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...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

England win World Sevens warm-up

The Sporting Chance Foundation (aka England) were winners of the Dubai Exiles Sevens today, beating a multinational "Saudex Wooden Spoon" 12-10 in the final - comfortably England's closest game.

Despite sneaking ahead 7-5 at half time, England were behind for most of the final, and they were still behind with only four minutes left, before Sarries' Charlotte Barras scored England's crucial second try. However, it was Alice Richardson who was the main difference between the two teams with a try and two conversions that saw England to the title.

Several of the key Wooden Spoon players were from Scotland - but as they are (famously) not going to the World Cup the final was perhaps a poor guide to the fate of that event. Of more significance may was England's semi-final win over the Caribbean and North American champions Canada, where England ran out 12-5 winners (the RFUW website says that the "swept aside" the Canadians, but with a margin of only a single score its doesn't quite sound like that). This followed on from an even more comprehensive 34-7 win over the other North American qualifier, the USA, on the opening day.

Although these games were technically not internationals, the Canadian and US teams were effectively their national squads. This means that in the last six months or so England have now played (and pretty comfortably defeated) all of their likely challengers for the World Cup except one - Oceania/Pacific champions Australia. With one more warm-up tournament in San Diego to come, England look well set to live up to their number one seeding.

* Before you ask, Aylesford Bulls - whose unfortunate draw was highlighted last week - did creditably well against England in fact, going down 39-0 on Day 1. However they then lost 50-0 to Wooden Spoon and 39-0 to the USA before finally getting onto the scoresheet in the plate tournament where they lost to the Netherlands 25-7.

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