Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cambridge beat Oxford in the 128th Varsity Match

Former Wallaby lock Dan Vickerman led Cambridge to a 31-27 victory over Oxford in the annual Varsity Match at Twickenham on Thursday. It was the 128th meeting between the two prestigious University sides, a tradition that dates back to 1872.

Some famous players have turned out for the two sides over the years. Most notably David Kirk, former All Blacks captain; Nick Mallet, former Springbok player and coach, now with Italy; former England flyhalf Rob Andrew; Wallaby wing Joe Roff, who captained Oxford in 2007, and more recently, Simon Danielli of Scotland.

Last year former All Black hooker Anton Oliver played an instrumental part in Oxford’s win over Cambridge, and this year other internationals on display were Canadian flanker Stan McKeen and former USA scrumhalf Doug Rowe.

On the coaching staff, Oxford had Brian Ashton in charge, while Cambridge had the services of Shaun Edwards to help out with their defence.

Dan Vickerman, who is doing a three-year Land Economy course, took part in last year’s loss for Cambridge so he was hoping to avenge it this time around. His team did just that, meaning that they have now won the traditional battle 61 times and Oxford 53, with 14 draws.

''In my career, I've had the opportunity to learn from some seriously good players - George Gregan, Phil Waugh, Steve Larkham,'' Vickerman said. ''Hopefully you can pass on a bit of that knowledge to some of the younger guys.''

Despite having ambitions to play in next years 129th match, players can only captain their side once, making the win for Vickerman that much sweeter.

''That's the unique thing about it, you get one opportunity to captain the side and you don't want to go out losing that one, so I'm just pretty happy we could put the best performance on and so down the track, when I'm old and grumpy, we had a win,'' he said.

''These sort of games epitomise why we play rugby, for the enjoyment. It's an amateur game and everybody out there is putting their body on the line and enjoying what they're doing and I couldn't ask for any more.

''Rugby is about winning, no matter what level you play at, and for me, winning out there was pretty special,'' Vickerman said.

Time: 06:38



  • FIRST!!! Take that, YES!

    By Anonymous R-Dump, at December 14, 2009 11:14 pm  

  • that last try from Cheeseman, what a nonchalant hand off lol. Btw i love the name

    By Anonymous Cheesey, at December 14, 2009 11:23 pm  

  • This sort of traditions are great, along with the Lions, the Barbarians and the Haka. Rugby is all about tradition and respect, and wether it's shown with striped shirts, rivals helping each other on their feet or the pride of representing your country, it's what make us rugbiers the uinque breed we are.
    Keep up the good work

    By Anonymous Joost, at December 14, 2009 11:37 pm  

  • Looks like it was good fun game. Bita weak defending though by oxford cost em dear methinks, particluarly slow round the fringes. Ha Dan Vickerman eh? Wander how large the gulf is between this and playing for the wallabies?

    By Blogger Alexander, at December 15, 2009 12:04 am  

  • Totally irrelevant

    By Anonymous Southlands, at December 15, 2009 12:43 am  

  • awesome tradition

    By Anonymous Cheis, at December 15, 2009 12:46 am  

  • Who knew that "Land Economy" was such a popular degree?

    By Anonymous JPM, at December 15, 2009 1:53 am  

  • Wtf is this crap?
    Get the rest of the heinieken cup & sevens up instead.

    By Anonymous JackGough, at December 15, 2009 2:07 am  

  • i personally quited liked watching this thanks dick head above.........

    nice to see backs who look like backs not beefed up monsters.

    once again stirling work RugbyDump...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 2:13 am  

  • thats a nice crowd... with a smaller stadium the atmosphere could have been great! Btw i liked watching something different it doesnt hurt once in a while

    By Anonymous eric, at December 15, 2009 2:34 am  

  • This is all well and good, rugby tradition etc, but as a Sale fan, I've not had much to be happy about all season. This weekend my boys turned out a stirling performance against quins and highlights are no where to be seen! Come on RD, surely the Heiny Cup takes precedence over this!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 2:44 am  

  • "Wtf is this crap?
    Get the rest of the heinieken cup & sevens up instead."

    "Come on RD, surely the Heiny Cup takes precedence over this!"

    It's called the requests section. Feel free to use it.

    Someone requested this video, so RD was kind enough to oblige. It isn't hard; you register for the forums and voilà, you're set to go.

    By Anonymous Slippery Pete, at December 15, 2009 4:02 am  

  • Thanks for clarifying the issue at hand, Pete!

    By Anonymous R-Dump, at December 15, 2009 4:15 am  

  • ....im not entirely sure why people dont like this...

    'Southlands said...
    Totally irrelevant'

    Ah, yes, you're right, its totally irrelevant, not a scrap of rugby, or a famous player amongst the video....

    Anyway.....i am however wondering.....i have read the post that came with the video.....there is a lot former international players, etc involved....im wondering if its oxford and cambridges way of buying in players.....scholarships etc.. :-/

    interesting video thanks RD (the real one!)

    By Anonymous :), at December 15, 2009 6:18 am  

  • Why would anyone complain about this video being posted on RD? The title isn't misleading - if it doesn't appeal to you, then just don't watch it! I personally enjoyed it. Obviously not test match standard, but some great amateur skills on display and a very proud day for all involved I'm sure.

    By Anonymous Phil, at December 15, 2009 7:45 am  

  • I think the best part for Cambridge was that every player from the bench got to come on, even if just for a minute, to say they actually "played" in the game...everyone got to get their kit dirty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 8:05 am  

  • i've seen better defending and tackling from under 15 sides. entertaining yes. a great show of skill and defensive presence it is not.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 8:39 am  

  • Why would anyone complain about RD full-stop? When they start charging you to watch clips then you can have a whinge. Whilst it's free just thank your lucky stars and watch what you want to watch - nobody's forcing you to watch this clip if you're not interested in it.

