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...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Post-match entertainment, Wednesday

Inspired by Westcliff's little Twix-eating contest when we were down there the other month, I'd like to do something similar on Wednesday. Ideally what I want to do is have several similar "games", all of which would be England vs Canada in some sort of way.

So for example...
  • The Twix game.
  • A (non-alcoholic for U18s) "boat race"
  • The chair game which Joe may vaguely remember from the coaches' dinner
  • "Over and under" (yes - the coaching thing for small children)

Basic criteria should be that they should be fun, amusing for spectators to watch, competitive, require no specific skill, if possible involving several people from each team, and have a potential for mild embarrasment for those taking part.

Ideas please!!!

Tour programmes now available!

The official, limited edition, tour programme is now available from Mike Alcock. Only £2 buys you a unique full-colour guide to the tour.

Not only that but it is also a perfect souviener of the "historic" 2006/7 season. Something to keep forever and look back on, boring your children to tears with tales of "when I was your age we used to do proper, healthy, outdoor things"

Or "look at this - can you guess which one is me? No dear - that's one of the coaches...".

Or maybe "there I am - standing next to her. Of course that were years before she were famous/ infamous/ convicted for a major international banking fraud [delete as applicable]"

So buy one on Sunday - you'll never regret it!

Should we take ads?

I want everyone's views on this (including our many "visitors"). Should we take averts on this blog?

Google - who run the service on which it is based - offer a service whereby "relevent " adverts appear on the blog (in a descrete column or banner - no pop-ups), and from which we would derive some sort of income via click-through.

We can also put in specific ads of our own.

Now on the plus side this means money. Not much, but something. On the downside it means clutter and a lack of direct control over what is actually advertised (rugby- and sport-related links will dominate I expect, but I'd be slightly worried about what the advert engine might produce if it picked up on combinations of words like "girls" and "mud". For example).

To get an idea of what we are talking about here see

What do you all think?

This Sunday

Training at Letchworth for non-Regional people at 10.00 (U17s) and 10.30 (U14s).

I'll be picking up sleeping bags at c10.00 (before 10.30 anyway) if that is possible as I have leave to get Nim and layley up to Ely at 10.30.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Finding Letchworth

This is kinda fun. Well, in a very geeky sort of way maybe. Basically I've just discovered that one of the sites that tracks this blog records the search terms that people have used in search engines to find us.

Of just over 12,000 hits about 1,800 have come via search engines, with 371 different search terms being used to find us, some of which are a bit bizarre (various combinations of "girls" and "mud" feature occasionally, for example). There are, however, some runaway winners in the search term popularity stakes - "Letchworth girls rugby", "Letchworth girls blogger", and "Letchworth rugby girls" accounting for about a third of all "hits" between them.

But even these search terms pale into insignificance behind one search. This one search that accounts for an impressive 15% of all hits on the site made via a search engine. And that search term is (roll of drums please...)

natalie threlfall (266 hits)

Even if you add up all the varients of "sasha" you only get barely half that (134 in fact).

Our other popular people on search engines (if you combine variations of search term) are Fern (85), Rachel (58), Randy (19), Jess (8), Joe (7), and Nim (6). Emily, Nichola, Hayley G, Katie, Nikki, Laura, Hayley A, and Carla have also featured in search terms at one time or another.

Other search terms are fairly predictable, though why the person searching for "train times saturday morning ely to beckenham junction" thought they were going to get the answer from our blog I cannot begin to imagine....

Monday, March 26, 2007

National Cup: U17 photos now available.

Phil has done his stuff again for Sunday's National Cup - see here. Loads of really good ones, including....

Calling all mums!

We know you really want to get out there on the pitch and show your daughters how to REALLY play the game!

Well - now you could have the chance! Ann-Marie Sand - captain of Barnet Elizabethans Women’s Rugby Club - is interested in promoting Women’s Touch Rugby this summer.

It is planned to hold an pilot event at Barnet Elizabethans on Sunday 17th June to be (if successful) followed by further events in July, August and September 2007 (with an eye of the men's Rugby World Cup in September and October 2007).

