Evans, 73; S Thomas (Trinity) for McInroy, 5; P Magee (Magdalene) for Thomas, 10-15; for Akinluyi, 32 & 72.

Referee: W Barnes (RFU).