    To :), yes they both 'buy in' players, there's a couple each year who do slightly dodgy degrees and get to play rugby all the time. Happens with the boat race too. Persoanlly I would find this game much more interesting if they had a rule that only blokes doing undergraduate degrees could play but that's the price of modernity I guess.

    By Anonymous Ted, at December 15, 2009 9:05 am  

  • what a bunch of snobs you complainers are!

    as for some games not having clips, how about you lot get off your asses and find some links for RD to post the clips?
    imagine complaining a free service doesn't suit you...start your own site.

    we have seen PLENTY of 'professional' teams have poor defensive games so how about you give these folks a break?

    Geez Louise.

    By Anonymous Stubby, at December 15, 2009 10:43 am  

  • Thanks Ted, Stubby etc.

    As always, other clips are on the way. Feel free to donate (at the bottom of this page) if you feel that you'd like to improve the service on offer. Until then, please don't complain about what you're given, or when it's given to you.

    Send us an email if you have an issue, or simply post a request in the requests section.

    George Sevens clips , some big tackles, and Heineken Cup highlights are all on the way.

    Cheers all

    By Blogger RD, at December 15, 2009 11:00 am  

  • Match attendance of 30,000, upwards of 600,000 alumni worldwide; it's hardly of niche interest.

    Plus it is only one a match a year, it is not as if RD has confused its priorities.

    Good match, although have to agree that the defence was shoddy. Understandable though given the pressure. Apparently these types of high profile Varsity matches are particularly stressful as entire seasons are focussed on a single determining match. If you lose, you can't even console yourself by saying "at least we got this far", unlike regular tournaments.

    By Anonymous Tab, at December 15, 2009 11:40 am  

  • I have seen the Welsh Varsity. Swansea university v Cardiff University twice at the arms park. The crowd on both occasions topped 8000, and the atmosphere was electric on both occasions.

    These sort of occasions are often the only chance a player will have in front of a large crowd to show off their skills and are great occasions for everyone involved. It is not even a completely amateur event half if not all of the players involved will be playing/ have played at a good level.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 4:08 pm  

  • Gents,

    1. There are many Premiership and Heiniken Cup matches a year, and only one varsity match (or a few more - see later), so I don't have a problem with it.

    2. Yeah, you're right, the skills aren't the best, but you have to remember that this is a unique fixture in that this is the only match that counts all season. We were told in preseason, that if we lost all ten warmup matches and won Varsity, then that's a successful season, and vice versa. If you can play under that kind of pressure and not make mistakes, then I assume you already have a couple of blues.

    3. No quality players? Only on the Oxford side: Rosen (Barbarians), Lutton (England Students), Kench (England Students), Van Zyl (Captain, the amateur Springboks), Carter (Sale, Northampton), McKeen (Canada), Haydon (Australia U21), Mahony (Aukland)

    4. There is an undergraduates only match - the U21 varsity match, that kicks off at 1130 at Twickenham, immediately before the Blues. I played this year and Oxford won 53-17. In addition there are varsity matches for a 'colleges' XV of players that have not played for the university (Oxford won 22-20), an U21's 2nd XV varsity (Oxford won 26-12) and a Blues' 2nd XV varsity (Oxford won 40-0)

    By Anonymous Oxford U21, at December 15, 2009 4:36 pm  

  • Good entertaining vid.
    That's clearly all what rugby is about, even with the "weak defending".

    Reacting to all the results given by Oxford U21, what happened to Cambridge this year? Is Oxford traditionally better at rugby or is it pure coincidence?

    By Anonymous Maximus, at December 15, 2009 7:25 pm  

  • Not sure. The U21 varsity was effectively over as a contest when the Cambridge captain was sent off after 11 minutes, but we smashed them in the first scrum before that and scored a try as well, so it was only going one way.

    The Blues 2nd XV match hasn't been won by Cambridge since 2001, so maybe Oxford has more strength in depth even if the blues match is evenly matched?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 7:42 pm  

  • those dudes must get laid a lot after this game

    By Anonymous strock, at December 15, 2009 8:00 pm  

  • Strock,

    We are gentlemen, we don't, (well most of us) acting like a dog and shagging anything that moves and some things which do not.

    I suppose you haven't heard of respect.

    By Anonymous OXO, at December 16, 2009 12:30 am  

  • hey strock, with English girls around everyone gets laid alot ;)

    By Anonymous R-Dump, at December 16, 2009 12:32 am  

  • Cheers for putting this up RD - couldn't get to the game this year, and even though the better team didn't win, it's great to see.

    Just a quick FYI - Joe Roff played for Oxford, not Cambridge.

    By Blogger Toby, at December 16, 2009 11:41 am  

  • ^ I don't know, I've heard some stories from the ball...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 16, 2009 11:43 am  

  • In response to the differences between the Cambridge and Oxford Rugby Clubs in terms of team structure - at Cambridge the LX's (2nd XV) and Blues train seperately and as a result are weakened when it comes to varsity when Blues drop down as cohesion is lost. On the other hand, from what I have heard the Blues and Greyhounds (2nd XV) train together resulting in a tighter knit group of boys.

    Not only this, but Oxford offers a wider range of 'rugby degrees' which is possibly why the club is slightly larger.

    I agree with the spectacle of the event - it is the most important factor. As many people have mentioned (Vickerman, Rosen etc.) the only thing that counts is winning Varsity. For us, winning our entire season prior to that moment means nothing - those are ALL warm up games to beating Oxford.

    By Anonymous CURUFC LX, at December 16, 2009 1:01 pm  

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