Dave Chattaway from Morpeth RFC (always looking for fixtures - email email@example.com!) writes:
I could not agree with you more... The league system was a farce in the North East! Girls' rugby up here is struggling with numbers and to find a competitive game for 13 girls has proved difficult. League fixtures next year?..not likely! The weather has not helped but there again neither has the poor numbers at clubsAlso, a couple of the shorter anonymous responses...
ohh the league system!!..up here in the frozen wasteland called the North East not only was the weather cold but also the help from the rfuw!
It was not coach developmennt that the clubs wanted it was players and the RFUW World Cup legacy has been akin to taking out an endowment mortgage - no return and no investment!!
Just prior to the leagues being forced upon everyone a reasonable fixture list had been established with Cumbrian and Scottish teams! However cumbrian girls rugby imploded. I coach the Morpeth and Morwick teams. The Morwick fixture list included Tynedale,Darlington and Tyne valley. Tyendale and had difficulty putting a team together and playing 5 a side is not fun!! Tyne Valley had two players and then decided to cluster with Darlington for every fixture so in effect Morwick played Darlington 4 times not knowing which club fixture this was meant to be!!..but no game was played at 15 a side. The same farce was repeated at u15 level.
As for player development!!..50 point victories are extremely hollow for players and coaches and I have nothing but admiration for players that keep playing week after week when faced with a sizeable defeat!
But have those players developed? I seriously doubt it! Have the victorious teams developed? Unless the referee or coach tried to condition the game for the stronger team I doubt whether any player has improved their skill set!
The resources available in terms of player interest,catchment and organisation in the North West and south of England is tremendous (south = south of scotch corner) and in the North East we do look at you with jealousy! But we have not yet given up and our aim for next season is to find more girls,more fixtures and more fun!!! But we will have to travel further and probably go to Scotland!!!
PS Never be anonymous when critising the rfuw, they listen to your ideas! take them away! and package them as their own!!!!With regards to your point in another blog about Worcester travelling to Scotland...Worcester travelled through Northumberland and they know Morpeth would have played them...
PPS Thanks for the info on the RFU playing calender and their ideas for next season, somehow they seem to forget the North of England!
Great summary of the leagues for this year, hope the RFUW use your analysis to move the game forward.
Surprised that other readers have not commented on your summary.
Agreed. The RFUW need to seriously reconsider this system. It does not benefit the players at either the top or bottom end."Okay, well what's the alternative?" I can hear someone at RFUW saying. Simple...
Another statistic you could have looked at was how many supposed 15 a side games were played by fewer numbers of players. For teams trying to maintain and develop competitive squads, it's dispiriting to find the opposition fielding only 11 players or fewer.
The only positive development this year was the Rugbyroundup website.
1. What clubs want are fixtures, not leagues and the complexity that involves. They just want games - and the simplest solution to that would be for RFUW to provide a fixture service. Its not that hard - all you'd need would be a website allowing teams to list their free dates - indeed the Warwickshire & Leicestershire RFUs already provide exactly that for their clubs!
2. To add a bit of competition, regional festivals bringing clubs together every few months (not just at the end of the season) - you know, like the festivals at Westcliff and Beckenham, and the Sussex and NLD county festivals and so on that RFUW killed off with their various initiatives.
If any clubs did want leagues then help them arrange them - but don't rush in to take over. In short, be an enabler not a dictator. One size does not fit all.