The games would be six or seven-a-side; squads of 12, rolling substitutions, etc., and no more than two regular rugby players in each team on the pitch at any time - other players to be newcomers, the key objective being to encourage new players. No age detail are given, but even if it is over 18 you could still have Nim and Rachel leading you...

The festival would be run with groups of 4-5 teams playing games 7-10 minutes each way with a social activity to follow the event.

A progress meeting will be held at Barnet Elizabethans in due course, but if you are interested in the meanwhile contact Beverley Collier (

Canadians publish full itinerary

I E Weldon have published their full programme for their short (but packed!) tour of England (well, Hertfordshire really) next week.

Yes - that is NEXT WEEK so I'll be asking for those sleeping bags by Sunday, or ideally by this Wednesday.

Anyway - they will be getting on a coach next Monday at 5pm (10pm our time - so spare a thought for them before you sleep), will arrive at Gatwick about 12 hours later, and at Wymondley about 2-3 hours after that.

Somehow words like "shattered" spring to mind here, along with other less printable comments, but regardless they plan to train at Wymondley before going in a "walking tour of Letchworth" - which is obviously where you lot come in (unless you want to spy on the training session of course) as we'll need a few guides. Or even scouts...

Following day is our "festival", after which they have a day in London before leaving Wymondley on Friday morning.

On Friday afternoon they play Welwyn (3pm if anyone wants to go and watch/support them) and on Saturday they play Hertford (3.30pm), before leaving for home on Monday.


I think the Alcocks have already said they'd show the visitors the sights of Letchworth, but if we could have a few more of you that would be a help. We can either walk them into town via the Greenway/Willian/Muddy Lane or - if there are sufficient parents and its raining - drive them in.

Let's guess a departure from Wymondley of about 5pm - so ideas for where to take them please. Game of touch in the Town Square? Or down to the new chippy for a battered mars bar? If it is raining swimming might be an option. What would interest you?


Sunday, March 25, 2007

More regional fixtures

For those playing - or planning to go and watch - the U17 festival at Rugby School on Bank Holiday Monday the draw has been sneaked out on the RFU (but not RFUW) website (thank you Wimborne for spotting it).

The groups are:

Group 1: South West (North), Thames Valley, East Midlands
Group 2: West Midlands, South, North West
Group 3: South East, Yorkshire, East
Group 4: South West (South), North East, WRW

East fixtures: 12.30 v Yorkshire, 1.15 v South East
East Midlands fixtures: 11.45 v South West (North), 12.30 v Thames Valley

Semi-finals (bowl, plate and cup) 2.15 and 2.50. Finals 3.45 and 4.15.

U14 fixtures are on the Herts blog.

National Cup: a tale of two good days out

News from our U14s (playing with the "Hertfordshire Barbarians") is a bit thin at the moment, but after a win in their opening fixture they lost the next two, finishing third overall. In actual fact this was an impressive performance considering that in the end they only had twelve players, thanks to illness, injury (including our own "small" Hayley's broken elbow),and so on - so those girls had to play all three games without a break. Which I gather they did - against some pretty tough opposition too.

** Coach Simon Shutler has published a full report on the Herts website. **

Meanwhile "Letchbury" (or was it "Sudworth"? We really will have to agree out team names beforehand if we do this again!) U17s put in a truly "Legendary" performance at a pleasantly sunny Camberley.

Drawn first up against to play favourites Welwyn (who seemed to field a number of new faces, though Sasha said she knew a few from TDGs) our largely untried combination did extraordinarily well. Certainly it was impressive to see the first-half scrums where the Letchbury pack - many of whom do not even play county rugby - were more than match Welwyn's regional all-stars! Maybe if Joe hadn't switched the front rows at half time the result might have been narrower than the eventual 17-0 - Welwyn's second try certainly coming as a result of their pack capitalising on a now less powerful Sudworth front row. But the policy is always to play everyone fairly, and in the end even this pack was holding their multi-talented opposition - and by the players' reactions at the end of the game it was clear which team felt they had performed to their highest abilities.

