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...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A National 10s footnote

You remember the Nationals 10s at Lichfield? Remember that (once it was agreed which day it was!) it was supposed to be a day for senior and junior clubs? And that for some reason there were no senior clubs?

I think I have found out why... see below. Seems it isn't just junior teams that get a bit irate with what I will diplomatically call "life" sometimes. As a stream of justifiable invective its pretty damn brilliant actually.

Anyway, here we go. Stand well back...
"Did you hear the one about a load of England's biggest teams deciding to pull out of the RFUW's National 10s tournament?

That's it! There's no punch line.

For some reason Saracens, Wasps, Vale of Lune and A N Other decided that having qualified for the National tournament on the 4th May at Lichfield there was no need for them to honour their National Governing Body, the other two sides that had won through to the finals legitimately and indeed the other teams that had attended the respective regional 10s competitions and lost out from progressing at the hands of these teams.

Were they suffering from a loss of players to Super League? Did they have substantial injuries and absences after a long hard season? Did the same injuries and absences affect the other two teams that were due (AND COMMITTED) to play Sunday (Cheltenham and Camp Hill)? Did they feel that any of these reasons plus any number of "others" might subject them to an unfair advantage and heaven forbid they lose to a team beneath them?

Do some of these teams not have second teams? Could they not have found 12 players, any 12 players? Might they have been weaker than National Championship One sides for having to supplement their "normal" team with second stringers? If so, so what? Its called "taking the rough with the smooth."

I for one would like to know what the RFUW plans to do about this, not only for Cheltenham and Camp Hill, but for the 3rd and 4th placed teams from those affected regional competitions that could have been at a National event had these teams been courteous enough to advise everyone of their intentions or even the risks they faced with potential absences or injuries. They have denied other teams, lower ranked teams that could have learnt a massive amount from playing on a national stage, earnt some good coverage too, from having a go.

There is no excuse for 4 of some of the country's biggest teams pulling out - they have a responsibility as do we all to fulfil their fixtures; if teams do not fulfil their fixtures in the league environment they can be relegated - well RFUW National 10s, 7s whatever, these aren't friendlies, these aren't substitute a player for someone dressed as a horse festivals, yet these teams have felt they are able to abuse their positions perhaps and treat the occasion as something they can choose to attend.

My suggestion is these teams are heavily and publicly reprimanded, yet there is nothing (or at least wasn't anything when I posted this) on the website…at all! Why haven't the RFUW lambasted these teams and appointed some sort of financial penalty as well as a 1yr ban for these 4 teams from attending next years competition. The RFUW should protect the interests of the game and ethos of competition. They should stamp their authority on the game and not allow the big name teams to do as they please.

Please, please bring some common sense into the governance of the game and facilitate some preservation for those teams not best blessed with a Men's Premiership name, who have to fight tooth and nail for everything and who get the raw end of the deal when the top name teams continue to rule the roost (whatever those that belong to these teams might think this happens)!!!

In addition the RFUW don't escape unscathed - why have they not made any attempt to reschedule the event (if they are planning to why hasn't this been communicated) - they could have invited those teams that finished 3rd and 4th from the respective regions to attend, if they had have declined they could have asked the 5th placed team....make it happen, obstacles can be circumnavigated with a little effort!!

It begs the question does the RFUW really care about a "national" event which doesn't include any elite players? Afterall they're all down the road watching the super league (on the same day) and the 10s competition is just a bit of fun for the "other players" isn't it?? i.e. does anyone really care about non-elite players albeit they are the life-blood of the sport....

....oh, I do despair!!"
The author does not give their name, or club (and isn't it sad that people making quite justifable complaints feel they need to remain anonymous?). I have seen no explanations for what happened anywhere - I only hope some action was taken. Anyone know?

There is also a wonderful irony here in that a couple of years ago the Big Teams were complaining about how the smaller clubs always pulled out of the seniors National Cup.

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