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...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Nim makes centre-page spread

Another bit of useful publicity at the end of last week has been Nim appearing in the Letchworth GC Hertitage Foundation's annual report - which has been delivered to every home in the town.

The centre pages cover sporting and cultural matters of note, and it is here that Nim appears - being lifted in a line-out against Saracens - along with a couple of paragraphs about the team.

Free copies are available from the Foundation's offices and other places in the town if you were missed out - or can be downloaded from here.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hayley's hand...

News of Hayley's hand, injured after about one minute's play today at the East Midlands regional 10s at "Jimmies".

After waiting about four hours in the Lister the result is... inconclusive. Apparently if there is a break (it seems that the doctor wasn't actually sure one way or another) it has not broken all the way through, just on one side. Maybe.

It is suspected that this less than illuminating diagnosis may be partly as a result of our hero's mitts being a bit odd in some way ("have you injured this hand before"?).

Basically if it is still painful in a week's time she will have to go back to see a whole team of people, including surgeons, etc. If it isn't then... that will be that. Reading between the lines a bit it doesn't sound like it was expected that this would be necessary.

So she might be fit for the Regionals next Monday, and probably will be okay for Lichfield on the 13th... unless she isn't.

[No - the picture isn't actually limb in question...]

Regional 10s photo slideshow [UPDATE]

Sixty pictures from today's tournament can now be seen on Phil Threlfall's archive.

Lots of good pictures again, including at least one that will be popular over the water...

  • For the slideshow click here
  • And for the thumbnails click here

In addition Mike has sent me some good pictures - including one of Katie being surrounded by what looks like the entire Kettering team (and no Letchworth team-mates in sight), but still scoring!

" Where's the support? Oh never mind, I'll do it myself..."

"We don't think girls new to the sport are able go straight into U17 rugby" says one club. Good job no-one told Jess...

From hooker to catcher - poacher turned game-keeper?

The team, the medals, and the "Fair Play" trophy

So - just where the heck is Lichfield?

Before you ask the address of the club hosting the 10s finals is: Cooke Fields, Tamworth Road, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 9JE, which is on the A51 Tamworth Road from Lichfield, behind the Horse & Jockey pub.

The quickest route is to take the M1/M6/M6 Toll. Leave the M6 Toll at Junction 4. The its the A38/A5206 north towards Lichfield for three miles, then right onto the A51. Rugby club on the left after about a mile.

The toll on the motorway is £4. The free alternative is to follow the A446 from junction 9 of the M42, and until it joins the A38 to Lichfield.

Lichfield itself - as you see - is in the West Midlands up a bit from Birmingham. The total distance is just over 100 miles - but in terms of travel time (being as its motorway most of the way) is about 1 hour 50 minutes, so barely 20 minutes longer than the trip today (so presumably we will have a similar departure time).

Aylesbury 7s cancelled

The Aylesbury 7s, which the host club was forced to move to Saturday 12th may, has now had to be cancelled as too many clubs could not make the new date.

While a shame for Aylesbury, who will have put a lot of work into the event, it at least gets us off the hook of having two tournaments in a weekend, and therefore having to let Aylesbury down.

It is a shame for our U14s though as this will mean yet another blank weekend for them, made even more difficult becaue Herts Youth Games on the Sunday prevents our being able to organise anything else for them.

10s extra: Fairplay trophy winners!

A special mention for the surprise announcement at the end of the tournament today that we had won the Fairplay Trophy!

Such awards are often disregarded, but that is unfair. Reputations - good and bad - last long after results have been forgotten. Look at our differing experiences when playing teams in Hertfordshire (where the male side of the club have gone before) and playing teams from outside the county (where Letchworth is unknown, and we are making our own reputation). In fact I often wonder quite what the men and boys of Letchworth must have got up to over the years!

Today's award was just the latest - and perhaps shiniest - example of a long line of excellent reports and feedback from clubs you have played over the last season or two. I am hugely proud of the enormously positive way in which you are all seen by just about every team you have played - we may not win every game, but we always seem to win friends.