Bouyed up by that - and now getting used to each other - Letchbury now took the other two-club combination "Ivelbridge" (Ivel Barbarians combined with Bridgewater), from Somerset. Very much your typical southern team with a fast back line but limited forward power, Ivelbridge had lost their opening game to Wimbourne 7-0 but came out of the blocks impressively. However the combination of Letchworth weight and Sudbury finesse really came into its own - the former stopping Ivels advance, and the latter shooting away to score. By half time Sudworth were 12-0 up, thanks to Sudbury's Jess using her "height" to sneak underneath the Ivelbridge defence and score under the posts. Well, it looked like that from the touchline because how she managed to get through other than by tunneling underneath is anyone's guess. Sasha added the extra two points, about which we will presumably hear for the next year or so.

Two more tries in the second half - including a Hayley special (scored despite her having been injured against Welwyn - thank you Iboprofen the wonder drug!) resulted in a famous 22-0 win over one of the best teams in the south-west.

News now filtered through that Welwyn had lost to Wimborne 7-5, which meant that a win over Dorset's finest would possibly see Letchbury into the final. In the end, though, Wimborne were staggeringly good and won comfortably 26-0. Sudworth could point to the smaller pitch, and could suggest that maybe if the game had come earlier and we'd been able to field a fit Hayley (who by now was asleep in the back of a car) and Stamerz it might have been different - like it might have only been about 20-0! Because Wimborne were just superb in all divisions of the game (even the forwards were pretty good, amazingly so for a southern side). Apparently many of the team are only 14 or 15, which is pretty scary!

And in the end it was also perhaps right to have a national club competition (all be it southern area final) won by the only team that seemed to come from just one club. Good luck to them in the final!

Friday, March 23, 2007

East Region women's and girls' rugby awards

East region are now taking nominations for their third set of annual awards (listed below).

The awards are for anyone who has played or worked in women's or girls rugby in the region - not just those associated with the regional teams. And ANYONE can send in nominations.

Past winners have included Hayley (U14 player of the year 2005/6) and me (Volunteer of the Year 2006/7). Let's keep up the club's winning record!

You just need to give the persons name, club, award to be nominated for, and a few lines as to why they should win.

Awards are won by the most nominations so get voting!

Nomination form below...
The Awards are:
AWARDS 2006/07











EAST RFUW, 27 Rainsthorpe, South Wootton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 3UF
Alternatively, email to

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Help wanted next season

There is a level of "stuff" involved with the girls section that is out of all proportion to any other age group at the club because we play teams no-one else plays, in competitions no-one else enters, and under a governing body that is not the RFU. And next season it would help cover for the loss of Joe and Rachel if I had a few volunteers to help with it all.

In particular:

Fixtures secretary. Could be a U18 player or parent this one. At the moment the club drafts this up to September, after which I take over. While it is good that the club are involved the girls fixtures are so radically different to everyone else's that if possible I think we should take this back "in house". The RFUW will be issuing a draft calendar with all the county and regional dates shortly, after which its a question of contacting clubs and filling in the gaps.

Basically the requirements are email, a phone, and a good deal of patience! You will need to liaise with club about home games, but as we always play in the afternoon this will rarely be a problem.

Treasurer/fund raiser. Probably a parent this one. We do not have our own funds (tours aside), but there are any number of grants out there that we could/should be applying for. If you enjoying filling in forms and have a certain degree of financial nous (ie. can add up) we really could do with your help. Again a degree of liaison with the wider club would help, but thus far the wider club has shown little interest in applying for these grants so most of the time its a question of our going it alone - and in many cases they are grants that only apply to girls as you are a "priority" group.

Team "rep". I really could do with someone to speak for each of the two teams - someone who could attend the occasional club or even county meetings so that I am not the lone voice for the girls/Letchworth at these affairs, someone speak up for their team and fight its corner. Could be a parent, could be (for the U18s) a player.

Anyone interested?

