April 22, 2013
Welsh Varsity Preview Edition
Welsh Varsity preview 2013 2013
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18 I VARSITY
Brilliance in Banbury gives Whittle confidence for varsity
GUARDS UP: Swansea’s taekwondo captain Rosie Whittle (left) at the Varsity promo. TAEKWONDO captain Rosie Whittle is feeling confident in the build up to their varsity clash with Cardiff. Whittle is hopeful that Swansea can reverse last year’s defeat and believes they are closing the gap on their rivals. “Cardiff may have won last year but we are getting closer to beating them every time we compete,” said Whittle. “We are sending a strong team to Cardiff for varsity and hopefully we can pick up the victory we desire.” With a influx of new members to the club, Whittle hopes the mixture of new talent and experience can provide a winning combination
by Laura Fiteni email@example.com
ahead of varsity. Swansea recently celebrated a supremely successful showing at this year’s national student taekwondo tournament in Banbury. An impressive haul of 18 medals were won for Swansea, including: four gold, nine silver and five bronze. In light of the upcoming battle, training has been modified to reflect the style of the varsity event. This new training regime has included intensive sparring sessions, kicking drills and perfecting patterns.
Embarrassment of riches for Llewellyn ahead of varsity WOMEN’S football captain Ria Llewellyn has admitted she faces a tough task in deciding her starting line-up for varsity following a strong end to the domestic season by the squad. With only 16 places up for grabs in the varsity squad, Llewellyn will need to use all of her varsity experience to make the right choices ahead of the big match. “Due to everyone’s efforts and good performances this season, picking the team has proven to be extremely difficult this year,” said Llewellyn. “Everyone has been training hard and looking after their fitness ahead of the big game.” There will be heavy competition for places with several second-team players pushing for starts at varsity. Swansea will look to break the trend of the previous three years in which they have been on the end of two heavy defeats to Cardiff. Given this recent history, vicecaptain Stacey Carey is determined to set the record straight but is under no illusions how difficult it will be to cause an upset in Cardiff. “I think having experienced defeat
RIA’S READY TO GO: Women’s football captain Ria Llewellyn (left) at the varsity promo. by Jazz Dicker firstname.lastname@example.org
last year has made us realise just how much we want it this year,” said Carey. “We want to do it not just for ourselves but for everyone in the club. We’re fully aware that we’re going in as underdogs as Cardiff. “They are of course in the league above us in BUCS but if we continue our recent form, then we should give Cardiff a run for their money.”
Llewellyn’s side have showed signs of improvement throughout the season, finishing in a very respectable third position in the BUCS table. In preparation for varsity, the squad recently went on a European tour. The Welsh Varsity match will be the final game of the year for the women’s football team. Llewellyn will have the rare honour of leading her Swansea side out for a second consecutive varsity. The team lost 7-2 in 2012.
32 15 2009
SINCE 2008, SWANSEA UNIVERSITY’S ALED LEWIS (PICTURED) HOLDS THE RECORD FOR MOST POINTS SCORED AT THE WELSH VARSITY.
THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT TRY SCORERS IN THE WELSH VARSITY MATCH SINCE 2008.
THE LAST TIME CARDIFF WON BACK-TO-BACK VARSITY MATCHES.
THE LAST TIME THAT THE VARSITY MATCH ENDED IN A DRAW. THE SCORE WAS 10-10.
SINCE 2008, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY’S JACK BEAMAN HOLDS THE RECORD FOR MOST POINTS IN A SINGLE VARSITY MATCH.
SINCE 2008, NO ONE FROM EITHER SWANSEA OR CARDIFF HAS SCORED TWO TRIES IN A SINGLE VARSITY MATCH.
VARSITY I 19
THE WELSH VARSITY MATCH BY NUMBERS by Craig Hadley
THE RECORD ATTENDANCE FOR A WELSH VARSITY MATCH, SET IN 2012 AT THE MILLENNIUM STADIUM.
SINCE 2008, SWANSEA’S FORMER LOOSEHEAD PROP KERRY O’SULLIVAN HAS FEATURED IN ALL FIVE VARSITY SQUADS. HE ALSO CAPTAINED THE SIDE IN 2010.
THE BIGGEST WINNING MARGIN IN THE WELSH VARSITY RUGBY MATCH. THE SCORE WAS 49-13 TO SWANSEA IN 1998. THE NUMBER OF POINTS SCORED AT THE WELSH VARSITY RUGBY MATCH SINCE THE ANNUAL EVENT BEGAN IN 1997.
THE RECORDED ATTENDANCE OF THE FIRST WELSH VARSITY RUGBY MATCH.
10 36 497 4
THE NUMBER OF SWANSEA WINS AT THE WELSH VARSITY MATCH SINCE 1997.
THE NUMBER OF SWANSEA FIRST-TEAM PLAYERS WHO ARE IN LINE TO PLAY THEIR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE VARSITY MATCH (SAM SOUL, RHODRI CLANCY, MIKE JONES AND GREG GEORGE).
20 I VARSITY
THE WELSH VARSITY SHOWPIECE - THE LAST FOUR MEETINGS 2009
CARDIFF DENIES SWANSEA VICTORY AT THE ARMS PARK
Cardiff 9 - 6 Swansea AN assured performance from flyhalf Aled Lewis ensured Swansea came from behind to celebrate their first Welsh Varsity victory in three years at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea had the better of the opening period, but failed to convert two early penalty attempts. They were punished when Cardiff got the breakthrough minutes before half-time. A well-placed kick into the corner from Gareth Rees was secured by a rushing Ieuan Coombes as he crossed the line to score. Two successful penalty attempts from Aled Lewis gave Swansea the lead just after the break. Hopes of a home win were dealt a blow when debutant Rhodri Clancy
received a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Rees failed to convert the resulting penalty. With their first-choice front-rower missing from the scrum, cracks started to show for Swansea. The weakened pack failed to contain Cardiff as Dan Lewis dived over. Rees converted to make it 12-6 to Cardiff. With 10 minutes to go, captain Kerry O’Sullivan needed one final push from his side and Gareth Beer duly delivered with a try for Swansea. Luck was on Lewis’ side as his conversion attempt bounced off the bar and over to give Swansea a narrow one point lead. Lewis secured victory with another penalty moments later.
