On Sunday 4th November 2001, OURFC faced the touring Wallabies for the first time in 20 years at Iffley Road and the final score of 53 points to 27 in favour of the then current World Champions was slightly flattering , as the Blues were within three points with just 16 minutes left to play, before the visitors added three tries to pull away.
The current England coach, then in charge of the Wallabies rightly gave his hosts a fair chunk of the credit. “We do worry about their academic studies,” he suggested. “They’re clearly spending too much time on their rugby.”
Oxford went on to win the 2001 Varsity Match 9 points to 6 to secure their third victory in a row.
Oxford University: Marsh; Rubie (Down, 78min), T Robinson (Thompson, 78), Adlen, Ellerby; FitzGerald (Fuchigami, 78), Taberner (Scholes, 78); Tkachuk, Nicholas (Brooks, 78), Nwume (Lehner, 54 (Hughes, 78)), Russell (Edwards, 46), Miall, Sherriff (McBride, 76), Bolger (Hallett, 65), B Robinson (capt; Gemmell, 22).
Scorers: Tries: Rubie, Tkachuk, Taberner. Cons: FitzGerald 3. Pen: FitzGerald. Drop-goal: FitzGerald.
Australia: Latham; Tune, Bond, S Kefu (Grey, 72), Staniforth; Edmonds, Whitaker; Young (Stiles, 69), Cannon, Moore (Darwin, 69), Bowman (Harrison, 46), Connors, Cockbain (capt), Waugh (Finegan, 55), Lyons (Smith, 59).
Scorers: Tries: Latham 2, Bond, Whitaker, Staniforth 2, Waugh, Grey. Cons: Edmonds 6.
Referee: D Gillet (France). Attendance: 5,500.
To view OURFC’s own match footage, including the 90 metre interception try from Will Rubie, please watch below: