Thursday, December 11, 2008

Varsity Match CXXVII

As mentioned, college sports in the UK are played primarily within the colleges at Cambridge or Oxford. Today was the exception. The Varsity Match is the annual rugby game between the two schools, played since 1872. We made the trek down to London to Twickenham stadium, among the most famous rugby stadiums in the world, and it was well worth it.

It had some of the atmosphere of a Cal-Stanford big game, a smaller crowd, but very involved. In the morning was the under-21's match, which was nice because a few teammates of mine from the Churchill team were involved. These two teams were basically all-star teams of the best undergrads playing in each university's college league. We won handily and it got everybody warmed up nicely.

The main match in the afternoon was easily the best rugby game and among the most entertaining sporting events I'd ever seen. Oxford owned the first half, with a guy called TMS Catling putting on an incredible display scoring 3 long tries, and we were down 25-10 at half. In the second half Cambridge fought incredibly well, the forwards controlled the game and we got within 33-29 with a few minutes left and had some chances from Oxford's 5 meter line. Time ran out and Cambridge came up just short, but it was an epic game and the highest scoring in the 127-match history between the two schools.

More importantly, I got to travel down with a group of 10 good friends I've made here, and everybody had a great time, particularly some of the group who barely knew anything about the sport. It was a great end to the quarter.

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