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13 March 2024

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St Hugh’s students part of winning Oxford team in Rugby League Varsity Match

Congratulations to the Oxford University Rugby Football Club (OURFC) and our two St Hugh’s team members, undergraduate Ben Hughs (Economics and Management, 2021) and year two graduate Patrick Robinson (Medicine – Clinical), who reclaimed the Rugby League Varsity Trophy from Cambridge in a hard fought match on Saturday 24 February 2024 at Iffley Road Sports Centre.

Ben Hughs provided the following match report:

‘Having lost to Cambridge earlier in the season nerves were high going in, especially considering OURLFC has never lost a game home at Iffley Road, where we were playing. The first half was very physical, with both sides scoring with back moves in the corner. Finishing 10-6 up at half time, we went into the second half with the plan to “earn the right” of an expansive last 20 minutes with tight running lines and quick defensive line speed. We managed to achieve this goal, with a number of defensive sets on our tryline but Cambridge not being able to break through, and the game ending 14-6 to Oxford. Patrick and I have both been involved with the club for the last three years, but it was the first time playing Varsity for the Blues side for both of us – Patrick put in an especially memorable performance after coming off with a bleeding head, getting it wrapped up and OK’d by a medic, before going back on the pitch to continue breaking the Cambridge line apart with his runs.’

Talking about how he started his rugby league career, Ben said, ‘I got involved with OURLFC through the ex-captain of St Hugh’s/LMH RFC in Michaelmas of my first year and have been playing for the club since then (excluding my stint with a broken wrist after a particularly physical Oxford Brookes match!). Playing a sport at University level has been an important part of my time at Oxford, whether it be the cycle from St Hugh’s to Iffley Road at 6.30am, or having other members of the College come down to watch the games played at Uni Parks. I would really encourage any student interested in playing a sport to pursue it to a University level – while of course it is a larger time commitment, the relationships you build with your team and the level of competition makes it worth the while, especially if you can win Varsity!’

Below are photographs of Ben and Patrick and the Oxford team in action. Thank you to undergraduate student, Nicola Boys (Biology, 2020) who took these and the main photograph.

   

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