SWANSEA DOMINATE AT THE HOME OF WELSH RUGBY
Swansea 28 - 18 Cardiff SWANSEA suffered their biggest defeat in Welsh Varsity history as Cardiff celebrated their first varsity victory at the Millennium Stadium. Aled Lewis, in his fourth consecutive varsity match, got Swansea off to the best possible start with two successful penalty conversions. Swansea survived two brief scares as Cameron Pimlow missed penalty chances to level for Cardiff before the breakthrough came. Nicholas Huntley found space to touch down in the corner to register Cardiff’s first points of the game. A second try soon followed as Arthur Ellis touched over. Swansea’s early momentum
appeared to be slipping away as Pimlow found his range with a drop goal attempt. They were dealt another blow when the 2011 man of the match Tom Rowlands was sent to the sinbin. Cardiff capitalised on their one man advantage to score another try and successful drop goal. Swansea’s luck appeared to have changed when Cardiff’s Ellis was sent to the sin-bin and a quick breakaway by Lewis allowed teammate Jackson Szabo to cross the whitewash to close the gap to ten points. But Cardiff reasserted their dominance with two late tries, to secure their first victory since 2009. It was also Cardiff’s fifth varsity win since the first game in 1997.
A RESILIENT second-half performance at the Cardiff Arms Park secured back-to-back varsity victories for Cardiff for the first time in the competition’s history. Ill-discipline from the home side threatened to ruin Cardiff’s day as their captain, Aaron Fowler, was warned following five penalties in the opening 10 minutes. Cardiff would finally pay the price for their ill-discipline mid-way through the first half. Swansea’s Robert Evans dispatching the resulting penalty. Swansea’s first points on the board appeared to rally the team as they quickened the tempo and forced the issue in Cardiff’s half. The referee’s patience had reached
SWANSEA LIBERATE VARSITY CUP FROM CARDIFF
by Ellie Caddick email@example.com
its limits after 25 minutes of the game. Cardiff’s second row Kieran Ruddock was sent to the bin for failing to stay on his feet in the ruck. Evans then stepped up to convert the penalty to make it 6-0 to Swansea before the break. An early second-half infringement from Swansea gifted Cardiff a way back into the match, Codey Rees slotting home the penalty. Cardiff continued to test the patience of the referee as another two Cardiff players were handed yellow cards but Swansea simply couldn’t find a way through. Despite their numerical disadvantage, two superb drop goal attempts from fresher Cameron Pimlow secured victory for Cardiff.
Swansea 16 - 12 Cardiff
SWANSEA secured a historic victory over their rivals as they bagged their tenth varsity victory at the home of Welsh rugby, the Millennium Stadium. In front of a crowd of almost 15,000, it was to be the first time the Millennium Stadium had hosted the Welsh Varsity match. Despite enjoying the majority of the early possession, Cardiff could only muster six points on the scoreboard, thanks to the trusted boot of Cameron Pimlow. The Swansea crowd could sense a change in the offing as the atmosphere grew within the stadium. A quick break by Tom Rowlands allowed second-row Henry Boot to drive over the whitewash. Aled Lewis
CARDIFF CRUSH SLACK SWANSEA IN FRONT OF RECORD CROWD
adding the extras. Swansea extended their lead just before half-time. A fantastic flowing Swansea attack was finished by man of the match Rowlands. The try was converted once more by Lewis. Swansea continued their dominance after the break as Dan George wriggled free of the tackle to dab down. A Cardiff response followed on the hour, as Jake Cooper-Woolley bulldozed his way over the try-line. Nimble footwork from Swansea’s fly-half Lewis condemned Cardiff to defeat with six minutes remaining. A late James Reeves try gave Cardiff another consolation try before Nigel Owens blew the final whistle to confirm victory for Swansea.
Cardiff 33 - 13 Swansea
VARSITY I 21
THE PAST HAS NO REAL BEARING ON THE GAME - VAUGHAN
SWANSEA TAMED BY DOMINANT CARDIFF: Swansea at risk of losing possession of the ball as Cardiff put severe pressure on the ball-carrier during last year’s Welsh Varsity showpiece at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff. SWANSEA University have a proud history in the Welsh Varsity competition, having won ten of the previous 16 matches, but crucially suffered defeat last year. Their 33-13 defeat to Cardiff was their largest in Welsh Varsity history but Vaughan insists the past has no bearing on this year’s match. “I don’t think we should be worrying about the past,” said Vaughan. “The past, be it a defeat or a victory, has no real bearing on the upcoming game.” “While it is an annual fixture, the players playing in it can change every year.”
by Craig Hadley firstname.lastname@example.org
Swansea’s captain has insisted the team have learnt from last year’s humbling and have adjusted their Varsity preparations to reflect that. “I think a lot can be learned from last year’s defeat,” said Vaughan. “Our preparation felt a little too drawn out last year, it started to drag. “So this year we have shortened it down to just two weeks so the boys can go into the game feeling prepared but fresh. “Last year’s defeat at the Millennium
hurt us but we will do whatever it takes to put that right this year.” Swansea University have failed to beat Cardiff in their previous five meetings, but the atmosphere in the camp certainly does not reflect this. “Training’s been really positive for us,” said Vaughan. “There’s a real good atmosphere around the camp at the moment. “We haven’t beaten Cardiff since our victory at varsity in 2011 but everybody knows how important the game is to us all. “There is real competition for places which always makes for a good
training environment.” Swansea will be without their legendary kicker Aled Lewis, for the first time in five years, after he graduated last year. Lewis, now playing for Dunvant RFC, scored 32 of Swansea’s 72 points scored at the Welsh Varsity since 2008. Vaughan is confident whoever steps into Lewis’ boots on the day will have the skill and nerve to perform. “I have no doubts that whoever steps into Aled’s shoes will do the job at the Millennium,” he said. “If the player wasn’t good enough, he wouldn’t be picked.”
