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...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Rugby season ends - Sevens season begins!

The U18s may be battered and bruised a bit, but for both age bands a whole new ball game begins the week as we move into Sevens rugby. Three tournaments in three weeks, leading up to the Nationals on 23rd May.

Sevens is not taken entirely seriously in England - which is a pity as the rest of the world sees it as pretty important. As many of you will know, its a different game to even 10s (leave alone 15s) - short, fast games often on bone hard pitches (and sometimes with long gaps in between!). Tactics can be almost the reverse of usual game - in sevens the best teams will often aim to keep the ball alive and try to avoid contact, throwing the ball around, running sideways - and even backwards - while looking for gaps to exploit (and on a full sized pitch there should be lots of them!).

The 2009 "Sevens season" starts (as usual) at Dorking on Sunday with the London & SE Sevens. In many ways the Dorking Sevens is more of a step into the unknown that the Herts or Nationals. We know most of the teams that turn up for the last two but Dorking throws up more "new" opposition than the other two tournaments put together. But then Dorking is mainly (as its name suggests) a south-east region tournament, and we may be the only "foreign" team there. They will know as little of us as we do of them (unless they read this, of course!).

The draw sees the usual collection of familiar teams and unknowns that makes these tournaments so exciting:

The U15s have Basingstoke, Dorking, Ellingham & Ringwood, Guildford and Old Caterhamians

Of these its the name Ellingham & Ringwood that leaps out - one of the leading teams in the country at this age band in recent years. A fair few of their stars moved up to Wimborne's U18s this season but they must still begin as firm favourites for the group.

Dorking will have home advantage, but even without that are a notable team in SE rugby - our U18s have had a number of battles with them over the years, especially at Sevens.

Of the rest... your guess is as good as mine! Basingstoke and Guildford are establised sides, but Old Caterhamians?? I'm not even sure how to pronounce the team's name!

The U18s have drawn Esher, Dorking, Folkestone and Solent Sirens. Two of these games will be repeats of this weekend, and Esher look to be clearly the biggest threat as a result, Folkestone maybe less so but should still be taken seriously. Dorking will see a challenging revival of a sevens rivalry from a couple of season ago, but Solent Sirens?? No idea!

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