Scottish stand-off Fraser Gillies helped Cambridge claim their first Varsity Match victory since 2009 as they ended Oxford’s record-breaking run of success in the fixture at Twickenham.
The Light Blues had suffered six defeats on the bounce, but tries in each half by centres Mike Phillips and Rory Triniman underpinned a 23-18 victory.
Cambridge fly-half Gillies, a former Scotland age grade cap, kicked three penalties and two conversions for a 13-point haul as the fierce rivals’ 135th meeting produced a thrilling second half after Oxford had trailed 7-3 at the break.
Centre Henry Hughes and wing Ed David claimed Oxford’s touchdowns, with fly-half Basil Strang adding two penalties and a conversion, but Cambridge were not to be denied.
Cambridge back row forward Brian Du Toit was named man of the match and said the result was crucial to his side.
“It’s absolutely huge, we put such an emphasis on not worrying about the previous six games, we knew we had such a tight-knit group of boys we just wanted to do it for each other and people who had worn the jersey previously,” Du Toit told the BBC.
“We were all willing to get up off the ground when we had nothing left in the tank - you wanted to do it for your brothers, your team-mates, your family.”
Earlier Oxford won the women’s Varsity Match 3-0 - 12 months after losing the fixture 52-0.
Oxford captain Catherine Wilcock kicked an early penalty, which proved the game’s only score.