Weybridge Vandals centre Cassian Bramham-Law is hoping he can add London Division Three South West promotion to a second Oxford Blue with the help of a little Varsity magic.
Bramham-Law was in the Oxford University team that beat Cambridge 26-19 at Twickenham on Thursday – 12 months after kicking 13 points to help the Dark Blues to a 28-10 win in the famous fixture last year.
The 27-year-old played a key role in Vandals’ survival in London Division Three South West last season, scoring a host of crucial tries during the run-in as skipper.
Tony Couzens’ men beat the drop with a final day win over champions Old Alleynians.
Head coach Nick Ridley, whose men beat Eastleigh 33-9 at the weekend, took the Brownacres club to the top of the table this term after a flying start to the campaign saw them win their opening seven games – although successive defeats to Ellingham & Ringwood and Bognor have since seen them slip.
Bramham-Law, who had not planned to play for Oxford this season, has missed Vandals’ past five matches, having been persuaded to go for another Blue at the last minute.
But he will return to action at Winchester on Saturday having also persuaded close friend and former Cambridge fly-half Greg Cushing – who was a losing Light Blue last year – to switch to the Surrey club.
And Bramham-Law is confident promotion remains very much on the agenda.
“I think I started the season a bit flat at Vandals. I haven’t been on my game so far,” he added.
“The whole Varsity experience has sharpened me up again.
“Vandals have had a bit of a dip but I’m still confident. Greg has signed so it could be interesting.
“All we have to do is beat Winchester and then Ellingham & Ringwood and we are top of the table again.
“I’m confident we can do that. We’ll at least be in the top three come the end of the season and promotion would be a great way to finish this season.”
Second half tries from man of the match Sam Egerton, James Harris and Charlie Marr saw the Dark Blues recover from 19-6 down at the break to win in some style.
Bramham-Law, who kicked two first half penalties, could have capped his day with five minutes remaining, had his length-of-the-pitch dash for the line not run out of gas.
But his second Varsity triumph – Oxford’s third in a row – more than made up for the disappointment.
“Every win is special but this win was much more satisfying. We had to dig deep for it,” he said.
“At half time there was no shouting in the dressing room, we just knew that as long as we stuck to our processes and stopped giving away penalties we’d be OK.
“If I had got that opportunity in the first half I would have scored, but there were five minutes to go and I was finished.
“It was a tough game, but the work we had done in training all season got us through, which makes winning more rewarding.”