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...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

That's probably why we never normally play in September...

Well, that and entering a game against practically a county - indeed regional - level pack with (I think) only two fully fit forwards. Forwards matter....

Anyway before we get onto the U18s a word about the U15s, whose game I saw rather more of. A highlight of the game was Josephine Lohoar's debut. It was pretty impressive. A small, rather nervous, slightly shy girl went onto the field and a hour later a confident, excited rugby player who looked about two inches taller came off. Moreover, a player with a well taken try to her name and (as someone said) "our new winger" - Josephine is seriously quick once she gets the ball in hand, but was also diving into rucks and joining in mauls by the end too.

Basildon/Rochford did win the game - about eight or nine tries to three or four. In the end the score was not what was important (well, not at this end of the season) though it was significant that probably half those tries came in the first ten minutes of a 30 minute game. As Josephine and the other Letchworth girls grew in confidence so they competed more and forced their opponents to work harder. In the end there is no denying that "Basford" were the better side - but Letchworth played above themselves. If only we could find two or three more players... but we've said that before!

Hopefully most of the U15s can make it next weekend - lets look to build on this good start.

But back to the U18s. Based on what was said to me the main things seem to come out....

1. Basford were far better prepared - but that is no surprise. They have been training practically since the last season ended, whereas we started only a few weeks ago. We have never previous played this early (in fact I'm not even sure we have played in September before) and it looks like it showed.

2. Starting a match with two key forwards missing and another three carrying injuries would normally be unfortunate. Going up against Basford - of all teams - its close to suicidal - I am impressed that you managed to win any ball at all!

3. Tactically it sounds as if we also played the (usual) high-impact game - from what I hear not much ball (when we had ball) was moved wide. In the past we have done well like that - but now without Nim to crash through and make the gaps we may need to rethink. We have scarily fast wings (or people who can play wing) - Randy, Natalie, Jess, etc. - and need to make more use of them this season. After years of being a forwards-based side does such a significant change in personnel mean we now need to look to quick hands and fast backs?

4. U18 rugby in 2007 is a world away from U14 rugby in 2005.

5. The defence sounds reasonbly solid - despite all the above only five tries conceeded in around a hour's play? Could have been worse - could have been MUCH worse!

But then that was Basford and Basford are possibly unique. Its Wimborne next week - and they are masters of moving the ball fast. Ironically they are a team where keeping things tight with the forwards may be our best chance of success.
Anyway - what do you all think? Where did things go wrong (or right)?

For more pictures of both games click here.


  1. Anonymous5:53 PM

    7 tries were conceded!!!!!

  2. Anonymous7:42 PM

    sorry it was 8 tries in fact!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous8:32 PM

    lol yehhh we get the picture, lets not rub it in ey!

  4. John

    Thanks to both Teams for last sunday,

    The result was unimportant, the main thing was looking at how the girls had progressed since last season, and it was nice to see someone completely new to the game enjoy herself out on the pitch.
    well done to all!!!!


  5. Anonymous4:40 PM

    I dont understand all the excuses you seem to be giveing john, first it was you only had two fully fit forwards, and secondly it was that you never play in septemeber. But to be honest every great player/team can play when ever the excuses are not needed ! it makes you sound like your sore losers when i can surley say your girls would not want to come across like that but do with your constant excuses. thanks X

  6. An excuse? I'm not sure that an article which can be summarised as "we played really badly and were under-prepared in comparison" is an excuse - more a statement of fact.

    After any defeat you look for reasons why so that these things can be put right - that is not "looking for excuses".

  7. As an outsider to the decision to set up this session, I'm really surprised that the squads ended up on the same field at the same time with one team apparently being told "it's a match" and the other being told that "it's training and don't risk getting hurt before our first match next week". Maybe those who set up such sessions should agree what is being done - and make sure everone knows - before we send the players out onto the field? All that this session has done is left both teams feeling let down and dissatisfied with the outcome.

    We need to put this behind us and look forward to the matches which are planned between these sides on 25th November at Letchworth & 13th April at Basford.


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