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, December 24, 2007

Rugby history: video of England's first international released!

The Welsh RFU have been doing wonders since the men's and women's unions merged last year. One major project has been tracing their national women's team's history - a project that probably puts them ahead of pretty much any other union anywhere.

Their latest is a real gem. Video of the first ever England v Wales women's rugby international - a game which was also the first international for both nations.

The game took place at Pontypool Park on 5th April 1987 - and England and Wales have played at least once a season ever since - 23 times in all - making it comfortably the the longest-running series in women's rugby... and England have won every game.

A "Great Britain" team had played the season before - losing 14-8 to France at Richmond - so for many of the the players this was not quite their first international, but this is still a very early event in the history of the game. The first inter-club tournaments in the UK had only started the season before, most players would have been playing for a handful of years, and it would be another seven years before the RFUW would be formed - the quality of play (and come to that the size of the crowd) is therefore all the more impressive.

video

Final score: Wales 4, England 22
(before anyone says anything, a try did not become worth five points until 1992/3...)

Weldon girl back in England - in Canadian U19 squad

Our U18 county girls will see at least one familiar face when they play against Canada's U19s next Saturday.

IE Weldon's second row Lauren Wizowski is now seasoned member of the Canadian U19 squad - in fact she appeared for them against England and Wales last season, fitting the Weldon tour in between the internationals! - so, although still only 18, she is one of the party's "senior" players.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Women's International Rugby" - a fundraiser for Letchworth

As some of you may know, I've been doing some research into the history of women's international rugby for the past eight months or so. I'm not actually sure quite I can remember why any more, but its been an interesting project.

Anyway - as well as producing several pages of information on Wikipedia - I thought I might put it into book form via the Lulu.com that we use to produce the calendars.

So I have, and here it is - http://www.lulu.com/content/1715790. About half of the proceeds from every sale will go to the team (the rest goes to the printer - I don't get a bean!).

Its not a great read - mainly lots of statistical data - but if you are into that sort of thing then this is for you. And even if you aren't then... well I am not aware of any other book on the subject!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday training and home match arrangements

In order to preserve the pitches and avoid them ending up in muddy heaps the club held a meeting last week and it was agreed that...
  • All Sunday training is to be confined to the top pitch and the old "fourth team" pitch (which will be marked out as a junior size pitch) and the spaces between the second and top pitch for all age groups, incl boys and girls. Training on the middle pitch will only be allowed on midweek evenings.
  • Sunday training for the juniors and girls will take place between 11:30 and 1pm (minis will be from 10.00 to 11.30).
  • Girls matches will kick off at 2pm (this allows changing rooms to be cleared after any boys matches, which will kick off at 12.00). Warm-ups from 1.30, but not on first or second team pitches (ie. middle or bottom picthes).

In practice this makes little difference to us, other than the slightly later time for training if we ever train on a Sunday. Home matches will, however, be confined to the top pitch for U18s and "fourth team pitch" for U15s (if played at the same time - there are plans to re-erect posts on the fourth pitch, apparently) until things improve, ie. the spring presumably.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Reminder: No training until January

Just a reminder that there will be no training or game now until Thursday 3rd January. This allows us to take full advantage of tomorrow's cancellation and ensure that everyone will be as fit as possible for the second half of the season.

However, before then potentially five of our girls (ie. Charley, Hayley, Jess Katie and Laura) will be in action for Hertfordshire against Canada U19s at Welwyn on the 29th (checkout the Herts Blog for details). I am sure that they would welcome some familar faces on the touchline cheering them on - or provide them with warm drinks and conversation if they are bench-warming.

Finally, if you are feeling rugby withdrawl symptoms this weekend you can watch England's international with the USA this afternoon. They are playing at London Irish this year instead of OAs, but you can watch the match LIVE on www.247.tv (2.30 kick-off)- £2.50 you can watch the match live, to replay a match costs £1.

The match is England’s first international of the season since the Grand Slam last March and the first under new Head Coach Gary Street. England last played the Eagles in the 2006 IRB Rugby World Cup and won 18-0 - but I'd expect rather more tries this time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Comments on comments

I firmly believe that the comments section of a blog should be as open as possible, not restricted by passwords or limited to Letchworth players or supporters, so that as free a range of discussion as possible should be allowed. However recently a growing number of, at times, silly comments by anonymous contributors (especially anonymous contributors pretending to be club members) to some debates has begun to annoy some people in the team.

