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...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A sinner sees the light: journalist discovers women's rugby

As has been mentioned on here in recent weeks, and come to that recent years, the coveage women's rugby gets in newspapers, and on the TV and radio is somewhere below even pathetic - its non-existant.

And, as also suggested, this seemed to be nothing to do with the success of our national teams, the standard of play on offer, of the efforts of the likes of Julia Hutton in the RFUW press office (well, to be honest Julia is the RFUW press office!) but rather more the uneducated prejudice of ignorant rugby writers and commentators who have probably never seen a women's rugby match, international or otherwise.

Well, now that opinion seems to be confirmed as fact. The weekend before last the Telegraph's Welsh rugby correspondent - Graham Clutton - was persuaded (reluctantly by the look of it) to drop by Taffs Well to see the Wales-England game. As his article honestly states, he expected a game of poor quality in front of a non-existant crowd that he would watch for a few minutes before going somewhere more interesting. The result was a conversion of almost spiritual proportions, it seems:
"It was bloody marvellous, from start to finish. Genuine sportsmen (sorry, sportswomen) with a love of the 15-man code (sorry 15 woman) and a genuine, collective desire to win. I am not sure what I expected, but having witnessed a great game of rugby, I now know what to expect on my next visit.

"The quality was outstanding. Barely a tackle was missed as two sides fought for the bragging rights. Barely a pass dropped. It was a contest played at a high tempo between two excellent sides who, between them, provided further confirmation that the growth of the women's game should no longer go unnoticed."
Yeah and verrily! A bit patronising with the parentheses maybe (just call them "players", Graham!) but you cannot expect perfection first time out. And, on the down side, this only sees the light of day in Graham's blog, not in any of his newspaper reports, but heck its getting there.

It also rather confirms my thought that the only way to change the profile of the game is not improve standards, win tournaments and so on. - while that helps its is of no use if no-one knows about it. What the game should be doing is targeting the opinion makers - the top dozen of so rugby writers and commentators. Get them, force them, bribe them to come and see a game, meet the players, and so on. Then we might see some change.

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