Rugby League Boys Confident of Varsity Victory
UoN’s Rugby League team reckon they’ve got what it takes to repeat last year’s ‘thrilling’ Varsity win
Varsity is in full swing. After the American Football and Basketball events drew in 3,000 spectators between them, interest in the Charity Series is on the up. With this in mind, The Tab caught up with UoN’s Rugby League President and 1st team winger James Goodwin to talk Varsity and see how the season has gone so far…
Last season’s Rugby League game was perhaps the pick of the 2012 Series, with UoN edging it 22-18 after an amazing second-half comeback. Goodwin played in the game and has some understandably fond memories of it: ‘Last year we were the underdogs and we came from behind in the last five minutes to win – it was an absolute thriller.’
The team will be hoping for more of the same on Friday but once again Trent will be the favourites: ‘We have played them twice in the league this year and they have beaten us twice. They actually came top of the league. Although, we were in the running for the title until the last two games and there were only 5 points in it so it was really frustrating end to the season.’
‘Trent will go in as favourites but if anything that’s a better situation for us. We went into Varsity last year as massive underdogs – even worse than this year – so we are thriving in the current situation. The Trent overconfidence seems to be their downfall.’
This is Goodwin’s third Varsity clash and although he’s aware that these matches are unique, he was keen to drill in the fact that UoN will be treating this like any other game: ‘Varsity is a lot different to a league match. I’ve never played in a game like it. It’s a really fantastic atmosphere when all your friends come out and people you’ve never seen before come down to support but we are treating this as a usual game.’
‘We’re not preparing anything special for this. All we need to do is go through the normal processes and play our own game. We have trained a lot better and played a lot better when we are relaxed.’
Despite the two defeats to Trent this season, Goodwin seemed quietly confident of carrying on from last year’s dramatic victory: ‘As a team, our setup was a lot better in recent games and so was our attacking shape and defensive effort. Recently, we’ve looked more like a rugby league team whereas they may thrive around a couple of game-breakers. We’ve got a couple of amazing half-backs, much better than any season I’ve played in before. They really know what they’re doing.’
Let’s hope so. With UoN leading 2-1 in Varsity 2013, this is a great chance to extend the lead and cement that early advantage over Trent.
The match kicks off at 6:30 PM at Harvey Hadden Sports Centre on Friday 15th February. Buses will be leaving from Portland and the Savoy Cinema at 17:45.