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, December 02, 2009

Complaining works

Good article on women's rugby in The Times today - and an educational introduction...
"It was pointed out to me earlier this week, in wincingly powerful terms, that Rolling Maul has never featured an item on women's rugby. This is not strictly true but as the lady who accosted me had a war-like look in her eye I was not inclined to argue."
So whoever it was who accosted Steve Jones, the Times' rugby correspondent, well done - and let's all follow her example! As he admits...
"But I also felt guilty. The glorious victory recently by England over New Zealand at Twickenham deserved around 50 times the coverage it received."
Shame it took the anonymous lady to make Mr Jones act on that guilt, especially when he can say that...
"Luckily, I managed to catch all the game, which came soon after the England-New Zealand men's match. That game had been dull and boring but the women's teams of England and New Zealand produced a classic. It had far more passion and adventure than the men's game even though it was played in worse conditions."
Still, better late than never - and what he does say is pretty positive and shows a depth of knowledge of the women's game that is impressive...
"England were quite magnificent. Catherine Spencer, the England captain and No.8, was unbelievably good and the performance of Maggie Alphonsi on the flank for England almost defied belief. After the game, we came across a couple of the Kiwi players nudging themselves as Alphonsi walked past. Their admiration was obvious.

"The victory did wonders for the profile of the rugby World Cup that takes place in England next year. Even though New Zealand may well start as favourites, Spencer and her team know that they can do it too.

"If England to win the World Cup, it will seal a dynamic phase in women's rugby. I can still recall the first women's match I ever saw and the astonishing performance of Emma Mitchell, the England scrum half.

"To my shame, when Emma shaped to pass I expected it to be some kind of dribble which died after about three metres. When she sent the ball whizzing like a missile into the next county, I suddenly realised that perceptions of the women's game which I held then needed drastic revision.

"This was a golden period in terms of expansion which has continued headlong ever since. Mitchell and the likes of Jill Burns, arguably (and she will hate this) the mother of English rugby, provided then and now such wonderful role models, and it is always good to encounter that same fervency and dedication in their successors.

"If you have never caught England or had contact with the players - and I am sure it is the same with the women of the other home nations - then you will be amazed at the passion, the work ethic and the technical expertise of the squads. Spencer is merely embellishing a glorious line, one which may well lead to England becoming champions of the world.

"And the whole process has sent out the most clear message. Rugby is a game of two equal parts and two equal sexes."

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