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, September 05, 2010

World Cup Final: Its here at last!

Five minutes to go, and the teams are walking onto the field. Huge noise. Ground a good 90% full.

So - how did the first half go. Awful start for England with Black Fern kick-off being fumbled. That gave them a base from which they dominated play for much of the half.

However, repeated penalties cost New Zealand dear - and caused much frustration, as well as two yellow cards. That England did not - or could not - take advantage of this was significant. That New Zealand scored with only 14 on the field was also ominous.

The good points, for England, is that New Zealand kicking remains poor. Okay, conversion kicked, but two other penalties missed - and more to the point there is considerable reluctance among the New Zealand team to take the penalties. Of course, if you can score tries with 14 players who needs kickers?

For England the main area of concern is the back line. Its so flat, no-one is running onto the ball, the passing is laboured, slow, and obvious. Small wonder that they are not breaking through, the odd run by Nolli Waterman and Kat Merchant notwithstanding.

Anyway - in one minute they are out again. Its 7-0 (bookmaker right again), and all to play for.

Right - 11 minutes left now, and its 13-10 to New Zealand. Try from Barras on the right after massive pressure following yellow for Ferns captain Ruscoe, excellent conversion, by Black Ferns soon ahead againw with a penalty from Brazier.

The noise is incredible, the atmosphere amazing, the England defence remarkable. But now its change round with all the subs - what differnce will this make?

10 minutes to go England on their own 10m line. Now into NZ half. Ruck. NZ win ball. chipped over top by Ruscoe, the excellent return ny Mc Lean... you cannot hope to keep up with this!

8 minutes. Line out England 22. England take line and drive forward. Breaks out to Scarratt, but loses ball. Now on England 5m... but England win a penalty!

7 minutes to go. Line out England 22. Taken, but Beale tackled into touch.

6 minutes NZ lineout, same place. Passed left - but thump! Stopped by Maggi! Still found its way to left wing, but knock on.

5 minutes. Scrum. England 22. Tackled into touch.

4 minutes. As above! In the same place now for two minutes... England put in - down the line. WAterman hands off - amazing power. Like hitting a wall.

3 minutes. 13252 - biggest EVER women's international crowd. Richardson down - stop the clock. No replacements left... could this be crucial? It'll be a scrum about 18m into England half. Richardson off on stretcher. England down to 14...

2 minutes. Ball in NZ hands on far side. Ruck. Penalty to NZ - off feet. Brazier going to the points, will waste time even if she misses.

1 minute. Falls short, England attack out of defence - but knock-on. Scrum 5m. Fi Pocok on bench in tears.

Time. 13-10. New Zealand are World Champions again.

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