The opening round of the 2021/22 National University League season took place in Cardiff on November 13, 2021 with three of the four Universities in action. While the defending Men’s Division minor premiers the University of Birmingham received a bye, teams from Oxford University, Cambridge University and Cardiff Metropolitan University all took to the field.
This was the first time teams had played in the NUL since the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2019/20 Grand Finals. As a result, only minor premiers could be named as the University of Birmingham went unbeaten in the Men’s Division, and South Wales Universities topped the Women’s Division.
Oxford University made a strong start to their NUL campaign with two wins on the opening weekend. The inaugural NUL champions comfortable beat arch-rivals Cambridge by 70 points, before a late flurry of goals saw them defeat a spirited Cardiff Met side.
The side have a bye for Round Two in Cambridge on December 12, but will be in action in the Movember Cup later in November.
Meanwhile in the third game of the Men’s Division, Cardiff Met are still looking for their first NUL win after losing out to Cambridge by 26 points.
With Cardiff Met unable to field a team in the Women’s Division this season, just the one game was played on opening weekend in Cardiff between Oxford and Cambridge. The newly crowned WWE9s champions ran out 13-point winners, as they look to bounce back from a 2019/20 campaign that saw them fail to win a single game.
Round 1 of the 2021/22 National Universtiy League also marked the departure of longterm umpire Kat Stopinski. Stopinski has been heavily involved in the NUL since its inaugural season, and to-date is the only umpire to have appeared in all three seasons.
She is pictured below umpiring in Round 2 of the 2018/19 season. Everyone involved in the NUL would like to pass on its thanks to her for all the hard work a