St Hilda's College
College news

Varsity report

2 March 2024

On March 2nd, four Hilda’s students ventured to North London to play in the annual Rugby Varsity Match against Cambridge University at the StoneX Stadium. The four boys (Edward Blake, George Fowler, Zenden Rozenbroek and Luke Wyllie) have been playing rugby together for both the university and for college for the last two years and their chemistry off the pitch extends into how they play together. The boys travelled to Watford on Friday morning to gain early access to the pitch and to get a feel for it before moving onto their hotel for the night. The rest of the day entailed a squad lunch in town, group mobility and gym primer sessions, as well as some cards in the hotel lobby before a good night’s sleep. Months of preparation, late night training sessions, early morning fitness and group social activities had led up to this final game, culminating in one huge fixture for the boys. The morning of saw the squad load on a big breakfast before clapping the Women’s team onto their coach to depart for their own game. A few more stretches and preparation and the team departed the hotel to the stadium. The atmosphere in the changing rooms was tense but excited, every single player ready to give everything they had against a strong Cambridge side.

Come the 80th minute and that final whistle, unfortunately the game had not gone to plan, and the tight Oxford side lost to a victorious Cambridge side. All 4 boys got ample time on the pitch. Edward, Zenden and Luke all kicked off the match (at 6, 7 and 12 respectively) and were making dominant carries, huge tackles and ran with highest intensity from the outset. At the 65th minute, George came onto the field and injected some energy into the team and gave everything he got. Whilst the result itself is not what the boys would have hoped for, the journey they had been through together transcended any score line. They have been on two tours together, to South Africa in 2022 and USA in 2023, and have spent hundreds of hours training with each other. This reflects not only on their strong friendships with each other but also how they bring that energy into the college side. Whilst this was the final run out in the Dark Blue jersey for Edward and George, Zenden and Luke are looking to be prominent players in next year’s Blues squad. Additionally, all 4 boys are looking to bring victory to St. Hilda’s as they progress into the Semi-finals of Rugby Cuppers in Trinity term.