Varsity 2013: Men’s Rugby Union Prematch Report

8th May 2013

Monday night will see Nottingham’s finest clash on the hallowed turf of Meadow Lane, home of Nottingham Rugby, to decide which of the universities’ rugby sides gets the bragging rights for the year and takes the Varsity Trophy home.

The Uni boys come to this fixture fresh off the back of victory in the BUCS Cup final, a match which saw them come back in dramatic fashion to see off Swansea 35-27, having been 7-24 down at half-time. There’s no doubt the lads will need to show the same sort of resolve on the 13th. That Vase victory has been a high point in an otherwise challenging season in the notoriously tough BUCS Premier North A Division, but in spite of facing extremely tough opponents including Durham and Loughborough, Uni showed enough resilience this season to finish 5, assuring their status in the league.

Trent, meanwhile, compete in the lower BUCS Premier North B division, and have endured a fairly challenging season, avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth – ultimately surviving by just one point. However, it would be foolhardy to write Trent off, as at last year’s Varsity they showed their ability to fight back – after being behind the entire game they stole victory like a thief in the night in the last minutes of the game. What’s more, hard-fought league victories against Sheffield Hallam and Loughborough 2nds prove this Trent team still have grit.

Speaking to Michael Gaffney and Sachin Gosai at First XV training at Highfields, Uni’s coach expressed full faith in his boys to do the job on the night. With an almost entirely injury-free squad to choose from, Uni look to take their momentum from a successful season forward into Monday’s fixture. He also tipped Phil Williams and Nick Greenhalgh to produce big performances at Meadow Lane.

Gaffers and Sach also grabbed a word with the Uni kickers, Tom Walsh and Matthew ‘Eddo’ Eddings, who will surely have a major impact on how the Varsity game unfolds. They expected Trent to shrug off their underdog tag and produce a competitive performance, but had faith that their teammates would step up to produce the goods in front of their fans.

Whatever happens, we can expect some big hits and plenty of action at Meadow Lane on Monday night. Rugby Union is without question the most action-packed and physical encounter on the Varsity calendar, and with all funds raised going to support local charity Headway, it would be just plain wrong to miss this game.

Men’s Varsity Rugby at Meadow Lane 13/5/13
Kick-off 7:45pm
Live coverage on URN1350 from 7pm

Special thanks to the guys at NURFC for taking the time to speak to us.