Wanna be a referee?

Two referee courses the new ELRAare being earmarked for women, though men (ie. Dads) can go too! There will be 50% Discount Entry Level Referee Course for women. i.e £20, and the course is open to antyone aged 16 or more.

The RFUW are subsidising women on the ELRA course as they are trying to get 200 new female refs, across the country.

The two day courses are being held at Reigate RFC on Saturdays 21st and 28th April and Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th May at St Albans School (Pavillion and playing fields, at the back of Old Albanians RFC.)

The course is the standard RFU new Entry Level Referee Course and will qualify you to referee club and school games and step onto the refereeing ladder. At the end of the course it is hoped that you will join your local referee society and referee matches for men, women, girls and boys in your local community. Referee societies often have people who are prepared to act as mentors for new referees and will always allocate you to games you are comfortable covering.

Book online here - or possibly through Dave Roberts as the club might well pay.

If we can find at least 10 people all wanting to do a refs course special refs courses can be arranged.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

RFUW confirms details for Sunday

Both the U14 and U17 National Cup semi finals will start at 1.30, with dressing rooms etc. open from 12.30. All players should bring their own refreshments, though it may be possible to buy food and drink on the day.

RFUW are hoping to be able to send officials to each venue, but this may not happen to to illness and clashes with other events.

Both U14s and U17s will face a "round-robin" tournament involving four teams with matches 15 minutes each way. The draw for the order that the games will take place will be made at around 12.30.

In both cases two hours journey time should be allowed for - though if the roads are reasonably clear it could be much less - so (for those meeting at the club) the departure time will be 11.00.

Address and directions details can be found here:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Nim debuts for region. Sky falls in.

Hopefully I'll get some pictures of this - Sasha's dad took some - but you had to be there to believe it.

East U17s took their entire squad up to Leicestershire on Sunday with virtually a different team playing each half. Hayley and Sasha played in the first half - on the wing and at flanker respectively (ie. not places they had played before this season!) and did okay - Hayley made some good tackles, had one good break, and Sasha did some Sasha-ing, which included her trademark practice of injuring her friends (in this case kicking Hayley in the head).

This all took place on a sunny, if windy, day.

Nim's turn came in the second half. After a few minutes whatever deity it is that Nim has upset noticed this and dark clouds began to gather in the west. The neighbouring hills then gradually disappeared, the wind picked up even more, and a few falkes of snow suddenly became a hailstorm that turned the ground white in a few seconds. With East now having to play into a gale force wind-driven hail the referee blew up early - and every ran for the clubhouse!

During her minutes on the field Nim did nothing wrong - but in both halves East's backs had precious little ball as posession was turned over at almost every ruck or maul so her opportunities to shine were limited. East Midlands were 19-5 up when the game ended (it has been 7-0 at half time), and probably deserved to win by at least that margin. Fern did not get ont the field for East Mids - but will therefore start in their next game against North West in Manchester on 1st April.

Nim, Hayley and Sasha have another go with a triangular against North East and Yorkshire at Ely on the same date.

***You can now catch a glimpse of Nim's divine retribution on the Herts blog***

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tour crosses the Tamar - and other changes

The first game of the tour will now be on Saturday morning, instead of Friday evening, and will be against Liskeard-Looe RFC at Liskeard (Lux Park, Coldstyle Road, Liskeard, Cornwall, PL14 3HZ) in Cornwall. Kick-off 11.00.

This means ...
  • After arriving in Exeter and unpacking we currently have nothing planned. Up to Joe this, but I suspect there will be a training session - possibly the beach one originally planned for Saturday.
  • Saturday afternoon now opens up a whole host of possibilities as after the game we will now have Plymouth and East Cornwall at our mercy instead of just Exeter and South Devon. Possibilities in this area are many as Emily knows the area and can give short, potted guides to most places of cultual interest. For example, the Eden Project ("lots of walking"), National Marine Aquarium ("A bit *****" ), and Plymouth's shopping centre ("Yeah, let's go shopping!").
  • Someone else in the back of the car also suggested relaxing on a beach somewhere. "Somewhere" other than Devon though as - before anyone thinks of packing buckets and spades - it is worth remembering that it will be mid-April and global warming hasn't improved the climate that much yet!
  • There is also the possibility (possibility? certainty more like!) of a visit to the Reddaways Cider Farm in Luton (that's Luton near Newton Abbot, Devon!). At least one person just over 18 thought this was a great idea but as we'll not get the coach into the village (never mind the farm) orders will be taken (from those aged 18+) by someone who has a car and can find it! £4.50 a gallon as I recall.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Getting into Beds