The Welsh Varsity match - how the teams shape up WITH both university sides hoping for victory at the Millennium Stadium, we take a look at how their seasons have gone so far ahead of the big match. Swansea experienced a very mixed season in their BUCS league campaign, winning six after losing their first three league matches including a 22-10 defeat to Cardiff University at Llanrumney. Their season picked up with a hard fought away win in January at Glamorgan’s Sport Park but a 43-6 defeat the following Sunday threatened to derail their season. But a three match unbeaten run ensured Swansea finished the season just above their rivals from the capital, finishing in fifth. Cardiff University had a season to forget as they finished in sixth,
by Craig Hadley email@example.com
one place above relegated side Glamorgan. Cardiff’s victories this season have been few and far between with just three league wins in ten and just one since the turn of the year. Their win over Swansea in October was quickly followed by a 59-3 defeat away at Hartpury College. Cardiff’s season ended with a 32-0 home defeat to city rivals Cardiff Metropolitan, who with the win completed a rare season double over Cardiff. Swansea also got the better of Cardiff in the BUCS Vase cup competition. Having received a bye, due to their league position, Swansea were free to
relax as Cardiff welcomed Leeds in a quarter-final tie. The side from the capital dominated their opponents, as they ran out 44-11 winners. Swansea entered the competition at the semi-final stage, and secured a narrow 26-21 victory over travelling Newcastle University. The victory would potentially set up a BUCS Vase final against Cardiff. But sadly for Cardiff this was not to be as they suffered defeat away at Nottingham. Swansea were due to play Nottingham in the final before the Easter break but the game was delayed due to bad weather. Going into the Welsh Varsity match Swansea have not beaten their rivals in any competition since their last Varsity win in 2011.
Swansea’s captain has been selected in two previous varsity squads, in 2009 and 2012, and appreciates what an honour it is. “It’s a massive honour and privilege to be a part of the Welsh Varsity,” added Vaughan. “Varsity is a rare chance to play at the national stadium in front of over 15,000 spectators, and is sure to be one I will look back on fondly. “I’d love to get a win and make the occasion even more special.” Outside of his student rugby commitments he also captains Welsh Premiership side Bridgend Ravens.
22 I VARSITY
Sirens set to grace Bowley believes in her squad’s Fencing president calls for big the Millennium abilities ahead of varsity clash crowd to bring home victory SWANSEA Sirens, the university’s cheerleading club, will once again be performing during the halftime interval the Welsh Varsity match at the Millennium Stadium. The Sirens’ profile has been raised in the last twelve month through performances at the intramural cup final as well as their work for the local rugby union club the Ospreys. And having wowed a Welsh Varsity record crowd at the Millennium Stadium last year, Swansea’s cheerleaders will be excited about the prospect of showing off their hard work and preparation in front of what is expected to be even more spectators this year. Cardiff Snakecharmers will also perform at half-time.
THE SIRENS: Members of the club last year.
by Joseph Mountford firstname.lastname@example.org
DIFFERENCE MAKER: Captain Ruth Bowley FOLLOWING an impressive year in BUCS, women’s fencing are ready to do battle with Cardiff once more at Varsity. Captain Ruth Bowley will lead her team against Cardiff and has refused to rule out her team’s chances of causing an upset at Varsity. “I’m incredibly pleased with the team’s determination to succeed,” she said. “If they all bring their top form at Varsity we will certainly give Cardiff something to think about.” Going into Varsity Swansea will need to be wary of Cardiff’s foil trio. Elen Tomlinson, Flavia Allegretto and Cristina Mazzola all finished on the podium at the recent Welsh University Fencing Championships.
Swansea’s captain Ruth Bowley could be the great equaliser in the foil competition. Although she did not compete at the recent championships, her ability in this discipline is unquestionable. She produced an incredible 17-4 victory against Queen Mary’s University earlier in the season to completely turn the match around for her side. If she can repeat that performance against Cardiff she could prove a deadly threat on the piece. Zoe Beynon and Megan Lillycrop will also compete with Bowley in the foil contest. The epee will feature Varsity debutant Kitty Nicholas who will compete alongside veteran pairing Bowley and Beynon against Cardiff. Captain Bowley will be hoping Lillycrop’s preferred discipline of the sabre will be where Swansea can pick up the most points in. Lillycrop is the current Welsh University Sabre Champion. With her teammates Madelaine Swift and Anna Lawrence also competing in the sabre, Swansea will have a tough trio to compete with their Cardiff counterparts.
LAST year the men’s fencing team produced a memorable performance to beat Cardiff, by a resounding score of 135 to 100, at the annual Welsh Varsity match. Following two narrow single figure defeats to Cardiff this year, Swansea will need to pull out all the stops to clinch a Varsity victory. Fencing club president Joe Mountford believes a large vocal Swansea crowd could be the key to victory. “The men’s team is a social animal,” he said. “They rely on big fan atmospheres to pull out their biggest wins. “We’re really going to need all the supporters we can get to get us in the zone as we go for victory.” The sport of fencing features three disciplines; which are the foil, the epee and the sabre. Swansea’s strongest event should be the men’s sabre competition. Recently crowned Welsh University Sabre Champion, Richard Rapier, will take to the piece for Swansea alongside teammates Joseph Mountford and Joe Brightman. The epee could prove Swansea’s downfall as they prepare to face Cardiff’s George Hawksworth, who is the reigning Welsh University Epee Champion.
by Joseph Mountford email@example.com
Despite the highly rated opposition, Swansea’s Nick Hoad, George Orchart and Will Cummings will be hoping to cause an upset when they come face to face with Cardiff in April. The final discipline, the foil, is set to be the most contested of the afternoon. In Cardiff’s corner is the Welsh University Foil Champion Chris Wild and in Swansea’s corner the runnerup of the same competition, Orchart. With the choice of Siôn Carpenter, Paul Clarkson and Ashley Stephens as backup to the talented Orchart, it will be a match certainly worth watching.
