Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Besting Bucks

Well done to everyone yesterday!

U14s vs Milton Keynes

The U14s had a tough assignment. As they went onto the field it seemed to get noticably darker as the sun disappeared from view. The odd things is that this was was before the thunderstorm and the eclipse of the sun was more due to our girls facing a team that was - on average - a foot taller. And more in some cases.

However with the opposition's heads that much into the clouds our girls could not do anything but tackle round the legs (on the grounds that waists were a bit high to reach) and fought incredibly hard. Okay they lost, but for half the team this was their first match of any sort and they did outstandingly well getting better and better as the game went on, finishing with an excellent try and conversion from Hayley.

Its worth remembering that two years ago on the same pitch the U17s lost by a similar score. And look at them now! As indeed we could as their game was on the next pitch...

A Buckinghamshire U17 XV 19, Letchworth U17s 22
(HT: 14:12)

I see that Joe has already done a report, but what the heck. A game like yesterday's deserves to be remembered twice over and anyway it needs pointing out that you weren't just playing Milton Keynes!

Oh no. You were due to play Milton Keynes but you took on what was in effect a Buckinghamshire XV composed of all available U17 players from all of the county's three clubs - Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Chesham.

Anyway its worth repeating that everyone watching said was one of the best games of girls' club rugby they had ever seen. The game was pulled back from 14-5 down to win 22-19, with first-half tries from Sasha and Hayley, and Hayley then scored the winning try by crashing through as usual (see right). But in between was something really special with the third try came from Sophie, awarded player of the match, who'd only been to two training sessions before Sunday.

And well deserved it was too. Having spent the first half watching - and itching to come on - Sophie looked like she been playing for years (though the borrowed shorts were a bit of a giveaway!). Playing on the wing (which probably won't be her position in the long run) she tackled superbly, including a try and match-saving effort just before Hayley's winner.

The hours of line-out practice also came into their own, with clean catch by Nichola setting up the move that lead to the fourth try, and then all the extra height our lifters are achieveing allowing Nichola to steal the ball from an opposition throw to close out the game at the end (see left).

It was an excellent game which everyone on both sides clearly enjoyed, and played (and watched by coaches and parents alike) in the right spirit as well.

Pointers from the game will be discussed on Wednesday but a few from me...

  • Dithering around at restarts. Both sides as bad as each other, but the mess we made of their restart after our first try lead directly to their first score. Really we do need to build more confidence in this aspect of the game otherwise some sides will murder us.
  • Letting Sasha take in penalties from 5m out is a good idea.... but she does need a bit of help sometimes. She can be pretty daunting on her own, but if two or three of you were bound with her she'd be unstoppable.
  • If - early in the game - you get a penalty inside their 22m line and only slightly to the left of the posts one option (instead of running it, or kicking for touch) is to kick for goal. Especially if the wind is behind you.
  • If you run clear to score a try near the touchline... keep running and put it down under the posts. Could be worth another two points!
  • We still haven't found a full back. Volunteers please form an orderly line on Wednesday.

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