Kate Marks braced for new season with Cambridge University RUFC Women
Captain has eyes on Varsity Match and BUCS league success
Kate Marks has set Cambridge University RUFC Women the challenge of maintaining their momentum this season.
The Light Blues sealed Varsity Match success at Twickenham last December, and had a record-breaking campaign in the British Universities & Colleges Sport, Midlands 1A.
They kicked off this year with a 47-10 win over the Old Girls’ team last Saturday, and have a friendly with Durham University today (Wednesday, 4pm), before the BUCS league resumes with a trip to Oxford Brookes on Wednesday, October 10.
“I think we’ve been lucky going into this season that we’ve got a very a strong squad returning from last year, with up to 12 returning Blues which helps to maintain momentum between the seasons,” said scrum-half and captain Marks.
“I think everyone has come back with quite a lot more confidence than maybe we started the season last year, and I think that’s something we can capitalise on and try to push on now to get to a different level by the time we get to December.
“I think we have reached a point where we have a base level of skills within the squad; we’re not having to keep pulling new players in all the time so we’ll be trying to push on.”
Thirty-one players have done pre-season with the Light Blues, including some new masters students, and the numbers could be swelled once the freshers come in for the start of the Michaelmas Term.
“We look to have a one-squad approach throughout this term so we’re making sure everyone gets some playing time and trying to bring some of those development players on board,” said Marks. “We will try to be inclusive in this term and go on to Varsity with a big squad that gives us lots of options.”
The objective remains simple, victory over Oxford and a repeat performance in the league, but Marks also had broader goals.
“We want to repeat the success of last year and keep that really good squad unity going into the game but that cannot be the only focus of the season,” said the 21-year-old Murray Edwards history student.
“We will be looking to replicate our success in the BUCS league, put some more points records down hopefully and really to try to win the league for a second season.
“This season, being the 30th anniversary of the women’s club, one of my aims as captain is to try to strengthen the links we have with our alumnae.
“The men have a very strong old boys’ network at the club so that’s we want to get with the women’s side of things.”
The men’s team started their season with a 26-21 win over Loughborough University last Wednesday, with two tries for Chris Bell, one each for Miles Huppatz and Elliot Baines and three conversions from Mike Phillips.
They face Durham University tonight (Wednesday, 7pm).