So (as a trial) all new anonymous comments will be deleted - not just abusive remarks, as now. This means that you will have to enter a name or nickname of some sort. As a means of controlling abuse of the systems its about as low key as you can get, and if it works then fine. If not then there are other weapons available - including tracing back URLs if need be - which could be a bit tedious but something I am quite happy to do in order to keep a lid on things.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bringing down the prey...

video

Further to Sunday's game, Phil has provided a short video illustrating Natalie's hunting technique.

Or, to put it another way...

video

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sudbury cancel... you'll never guess why!

The on-going injury crisis/series of increasingly remarkable coincidences/ staistical blip (delete as applicable) contines with Sudbury now having to cancel Sunday's fixture.

Until a couple of weeks ago it was looking like we were going to have to cancel, but after last weekend we looked to have something close to team (certainly with Ampthill's help anyway) - so this is a bit of a shame.

Not sure where we stand now - but in practice I suspect that a training weekend would be no bad thing. A few who played last weekend are still carrying injuries that are not fully healed, which might be okay against newcomers like Ampthill but against major opposition like Sudbury (or Basford, who were also likely to attend) risked being inflamed. With no major games now until the New Year (county game against Canada aside) we can now be reasonably confident of starting 2008 with a full team - something we have never come close to managing throughout this season to date.

As for what we do this Sunday... watch this space.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Join the army - play rugby

Well, so it seems from what Randy says because I'm not sure that she does anything else!

Its worth mentioning that yesterday was Randy's second game of the week as she is now a firm member of the adult Army Medical Services (AMS) team (and the youngest member too!). Apparently she scored a try in their game against REME (who Randy used to play for, I thought?) on Wednesday.

Talking to Randy about her experience of the adult game the main thing that comes over is how much faster the game is, and how much bigger the hits are. Our speedy wing plays at outside centre for AMS and was spured on by a gallery of supporters for her game.

Randy's next game for AMS is against the Adjutant General's Corps on 5th January - but before then the good news is that she will be coming with us to Sudbury next weekend as she has two week's leave.

A few thoughts from yesterday...

It is interesting to see how much Ampthill are improving. Despite having one or two of their leading lights absent (apparently) the opening exchanges, and most of the match, was better contested than previous games. Unfortunately rugby is a cruel game, and relatively small differences between teams can often be exaggerated in the final score, especially if you cannot break out of defence, so even though the improvement was clear for those of us watching it has yet to have an impact on the actual score.

They are certainly wiseing up at penalties - as we learnt for their first try - a bit of a sucker punch that! Actually, one is actually slightly tempted to suggest that maybe giving away a 10m penalty for not retiring might be better than waving them through when caught out in situations like that.

Other highlights included several memorable Alcock v Alcock confrontations - especially the one where Alcock "minor" denied Alcock "major" a certain try with a tackle into touch (see below!). Also I wonder - is Nikki close to being one of Ampthill's top points scorers this season? Natalie has also got the "piggy-back" method of tackling down to a fine art now, as Sasha found out... rather like a lion leaping onto the back of a passing wilderbeast I thought...
Anyway - it was good fun, pressure-off, confidence building stuff. There were a few errors early on that we would not have got away with against higher level opposition - blind passes into no-where, passes not going to hand and so on - so there is still room to improve, but the main plus was getting through an entire weekend with as many fit players as we started. Here's hoping that continues!

More pictures here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A murky day in Letchworth

It was extremely convenient that the heavy rain that had poured down all morning stopped just in time to allow at least the spectators to remain relatively dry while watching the U18s girls match with Ampthill. Unfortunately, it remained rather murky thus giving me the ready made excuse for blurred and dark pics : it was just too dark to get really good ones!

