They say that a well-placed bomb at Twickenham on the day of the Varsity match would set back the cause of Fascism in Britain by a generation or so, and it’s a dangerously plausible thought. One the other hand, I’ve just spent a happy afternoon at the Women’s Rugby Oxford – Cambridge encounter at which only three banners were visible. One was the inexplicable (to me, at least) one that read, “Don’t Mess With Texas“, and the others contributed to a happy nostalgia trip, being the blue Balliol JCR Women and the red Balliol Left Caucus banners, which thoughtful people had brought along for the occasion.
Oxford won a very exciting match 10-7, the drama in the second half being supplemented by the freak weather: it began raining at half time, the rain turned to ten minutes of hard hail a few minutes after kick-off, which eventually gave way to ten minutes of heavy snowfall, before clearing up again towards the end.
Congratulations then, to Zahler Bryan, the Oxford captain (and one of the Politics students at Magdalen, hence my interest in the game), and to her fine team — with stirring performances in particular from full-back Bethan Walsh, outside centre Christina Laciaga, zippy winger Jennie Clapperton, horizontal-running outside half Rebecca Young, No.8 Jessica Gretton (the only Balliol player in the team, who clearly has the right friends — see above), and second row forward Rosie Collins. Good stuff, and an excellent afternoon.