It’s that time of year again and tensions are building on the South Coast as Southampton University prepare to take on Portsmouth University in Varsity 2013 this weekend. Following Pompey’s defeat at the hands of Southampton over the last few years, our rivals to the east will be itching to snatch the bragging rights back from us in what is sure to be a hard fought event, showcasing the biggest talents of university sport.
The event has been scheduled to take place on the weekend that most people are heading home for the Easter break, but organisers are insisting that this won’t affect the event which is being hosted by Portsmouth University for the first time.
Southampton head into the competition with a leg up on our South Coast rivals as we have already emerged victorious in the Surfing and Go-Karting competitions.
This year’s Varsity certainly won’t be one to miss as not only could it see Southampton retain their title as Varsity champions, but they’d be doing it on Portsmouth’s turf and spoiling the party for Portsmouth in their first year as hosts. I had a quick chat with the Football Club Captain Harry Herbert to find out what he made of the run-up to the event and how him and his team have been preparing to end a successful season in the BUCCs league.
There have been some grumblings about the organisation of this year’s varisty, have you encountered any problems?
We haven’t had too many problems with the organisation. It seems to have been left a little late but that is the norm with the AU this year! As far as I know Portsmouth have been very disorganised with the event though, it being their first time hosting it.
What’s your take on holding the event on the weekend most people go home?
It isn’t ideal and we’ve had a few lads pull out for that reason. I don’t think it is that unreasonable to hold it 4 days after the end of the BUCS season though. It’s a great game to finish our season with! We will just get on with it.
How have you been preparing for the big day?
Our 4 teams have been doing well this season. Our 1st team have just narrowly missed out on promotion to the 1st division and our Saturday team reached quarter-finals in both the Southampton Senior Cup and the Hampshire Cup recently. They are a very good side but we have done everything we can to prepare for it.
I also managed to squeeze in a quick chat with the Rugby Club Captain Freddie Gleadowe to find out how he is feeling about his team’s prospects in the build up to this weekend’s Varsity cup.
What do you reckon are your team’s main strengths looking towards this weekend?
Our main strength lies in the pace at which we play game i think we have the edge on them with our fitness and we will try to exploit that by playing a fast wide game.
Have you made any changes to the way your team is training to prepare to face Portsmouth?
Training continues as normal we are viewing it as just another game we are not going to get carried away with the event we all know the jobs we need to do so we will go out and do them.
Do you feel that Portsmouth will benefit from a home advantage? Does this worry you?
Playing away is always hard however we are a good traveling side and are used to playing at other venues so I do not think this will affect us.
All teams are going to be looking to leave the season on a high note so the fact that the event is happening slightly later than usual in the year could see one of the most competitive Varsity events yet!
If you want to buy tickets (including transfer and a free t-shirt!) you can buy them from the SUSU box office for just £6 here. For more details about transport and the big afterparty to celebrate or commiserate join the facebook event here.
SUSU TV have put together this preview, so make sure you watch it and give it a share on Twitter and Facebook. Find it here.