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Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Oxford cling on for Varsity win

Oxford celebrate Varsity success for the first time in four years
Oxford celebrate Varsity success for the first time in four years

Tim Catling scored three tries as Oxford held off Cambridge for a 33-29 Varsity win, their first since 2004.

Catling's hat-trick was the first in the fixture for 74 years and helped make it the highest scoring game in its 136-year history.

Cambridge trailed 33-15 but tries from Joe Wheeler and Welshman James Wellwood ensured a tense finish for Oxford

Oxford's Welsh skipper Peter Clarke scored their other try. Niall Conlan and James Richards got Cambridge tries.

Catling put Oxford in the driving seat with his first try after just six minutes with a brilliant turn of pace to beat winger James Greenwood before powering through Richards.


Cambridge responded with a well-worked effort from Richards, before he and Oxford kicker Tom Gregory exchanged penalties.

Catling capped off a brilliant move with his third try and when Gregory added a penalty to the conversion it gave them a 28-10 lead.

Cambridge hit back by driving Conlan over from close range, only for Oxford to seemingly wrap up victory when number eight Peter Wright burst from the back of a maul and sent Clarke away for the try.

But Cambridge, who worked with Wales and Wasps coach Shaun Edwards last weekend, refused to give in.

Wheeler, son of the former England hooker Peter, was driven over - and Wellwood scored under the posts.

But it was not enough to prevent Oxford, who had called on the services of former England coach Brian Ashton in their build-up, from their first win since 2004.

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see also
Bridgend's Crockett faces Oliver
11 Dec 08 |  Rugby Union
Cambridge ready for Varsity clash
10 Dec 08 |  Rugby Union
Hill has bright hopes for Oxford
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Last Dark Blues warm-up is moved
27 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Ashton helps prepare Dark Blues
16 Sep 08 |  Rugby Union
All Black to become Oxford blue
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