Oxford scrape Varsity match

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The Independent Online

The Oxford pack drove Luke Sherriff over for a try three minutes from the end, as the Dark Blues scored a dramatic,last-gasp 16-13 victory at Twickenham to prevent Cambridge winning the annual Varsity game for a record sixth time in a row.

The Oxford pack drove Luke Sherriff over for a try three minutes from the end, as the Dark Blues scored a dramatic,last-gasp 16-13 victory at Twickenham to prevent Cambridge winning the annual Varsity game for a record sixth time in a row.

The Oxford win means they now have 49 victories compared with 56 for Cambridge and 13 ties in a match which was first played in 1871.

Cambridge winger Robin Morrow scored an early try and set up another after 23 minutes for Japanese fly half Kensuke Iwabuchi as the Light Blues took a 10-0 lead and looked totally in control.

Tony Beer kicked a penalty in reply for Oxford but fullback Gary Paulin, one of two Kiwis on the Cambridge team, made it 13-3 at half time with one for his side.

While Cambridge dominated the first half, the second was all Oxford. Beer kicked another penalty and then landed one from 45 meters to make it 13-9 after a long spell of Oxford pressure kept Cambridge pinned back on their own line.

When Beer's simple 25-meter penalty hit the post with 12 minutes to go it looked like Cambridge would hold out.

But Oxford gained a lineout close to the Light Blues line, the forwards gathered the ball cleanly and pushed flank forward Sherriff over for the score. Beer's conversion made it 16-13 and the Bowring Bowl went to Oxford for the first time since 1994.

The Oxford lineup included two members of the United States Eagles team, Kurt Shuman and Ray Lehner, who played in the recent rugby World Cup, and its captain was South African No. 8 forward Norman Celliers.

Cambridge had Aussie lock forward Angus Innes and brother, Hamish, on the lineup plus New Zealanders Paulin and Greg Peacocke and South Africa's Thomas Mouton.

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