sports gazette

President wants hard line on societies

St Mary's rugby team earlier this season © Tom Olver
Published: 11 Nov 2014

St Mary’s rugby union president Zander Lavall talks to the Sports Gazette about failing to field a side last Wednesday and cracking down on problems between St Mary’s teams.

Last week the university’s rugby union team had three points docked after failing to field a team against Hartpury 2nd team.

St Mary’s sit bottom of BUCS Premier South B with -5 points and club president Zander believes staying up is now beyond them.

“Staying in the league was always the aim before last week. Now the goal is to get as many players out there on a Wednesday enjoying rugby,” he said.

Zander attributed the lack of players to injuries and the fact that last Wednesday coincided with important deadlines for much of the squad.

He also bemoaned where the season had slipped away from them so far.

He said: “Realistically we should have beaten Queen Mary, realistically it should have been closer against UWE, and realistically we should have beaten Imperial in the cup.”

“Teams have been able to exploit our weaknesses too easily and when our squad is as small as it is, injuries are going to cause problems as we saw last week,” he added.

Zander went on to explain how there have been problems between members of sports societies in recent weeks.

“It must get nipped in the bud. We have to work together with the other clubs here as there are a few rumours going round at the moment.

“I’ve had to kick one of my players out of the club because of something stupid that he did. He may even get kicked out of university,” he said.

A hard line approach has been adopted to combat any factions that may arise within and between the sports societies on campus.

“I took too much of a back seat last year and let the coach dictate everything. Now I’m hot on any problems,” Zander added.

I took too much of a back seat last year and let the coach dictate everything. Now I’m hot on any problems.

Zander also discussed initiations and so-called ‘rugby culture’, referring to instances where university sports teams, namely the University of Gloucestershire and London School of Economics, have gone too far.

“The University of Gloucestershire were rightly punished after doing a Jews and Nazis social and marching through a Polish area of Gloucester,” he explained.

He added: “LSE were lambasted for their sexist leaflets which attacked others sports teams at their own university.”

Instead of attacking each other, Zander underlined that unity between St Mary’s sports teams is key to beating Brunel University at varsity in March.

“I want us to build for varsity and do a job on Brunel. We must forget all the silliness between our teams and beat them,” he said.

St Mary’s face Exeter University on Wednesday in their last home game before Christmas, where they look to put the disappointment of last week behind them. 

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