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Women's blues Match Report the Cambridge Blues 17-17

Last minute equaliser ends in a thrilling draw between Oxford and Cambridge just weeks before the Annual Varsity Match.    

 



The Drunken Ferret opened for business on Wednesday night as supporters gathered to watch the Women’s Blues take on our rivals at home. With the 26-28 defeat at the Other Place just two weeks before, and Varsity just three weeks later, this was a highly anticipated match. The Women’s Blues arrived with heads high, and prepared to defend Iffley Road in front of the home crowd.

The Dark Blues won a turnover from the kick off, from which we pushed into the Cambridge half, who kept us at bay for a good while. After some strong runs from the backs, the ball 

came to Lauren Webb, who tore through the Light Blue line of defence and scored the first try for Oxford. Unconverted, the Blues were an impressive 5-0 up in the first quarter. The possession after this shifted, with Oxford now having to defend their line for what felt like a while, until Cambridge got through, in a try that was very nearly held up in a noble effort from our forwards. The try was converted, putting Oxford on the backfoot for the rest of the half. The game from this point onwards was as messy as it had been at Grange Road, with multiple knock on and penalties forced by both sides that slowed down the play. Oxford was awarded a penalty in the middle of the pitch close to the Cambridge try line, which we attempted to kick through the posts to put us ahead of the opposition, but in a moment of intense silence the goal was narrowly missed. The game continued at a frustrating pace, before Oxford managed to maintain possession towards the end of the half. We determinately ran the ball up the pitch to pave the way for Webb to tear through the opposition’s defence once again, who apparently scared of tackling her, allowed her to score her second try in the first half. With this try converted by Stella Farmer, the half time score was an exciting 12-7 to Oxford. 



 

The next 40 minutes felt somehow longer than the first. The ball paced back and forth in true ping pong fashion, with multiple turn overs and knock-ons to define an intense second half. Cambridge seemed to dominate in terms of possession, as the Oxford defence put in a huge shift to keep the white shirts at bay. Eventually their efforts to cross the line succeeded, and with a clean conversion the score flipped in favour of the tabs, now 14-12 up. 

After more to-and-fro from both teams, Cambridge were eventually awarded a penalty kick for one of our chasers being offside from our own penalty kick. With this taking place in the middle of the pitch and close to our try line, the Light Blues tactically opted for a kick, which they achieved, taking the score to a threatening 17-12. As time went on, and the clock drew closer to 80 minutes, Oxford had to fight to win back possession. Crucially our defensive line forced a knock-on from Cambridge near their 22, granting us a scrum, and our very last opportunity to not admit defeat at home. Determined to stay in the game, the Blues charged towards the opposition, with the forward pack breaking ground for Lauren Webb to swoop in and complete her hattrick in the 83rd minute. 

Try unconverted to leave us with a 17-17 score. 

 

A thrilling end to the match, and a near triumphant moment for Oxford, who though were pleased to have scored, could still not celebrate a win. There is all to play for when we meet Cambridge again on the 2nd March at Stone-X. 






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