This Varsity was the spot of Cardiff’s defence of their Shield and title. The day was graced with beautiful weather and even finer camaraderie. However after a hard fought day from both sides Cardiff came out on top, with a victory over the men’s rugby and the overall.
However Swansea picked up a significant win with the women’s rugby and select other sports. Further, the day was showered in both controversy (and alcohol). The former was unexpected as Swansea’s first team played Nottingham Trent the same morning. Consequently, Swansea fielded a different team than the original 23, by playing a mix of University Regional Academy players with up and coming first and second players. Some of which had either played that day against Trent or in the fresher’s rugby. It would not be ridiculous, to think it disheartened the day or the teams morale. But if anything Swansea played harder and the fans yelled louder; so throughout the day fans could be heard at every event cheering on their athletes. And no matter what the result was of the game, both sides were gracious with the result. Even if tensions and nerves got to an elevated level, everyone kept cool and the feeling of solidarity between both universities was palpable. All of this combined to make an absolutely thrilling day and one I am sure will not soon be forgotten, due to the intensity of both sides and the unmatched spirit of the crowds.
Words & pictures by John-Mark Strickland