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 in review

Phew - of the 30 games in the 2010 World Cup, I have saw 14 - live - and every country at least once, so more than that. So, how was the sixth Women's Rugby World Cup?

For those who were lucky enough to get into see the whole tournament it has been amazing. The weather has bee just about perfect (Day 2 was very windy, but that was the day I missed so I can't really comment). The festival feel of the pool stages at the Surrey Sports Park really had to be experienced to be believed. Players and fans from all eight countries mixing together with great spirit, and all living up to their national stereotypes. The dignified and friendly Swedes, coping stoically with their teams defeats; the LOUD, brash Americans; the happy Irish (invariably to be found dominating the bar); the passionate French with flags and song - they were all there and it was heaven to be in the middle of it all.

Its also pretty clear that the one major criticism of the tournament is that the organisers totally failed to realise what a draw it would have - and that these spectators would be flooding in from all over Europe and beyond. Perhaps they were just looking at previous tournaments, but in England, with so many expat populations in and around London, it was blindingly obvious that 2,500 seats per day would not be enough.

On the field the standards were high, if varied. New Zealand and England were playing on another level throughout, and in many respects it was the games played by the other teams that were far more interesting. So what were the best games? Curiously on all of the pool days they were games that TV did not show!

Day 1 - Sweden v France. This is going to be a bit of a massacre I said as we went over to Pitch 2 for this match. Boy was I wrong! France were dreadful, Sweden inventive and determined, and for a few glorious minutes a sensation seemed possible. In the end France staggered across the line - just - but it was a great start from the tournaments least heralded team.

Day 2 - Ireland v USA. I didn't see it, but it sounds like it was a great game with Ireland playing out of their skins. Really sorry to have missed it. Wales v South Africa ran it a close second.

Day 3 - Canada v France. Some debate about this as England v USA was also good - but in that game it was obvious who would win, but for the former game it was not. Admittedly Canada and France did not give us a feast of high quality rugby, and the referee did her best to stop any flow, but the sheer tension felt by both teams and all spectators was really something.

Semi-finals - England v Australia. Have to go with this one as it was the tightest game - well other than South Africa v Kazakhstan, but that game suffered from being a bit of an ill disciplined scrap, England and Australia was full of skill and pace

Finals - England v New Zealand. An amazing game of rugby, not that pretty, but so exciting - you could not take your eyes off it for a second - but see elsewhere! However it is clear that USA v Canada ran it close for sheer excitement.

Player of the tournament - for me, only one player in it - Nicole Beck. I know the official award went elsewhere, but that was simply wrong. Clearly Maggi Alphonsi ran Nicole close, but we know about Maggi - she has been playing for years. Nicole only started playing contact rugby two years ago! The most reliable kicker, she can also score fantastic tries, and as for her tackling... need anyone say more?

Most watchable player - slightly different this - not just sheer skill, just the player I loved to watch. And again just one clear winner - Uli! Ulrika Andersson-Hall. Graceful, exciting, talented, a leader - nay a talisman. Great hands, great boot, and (from what I was told) a really nice person as well. Also has a great fan club, especially noticeable today. Only downside is that today was also her last ever international. Shame!


  1. Anonymous11:54 AM

    As you watched all the games and have a great knowledge of women's rugby, could you do a world XV? Thanks

  2. LOUD Americans? Come on now, I wasn't that loud!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Total Pageviews (since June 2009)

Sport Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory