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, September 01, 2010

World Cup: Its play-off time

9th/12th place playoffs at the Surrey Sports Park. A crowd of a couple of hundred of or so (Swedes in their matching t-shirts - Go North! - in one stand, Welsh in  ther other) greets the arrival of Sweden and Wales, while Kazakhstan and South Africa play in front of a around 100(which kicked off 15 minutes earlier - no score as yet).

Wales kick off. Both team in their change strips, Sweden in blue, Wales in yellow. Welsh back line looking good in the opening exchanges, but Sweden firm and gain a line out on Welsh 22. Well won, but the same problem the Swedes have had - keeping the ball for more than one or two phases - is counts against them.

Seven minutes gone and the teams seem well matched. Wales slightly bigger and stronger, Sweden a little cleverer when it comes to back line moves. The Welsh forwards seem to have a slight advantage, however, and are disrupting Swedish set pieces - Swedish scrum under significant pressure again.

[Its all over on Pitch 2 - 20-10 to South Africa]

Lisa Newton nearly breaks through - but after a 50m run is brought to earth by her oppositte number after a straight footrace - Elisabeth Osterberg the faster!

12 minutes in and this forward advantage may be beginning to tell. Welsh forward pressure has turned over a Swedish scrum, and the resulting penalty has got them to the Swedish line. Desperate defence results in another penalty and 10 minutes in the sin bin for Jenny Ohman (her second yellow of the tournament). However, Sweden survive - for now.

Mared EVans on the Welsh wing is looking good every time she gets the ball, cutting through the Swedish defence. She sets up another Welsh attack on 18 minutes, but after the ball is recyled its Caryl James on the other win who finally breaks the deadlock. 5-0, with teh conversion missed.

Sweden being repeatedly penalised at the breakdown now as pressure grows. Ceri Redman breaks through, but is brought down on the Swedish 22 - most of the play is in that final quarter now as Ohman's sinbinning has its effect. Another Welsh maul is too strong for the Swedes, the ball finding its way to Sioned Harries... who is just held up on the line.

[Its 10-5 to South Africa at half-time on Pitch 2, incidentally - but Kazakhstan are looking the stronger side, coming very close to scoring on several occasions. Two tries were scored near the break, first Kazakhstan going ahead, then South Africa replying ]

Ohman is back - but its a 5m scrum to the Welsh, but Swedish defence keeps them out. But from another 5m  scrum the ball is controlled, and finds its way to Sinoed who crashes over, converted by Arwen Thomas. 12-0

Finally with 5 minutes left in the half, Sweden get into the Welsh 22. They win a penalty in a very kickable position, but as Andersson-Hall is down (temporarily injured) they go for the line out. The best Swedish attacking move of the half develops - but again a promising position is lost as the Swedes are turned over after only two of three phases.

However, they recover well and gain another penalty when Gemma Hallet fails to roll away. Lina Norman (not Andersson-Hall, whatever the IRB say!) takes the kick about 30m out - and puts it between the posts. 12-3.

Wales soon reverse that score - Sioned Harries break the Swedish defence again, and Mel Berry touches down. 19-7 at half time (Arwen's kick awarded rather late... like 5 mins into the half-time period!).

Three minutes into the second half and the Welsh score again, Sioned Evans finishing off in the corner after a Welsh pressure from the start of half. 24-3.

But Sweden are not finsihed. A series of Welsh substitutions may have leveled things up. Westin-Vines skips through the Welsh defence to score her third try of the tournament - 25-10, as Norman converts.

[Its 20-10 to South Africa now - close game on Pitch 2, near its end]

Looking much more even now. Can Sweden get back two scores in 15 minutes? Most of the play in the central third of the pitch - but Sweden's Achilles heel remains their pack, Wales now dominant at the scrum, and could now finish things with that advantage. Safe- even driving - on their own put-in, while Sweden  cannot rely on ball from theirs.

[All over on Pitch 2 - South Africa winning 20-10]

Lisa Newton almost breaks through - brought down after a 50m run by her opposite number - the faster running Elisabeth Osterberg. However, this puts Wales in a great attacking position and after 5 minutes of pressure they score again with a try from Laura Prosser. 29-10. 5 minutes (or so) left.

[Ground is filling up with Americans.Stands nearly full. A few Irish here and there...]

Another Swedish scrum, turned over again by Wales - and its Jamie Kitt touching down after a run from Mel Berry breaks the line. 34-10. And the whistle blows.

So its South Africa v Wales for the 9th place on Sunday, and Sweden v Kazakhstan for 11th.

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