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, May 03, 2011

Spain make a mockery of the "Six Nations"

Spanish joy at the final whistle
The Six Nations does not include the best six women's teams in Europe - that was the clear message from Day 2 of this year's European Trophy.

The match of the day - and one of the most exciting women's internationals ever - was in Pool A where the champions and hosts, Spain, took on "France A" - despite its name, a team almost indistinguishable from the team that finished runner-up in this year's Six Nations.

Playing with the help of a strong breeze the French dominated play at the start - Spain being unable to get out of their own half. The far larger French pack also dominated and, with the help of the wind, France opened the scoring with a penalty on 13 minutes.

However, from the restart Spain up their game. A lineout in the French 22 results in a well rehearsed Spanish maul - and a try! The crowd goes mad. But the lead does not last long - another penalty on 35 meters, in the centre of the field, and its 5-6 to France. Then, a few minutes later, French forward power results in a try for the visitors and, though the Spanish have plenty of ball, at the end of the half it remains 11-5 to France.

A noisy, excited crowd of 1700 cheered
on Spain, after 1500 on Day One.
How many will there be when Spain
meet England in the final on Saturday?
The second half begins like the first, with France on the attack - but this time with no result. A yellow card puts even more pressure on the home team, but still they hold out.  Eventually, with minutes left, Spain push into the French half. A well-taken line out and maul puts the French line under huge pressure - they collapse the maul. A final warning and from the penalty, Spain repeat the tactic, France repeat the infringement - and its a penalty try! Marina Bravo -the most experienced player in the Spanish team - now has a crucial kick, which she converts. Spain 12 - France 11 ! 5 minutes left...

Desperate Spanish defence - and with seconds left a French penalty. Slightly off centre - but kickable - but its an awful attempt. Cue wild celebrations...

Just as significantly, France's kicking problems have now lost them a game - even maybe a championship, as on paper they have the strongest squad. They have to find a kicker...

As it is Spain need only beat Sweden and they are in the final. Sweden saw off Finland competently, if unspectacularly, 20-0, to wrap up at least third place in Pool A.

Pool B was rather more predictable, England A seeing off Netherlands 36-0 - all points coming in the first half. England seemed to use the second as opposed practice, bringing all the reserves on and trying out different formations. Italy A similarly eased past Russia 34-0.

As a result - short of some miracles tomorrow - on Saturday Netherlands should be trying to avoid the wooden spoon against Finland, Russia will be playing for 5th against Sweden, France will be aiming for third against Italy, and Spain will be up against England for the title... and who is to say that they won't be successful.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:37 AM






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