Anyway, here's a few of the better ones ...
The final score was Letchworth 47 Ampthill 12 with the following scoring for Letchworth :
Tries : Hayley (3), Sasha (2), Ruby, Randy, Charlie, Jess
Conversion : Randy

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sunday, 9th December

Arrangements for Sunday are as follows :

U18s : please meet at 12.30 for match against Ampthill (kick off at approx. 1.15pm)

U15s : there will be no training at Letchworth this Sunday

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Something for our snappers to aim for...

For the first time ever a photograph from a women's match has been selected as the IRB's Rugby Photograph of the Year.

The winning shot, titled ‘Commitment’, depicts Rachel Poolman, the Wales fly half, shielding herself from the torrential December rain during her side’s 31-7 victory over Italy at Glamorgan Wanderers RFC in Cardiff, Wales in December 2006. Taken by a professional photographer named Andrew Orchard it was voted the best from over 100 entries from around the world.

“Andrew’s image is particularly striking in that it encapsulates the true spirit of the Game. The fact that it was taken at night and in the pouring rain certainly adds to the atmosphere of the occasion where the commitment of the two teams really comes to the fore. This is an image that all who have played the Game at any level can relate to and is a worthy recipient of the IRB/Emirates Rugby Photograph of the Year award,” said International Rugby Board Chairman, Dr Syd Millar.

“The game was played under floodlights at Glamorgan Wanderers RFC which can be a little dark, so when it started raining I knew that there was a chance of shooting something a bit different. I think the rain was at its worst when I took the shot. In the background the girls are preparing for a scrum and Rachel just turned her back for a few seconds, I think she was trying to shield herself from the rain. To be honest she looks like she wants to be somewhere else, and that is pretty much how I felt at the time too,” said winning photographer Andrew Orchard.

Quite how the competition works - ie. who can enter - isn't clear, but maybe it might be worth dropping the IRB a line to see if something from the the Alcock or Threlfall Photographic Agencies might be suitable for next year's competition?

Look out for new "Community Magazine": Update

I've just received my copy of the "Community Magazine" - and our bit is pretty impressive. A full colour, two-page spread with pictures of both the U15s and U18s, including a big full-page job featuring Jess. We are also the only sport featured! Really well worth getting a copy, presumably from The Comet offices if you do no actually live in Letchworth.

The article itself is based around Katie's now world-famous speech, edited down a bit. It reads very well - we could never hope to buy publicity as good as this so... fingers crossed that we get some interest from it!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Letchworth Girls Calendar 2008

It's that time of year again - the time when, if you're anything like me, you sit in desperate gloom contemplating the awful question of what can you possibly buy for granny this Christmas? Or uncle John? Or countless other family members who, for one reason or another, are so difficult to find an appropriate present for.

Well, stop your fretting! Help is at hand in the shape of the 2008 Letchworth Girls calendar. Following the success of the 2007 version, we have produced this calendar with even more pictures - a total of 53 full colour pictures taken during 2007 are presented; 46 of which have not been published anywhere before.

As last year, the calendar is approx. 11" wide by 8" high which opens out to 11" x 16" when hung on the wall - the upper half being a collection of photographs and the lower half giving the calendar dates and adequate space to jot down important fixtures, training, etc. So for your money you get the cover picture shown above plus the 12 multiple picture panels shown below -


The calendar is available from the printer at www.lulu.com/content/1495619 at £9.99 plus postage & packaging from the USA or from Mike Alcock (mikealcock@lineone.net) at £10. Please note that, if you need Mike to post one to you in the UK, it will cost an extra £1 for First Class post & packaging.

All proceeds go to Letchworth Rugby Club Girls.

'Tis the season to be jolly!

With Christmas just a matter of 23 days away, it's high time you Letchworth Girls got yourselves some serious training organised - Simon is suggesting a visit to Pizza Hut followed by a game of bowling on Wednesday, 12th December and needs to know who will be coming along so he can make the necessary bookings.
Please let him know as soon as possible (and definately by Thursday 6th) if you will be there.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Injury crisis grows: Herts County U18s pull out of Newark

We knew we were having problems here, but the news that we are not alone has been confirmed as injuries at Letchworth and Welwyn have forced Hertfordshire to pull out of the U18 section of Sunday's East Midlands festival in Newark. Apparently the county squad are down to only 14 fit or otherwise available players out of 25. With Hertfordshire U18s due to play Canada's U19s (at Welwyn on 29th December - see here) the county managment felt they could not risk any more injuries by having such a small squad play every game without rest.

