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, March 03, 2009

World Cup Sevens preview: Pool B

England's group, and - when it comes to qualifiers - probably the most predictable of the four pools, though what order the qualifiers will be is another question. It is also an important question as the group winner will probably avoid both Australia and New Zealand in later stages.

England are the number one seeds for the competition, and everyone's favourites. Unbeaten at Sevens for a year - since they lost a group game to New Zealand in the Amsterdam tournament that England went on to win - they have beaten all three teams in this pool within the last year, and by significant margins in two cases. England opened at San Diego with an easy 36-0 win over Japan, and over the years have now played Russia three times, scoring over 150 points over the three games without ever conceeding a single score.

That is all rather different to their record against the USA, however, where England now only lead by three games to two thanks to two wins in San Diego, the last in overtime. The game between USA and England - whichever way it goes - could be the easily be rehersal for the final such is the strength of the two teams. However, USA do seem to be developing an unfortunate reputation for bottling it - they are only in this group at all because they lost in the North American/ Caribbean qualifier to Canada (again in overtime) - so can they perform to their highest abilities when they need to?

Japan won the Asian qualifier, but were hopelessly outclassed in San Diego and should cause few problems for USA or England. Originally a major power in women's rugby, that is all long gone as, thanks a decade of chaotic disorganisation at home, they have now been caught up and largely ovetaken by a number of nations in Asia. However, the Japanese RU has now taken over the running of the national team at least and their qualifier win - though very unexpected (especially their 5-0 quarter-final victory over Asian giants Kazakhstan) - may be the first signs of their getting their game back into order. 

Russia are the growing power of European rugby, both at sevens and XVs - though as they have been playing international rugby since 1990 (ie. as long as New Zealand) it could be said that they have had plenty of time to grow! Third in the European qualifier, beating France and Spain on the way, they could have been a surprise package in this tournament if they had had a kinder draw. However, one matter of particular interest is the inclusion of two international track athletes in their squad - Alexandra Kerzhentseva and Natalia Selyutina. Kerzhentseva is a 100m and 200m sprinter, while Selyutina has represented Russia in the 200m and 400m. Both have little or no rugby experience, having been drafted straight from the track. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:32 AM

    for more RWC 7s coverage, including an England Women's team blog, see


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