U17s in National 10s finals

The long journey up to Leicester was met with the reward of a place in the National Finals in Litchfield in two weeks time.

A 0-0 draw with "Vampyres" (North Kesteven & Buxton) and the latters defeat 35-0 to Paviors ment that the girls only had to avoid a larger defeat to reach the semi-finals, which they did - after a shaky start (two tries in two minutes) - losing only 19-0.

This set up a semi-final with Kettering, who had beaten Thomas Becket and host "Jimmies" quite comfortably. Kettering looked favourites but after an early Kettering score Letchworth finally realised that they'd have to score points to stay in the tourmament, and began to break out of defence. A try by Nim, which she converted, saw the girls arrive at half-time 7-5 ahead.

Pressure on the line early in the second half resulted in penalty try, shortly followed by a third from Katie which - with Nims now accurate boot - took the girls 21-5 up, which was enough to see them through despite a late Kettering try.

With both finalists already through to the finals we now came "the final no-one wanted", and a repeat of the game against Paviors. However the teams were told they had to play and the result was a win for the team that wanted it a bit more - Paviors - who won by 22-0, based on three early tries in the first half when Letchworth's minds were still on the way home.

In the end though it was a fair result - Paviors were comfortably the best side there and look likely to be a real threat at both Lichfield, and at the Herts 7s the following week. Quite what the score would have been if a tackle from Nim had not brought an early end to the afternoon for their England U19 fullback (who had scored four ties in the earlier match) can only be guessed at.

The only black side for Letchworth was a hand injury to Hayley which may see her out of next weeks regionals (and possibly more). On returning home she went straight to Lister Hospital and the results of their probing is still awaited.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Way Forward" meeting - 6th May: Agenda

To make sure we cover everything I am drafting an agenda for next Sunday (see below). This is obviously not set in concrete yet - if you want to add or amend anything please say!!

1. Management of the Girls' Section

Currently, officially, this section is organised as if it were just another age group within the club - so the only "official" post holders are the coaches and managers. However the administrative burden for this section is far higher than for any boys age group team.

The result is that the section is too dependent on one person. In addition although several people have volunteered to help their lack of "official" status means that at times it can be unclear who does what. Dividing up the work along a number of "official" positions - and making it less dependent on one or two individuals - will make the section stronger.

The posts listed on the right (except for the coach posts) currently show those people who have voluteered to take on those particular roles next season. However, these are not set and the posts and the post holders should be discussed and agreed upon at the meeting.

2. Coaching arrangements 2007/8

Discuss the options currently available to us for next season

3. Fixtures and competitions

Ideally who do we want to play, and which competitions do we want to enter - in particular we need to discuss the National Cup.

4. Co-operation with other clubs

Player numbers - especially in the U15s - point to the need to develop links of some sort with other clubs. Do we want to want to enter into such arrangements, and if so with whom?

5. Tour 2008

The sooner we make decisions on this the better - first do we have a tour, second where do we want to go, third when?

6. Player numbers

What can we - realistically - do to recruit new players?

Herts 7s: Schedule of matches published

Herts Sevens 2008 will kick off at 10.30 on 20th May - with registration at 10.00.

Our games are as follows:

Under 14s:
Group D: (First team pitch, right)
11.30 v Aylesbury/Milton Keynes
12.10 v Cramberleigh
Semi finals start at 1.00, and there will be finals and third-place games for the bowl, cup, and plate. The U14 competition is due to finish at 3.00pm.

Group A: (Third team pitch)
10.30 v Kettering
12.30 v Reading
1.50 v Worcester II
Semi finals start at 2.50, and there will be finals and third-place games for the bowl, cup, plate, and shield. The U17 competition is due to finish at 5.30pm.

Regional 10s: Directions, etc.

Just been reminded that in all the excitement of last night I've not put the directions etc, up here.

Aylestone St james (or "Jimmies" as everyone calls them) actually have a pretty comprehensive page on the subject - see here. However its worth adding that there isn't that much parking in practice and chaces are that some people will have to park in the lane.