The plot, meanwhile, thickens as we learn that Westcliff also have an unusually high number of injuries to the extent that they will not be able to make the game at Letchworth on the 9th - Heather is looking for replacement opposition. Is this all just bad luck?

Anyway - this means that it will be training FOR ALL on Sunday at Letchworth 10.00 (t0 11.30).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who broke all the mirrors?

Not that there is any evidence of large amounts of broken silvered glass everywhere, but there must be some explanation for this - for now, as well as Jess being out for several weeks following Sunday's game, Carla is now out until February due to some undisclosed off-pitch aggravation of her shoulder injury.

The curious thing is that I hear that we may not be quite alone in all this. Swaffham withdrew last weekend mainly, as you will have seen below, due to injuries suffered at county level, and I hear one or two other clubs may be experiencing raised injury levels. I grant you this is hardly a scientific survey, and one will tend to hear the bad news stories, but I wonder.... what's going on?

The age ranges changed this season - is this a co-incidence? That would be an irony because one major reason to change the age ranges was to improve safety. Could any aspect of the new age ranges be less "safe"? Fact is that I can't see what... and anyway at least half of our injuries have been off-field.

So, just bad luck then? Or.... any ideas, anyone?

U15 Training on Thursday

Please note that, as Katie is unavailable this Thursday, U15 training will start at 6.00pm (rather than the usual time of 5.30pm).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pictures from Kettering, Basford, and Paviors published

The Threlfall Archive now includes pictures from both the Kettering game, and yesterday's triangular. Not as many as usual, but apparently Phil's trainee has a tendency to get too excited and occasionally forgets to press the button...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Messages ....

It was a day of messages on Sunday as Letchworth, Paviors and Basford played a three way tournament at Legends Lane. At first, both teams seemed to be looking to the sky for inspiration ...


...but it wasn't long before Basford had their cunning signalling system in full working order -


JOG? You must be kidding : Basford never slowed to a jog all afternoon! Obviously the Basford code was more complex than we had expected.

Of course, some people were looking for other kinds of messages : while a battle takes place for the ball, Nikki scans the horizon for any sign of the hoped for hot pie seller -

Better not say too much about the next photo (because we don't want our future opponents to get too familiar with our methods) ... but there were also signs that Simon's coaching regime had introduced a radical new messaging system for the Letchworth girls -

There are, of course, some messages that are just too difficult for most people to decipher. Would any passing genius care to tell us what they makes of this anagram?


F J K Q D B H - quite a toughie, isn't it?!

Results
Letchworth 0 Basford 27
Letchworth 0 Paviors 12
Basford 5 Paviors 0

So congratulations to Basford for winning both their matches (and the anagram contest!) and to Paviors for their victory over Letchworth.

Finally, and most importantly, everyone at Letchworth Girls wishes Basford's Sarah a full and speedy recovery from the serious leg injury she suffered in the final match of the day.

A long, tough afternoon

An unpleasent injury to one of the Basford players brought a slightly premature end to an otherwise competitive afternoon's rugby. Obviously we will keep an eye on the Basford blog to see how things go, but based on Sasha's account it sounded like a serious leg injury.

Up until then the day had gone quite well. Our patched together team had, with the aid of a few borrowed players, performed well - starting better and maintaining a far more consistent performance than in some recent games. Unfortunately we didn't get through the afternoon without adding to the injury list, Jess's shoulder problem reviving itself in the first game against Basford but no before Jess had put in some good runs that had threatened to cut through Basford's defence. Jess went to hospital where the injury was diagnosed as a chipped collar bone - so that is Jess also now out for at least the next two weeks.

Admittedly Basford were already a couple of tries up by this stage, but the loss of Jess's speed in the centre hardly helped our cause. Explosive speed would seem to be the best weapon against Basford, and Sasha and Natalie both came close (particularly in the second half), so if Jess (and maybe Hayley) had been on the field then maybe we might have crossed Basford's line for the first time this season... but in the end I think most people were happy with a performance that held a far stronger opposition to only five tries.

