Author: Matt Renshaw | Uploaded: 22/02/2011
Sunday 13th February 2011
On a cold blustery day, five members of the Cambridge University Royal Navy Unit (CURNU) turned up to play in a rugby sevens tournament at RAF Brampton. The question everyone is about to ask is, arenít you two short? In terms of bodies, yes, but in terms of enthusiasm, no way! The tournament was hosted by the Cambridge University Air Squadron (CUAS) who kindly invited CURNU along to take part in their annual varsity tournament against their rivals Oxford University Air Squadron (OUAS). Also invited was the Oxford Officersí Training Corps (OTC) who turned up with some suspiciously large people who looked like they played rugby on a regular basis!
With the CURNU team two men down, they went into the first match against CUAS with a couple of guys from the OTC helping out. CURNU put up a very good fight but it was obvious that the other side had managed to find some more experienced rugby players and were actually quite fast, so the ball mainly stayed in their possession but CURNU were not afraid to get stuck in and kept hitting them hard with tackles. After a short break, CURNU came up against OUAS this time, and definitely fared slightly better this time around with more ball possession and the tackles coming thick and fast against the other side. A vast improvement from CURNU, but the biggest challenge was yet to come: facing the OTC.
Before facing the OTC, everyone was treated to a stunning game of Ladies Rugby by CUAS and OUAS who had both turned out a team. This was a truly stellar match with as much aggression and fearlessness as the menís rugby. After playing each other twice, CUAS come out on top for the Womenís Plate but only by a slim margin.
Facing the OTC, extra players came from CUAS who bravely decided to help CURNU out. The whistle blew and CURNU caught the ball and started running towards what can only be described as a herd of stampeding wildebeest! CURNU put in a courageous effort but the OTC really meant business. By half-time they had already taken out two of the original CURNU team, one with very sore ribs from a nasty tackle and another with a bloody nose, so the team went about finding some more people to help them out. To our rescue, came the OTC who provided rolling subs for the second half to help out (mainly because they wanted a chance to play against their own players!). This meant that, in true military style, we had an Armed Forces side with players from all three of the sections present, a true example of great sportsmanship. By the time the final whistle had blown the CURNU team were well and truly puffed out from playing some excellent rugby against some very good teams. This has stood them in very good stead for the Inter-URNU sports weekend coming up the following week.
The OTC romped to victory for the Menís cup as the most formidable and largest team present. Well done to them. CURNU didnít manage to bring the cup home this year but there is always next year!
Many thanks go to the Oxford OTC, OUAS and CUAS for providing players to enable CURNU to be able to take part in the tournament. Thanks are also due to the referee provided by CUAS who was very patient and fair with everyone. Finally, we are especially grateful to CUAS and RAF Brampton for organising and hosting this great event. CURNU is already looking forward to next year, where hopefully the Oxford URNU will be able to join us so we can play (and win!) our own varsity match.
Report by Matt Renshaw