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, October 14, 2008

The ultimate "in at the deep end" story?

I think last year we thought it was a tough start on Georgie when her second match turned out to be against Worcester. However, it could be worse. An Australian student barely four years older played only her third 15-a-side rugby match today... and her opponents were New Zealand.

Four months ago Nicole Beck was playing touch rugby at the National Touch Finals when she was spotted by scouts and drafted straight into the Australian Sevens team for the Oceanian world cup qualifers. Playing out on the wing she scored a dramatic last second try to defeat New Zealand in the final - the first time Australia had beaten their trans-Tasman cousins at any form of women's rugby.

When the two-test series today started today, the Australian selectors called up the heros from the Sevens in the hope that their positive experience would turn the tide at the full 15-a-side game - and that meant Nicole out on the wing against the world champions.

Nicole, from New South Wales, managed to get a couple of XVs games under her belt, but still faced a few problems. "I think the hardest thing was learning the rules," she said before the game, "I'm still really learning them now. Getting tackled is not so bad, but trying to make tackles is difficult."

In fact Nicole seems to be part of an innovative Aussie selection policy. She was joined on the field by another touch player - Saline Thornton - as well as rugby league international Kylie Pennell and cricket all-rounder Tricia Brown, who has also played a bit of Gaelic football and turned out at full-back. 

Unfortunately these adventurous selections proved to be insufficient to trouble the Black Ferns too much. Though Nicole and her teammates dominated the first quarter of the game, New Zealand absorbed the pressure before running in five tries in a 37-3 victory (match report here).

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