Next up was Paviors, a very different side who have always run us ragged in the past. This proved to be a very close and exciting game, 0-0 at half-time, with the deadlock only broken mid-way through the second half by Paviors, who only doubled the margin from the final move of the game. It was disappointing perhaps not to record a score on the afternoon, but in practice this would have been a pretty tough afternoon with a full strength team. Basford finished off the afternoon with a victory by a single try over Paviors, the injury bringing things to an early close.

So... a final county day next weekend, with training at Letchworth for everyone else, and it would obviously be a big help for the rest of our season if we could return from a county day with as many players as we send!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Basford & Paviors on Sunday : UPDATE

Quite a busy Sunday in prospect this week with the visit of 2 other clubs.

For the U18s, we have Paviors and Basford visiting for a 3 way tournament. All sides seem to have a few injuries and, if you haven't done already, it is really important that you let me (Mike) know as soon as possible whether you are or are not available to play so that we can advise the visitors accordingly.

For the U15s, we had invited Swaffham and Basford but, unfortunately, all three teams are ravaged by injury and the fixtures have had to be postponed.

So, for those of you who are still fit, there will be the regular Sunday training at 10am

Monday, November 19, 2007

Injury problems continue

I think its worth recording on the blog our incredible run of injuries this season, both for U15s and U18s. In the past we have had the odd injury that has meant someone missing a weekend of two - indeed in our first season we only had one in-season injury that caused anyone to miss a game (Katie's concussion against Welwyn), though we more than made up for that with the carnage of National Sevens!

But now... I lose count. Mel, Megan, Emily, Hayley A, Anna... and now after yesterday Hayley G. Add to that the "walking wounded" - things like Rosie's knee - and its all a bit worrying. Less than half of these injuries have happened on the field, I think, but those that have - even some that seemed minor - are taking ages to heal!

Hopefully things cannot carry on like this - well they can't as a couple more and we'd have practically no team left! - but for the time being can everyone wrap themselves in cotton wool or somesuch as fate seems to have it in for us at the minute!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coach Natalie leads her team to triumph

A couple of recognisable faces among the county girls U12 team, winner of their tournament at Hitchin on Sunday. Our own Philippa played a major part on the field, while the team was molded into shape by Natalie who put into practice everything she has learnt from Joe and Simon over the past couple of seasons to build a winning team.

Perhaps as a result the team that played a bit like Letchworth, starting their first game against Kent to score by allowing the opposition to score two tries in the first minute before finally waking up to win 30-10. The second game saw them beat Middlesex 20-0.

It should not go without mention that there was a third Letchworth contributor to the triumph - the stylish county shirts the girls wore being produced by Mike Alcock.

EXCLUSIVE!!!!! Undercover report from Harlow

Tonight we have exclusive news from our undercover reporter in the Hertfordshire camp at the Essex Inter-County tournament at Harlow. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words but never before has that expression been more deserved.

Our startled reporter (right) has returned with stunning photographic evidence .....


... OK, Hayley, is there anything you want to tell us?

I almost forgot - the results! In a four county tournament, Herts U18s beat Leicestershire (12-0), drew with Eastern Counties (5-5) and narrowly lost to Essex (0-5) and finished the day as runners-up to deserving winners Essex. In the U15s tournament the top two places were reversed with Herts retaining the title they won last year and Essex being runners up.

Combine rugby and Christmas shopping?

Doing anything on Saturday 8th December?

Anyone fancy a team day out to Watford to watch Saracens take on Viadana (from Italy) in the Heineken Cup... and maybe do a bit of shopping as well?

Saracens are inviting anyone connected with women's and girls' rugby in Hertfordshire to come along and enjoy it for HALF PRICE* - that's JUST £10 for an adult ticket, and £5 for juniors (U16). Kick off is at 3pm at Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford. . To buy your tickets call the Ticket Team on 01923 475222 quoting "Ladies Rugby Offer". Offer closes 5pm, Friday 7th December.

There will be World Cup stars in action, plus there's as much entertainment off the pitch as there is on it, including cheerleaders, face painters and giveaways, meaning there's something for everyone!

