Varsity 2017 Preview: Canoe Polo

University of Nottingham’s Canoe Polo team are eagerly anticipating Wednesday 29th March’s match, looking to replicate last year’s double-Varsity success that culminated with both the men’s and women’s teams coming out on top versus NTU.

UoN have been warming up Varsity with some fantastic performances, as recently as last weekend, both teams travelled to South Wales to compete at Cardiff University’s canoe polo tournament. The Men’s A team had a brilliant day and finished first out of 16 teams, setting a marker firmly down in the build up to the Varsity match.

Though they were pipped 3-2 on the day by UCL, disqualification soon followed for the London side as it was revealed that their team included university old boys.

The women, though not finishing on top, also performed stoutly by finishing in third place after cruelly being knocked out at the hands of Lancaster in the semis. These performances show that UoN are going into Varsity in red-hot form and will certainly be fancying their chances against NTU.

NTU Men’s, for their part, are more than worthy opponents. Although they are a team made up of slalom-paddlers, meaning that they don’t train for canoe polo as often as their UoN counterparts, they are both very fit and fast.

Trent play an attacking brand of canoe polo, and in the Varsity match last year, despite being defeated, scored as many points past UoN as any university team managed that season, and UoN were knocked out of BUCS by the eventual winners. So, expect fireworks.

NTU will certainly need their combination of speed and fitness this year, as both UoN teams have been equipped with a new carbon fleet of canoe’s, potentially giving UoN the edge going into the Varsity matches.

As for the UoN Girls team, they are marred by the fact that they have a couple of injuries to key players, but have been spending a lot of their training sessions with the Men’s coach and team, meaning they are in good hands and in good shape ahead of their Varsity match.

UoN Men’s player Sam Valman told Impact exclusively that ‘The A team is looking very strong and won the Warwick tournament two weeks ago without a loss”, it is without doubt that both teams, but the men’s especially are looking very formidable, once again, this year.

Valman continued, “We have a new sports scholar on the team and as it’s pre-BUCS this year we will be taking the match very seriously”. His words sound particularly foreboding for NTU.

So for only the second time in as many years, UoN and NTU’s canoe polo teams battle it out on what is a jam-packed first, of two, Varsity Super Wednesdays, split before and after Easter. They are sure to be high scoring affairs and everyone at Impact has their fingers crossed for two UoN victories.

Head down to the David Ross Sports Village swimming pool at 15:00 on Wednesday 29th March to catch all the action as it unfolds.

Joe Robinson

Image courtesy of University of Nottingham Sport

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