V ’12: Warwick primed to defend Varsity

This year will mark the 22nd annual Varsity clash between rival universities Warwick and Coventry. Having never been defeated by our neighbours, 2012 promises to be hotly contested, as last year was very closely fought, with Warwick winning 38-32 overall. It really did go down to the wire in the football finale, as both the men and women’s games ended with a penaly shoot-out. The women unfortunately lost after a 0-0 draw, while the men’s team won with captain Dave Holmes’ penalty, after a horribly scrappy 0-0 played on the Butts Arena Rugby pitch.

For those of you who have never come across Varsity before, it is the showpiece event in the Warwick University sporting calendar. The Universities of Warwick and Coventry have a long-standing rivalry due to the proximity of the two educational institutions, and in 1990 decided to pit their best sporting talent against one another in a tradition that has continued to this day. Athletics, Badminton, Cricket, Hockey, Football and both Rugby Union and League are the most commonly contested sports, but American Football, Basketball, Netball, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball are also involved.

The majority of fixtures are taking place on 10 March 2012, some in Coventry and others on the Warwick campus, whilst some fixtures (Tennis, Rugby Union, Athletics, American Football – all to be played on Sunday, the 4th of March) will have already been completed by the time of publication. The clash between Coventry and Warwick’s Men’s Football teams promises to be an enthralling encounter as it is the last match played, and may even be the decisive fixture as the men’s Rugby proved two years ago.

The Badminton teams were extremely successful in 2011, winning all three of their matches, whilst Hockey also won all their games. Men’s Rugby Union won their two matches; elsewhere men’s Tennis remained undefeated. In recent years the University has won fairly comprehensively: in 2009 Warwick won 41-27, in 2008 the score was 42-20 and 48-12 in 2007. The fact that the 2010 victory was by the narrowest of margins of 36-34, along with a close 2011 clash, means 2012 will be more eagerly anticipated than usual.

For each fixture, two points are up for grabs for the winner, whilst the spoils are shared if the result is a draw. With 39 fixtures to play, Warwick competitors and fans will be desperately hoping it doesn’t go down to the last match again! The last two matches will this time be taking place at Ricoh Arena on Wednesday the 14th of March as part of the traditional “Varsity Finale” – be sure to head down to Coventry City’s impressive stadium and cheer on your university as they seek to keep their unbeaten record!

Editor’s note: We make no apology for the number of puns in this edition.


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