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...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trouble downunder: New Zealand sack coach

New Zealand's defence of the World Cup was thrown into turmoil today with the news that they have sacked their coach - Dale Atkins (see NZ Herald report).

No reason has been given for the dismissal of the coach, who has been in post for two years and has never lost a game in that time (admittedly the Black Ferns haven't actually played many, but that has hardly been Atkins fault).

Suspicion turns to the desparate financial straights that the NZRU seem to be in - certainly Atkins seems to believe that:
"When the NZRU want to cut budgets and save money they chop programmes and that's one of the first programmes to go, the Black Ferns," he said yesterday, "All they do is give lip service to the girls."
The Kiwi cash crisis first came to light in December (as covered here), and the response has been to cut back on almost everything outside of core activities - and in fairness to the NZRU other teams have suffered as well, including the various Maori sides, but to voluntarily cast out the coach barely a year before a World Cup defence would seem to be - at the very least - bad timing. What is more, in less than five months the team needs to be ready for its first ever visit to England for what pretty much everyone sees as two World Cup Final rehersals. With the NZ Board still "going through a recruitment process" it won't leave whoever takes the job on much time to get to grips with what Atkins calls the "poisoned chalice" of New Zealand rugby.

I wonder what Simon is doing at the moment...

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