Oxford University 10, Cambridge University 20

OXFORD University suffered disappointment at Twickenham for the second year in a row as Cambridge University came out on top in a bruising 136th Varsity Match.

The Dark Blues never quite looked their fluent selves at the home of English rugby and they were unable to wrestle the trophy back from their rivals’ grip.

No 8 Will Wilson’s try had given Oxford hope as they trailed by just three points with 15 minutes remaining.

But Cambridge put in a committed all-round display worthy of victory.

The Light Blues made a lightning start and thought they had scored a try in the third minute.

But referee Christophe Ridley called for the video official and it showed Oxford winger Tom Stileman had brilliantly put Henry King into touch as he dotted down.

The Dark Blues settled into the game and the pace of their backline started to cause problems.

Oxford were controlling the tempo, but Cambridge were just doing enough to keep the likes of Sam Edgerley, Dan Moor and Ed David at bay.

They were unable to make the most of a promising 15-minute spell and the Light Blues came back strongly.

Ridley had to go to the video referee again and ruled Charlie Amesbury had failed to ground the ball after attempting to drive over on 27 minutes.

Cambridge were not finished there and No 8 Buchan Richardson knocked on with the try line at his mercy just seconds later.

But the Light Blues were not to be denied for long as they drove Oxford back from a scrum and Chris Bell picked up to race over for an unconverted try on 33 minutes.

Oxford responded well as captain Conor Kearns kicked a penalty.

Cambridge should have immediately re-established their five-point lead, but Mike Phillips dragged a penalty attempt wide.

And they thought they had scored another try before the break, only for the video referee to come to Oxford’s rescue again.

This time an infringement was spotted as flanker Matt Watson broke the defensive line to set up Jake Hennessey.

The half-time whistle was music to Oxford’s ears, while the intensity of the match continued after the break.

Phillips slotted over a penalty to make it 8-3 to the Light Blues on 50 minutes.

A serious injury to Cambridge’s Watson led to a lengthy break in play and both sides were guilty of handling errors after the restart.

The Light Blues had Oxford pinned back, though, and found plenty of space out wide for Archie Russell to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Oxford had 23 minutes to overturn a ten-point deficit and they responded brilliantly.

Cambridge resisted phase after phase of pressure, stopping Kearns and Dan Moor short, but they were not to be denied a third time as Wilson drove over.

Kearns added the extras to reduce the arrears to three points on 65 minutes.

But Cambridge were not going to let Oxford back into the game and they kicked to the corner after winning a penalty.

It looked ominous for the Dark Blues with a catch and drive leading to Amesbury touching down. Phillips converted to make it 20-10 with nine minutes to go.

Oxford were never able to push for another score as Cambridge impressively saw the game out to retain the Varsity trophy.

Oxford University: Edgerley (Barley 79), David (Hogg 65), Moor, Moorby (Waldouck HT), Stileman, Kearns, Kershaw, Henry (Miller 49), Elvin, Ball, Fifita (McPherson 60), Pozniak (Adams 79), Talotti (Thornton 61), Saull, Wilson. Unused rep: Parker.

Cambridge University: Amesbury, Phillips (Triniman 71), Russell, Hennessey, King, Phillips, Bell, Briggs (Dean 77), Burnett (Huppatz 79), Dixon, Koster, Hunter (Hammond 71), Watson (Rose 51), Leonard, Richardson. Unused reps: Troughton, Elms, Griffiths.