What is more, if you haven't been before the stadium it is barely 5 minutes walk from the centre of Watford and the Harlequin Centre - so it is a great chance to combine a team "day out", top-level European rugby, and a bit of Christmas shopping.

So - who is up for it?

*Half price tickets will be situated in the South Stand and offer a 50% saving on the matchday price.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

U15s & U18s Training on Thursdays

Following a number of problems with the current arrangements where U15s & U18s train in a single group, from November 15th we are changing the training time for U15s to start half an hour earlier so that we can provide a special session for each age group as well as some spending some time with all players together :


17.30 - 18.00 : U15s training with Katie
18.00 - 18.45 : combined U15 & U18 training with Simon
18.45 - 19.30 : U18s training with Simon


Of course, we will only gain benefit from the new arrangement if players actually turn up on Thursday evenings so it is really important that everyone comes to training regularly. This is especially true for the U15s where Katie is hoping to be able to bring along some new players in the near future.

Girls' team tour 2008

Following our very successful tour to the South-West last Easter, we are now trying to finalise plans for the 2008 tour to the North-East where there are a very large number of thriving girls teams.

The most important part of any tour is, of course, the players that go on it and, in order to progress the planning further, we need to gain an understanding of how many players are likely to be interested/available for a tour during the Easter holiday.

Simon will be discussing this at training on Thursday and it would be a big help if you could let him know if you are likely to be interested and when you are available.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A game of two halves...

It was not a great first half, was it? Perhaps best forgotten - but then maybe not because this is not the first time this season we have started a game half asleep, and then paid the price. We have to stop doing this - do we need to look at our pre-match routines, maybe?

Okay - we are suffering from more long-term injuries at present than we have ever had before, but our patched-together pack of forwards actually did very well, at the set-pieces at least. But from the start of the game - where we gifted Kettering a three-player overlap by not being ready for our own kick-off - through to the "full and frank exchange of views" at half-time it was, lets be honest, a bit of a shambles and probably the worst we have played since the visit of Mid-Warwickshire in 2005, if not before. 34-0 was not an unfair scoreline by an means.

It took a passionate appeal from Katie at half-time, plus a talking to from Simon, to turn things around. And what a different team that produced, only narrowly shaded out 10-5 over a second period that was far more even - and which, if the ball had gone to hand just once or twice, might have gone the other way.

We can play well, but half the time this season we are choosing not to. We need to start games like we finish them, and be fired up from the start of the first half, not the start of the second. And to do that we need some good turnouts at training - including next Sunday when we want everyone not at county to attend. So that gives us three sessions to put this right - before we face Paviors...

Letchworth 5 Kettering 44

Being Remembrance Day, the match was preceeded by a two minute silence -

And then the action began ...

Letchworth scorer : Try : Katie

Friday, November 09, 2007

Kettering U18s at Letchworth

Arrangements for Sunday are as follows : please meet at the club at 12.45pm to be ready for a 1.00pm warm-up and 1.30pm kick off.

Can those few players who have not yet told Mike, John or Simon of their availability, please let us know a.s.a.p. as we need to advise Kettering of our squad size for the match.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Availability for matches/training

This weekend we have an U18 match against Kettering at Letchworth and the U15s, who are also at Letchworth, are training with Ampthill in preparation for the matches against Swaffham and Basford on November 25th.

It is essential that we get a good turnout for the weekend - and for training on Thursday - because we will need to be at our best to take on Kettering, Basford and Swaffham over the coming weeks.

Also please note that we intend to take a 2007/8 Girls' section photograph (combined U18 and U15 squads) before the match/training on Sunday.

Will all players please confirm their availability/non-availability for both Thursday training and Sunday 11th November to Mike as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

RFUW want to hear from you

The RFUW want to hear from anyone involved in women's girls rugby and have prepared six surveys, each tailored to paticular groups - Administrators, Coaches, Parents, Players, Supporters and Volunteers.