CHAMPION: Men’s captain Richard Rapier.
VARSITY I 23
Parsons and Bowen eager to get going Davies believes underdog label
SUMFC 1sts coach Nick Bowen believes the side can overcome the disappointment of this season’s relegation from the Premier South division to secure Varsity victory. SUMFC had enjoyed some good results in the first half of the season against established sides such as Bath and Hartpury but their 2013 form proved their downfall. Bowen felt that one reason for SUMFCs poor form towards the end of the season could have been fixture congestion, mentioning that “a heavy fixture backlog… saw us play our final 3 games of the season in just 6 days”. However, Bowen is looking forward to the completion of the new training facilities at Fairwood, a joint-venture with Swansea City FC which it is hoped “should allow for all squad members to train together’ next season, hopefully leading to more cohesion on the pitch.” Bowen is pleased with the team’s preparations for the Varsity game, saying that “this is the first time we’ve managed to get our entire squad playing together”, as well as pointing to victory in the 2 warm-up friendly matches as proof of the team’s readiness. The most recent of those matches, on the 16th of April, was against Swansea City U21 side, with the University side running out 2-1 winners at St Helens ground. Bowen hopes that the experience of playing (and winning), in front of a crowd will
will spur Swansea onto victory by David Beale firstname.lastname@example.org
PARSONS POSITIVE: Swansea’s captain (left) is confident Swansea can atone for last year. by Max Stevens email@example.com
prepare the team well for Varsity. Despite remaining adamant that he doesn’t see Varsity as different to normal games, Bowen did concede that the game does make for a different task with the pressure of the crowd, but commented that “surely this is what anyone who plays competitive sport thrives”. Captain George Parsons also noted that the “electric atmosphere can be daunting” in particular for the new players, but hoped that good preparation would ensure that “we do the business”.
Last year’s varsity game was forced to end early following crowd problems with the score at 2-1 to Cardiff. Swansea found it hard to adjust to playing on astro-turf, having been used to playing on grass for most of the season. Parsons is therefore pleased that this year’s game is being played on grass, and with no injuries of note ahead of the game. both Parsons and Bowen are hopeful that they can make amends for last year’s defeat. Entry to the men’s football event will require you to have a valid ticket to the evening’s rugby match. No entry will be allowed without one.
Burkov confident for womens team ahead of first ever varsity match
FOLLOWING a double-winning debut season the women’s volleyball team will be looking to complete the treble in April at Varsity. Volleyball club president Ilya Burkov is confident the women’s team are ready for the challenge after completing the domestic double. “I think the girls are more than ready for Varsity,” said Burkov. “With the men’s team also progressing nicely, I believe both teams will be quite successful in their respective Varsity matches.”
by Craig Hadley firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s captain Heli Foxley also believed Swansea had a good chance at Varsity despite Cardiff being ranked a league above them. “I think we have a good chance of winning,” she said. “As long as the team perform well on the day. “Obviously it’ll be a tough match, as Cardiff are in the league above us. “But they haven’t done as well as we expected them to do at the start of the season, losing more games
than they’ve won.” The women’s team won nine out of a possible ten games on their way to the double, in what was their first season in BUCS. Their season culminated in victories over Glamorgan 1sts in both the league and cup to clinch both titles. The men’s team struggled in comparison, winning only two in six, finishing fifth out of six teams. Burkov and Foxley thanked the club committee and their coach Szymon Kazimierz Kubal for the work they have done over the year.
THE women’s hockey team will be looking to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at last year’s varsity competition when they face Cardiff in April. Captain Kira Davies is confident that, despite Cardiff’s superior position in the BUCS league pyramid, Swansea can beat Cardiff this time around. “I have no qualm in saying that being rated as the underdogs will have a positive effect on the team,” she said. “I’ve got full trust and confidence in my team to get the win and finish this year on a high. “I cannot wait to get on the pitch and show Cardiff the reason why we’ve been so successful this year.” Swansea finished the season in dramatic circumstances. With one league game remaining, they needed just a point in their final game against second-placed Cardiff Medics to secure the league title. In what turned out to be a highscoring affair, Swansea were narrowly beaten 4-3 and had to settle for second place. Similarly in the Welsh Shield cup competition, they were pipped to
WOMEN’S CAPTAIN: Kira Davies (left) the title in the final by Ruthin Hockey Club . But Swansea were without several first-choice players as the final clashed with the annual club tour. But despite their bad luck in the latter stages of the season, Davies is confident that Swansea can beat anyone on their day and so is confident they can come away with the victory. “It all comes down to who wants it more on the day,” she added.
