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, March 07, 2012

IRB announce seedings and draw for Hong Kong

Unusually the IRB have announced and explain their seedings for the IRB Women's Challenge, to be played in Hong Kong at the end of the month - in tournaments its normally possible to work out what the likely seedings were, but this is the first time I can remember its being made so clear.

The seedings are:

  1. Canada
  2. England
  3. Australia
  4. USA
  5. Spain 
  6. Netherlands
  7. Brazil
  8. China
  9. Russia
  10. Japan
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Tunisia
This all gives the following groups:

A: Canada, Brazil, Russia
B: England, China, Japan
C: Australia, Netherlands, Hong Kong
D: USA, Spain, Tunisia

Having three-team groups really builds the pressure as there is no margin for error, and nothing for coming second in the pool. Group winners will pay for the Cup, runners up for the Plate, and third places for the Bowl. While Canada and England have great draws that will given them semi-final places, there will be titanic battles elsewhere. Australia v Netherlands and USA v Spain - which are the opening games of the tournament - are going to be huge games with the losers severally disappointed as they will miss-out on playing for the cup. Brazil v Russia will also be massive as both will want to avoid playing in the third tier.

In fact, other than England and Canada, this is pretty tough to call, but if Kelly van Harskamp is back for the Dutch (and she was hinting that she might be) I think they could edge Australia, while I think Spain - who really have something to prove after being sidelined for London - will beat USA.

That would give us Canada v Netherlands and England v Spain in the Cup semis (fascinating battles), Russia v Australia and China v USA in the Plate (rather predictable!), and Brazil v Japan and Hong Kong v Tunisia in the Bowl.

We may have to get used to lots of Canada v England finals this year!

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