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...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nations Cup: France fail to follow the script.

Considering the Canadians have not beaten France since 1998 the almost universal assumption that they would beat (and beat quite easily) their international nemesis seems odd. But the fact is that France have, over the past few years, been in a downward spiral. After finishing fourth in the last Six Nations behind Ireland and Wales, their performance in the first round against South Africa did not hint at any improvements while accounts of their second-half performance against England appears give the impression that they demonstrated all the defensive capabilities of a colander.

So - even with Canada resting a number of players from their first game - it didn't appear that they had much to fear. An early French lead from a penalty was soon overturned by a Canadian try and the crowd and commentary team settled down to wait for the inevitable Canuk points fest.

It didn't come.

What did come was a second French penalty. And then a third. France were ahead again and things were getting tense. Passes were not going to hand, and the French seem to have learnt how to defend.

Half time came at 9-7. And so it stayed in a stalemate, broken only by another French penalty. More and more desperate Canadian play - but to no avail. Even with France reduced to 14 players for the final five minutes Canada never really looked like breaking through and France pulled off a famous victory.

The earlier game went far more to plan - USA beating South Africa 39-0, and rarely being troubled. No more to be said really.

So - aside from England sailing to the title - the battle for second place is now as wide open which should mean an exciting climax to what has been an interesting tournament. Round 4 is on Wednesday - but for now the standings are:

PositionNationGamesPointsBonus points[2]Table
4United States21014636105
5South Africa30123491002
Games to come:
Wednesday: England v South Africa; Canada v USA
Saturday: France v USA; Canada v England

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