8.15 for an 8.30 depature for those meeting at the club. Has everyone now arranged lifts?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Club awards 2006/7 [UPDATED]

A great turnout at the club awards this evening. The award winners were:

Under 14s:
Player of the Year: Vicky Wood
Most Improved: Samantha Theobold-Roe
Players' Player: Anna Randall

Under 17s:
Player of the Year: Jess Robinson
Most Improved: Rosie Randall
Players' Player: Carla Kelly

Medals were also given out to all county and regional players, and a special award went to Carla as player of the tour. Joe was also presented with a special shirt and signed ball from the U17 team.

The Hall of Fame has also now been updated (and redesigned) to include these awards. However, I can't work out who won the U14 "Most Improved" in 2004/5 - can someone check?

Ah yes... I did wonder if it was Nikki, but I wasn't sure...

Exeter Tour: The DVD

Now available - the ultimate film and photographic record of the historic tour to the South West. Relive everything - from the coach trip out, to the coach trip back, plus everything in between.

Well, everything that was captured by the camera of an Alcock.

Over an hour and a half of edited highlights of the games - that is both games of rugby and the rounders as well!

Don't miss out - place your order today from Alcock Productions and you'll be able to pick your copy up on Sunday (or get it delivered to you some other way!). Only £5 - all profits to the tour fund for 2008!

Awards Dinner

Just to remind everyone of the dress code for tonight.
Smart Black trousers NO JEANS with tour polo shirt if you have one if not a white shirt/blouse of some kind.
See you all tonight!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

U11 tag: Herts Yourth Games draw

The draw for the girls competition at Herts Youth Games has been made. Eight out of the ten districts have entered the girls tag (no St Albans or Dacorum - the latter also missing from the boys).

North Herts Girls have been drawn in "Section 1" alongside Stevenage, Watford and Hertsmere. Our games (on "Pitch 1") will be ...
  • 10.20 v Hertsmere
  • 11.00 v Watford
  • 12.00 v Stevenage
After lunch there will be a series of play-off games starting at 1.40, with the final (if we get that far!) at 3.20. All games will be six minutes each way, with a one minute break in the middle.

A road well travelled

Looking ahead to tomorrow night and the things we might highlight to the wider club, I've been thinking about travel - and how much you do. There are some quite amazing figures...

Assuming all your journeys start from the club (so we are ignoring the fact that some of you have to travel bit just to get to Letchworth) if you have played in every game by the end of this season...
  • Under 14s will have travelled 774 miles (or 1,346 miles if you include the tour)
  • Under 17s will have travelled 1,336 miles (or 1,908 miles if you include the tour)
  • Hertfordshire County players will have travelled an additional 476 miles
  • East Region players will have travelled an additional 906 miles

So - in total - our East Region players (Nim and Hayley) have done an amazing 3,290 miles this season (Fern may have even done slightly more than that as her regional away game was in Manchester, and her "home" county fixture was at Newark - though she does "gain" a bit by starting at Ampthill).

Anyway this is around about Letchworth to New York in one direction, Letchworth to Sudan in another, or Letchworth to somewhere in the Urals about 1,000 miles east of Moscow in a third.

Also - assuming an average 60 miles an hour or so - that means over two and a quarter days travelling. And that doesn't include toilet stops, or visits to McDonalds and Burger King!

Footwear on hard ground

Jess raised this tonight, and Joe asked if I could check the regulations.

I can't find much. There is plenty of stuff on the maximum length of studs, and their shape, and so on, but nothing on the minimum length - or on any requirement to have studs at all.

Equally there is stuff saying that it is assumed that shorter studs will be worn on harder ground, and how to care for them, but again nothing to say that studs MUST be worn.

So I think we can conclude from this that you could potentially play in trainers - especially if, like Jess, you are a back (probably not a good idea for forwards on any sort of ground!). You are hardly going to injure someone - other than maybe yourself if you slip over.

So if anyone thinks that trainers might be more effective by all means try it out in training, or maybe at Aylesbury, and see how you get on. But bring your boots as well - just in case.

[Rachel adds...]

