American Football

Varsity 2017 Preview: American Football

Harvey Hadden will be the new battleground when the Outlaws meet the Renegades in the Nottingham Varsity Series on the 13th May, in the fearsome clash that is the American Football Varsity.

It’s the penultimate day of this year’s Varsity Series, and you certainly don’t want to miss this vociferous local derby. NTU and UoN have matched up on numerous occasions and the conflict will certainly hit fever pitch on Saturday night.

With the Nottingham Varsity Series already retained for the Green and Gold due to the cancellation of cricket on Friday leaving the scores at 11-7, UoNAF (University of Nottingham American Football) will be also looking to cling onto their title of Varsity winners; attained for the first time in the Outlaws’ history last year with a 19-7 triumph at Lady Bay Stadium last May.

The Outlaws also go into the match in a rich vein of league form. It’s been 8/8 victories for UoNAF this year in the BUAFL (British Universities American Football Leagues), their progress only halted in a 28-27 quarter-final play-off defeat against Leeds Beckett last term. The side accumulated a 302 points difference as well.

Trent Renegades meanwhile go into the match on the back of 7-3 and 14-37 against Loughborough and Durham and failed to make the play-offs in Premiership North this year. You can never take the Trent Army for granted however and given their previous dominance in the fixture, the men in pink will be out to take revenge on their Green and Gold counterparts. However, they have played eight and lost eight in the league this season which will give UoNAF immense confidence going into the game, despite the fact that Trent are in a higher league.

President Sam Noakes was brimming with confidence ahead of the clash, “our domestic season has been the best its ever been which gives us massive confidence. Trent technically didn’t win any of their matches, we’ve won ten out of the last eleven and they haven’t won in the last twelve months. We know were capable of beating them and we’ve got the form to prove it.”

Noakes continued, “Trent have been giving a lot of chat about playing higher calibre opposition but we’ve played really tough matches and tough teams this year like Warwick Wolves. We back our offence against any team in the country and the players have found a good rhythm this year, in our defence as well we only conceded one touchdown all season and can shut teams out completely on a regular basis.”

Their results this season have indicated that last year’s 19-7 win in Varsity has been a catalyst for UoNAF’s progress and their resilience. Noakes proclaimed, “We can definitely stand up against the pressure. The 47-30 victory against Warwick typified that we can play badly and still grind out a result. We feel fit and confident after an Easter break and are fully focused on Varsity.”

With Trent playing in a higher division yet losing all of their matches this season, and with UoN winning all of theirs, the form guides would suggest this match is a foregone conclusion. However NTU have had an extra two weeks of preparation time with their Easter break being earlier than UoN’s which will surely prove advantageous for the opposition.

The new venue Harvey Hadden, just north of the Jubilee Campus in Bilborough, holds over 1,600 spectators – a larger capacity than Lady Bay. The new setting will provide a cauldron of noise for the Green and Gold as they attempt to defend their title this evening.

Joe Tanner

Image courtesy of University of Nottingham Sport

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