As you may have heard from Fern there are attempts to form a Bedfordshire county team now - ie. to "split" the East Midlands county team that ran last year (or at least see if that is feasible) - and some training has already started with this aim in mind.

But you would not believe how difficult getting any news about developments happening a dizzying two miles or less away is. I know more about the development of, and plans for, girls rugby in Cornwall or Co Durham than I do in a county that I can practically see from the bedroom window (or at least could if it "wasn't for the houses in between", as the song had it). However, by diligent digging I think I have discovered that these developments are not unrelated to East Midlands RFU's appointment of a new Rugby Development Officer (RDO) with specific responsibility for Bedfordshire.

The guy's name (well I assume its a bloke) is Sam Rouse, and if you think you qualify to play for Bedfordshire it would not do any harm to give him a ring. His office number is 01933 222218, his mobile is 07764 960389, and his email:

Just trialling or practicing with "Bedfordshire" will not interfere with your Herts qualification, and even if it did that would only apply to this season anyway - and as there will be no more Herts games this season even that is academic, especially if you aren't in the Herts squad anyway. So if you are dual qualified you've really nothing to lose by picking up the phone. Go on - give him a ring!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wet or dry next weekend? Check the blog!

A new service has now been added to the blog - weather forecasts!

So - will the ground still be like concrete next weekend? How cold will it be on Wednesday evening? Now you can find out.

As well as the BBC 5 day forecast there is also a 16 day weather forecast generator, provinding (with reasonable accuracy) the likely weather for not just next weekend, but the one after that. What is more, once you have checked the 16 day forecast you can also check likely weather patterns, based on past observations, over a month ahead.

Will you need t-shirts or winter woolies for Devon? Click on the link in the bar to the right to find out!

Rugby sites miss out on web awards

Bad news on the web awards. Not only did this blog and Nikkis site not make the shortlist today, but none of the websites put forward by rugby clubs go through - even Saracens site (which has won "proper" awards) was not selected.

Some rather... strange sites DID get shortlisted. Go here to see what the Hertfrodshire public reckon to be the best sites in the area!

Happy birthday 'blog!

Our blog is one year old today!

Yes its a year since we "broke the mold" and pioneered a whole new way of communicating between players, coaches and managers.

There hasn't been a huge rush to follow - which still surprises me a bit - There have been a few other clubs to follow our lead - but only thus far US teams, so far as I can judge. Everyone at Letchworth takes it for granted now that the information you need will always be only a mouseclick away - that ain't always the case elsewhere, you know!

But there has been a growing tidalwave of readers. By the end of today we will have had over 11,400 hits from around the world - which isn't bad, and this month looks like being the busiest ever possibly breaking 2,000 hits for the first time.

Its brought loads of complements, including from "real" writers and professional publishers (though none have yet backed it up by opening cheque books!) and the odd moment of complaint (unfortunate and something that I try to avid, but then I also want to make this informal, fun, interesting and readable - and people can sometimes read into things all sorts of sentiments that just aren't there). But overall its been a great addition to this club, and - it would seem - an unintended wider audience too.

Its also great to see that it has encouraged Nikki and Anna to launch their own sites for the U17 and U14 teams. Maybe when you go off and start playing for college, university or adult teams you can start your own blogs there too!

Anyway - have a slice of (virtual) cake! And here's to another year (and hopefully not such a "lonely" one. Come on non-Letchworth readers - start your own blog!!)

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