"We played our last league game a few weeks ago (when you were on tour) in trainers and there were no issues. The only thing is to be prepared to slip in trainers but we have been trainign for a few weeks in trainers and played 2 games now in them (the second being our Welwyn friendly last weekend)"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Remember to vote in the East Region Awards

Voting forms and lists of nominations for this year's East Region Awards were distrbuted today. If you haven't had your form then let me know.

Remember - these awards are NOT just for people who have worked in the regional programme, and you DO NOT have to be a regional player or official to vote. They are there to recognise the work people do to support women's and girls rugby across the region at all levels - so they are relevent to everyone, not just those who play for the regional teams.

There are quite a few awards on offer, and too many candidates for each one to post them all on here (but there are a few for this club, or people from it - Joe is up for at least three!).

You can vote by post, email - or even text message. There is no excuse to do nothing - so vote today!!

(I understand that cunning methods are being employed to catch cases of multiple voting, so don't try it...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ease those summer rugby withdrawl symptoms [UPDATED]

There are plans afoot to start a summer touch rugby "league" at the club.

Chances are it will be an adult competition (probably age 16+) but that would still make it relevent to a sizable number of you.

Summer "Touch" is growing in popularity across the country, often pulling in people who would not normally play contact as well as giving winter rugby players something to do in the summer months. In fact, bizarre though this may seem to those of us who saw it as little more than a playground game, its actually now an international sport!

Anyway one standard rule for competitive "Touch" is that is that teams invariably have to have a minimum number of female players (normally at least two out of seven) which means that some of you could find yourselves becoming quite remarkably popular in the next few weeks.

If this comes to pass I say - "make the most of it". Maybe do a deal on, say, coaching next season ("I'll play for you if you come and give us some coaching next season"). See if anyone will offer sponsorship for next year's girls' tour. That kind of thing.

Seriously though we should get an announcement about this in the next week or two.

In the meanwhile - and as an indication about quite how serious this is all being taken - this summer the 12 Premiership clubs - including Saracens - have joined together to organise the "Mixed Premiership National Touch Cup" - with a final at Twickenham!

Old Albanians RFC will host a Saracens Mixed Touch League and provide an opportunity for all local players to take part and be in with a chance of making the final which will be played at Twickenham during the Middlesex sevens or London Double Header. Teams will compete over an eight week period to battle it out for a place at Twickenham. Squads will consist of up to 10-14 players of which six will play at any one time with at least two women on the pitch at all times.

This league is scheduled to start Wednesday 23rd May and will run through till July 11th where in the final week the Saracens Touch League Champions will be crowned. Obviously this will represent some challenges when it comes to travel - and it also starts before our season finishes (23rd May will be the last training session before the National 7s).

Saracens and have also organised a TRY IT session, this will take place in the week leading up to the first evening of the competition and is an opportunity to gain an understanding of the rules, regulations and game play under the guidance of and Saracens staff. This is not a compulsory part of package but is recommended for new players to the game and is at no extra cost to you.

If you are interested in entering a team in this year’s league or require further information please visit or contact

The league is for those over 16 years of age - so the top couple of years of the U17 band could take part.

More information from Richard Gregg, Saracens Rugby Development Officer (01923 204602)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Girls rugby grows in the Emerald Isle

Back in the distant past (ie. early 2004 when this section was a mere gleam in the eye) there was thought of a club tour to Ireland. Nothing much ever came of it, but at the time it was suggested that the nascent girls section would be included.

Research at that time revealed pretty much no record of any girls rugby in Ireland. Enquiries to the IRU resulted in a big silence, and their website barely acknowledged that there was any adult women's rugby, never mind a junior game.

Times have clearly changed. Worcester recently toured the country, playing against county (Tipperary) and provincial opposition (Munster), winning both games - see report on RFU website and IRU website (also here), and now an article has appeared showing that the game is still more widespread with teams form both north and south of the border taking part in a tournament in Wicklow (see here).

One thing we hope to discuss at the meeting on the 6th is a tour for 2008. The growth of the game in Ireland (and our proximity to an airport with regular flights there) means that there are other options we might look at other than purely domestic destinations!

