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...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leagues. More feedback.

There has been some more feedback on the leagues and, rather than let it remain hidden away on the response page, I think its worth bringing it into the full light of day here. It also concerns rugby in the North East, an area this blog rarely covers (because they rarely write to us), but nonetheless an area that always used to be a hotbed of the game. But not for much longer, it seems.

Dave Chattaway from Morpeth RFC (always looking for fixtures - email!) 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 clubs

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!

Also, a couple of the shorter anonymous responses...

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.

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.
"Okay, well what's the alternative?" I can hear someone at RFUW saying. Simple...

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.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:27 PM

    Must agree with the one point which to me is the main point. (Clubs want fixtures not leagues).At the end of the day what most clubs want are regular competitive fixtures where players can develop.With the leagues as they are this will not happen. We would be better off without them and arranging our own fixtures.

    There were a lot of clubs who did not want to join the leagues but they felt forced to. Especially when it was said that if you do not do the league you can not enter the cup. In the end there was no cup despite being promised one and there is not one in the calender for next season as well.


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