Swansea’s captain hoping the team have learnt from last year by David Beale email@example.com
FOLLOWING domestic double success, men’s hockey 1sts captain Rory Thorburn is positive about his side’s chances at this year’s Welsh Varsity match. The team finished top of the BUCS Western 2B division with eight wins in ten matches. They also celebrated success in the Welsh Shield competition with victory over Bridgend Hockey Club in the final. Thorburn believes continuity has been crucial in this year’s success, with the bulk of the squad remaining from the previous year. “This year we managed to keep a large number of players,” he added. “This is very lucky for us, as it gives us a platform to build on. “But we’ve also benefitted from bringing in some new recruits into the existing squad.” Swansea had the chance to make it two cup titles in two days at the end of March when they faced Cardiff University in the final of the Welsh Cup. They had secured the Welsh Shield the previous day. In what was a fiery encounter Swansea took an early lead before
MEN’S CAPTAIN: Rory Thorburn (left) Cardiff came back to lead 3-1. Captain Thorburn slotted home to make it 3-2 before Cardiff regained control and ran out cup winners, 5-2. Despite this recent defeat to Cardiff, Thorburn is dreaming of a Swansea victory at varsity. “I don’t think there would be anything better than to being able to say that we beat Cardiff at varsity,” he added.
22 I VARSITY
In form Titans wary of Cardiff threat
Basketball club all set for tip off by Alex Powell firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASH OF THE TITANS: Swansea Titan’s Ollie Runswick and his Cardiff Cobra counterpart taking part in the Welsh Varsity photoshoot in preparation for varsity. BUCS western rivals Swansea Titans and Cardiff Cobras will do battle once again at Pontcanna in Cardiff. Offensive captain Ollie Runswick is expecting a tough test against Cardiff. He said: “I expect a good Cardiff side to turn up and a quality game of football.” The emerging force that is the Titans have enjoyed one of their best
by Simon George email@example.com
seasons on record, despite having always lost more games than they had won prior to this year. Swansea won five of their eight matches this season, including a 64-0 victory over mid-table Aberystwyth University.
The well-established Cobras on the other had have had a season to forget. Having played fewer games than Swansea, only five, they have registered just one victory all year. With Swansea on a five match winning run, they will undoubtedly go into this year’s varsity game as favourites. The team in the familiar green kit will be looking for payback for the
Welsh Varsity result back in 2010. Swansea were on the end of a hiding, conceding 57 points without reply. The travelling Swansea side will be hoping to utilise their running game, which has been ominous for many sides this season. Swansea Titans have amassed over 270 regular season points, the 6th highest in the country.
Sports officer elect hopes club will end the year on a high
FRESH IN THEIR MINDS: Action from last year’s Welsh Varsity netball match, with goal-attack Rebecca Steingass on the ball and looking for a passing option. CAPTAIN Charlotte Peters is hopeful that the experience of members of the Swansea University Netball club will help lead Swansea to varsity victory. Swansea have suffered Varsity defeat in the last three years, but after a solid season, Peters believes Swansea have a better chance than ever of bucking the recent trend to defeat Cardiff. “Varsity is naturally the culmination of the season,” she said, “and all the girls are aware of the size of the match.
by Tom Nightingale firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a reasonably experienced team, with most of them having competed in Varsity before, so although nerves will be high I think they will cope well with the pressure. “The crowd will play a huge part, but the rest of the club and hopefully a lot of other Swansea supporters will be there to cheer the girls on.” “I think this year’s Varsity will be the
closest we’ve seen in recent years. “The girls are more prepared and have had it in their sights for months, with training geared towards the big day. Hopefully all of their hard work will pay off and we will come out with a win!” Swansea’s three netball teams experienced mixed levels of success in the domestic season this year. The third team achieved their aim of avoiding relegation from the Western 4B conference following their promotion 5B last season.
The seconds finished an impressive second in Western 3B, while the first team finished in a respectable third position in Western 2B. If Swansea were to pull off a Varsity victory, it would be something of a shock as opponents Cardiff’s first team finished the season third in Western 1A. Find out if the green and white team can upset the odds on April 24th, with the game taking place in the Welsh Institute of Sport Main Hall at 11:30am.
SWANSEA University’s basketball club will look to end the season on a high against Cardiff following a tough year for both the men’s and women’s teams. Men’s captain Calum Sharma has admitted it has been a hard season for the team having been dealt a major blow only a month into the season. “With our coach quitting on us after the first month we had to adapt,” he said. “Many of the players stepped up to help out, which I am grateful for. “We have done well this season considering and managed to stay up following our promotion last year. “But looking at the competition we faced, I believe we should have placed in the top three [rather than fourth].” Sharma believes the whole squad will need to be on their game to beat Cardiff at Varsity, having lost their most recent meeting by nine points. “We beat Cardiff comfortably at their place earlier in the season,” said Sharma. “But somehow we lost the return fixture at home, so the season series is tied. “At Varsity, Henry Sondo and Nate Osoria need to bring the energy they have to ignite our play on both ends of the floor, by being aggressive from the tip. “Adam Kennedy, Marc Robson and Ajing Jipur will be our big men, providing us with the rebounding edge we will need.” The women’s captain Ness Talbutt is hoping to “surprise” Cardiff when they face their rivals from the capital at Varsity. Talbutt’s side have had a season to forget, winning just two in eleven but the captain has looked to recruit some new players to turn the tide in their favour. “We’ve recently recruited a very tall player called Hannah Flather, who should be a huge asset for Varsity,” she said. “We’ve also brought in an American, Brenna Kristi, to the squad. “She really lives up to the stereotype that American’s are good ball players. “She’s only played two games for us so far but has averaged 30 points and is also strong on defence. “Brenna is going to be one of our key players for Varsity.” Despite being relegated Talbutt believes she her resolute side will not shy away from the challenge at Varsity. “All the girls have played really hard for every game this season,” she said. “They have been determined to win every time they go out on court, really fighting for every possession.” “Every member of the team is crucial and will give their all on the day. Hopefully their hard work will pay off and we’ll surprise Cardiff.” The teams would also like to give a special thanks to club president Tino Dzaro for all her hard work this year.