Comments now working again

For some reason the template behind the blog went a bit haywire overnight which prevented anyone accessing existing comments, or leaving new ones.

This has now been repaired - so please continue to post your comments on any items appearing on here. Communication is a two-way process!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

U11 Girls Tag: Week 1

Thanks very much to the girls and coaches from the U17 squad who came along to Letchworth this morning - and for those who missed out there is still plenty of time to stake your claim for a place in the final squad.

Next Sunday U11 training will be at the same time - 9.00 to 10.30 - but will be run by Mike Allen and coaches from the boys' side of the club (though this will include at least one female coach, possibly two).

The final training session will be on 6th May - again the same time - after which the ten for the Youth Games will be chosen.

Nim, Hayley and Sasha make final cut

News from the final East Region training is that Nim, Hayley and Sasha have all made the 23 player squad for the Regional Championships at Rugby School on 7th May.

The regional squad had to be slimmed down from 31 to 23 for the tournament which resulted in some tension, especially for Nim who was last to be named.

No news from Fern at East Midlands yet where a similar process will be taking place.

Awards Dinner

A reminder of the Awards dinner this coming Friday. Awards, Buffet dinner and disco. £6 a tickets parents welcome. Please let me know how many you require.
Tickets will be on sale after training on Wednesday. It would help if you could bring the right money as I am unlikely to have any change.

Dress Code for the evening is tour polo shirts and smart trousers preferably black. I don't want any complaints about not having anything to wear I know you all go to school.
It's likely that the coaches will be in suits so count yourselves lucky.

See you all Wednesday.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Photo competition

Thanks to Mike for spotting this...

As part of Volunteers' Week (1 - 7 June) this year, the RFU are promoting a photography competition to "reflect and celebrate the contribution of volunteers". In particular, they are looking for fantastic photos of volunteers carrying out their activities, in their usual setting.

The first prize is £200 to spend on anything at (second prize £100, third prize £50).

All accepted entries will be displayed on the Volunteers Week website at the beginning of Volunteers’ Week and the winners of all three prizes will be appear on the website and in the June issue of Volunteering Magazine.

Enter the competition by completing the Entry Form and submit to, along with your photos (JPEGS - no bigger than 1MB each). Click here for more information on the competition rules.

Spooky co-incidence..?

Just noticed this...

Before the tour Joe's profile on Nikki's website (which has just been reposted) included the line:

"Something Else We Should Know About You...: Eventually I want to be England head coach!!"

Then a few days later...
"England Women’s Head Coach Geoff Richards steps down"

Could these be in any way linked?

Off-field dates for your diary

Friday 25th April
Awards dinner (7.30pm)

Find out who has won the awards for Player of the Year, Player's Player, and Most Improved Player for the U14s and U17s. Boys U13s and U14s also involved - so a good chance to remind the rest of the club about what you have achieved!

Tickets - £6 from Joe or me. Available from tomorrow.

Monday 30th April
Herts Sports Partnership Awards (Hatfield, 7pm)

Joe and I have been nominated for awards - and we'd like you to come with us as our guests. If you can make it please let me or Joe know by Monday.

This one is free!

Sunday 6th May
"Future Direction for Letchworth Girls" (10.30)
Discussion starting from the paper circulated earlier this week, but going beyond that to look at how we organise the section so as it can build from this season. If you care about your team its important that you are here - and make your views known.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rugby... and Judo??

While looking through the RFU's coaching materials I came across this - Judo for Rugby

I've checked - and it wasn't written on 1st April.

Some interesting junxtapositions of photographs (of judo throws and rugby tackles) and apparently Leicester Tigers have been working with the British Judo Association.

Perhaps we might have a few different sorts of training session next season...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Introducing... our new fixtures secretary!

As you know, for the past two seasons the clubs main junior fixtures secretary has done our fixtures as well.

There were some advantages to this. It meant that the wider club took some notice of what we do, and also he knows when our ground is free for home fixtures. But he obviously does not really know the teams we are playing, nor the waking nightmare that is the RFUW's ever moving calendar.

