Cambridge Win Third Consecutive Rugby Fives Varsity

Cambridge secure a third consecutive Varsity victory in Rugby FIves, as EDMUND KAY reports.

1992 Ben Quarry cambridge university rugby fives curfc edmund kay eton fives Francis Thomas Jack Malde Jacob Brubert James Lane Oundle school peter judge pol roger Rob Mathias rugby fives varsity 2013 sparrows and beavers Tom Chase Will Sloper Wilson Lau

For those of you don’t know, Rugby Fives is basically like squash but with your hands instead of a racket – that’s it. If you thought it was a complicated game, then you’re probably getting confused with Eton Fives, which is a fucking ridiculous game. If that explanation doesn’t make sense, then it’s probably just easiest to watch a video.

Cambridge went into the 83rd Rugby Fives Varsity match (sponsored by Pol Roger) as favourites, following wins in the last two years and strong results throughout the season. The match started with the top four from each side playing one game of singles to fifteen points against their opposite number. In the first seed match captain Ed Kay eased to a 15-4 victory against Oxford’s number 1.

At second seed the experienced Jacob Brubert, playing in his fourth Varsity match, showed superior fitness and consistency against Oxford freshman, Francis Thomas, winning 15-6. The third and fourth seed matches were much closer with Jack Malde putting in a strong performance but narrowly losing to the Oxford captain 16-14 and James Lane producing a powerful display at number 4, winning 15-13. This meant that Cambridge has opened up a twenty point lead, with the score at lunch 59-39.

Oxbridge’s finest: The starting twelves from Oxford and Cambridge line up before the start of the match

After lunch all eight players were in action with four doubles pairs playing four games to fifteen each. 1st pair and current BUCS doubles champions, Kay and Brubert didn’t have their best game but still managed to produce enough to see off the Oxford’s 1st pair 15-6 15-12, then improved to comfortably beat the 2nd pair. Lane and Malde showed a few nerves in their game, losing 15-0 15-10 to the Oxford 2nd pair but upped their game to take a 1 point victory (10-15 15-9) against Oxford’s 1st’s.

The victorious Peter Judge and Edmund Kay

The 3rd pair of Tom Chase and Will Sloper produced a dominant, hard-hitting performance against the Oxford 3rd pair to come out with a 16-4 15-8 victory, then dominated the 4th’s 15-1 15-2. At fourth pair the on-form pair of Jacob Ader and Peter Judge showed their class winning 15-1 15-3 against the 4th’s, but narrowly lost to Oxford’s 3rd’s. The final result was a win for Cambridge by 265 points to 176. The last time Cambridge secured a hat-trick of Varsity victories was 1992, showing the class and dedication of the current squad.

The line up for the Sparrows and Beavers match

In the Sparrows versus Beavers match captain Rob Mathias, playing in his 1st Varsity match, led his team to a 131-96 point victory. Matt Chipping and Rob produced strong displays in both singles and doubles to secure maximum points. Wilson Lau and Ben Quarry played well but unfortunately lost all four of their doubles. It must be mentioned that Ben claimed his first ever competitive singles win, beating the Oxford number 12, 15-1.

The benefits of your Varsity match being sponsored by Pol Roger – free champagne to either celebrate or commiserate over!

This has been a superb season for the rugby fives club winning multiple trophies and showing exceptional commitment. This year is the end of an era for as next year Cambridge will have its own Rugby fives courts. Since 1995 the club has had to train and play all matches at Oundle school, which is an hour’s drive away. Starting next year the club will be playing on new courts in the sports centre on the West Cambridge site. We hope that this will allow many new people to take up Rugby Fives and start an era of dominance for CURFC.

If you are interested in taking up Rugby Fives please contact the 2013/2014 captain Jack Malde.