Captain Tarbard hopeful freshers’ team will continue winning tradition
MEN’S freshers’ rugby captain Oliver Tarbard is hopeful that Swansea can continue their recent good form in Varsity matches in this year’s encounter. The match was called off last year, but Swansea recorded victories in 2010 and 2011 and after a decent season, the team will be looking to step up their game for the showpiece match in their season. Swansea have experienced an inconsistent season, finishing 5th in the Western 2B Conference, and Tarbard is looking for his side to put in their full efforts to secure a Varsity victory which would undoubtedly be the highlight of their season. “We have taken every game as it’s come this year,” said Tarbard, “and the highlight of the regular season was making the quarter-finals of the BUCS Cup, an outstanding effort. “We have not played Cardiff freshers at all this year, and so it is hard to predict the result as every year new players come into both universities, so we will not be sure what to expect. However, I am confident that the boys will perform on the day and hopefully be able to bring home the victory to Swansea.” The side, who are officially known
FEELING CONFIDENT: Swansea’s freshers’ rugby team should be seen as favourites for this year’s varsity match with Cardiff freshers. by Tom Nightingale email@example.com
as Swansea 4ths, secured five wins from twelve games this season, but finished only one place behind Swansea’s 3rd side, an achievement which can be put down to the team’s preparations and training, which Tarbard highlighted. “A hard training programme has
been set up for the players this season,” he explained. “One of the main points of this programme has been that we have integrated sessions with the 1st team in order to get the most out of the training build up to Varsity.” Swansea’s opponents, Cardiff Freshers (also Cardiff 4th side) have played in Western 3B this year, in which they came third from bottom,
winning two games out of six. The two sides’ respective league forms, coupled with Swansea’s success at Varsity in recent years, means that Swansea will probably be seen as favourites ahead of the game. Find out if they can live up to this billing on April 24. The match will take place, weather permitting, at Pontcanna pitch 1, at 2.30pm.
Women’s rugby ready and raring to go for their first varsity match in two years
FOLLOWING last year’s match cancellation Swansea University’s women’s rugby union side are ready and raring to go for the big day. Heavy rainfall over the days prior to the Welsh Varsity meant the game was called off last year much to the annoyance of the women’s team. “It was obviously very disappointing for the team not to play at varsity,” said captain Eliza Slinn. “We are raring to go, the game seems like it’s been a long time coming and the girls are ready to play and be part of this year’s varsity. “Cardiff have had a tough season, something that will have taken its toll on them, however they are still in the league above us. “We’re a competitive team though and go into every game with a desire to win. “But we’re under no illusions; we’ll be going into the game as underdogs. “ Despite their match cancellation in 2012, the whole team turned out in full kit and was around Cardiff throughout the day cheering on the teams in green and white. Slinn was a member of the team who played in 2011 and believes that experience helped the club going
LONG OVERDUE: Swansea’s Peita McAlister at the Varsity promo photo-shoot ahead of the long awaited rugby match. by Craig Hadley firstname.lastname@example.org
forward, even if the result was tough to take. “It was my first varsity appearance and it was certainly a learning curve
for all the girls involved,” said Slinn. “We came away from the game knowing we needed to work on our defensive play [after conceding 54 points]. “You cannot afford to be giving the ball away to a team like Cardiff so easily.
“We’ve spent the last few years learning from that experience and improving our game.” The team finished the season with six wins from their nine matches. They made the last 16 of the BUCS trophy cup competition, going out to eventual finalists Manchester.
VARSITY I 37
Intramural side ready for action by Nick Griffiths email@example.com
SWANSEA University will be hoping to build on previous varsity success when their intramural select eleven take on their Cardiff counterparts. Intramural football captain Owain Harries is extremely confident in the standard of the Swansea intramural league ahead of Varsity selection. “The quality of intramural is at the highest it has ever been,” Harries said. “Based on our recent trials, I believe we could send an intramural 2nd XI who would still manage to put Cardiff to the sword.” In last year’s Varsity match Swansea narrowly defeated Cardiff by four goals to three thanks to a late Dy Noonan strike. Harries will be hoping for a more assured victory than last year but believes concentration won’t be an issue this time around. “We were 3-1 up at half-time but switched off and let Cardiff back into the game. Five minutes into the 2nd half they made it 3-3. “Luckily some clever substitutions by then manager Ben Swanson ensured we got the win. “Hopefully the boys will have learnt from last year.”
Ducklings hope for varsity upset by Nick Griffiths firstname.lastname@example.org
FOLLOWING a valiant effort at the BUCS outdoor regional competition, Swansea’s ultimate frisbee club, affectionately known as the Ducklings, are all set for Varsity. Club captain Matt Nicholson is hopeful the team’s 7th placed finish will benefit the team going into Varsity. Nicholson’s team go into the contest as the underdogs after Cardiff finished 3rd at the same outdoor regional competition. Despite this Nicholson feels that this could finally be Swansea’s year to pull off an upset. “This is by far our best chance in the club’s history to get a result,” he said. “It’s been the club’s best ever year, breaking many club records, and we are closing the gap between us and Cardiff. “They are still big favourites of course, but we firmly believe we can pull off an upset.’’ Swansea suffered defeat in last year’s contest, 15-6, having led 3-2. The momentum turned following a change in match format at a time when Swansea were leading. Several high impact collisions in the 7v7 format meant both teams agreed to finish with five-a-side.
38 I VARSITY
Golfing team go Robinson upbeat ahead of the Davies believes Swansea will in as favourites women’s varsity lacrosse clash have the edge in men’s lacrosse by Craig Hadley email@example.com
PRESIDENT of the golf club, Peter Gordon, will be hoping to make it four in four as they return to the Vale of Glamorgan golf course this April. Swansea will go into the event as favourites given their superior league position. The Swansea-based club are currently playing in the second tier of BUCS’ golf competition, with Cardiff playing in the third. Following relegation, Cardiff have struggled to adjust to life in the third tier, winning just one game this season. Swansea on the other hand, have battled admirably following their promotion last year. They have won six matches this season including a dramatic play-off victory over Portsmouth at Hayling Island Golf Club. Gordon will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous presidents such as Bristol-based Freddie Ferrari who led the team to victory last year. The match is due to begin at 11am, weather permitting.
