Saturday 4th March saw the Men’s U20’s and Women’s 2nd XV’s assemble at Grange Road, Cambridge for their respective Varsity Matches. The weather was kind and with a firm pitch conditions were set fair for all four teams to play with ball in hand and provide a spectacle of Varsity rugby for the partisan crowd. The U20’s were first to take the field and produced a match of energy and skill, which had the spectators on the edge of their seat right up to the final whistle. It was Oxford who started stronger and were 12 points ahead after 30 minutes, with a try from hooker John Aaron Henry, a penalty try and conversion from No 8 and Captain Will Wilson. With half-time approaching the home side hit back wiht a try from hooker Andy Burnett, converted by scrum-half and Captain Chris Bell, to make the score at the interval 12 – 7 to Oxford. The second half was almost the exact opposite of the first, as it was Cambridge who came out firing and Bell scored a try just 2 minutes into the second period to level the scores, before Wilson kicked a straight forward penalty to put the visitors back in front. On thre 62 minute mark, the Cambridge right wing scored a try which Bell converted to put the home team 4 points ahead. The Oxford team did not panic and with the forwards dominating at scrum time, managed to secure field position and add a push over try which Wilson duly converted to put the visitors 3 points clear at 22 points to 19, which proved to be the final score.
The Panthers had enjoyed a positive Hilary Term and came in their Varsity Match in a positive mood, but came up against a discilined and well drilled Cambridge Tigers side whi ultimately pproved too strong and ran out winners by 30 points to nil. The scoreline did not truly reflect the commitment and effort the Panthers squad put in for the full 80 minutes, but the home side had a cutting edge which allowed them to finish their moves and keep the scoreboard ticking over.