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, February 10, 2008

Better off out?

Some may regret our not being in the National Cup this season, but from the bits and pieces that have been reaching me from here and there this year's competition is already causing considerable amounts of angst in some quarters... and it hasn't even kicked off yet.

The official letter, mentioned a week or so ago, does not seem to have calmed things. One has to be reasonably circumspect here, but suffice to say that in the section we might well have be playing in at least at least one club have - since that letter - complained to RFUW about the intentions of two other clubs to combine forces which they interpreted as being against both the letter and spirit of the competition rules. RFUW have rejected the complaint, as a result of which I reckon I can guess who will win not only that section but also probably the entire event as, on paper, this team makes Leo's look positively weak!

I will refrain from saying here where my views lie on this - and, come to that, the clubs involved - as I'd rather avoid having 200 multi-page emails to answer when I come back next week but if we get all this fuss from one cup competition played over only a couple of weekends then I dread to think what would happen if we were all in leagues (as has been suggested in some quarters)!

One huge advantage of a season largely based on friendly fixtures is that it avoids all this... nonsense. Clubs - if short of players - can combine and recombine in different ways each weekend as the need arises with the priority being only to ensure that as many girls - of all ages and abilities - get to play as much rugby as possible. New players can get on the field because, in the end, experience and team development is more important than the final result (you doubt that? I can think of several games we have lost, but have enjoyed, and even some we have won but without any great joy in the victory). But once you get into a situation where there is promotion and relegation and silverware to worry about each and every weekend then that cannot be possible. In a desparate hunt for points winning is all that matters and where then would there be room for new girls like, say, Georgie to join the game, or even players returning from a lengthly injury like Megan? It may be co-incidence that we now have more U18s than any other club in the county, but I like to think that it is because anyone can join this club, regardless of previous experience, and know that they will be welcomed and get a game!

I hope for all clubs in the National Cup that this fuss dies down, but its clear that events last year still rankle with many and you have to ask whether - as things stand - the Cup causes more harm than good.

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