Sam Troughton (Natural Sciences – Physical, 2010) wins his blue at Twickenham on 7 December.
This is my 8th, and final, year at Robinson, having matriculated in 2010. I read Natural Sciences, specializing in Materials Science, before starting a PhD on wear and corrosion resistant coatings for lightweight metals. I was a member of the University boat race rowing squad for two years during my undergrad and rowed in the spare pair. I started playing rugby again during my PhD, and played in the Cambridge LX club vs Oxford Greyhounds match last year before joining the Blues squad for the current season.
I was very excited to have been selected as a replacement for this year's Varsity match, and hoped I get the opportunity to get on the pitch and contribute to another Cambridge win. And I did.
We were staying a few miles away from the stadium to try to keep everyone relaxed, but you could feel the tension building during the bus ride to the stadium. As we arrived there were cameras everywhere and the crowds were starting to make their way into the stadium, but all we were focused on was the game ahead. We'd had a tour of the stadium the day before so had the chance to take everything in.
We went into the match as the underdogs according to the media, after a few games where we hadn't performed well and Oxford had had some big wins. However, we were very confident that with everyone back from injury and two good performances leading into the varsity match that we going to back up last year's win and retain the trophy.
The atmosphere at kick off was incredible, it was hard not to get caught up in it while on the bench but an injury is possible at any moment so you've got to stay focused. I was told to get ready with around 10 minutes to play, but there was no stop in play for a very nerve racking six and half minutes. I ended up replacing one of the second rows as a blood replacement, but another minute later the tighthead prop got a concussion so I moved to the front row. Strangely, while on the pitch I didn't really notice the crowd, all I was thinking about was doing my job, holding onto the ball and running the clock down as we were 10 point ahead.
Getting the blue is a fantastic way to cap off my eight years in Cambridge, although it was only a few minutes on the day it's about the work put in over the last few months leading into this game.
I spent over two years training 12 times a week for the boat race during my undergrad and never made it, so to get my blue in my final year feels very special.
Sam Troughton, Natural Sciences - Physical, 2010.