TIME TO DO BATTLE: Swansea’s Charlotte Guest (above-left) crossing sticks with Cardiff.
FOCUSED AND READY TO GO: Swansea’s steely-eyed captain Matt Davies (above-left).
CAPTAIN Jocelyn Robinson is confident that this year can be Swansea’s year in the women’s lacrosse varsity match. Swansea were promoted back to Western 1A last season and they have taken to the higher standard well, finishing fourth in their new division. And Robinson has been delighted with how her side have adapted to the increase in quality this season. “The highlight of our season this year would be competing in a higher new league this year and being strong contenders,” she explained. Despite their varsity opponents
SWANSEA University’s men’s lacrosse team are looking to build upon an impressive domestic season in this year’s varsity match with Cardiff. Swansea finished joint-second with Cardiff in the BUCS Western 1A, and despite losing last year’s varsity match, Swansea’s performances this season have given captain Matt Davies confidence ahead of this year’s game. “Last year’s defeat was hard to take as it was our first loss in quite a few years,” said Davies. “However, I’m supremely confident about this year’s varsity.
by Tom Nightingale firstname.lastname@example.org
finishing top of the same division, Robinson believes Swansea can upset their rivals this year. “This is the first year we are extremely confident that we can cause a massive upset for Cardiff at varsity,” she explained. “The team have shown so much focus. We don’t really have anything to lose and I feel extremely positive!” See if the girls’ efforts can be rewarded on April 24th at 2.30pm on Pontcanna pitch 3.
by Tom Nightingale email@example.com
“Our final match before varsity was an away win at Cardiff, which was the highlight of our season and we believe this gives us the edge going into this year’s varsity.” But Davies also admitted that Varsity has to be seen as the season’s most prestigious game. “We try to work on the basis that each game is as important as the next, but Cardiff holds a special place within all of us, and, realistically, it’s the game that has to be won.”
Determined Lici calls for focus by Craig Hadley firstname.lastname@example.org
WOMEN’S captain Alicia Venables has called for focus ahead of their all important varsity match with Cardiff. Swansea lost to their rivals back in November by just four points and Venables is encouraged by what she’s seen from her side in training. “Training is really going well,” she said. “We are focusing hard on our individual weaknesses and helping each other to improve. “There has been a lot of improvement from all members of the team and we will be determined to show that off at Varsity.” Venables will compete in her second Varsity match this year having been a part of the Swansea winning side in 2012. She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former captain Susie Howells by claiming another win for Swansea at this year’s Varsity. “We are hoping to carry on the Varsity streak,” she added. “Cardiff have changed their team since last year’s match so we are not totally sure what to expect. “But we will give it our all to try and beat Cardiff in April.”
VARSITY I 39
We’ve got a lot riding on the result at varsity - Moralee
RACKETS AT THE READY: Swansea’s Owen Walters (left) at the Welsh Varsity promotional photo-shoot with his Cardiff counterpart. MEN’S squash could have their promotion hopes on the line when they face off against Cardiff on April 24. Following their 3-2 league victory over Cardiff in February, Swansea finished the league season with the same points and games difference as their rivals from the capital. The victory in February cancelled
by Craig Hadley email@example.com
out the 3-2 defeat they suffered to Cardiff at the back end of last year. Due to their equal head-to-head record the two sides will put the rights to promotion on the line at when they face each other at Varsity. “We’ll have a lot riding on this
match,” said captain Russ Moralee. “We’ve just heard back from Sadie Thwaites, Sport Swansea’s administrator, that BUCS are happy to have the league play-off decider at the Welsh Varsity,” he said. “It’s going to be tough but I’m quietly confident we can secure victory we need.” The match begins at 1.30pm.
Boxing added to the Welsh Varsity roster SWANSEA University’s boxers are raring to go as they approach their first ever varsity match. 2013 will see Swansea’s and Cardiff’s boxing clubs take on each other at a Welsh Varsity event for the first time ever, as twelve male boxers and one female face their Cardiff opponents. Swansea has already had a superb start to the year with Josh Osborne winning gold at the BUCS Super Heavyweight category in March. And Swansea University’s head boxing coach Avoen Perryman is unsurprisingly in an upbeat mood ahead of this seminal moment in Welsh university boxing history. “Our squad are hoping that a varsity triumph will build on Josh’s success. “We have been training hard and hope to mark our varsity debut in style by bringing the title home to Swansea.” Avoen, currently a doctoral research student at Swansea, set up the Boxing Club in November 2007, as a first year Criminology undergraduate. He has competed in and coached boxing since his teens, and he said that whilst only a very small amount of people were involved when the club started, today the club boasts 150 members. “I love running this club and making a difference to people’s University experience, and possibly to their lives.
Badminton aim for varsity wins by Jodie O’Donnell firstname.lastname@example.org
BOTH the men’s and the women’s Swansea University badminton teams are confident that they can secure victories at the 2013 Welsh Varsity after excellent domestic league seasons. After easing their way to the top of their league this season and coming second in their fight for the Western Conference Cup, the men’s first team are totally on form and ready and waiting to take on Cardiff and to regain their title as Welsh Varsity winners. And captain Sam Gorell appears fully aware of what his team are capable of achieving in this year’s big match. He said: “We have had one of our best seasons so far, and now with a promotion for next season, everyone is supremely confident.” With the prowess shown by each player during the course of this season, there appears to be supreme confidence within the club that they will emerge victorious against Cardiff. With the matches being held later this year it also gives a chance for more Swansea supporters to show their support to spur on one of the university’s most successful sports team and heighten the badminton team’s determination further. This will definitely help out the women’s first team, who despite winning varsity in 2011, let their standard slip slightly last year and just missed on at regaining their victory. Nonetheless the women’s team have shown great play all of this season in their Western league, regardless of several team changes, and managed to sit comfortably in a mid-table position, resisting their first team rivals of Cardiff Met and Glamorgan. Alice Palmer, who sees her third year as women’s captain and sent her team to victory in 2011, is hopeful ahead of this year’s ties. She said: ‘We have done it [won] before and we can easily do it again!”
