Record breaking crowds of over 15,535 people watched The University of Leeds beat Leeds Beckett University in the Rugby Union finale event at Headingley Carnegie Stadium to round off an amazing few days of competition.
The 12th year of the competition between local rivals, The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University was as competitive as ever and resulted in the final score of 32 – 31 in favour of Leeds Beckett University. This was one of the closest Leeds Varsity competitions ever where just one match could have clinched it for The University of Leeds.
This year saw the introduction of a new event, parkrun varsity in which over 100 students turned up to represent the University of Leeds and take an easy victory over counterparts Leeds Beckett University. There was also another new headline event with the women’s netball taking place on the Tuesday night with well over 300 spectators who cheered the University of Leeds to victory.
The finale day itself was packed with intense competition and both universities battled hard against each other throughout the day.
The University of Leeds started the day off in style with a comfortable win in the indoor rowing, followed on with a strong start in pool for the biathlon who later went on to win both the men’s and women’s as they did in 2015. The university continued to dominate in the pool, effortlessly winning both the men and women’s swimming gala and water polo making them undefeated for the 7th year running. There was some fierce competition down at The Edge with the University hosting the badminton, volleyball and korfball. After some hard battled fixtures, the University came out on top in the korfball with an impressive 12 – 7 victory.
Meanwhile up at Sports Park Weetwood, the men and women’s hockey teams dominated over Leeds Beckett winning 7 out of their 8 fixtures with only the women’s 1st team narrowly missing out on a victory. Having suffered some heavy defeats in the previous year, the women’s football club also dominated, and took a clean sweep of victories against our local rivals.
Back indoors, the university netball teams put in a sterling performance with wins from the 2nd and 3rd teams. The impressive Tuesday night victory 33-29 clearly inspired the other teams to victory.
Fixtures were split evenly this year across the two Universities and it seems Leeds Beckett University enjoyed a home turf advantage with victories in all 6 tennis matches, both men and women’s lacrosse and the men and women’s handball.
The Varsity day culminated with the men’s rugby union finale at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The overall scores were nail bitingly close leaving the rugby union side going out on to the field with everything to play for. With a record breaking attendance of 15,535, the 2016 Leeds Varsity is officially the biggest ever. The boys held their nerve and gave it their all to secure hard earned a 20 – 9 victory against league above side Beckett.
Coach Mark luffman said:
“The hard earned victory is a fitting reward for the boys as it shows just how hard the team have worked in pre-season and how much progress they have made over the past year. It was not an easy Beckett side to beat.
The crowd were fantastic and it’s great to have the support of so many students to give the team that extra boost when they need it.”
Claiming that final Varsity point settled the scores at 32 – 31. Congratulations Leeds Beckett University for their overall victory and well done to all players, coaches, volunteers, staff and spectators for the huge commitment and dedication to Leeds Varsity 2016. Thank you also to RAG for raising money for a fantastic cause, climbing out, and our student media societies for their coverage of the game.
A full list of the results can be found here, and keep an eye out on our social media channels for photo’s and videos from the day.