Please find time to fill in an appropriate surveys (below) - there is prize draw with a chance to win:

  • Women or Girls team coaching session with Gary Street (England Head Coach)
  • Improve your coaching session with Club Coach Officer (CCO)
  • Museum of Rugby and Twickenham Stadium Tour for up to 15 Members of your Women or girls team
  • Pair of branded rugby boots plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Signed Ball & 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Signed England Women's Shirt & 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Selection of Canterbury Kit
  • Gilbert Training balls & ball bag
  • £15 Rugby Store Gift Voucher plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • £20 Rugby Store Gift Voucher plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • £25 Rugby Store Gift Voucher plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Pair of Asics Trainers plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Pair of Asics Trainers plus 2 Women's International Tickets

You have until the 18th January 2008.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Training at Letchworth this Sunday!!

With the majority of you not involved in county action this Sunday several girls have asked if we could have a training session at Letchworth this weekend, and potentially on the other two county weekends coming up before Christmas.

If you can make it on Sunday please let Simon know.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The spirit of rugby

I think this is a superb photograph - expressing everything rugby (and sport) should be all about. Two teams smiling, shaking hands and mixing well at the end of a hard game. Brilliant.

This and a few more photos from the camera of Joan Threlfall are now available - click here

Monday, October 29, 2007

U15s in November

With two of the next four weekends taken up with county tournaments November will unfortunately be a bit thin for anyone not in county teams. In addition Kettering do not (as we know from last season) have a U15 team.

But its not all bad news. There is a great weekend to build for at the end of the month when both Basildon and Swaffham will visit - both with U15 teams - so you are guaranteed some good rugby.

For the Kettering weekend we have suggested that Ampthill bring their U15s over (after being unable to do so this weekend) partly so that we might have contact session together ahead of the Basford/Swaffham game. Their U15 coach was not around yestrday, but the U18 coach did say that the younger girls at Ampthill are desparate for a game - so it is something we will be working on.

Mission accomplished

It can be quite difficult playing a game against less experienced sides. Everyone expects you to win easily, so whatever you do - in a way - you "can't win". Its also a difficult balancing act as you do not want to completely destroy an up and coming club.

Despite that I think we got it about right yesterday. Charlie and Nikki in particular were brilliant ambassadors for our club, playing the full game for Ampthill as hard - if not harder! - than ever, with Charlie scoring a try and Nikki on just falling short - Jess catching her just before the line.

But it was not just them. Ampthill clearly have the potential to be a good side - there are some talented players there who lack only experience, experience that meant that they often reacted just a fraction of a second slower to situations - which makes all the difference, especially with someone like Natalie around, grabbing two more tries by simply reacting faster to loose balls. It was noticeable how much they improved as they game went on - the second half was fairly even until the final few minutes when perhaps match fitness told. If the Ampthill girls are given regular fixtures I think we will find that future meetings will be much closer.

For Letchworth, it was a chance to use various back moves and it was good to see the ball moved wide. Jess was always dangerous - and not only in attack, but her tackling was good as well - while Sasha showed a remarkable turn of speed for one of her longest sprints to the line ever. Ruby also made her mark ("their fly half is really aggressive!" I heard one of the Ampthill girls say). The pack was predictably dominant, though a few scrums were lost maybe because people relaxed a bit - a dangerous thing to do against any opposition.

Finally a word of praise for everyone's behaviour after the game as well - it was good to see both teams sitting down and mixing together so well afterwards. Rugby is more than just what happens on the field.

Looking ahead just as we are getting going its county for two of the next three weekends, but other than that November promises to be a taxing month with home games against Kettering and Basford - we won't be able to relax against them!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Letchworth 46 Ampthill 5

It was a rather dull and drizzly afternoon (which is my excuse for the rather blurred pics, of course) but I thought you might like to see a few of them. Particularly since some of them seem to be in need of a little explanation ....






Here Katie looks surrounded by Ampthill players while Nikki appears to be distracted by someone mentioning free ice-cream or somesuch.





Anybody know what dance this is ?























Letchworth's new winger breaks away for a try - well done, Dasha!
Sorry, that should read 'Sasha'.
















Is it a plane? Is it a bird?






I don't recognise this dance routine either, Nikki ...





Letchworth scorers :
Tries : Hayley, Jess, Natalie (2), Sasha (2), Katie, Ruby
Conversions : Sasha (3)

Ampthill scorer :
Try : Charlie

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