PACKING A PUNCH: Hannah Dicks trains with BUCS Super Heavy Weight gold medallist Josh Osbourne ahead of her varsity fight. by Tom Nightingale email@example.com
“Three of our former boxers are now boxing coaches and a couple who met at the club are now engaged.” The club currently trains at the University Sport Centre and the Warehouse Gym in Swansea. But there are grand plans in place for the 2013-2014 season to reflect
the increase in the club’s success and profile amongst students. These include a new gym in the Sandfields area of the city with £25k worth of funding from UK charity ‘Sported’. Avoen said: “We want young people from the city come to our gym, get fit and develop their boxing skills. We hope that as undergraduate and postgraduate students, we can act as
mentors to our younger members. “We want this gym to become a great facility for the community and bring students and local youngsters together to generate a real community spirit, increase charitable activities and also help reduce anti-social behaviour in the area.” The boxing event takes place on Monday 22nd April at 7pm, at Cardiff University’s Students’ Union.
VETERAN: Women’s captain Alice Palmer. All that remains is for Swansea’s badminton teams to keep up their high spirits and maintain their great standard of play into varsity. The badminton takes place at the Talybont sports centre.
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WE HAVE A LOT TO PROVE AT THIS YEAR’S WELSH VARSITY - STANLEY WITH her time as sports officer coming to an end, we caught up with Imogen Stanley ahead of the Welsh Varsity. Going into this year’s Welsh Varsity, Stanley believes Swansea will have “a lot to prove” following last year’s disappointment. Swansea won just five of the twenty three Welsh Varsity shield matches. “I think last year we were very unfortunate to lose as many games as we did,” she said. “We have a lot to prove at this year’s Welsh Varsity. “We always go into games fighting and I don’t think this is any different.” Cardiff University have celebrated success in the Welsh Varsity Shield every year since it began in 2002. Stanley does not Cardiff’s home advantage is the major factor behind their Welsh Varsity shield success in recent years, but would not be against the idea of some events taking place in Swansea. “I don’t think Cardiff playing at home is the main reason behind their success in the shield,” she said. “Many of Cardiff’s teams are playing in higher leagues than we are. “But hopefully some of the matches could be brought back to Swansea, which would be amazing to see.” Stanley herself competed for Swansea University in each of the last three Welsh Varsity competitions as part of the university’s sailing club. She won in all three years in which
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April 22, 2013
Varsity Schedule Welsh Institute of Sport (WIS) 20 minutes from Cardiff Central Station
Match KO Taekwondo 11.00 Netball 11.30 Men’s Badminton 11.30 Women’s Badminton 11.30 Men’s Football 12.00 Men’s Fencing 13.30 Women’s Fencing 13.30 Women’s Basketball 13.30 Men’s Squash 13.30 Women’s Squash 13.30 Women’s Hockey 14.30 Men’s Volleyball 14.30 Women’s Volleyball 14.30 Men’s Basketball 15.00 Men’s Hockey 16.00
25 minutes from Cardiff Central Station
Match KO Sailing 10.00
Pontcanna 15 minutes from WIS
WHEN TWO CITIES GO TO WAR: The green and white army’s very own sports officer Imogen Stanley (left) and Cardiff’s AU president Cari Davies. by Craig Hadley firstname.lastname@example.org
she competed, including last year’s 6-0 victory as captain of the club. Stanley remains proud of her achievements and spoke of her fondness of varsity as an event as a
whole. “I love varsity, it’s my favourite day of the year and has been since my first year,” she said. “I loved competing at varsity,” she said. “Winning all three of my varsity matches for Swansea was definitely a highlight of my time here.
“Not only did I enjoy competing but it is great to know that an event such as varsity allows us to engage with thousands of students who don’t usually get involved in sports on a weekly basis.” Stanley’s replacement Charlotte Peters will take over in the summer.
by Craig Hadley email@example.com
April 24, will be named the winner. Since the shield was introduced in 2002, Swansea are yet to win this prestigious award. Last year was a year to forget for many Swansea fans. Not only did Swansea suffer their
worst ever defeat in the varsity rugby match, but they also suffered one of their worst years in the shield. Only five teams managed to register points for Swansea, compared to Cardiff’s 18. The teams to win included: golf, men’s fencing, sailing, women’s squash and intramural football. Swansea came close to their first shield victory in 2010, just missing
Ultimate Frisbee Men’s Lacrosse American Football Intramural Football Women’s Rugby Freshers Rugby Women’s Football Women’s Lacrosse
11.00 12.30 12.30 13.00 13.00 14.30 14.30 14.30
Vale of Glamorgan Not within walking distance of WIS
Match KO Golf 11.00
The Welsh Varsity shield explained THE Welsh Varsity Cup is not the only prize up for grabs at varsity, with the Welsh Varsity Shield arguably more sort after. It differs from the Varsity Cup as it is awarded to the university who have won the most matches throughout the competition. Each match is worth a single point and the university with the most at the end of the final day of varsity,
Cardiff Lawn Tennis Club out by six points. The first point of the shield competition was up for grabs in the annual Welsh Varsity boat race. This was closely followed on Sunday by the varsity T20 cricket match, weather permitting. See our twitter account for the results. We will also be tweeting throughout April 24. To get the latest updates follow us now.
15 minutes from WIS
Match KO Men’s Tennis Women’s Tennis
The Millennium Stadium Opposite Cardiff Central Station
Match KO Welsh Varsity Rugby Match