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...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

More exciting rugby in Spain

Desperate Italian defence in the closing moments
of their game v Netherlands
FIRA 2011 continues to throw up some thrilling - and surprising - rugby. On Monday it was Spain shocking France by a single point - yesterday it was the turn of the Dutch, who beat Italy 22-17 in a fantastic game that see-sawed from one side to the other before a last second (and hotly disputed) Dutch try won the game.

The result of this was to promote the young and experimental Netherlands team to a 5th place play-off against Sweden, renewing one of the game's oldest rivalries. The teams first met in 1984 - long before England first made it onto the field - and Netherlands have won 13 of their 15 meetings.

Sweden pushed Spain close, going down only 18-3, though the Spanish were obviously keeping their powder dry for Saturday's final. Opponents England eased past Russia 39-0. Seven tries - which is good -  but only two converted, which slightly worrying.

The day was rounded off with a 109-3 victory by France over Finland - 17 tries in a rout that did not let up from the 2nd minutes to the final whistle. France will now take on Italy in the 3rd place game, while the tournament will be rounded off with Russia facing neighbours Finland for 7th place.

As for the final, England A and Spain met in March in Guildford, with England running out 34-7 winners. However that is probably not much of a guide, partly because England are somewhat changed, but mainly because Spain are playing their more important game of the year (decade even), and in front of a vocal and partisan crowd. Should be a great game/

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