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The dominant Varsity sides

John Griffiths January 9, 2014

How many times has a side won four successive Varsity Matches? PB, England

Oxford's recent success was their fourth on the trot for the first time since the early post-war period. Between 1948 and 1951 they won 14-8, 3-0, 8-0 and 13-0 with a side studded with so many South African Rhodes Scholars that they were nicknamed "Springboxford."

Oxford's only other sequence of four wins was in the early years of the fixture between 1881 and 1884 when the legendary Harry Vassall revolutionised rugby tactics by encouraging short passing among forwards. Cambridge followed Oxford's dominance with their first sequence of four wins - 1885 to 1888. They repeated the feat twice: between 1925 and 1928 and again between 1960 and 1963.

Cambridge hold the series record for most consecutive wins. They enjoyed a stretch of five between 1972 and 1976 (Alastair Hignell featuring in three), repeated the feat between 1980 and 1984 (the Huw Davies/Rob Andrew era) and did so again from 1994 to 1998.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.
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