I was therefore delighted when - in response to the discussion document sent round this afternoon (copies available on request if you didn't get one) - one of your number has replied and asked if there is anything she could do to help. So I suggested fixtures - and she has said yes. So (on the grounds that you never say no to a volunteer) I've given her the job.

This is obviously a very important job, not to mention an incredibly annoying and frustrating one, so any help you can give to the brave volunteer would I'm sure be appreciated. Its not that fixtures secretary is difficult as such - its just that its like doing a jigsaw on the living room carpet while your mother is hoovering, the dog has eaten the picture, half the pieces are missing, and your kid brother keeping colouring in what is left....

Anyway - step forward and take a bow - our new fixtures secretary ...

Jess "bunches" Robinson!

Aylesbury festival: change of date

The Aylesbury Festival - which was to be on 13th May and therefore clashed with both Herts Youth Games and the National 10s finals has now been moved to the previous day - Saturday 12th May.

As a result we can now enter the event with some confidence (especially over things like transport!). Potentially it would mean that U17s might have two games/tournaments in two days (if we win at Aylestone on 29th) - but that problem is eased because of a change in format at Aylesbury.

Because the Aylesbury festival will now be a Sevens - and therefore a great warm-up for the Herts and National sevens the following weekends.

This also makes it easier for the U14s are more likely to be able to enter a team.

Because of the change of date Aylesbury cannot yet confirm that the event will take place as they have to find out whether all the other sides who were down to play on the 13th can now make the 12th - but hopefully it'll be okay.

In the meanwhile can you check you diaries? We rarely play on Saturdays so I do not know how many of you are "otherwise engaged" on that day of the week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

U17 - The run in

With two new coaches on board till the end of the season, shame it's not longer but they like me are off to university, it is now even more important for you to turn up at training.

I honestly feel that we can get 1 more tournament win under our belts this season and I feel are best chances of this is at the Regional 10s on the 29th.

So dig deep for a last push to the rest of the season and lets really make this season our best ever.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Herts Youth Games tag rugby

The first training/practice session for the the North Herts girls U11 squad will be at Letchworh RFC this Sunday from 9.00 to 10.30. We have about 12-13 names signed up, which is a pretty reasonable number.

If you were on the recent "Start Rugby" course this would be a great opportunity to do some practical coaching, all you would need to do is come to training on Sunday morning a bit earlier than usual.

And even if you missed that course these are potentially the next generation of players it would be a great help if you could come along.

I will be pushing you a bit more directly over the next few days...

More tour pictures

Phil has done the business again - but in a slightly different place. His collection of 90 tour phots can be found in a separate "set" from the usual - click here to see them or here to sit back and watch a slide show.

There is the usual selection of great action shots - but also a few slightly different pictures. A random selection...

The team at Liskeard before the first game

On the beach at Dawlish Warren

The crowd at Liskeard in breathless anticipation

The girls go down to their only defeat of the tour...

Not that long now....

Awards dinner for both 14s+17s
Firstly a huge thankyou to all for a briliant weekend. Some of you can be a pain in the backside most of the time but it was a truely successfull weekend. My first tour as a coach and results wise the most successfull tour I've been on ever. A huge thanks to all parents on tour couldn't have been done without you all.

First things first training tomorrow night normal time. I should be there for anyone who wants some specialist skills help from about 6:15. Kicking Lineout throwing and so on.

A reminder that for the U14+U17s this years awards will be at an awards dinner at the club on Friday the 27th of April. Awards, Buffet dinner and disco. £6 a tickets parents welcome. Please let me know how many you require by the end of the week please.

And on the subject of awards I need to know your Players Player of the year. So please can you all email your votes for this. I need them by the end of the week.

Finally I now have all the trophies from last year bar 2. Hayley and Mel (if you still read this) can you get these to me or John asap please!!!

In pictures: Slaying the Saracens - excellence in Exeter

Sunday at Exeter Saracens. No pictures of the rounders yet available, so we'll have to make do with the rugby...
Nim passes out of tackle...
... and ends a Saracens attack
Carla involved in everything...
... all day
Sophie recovers a loose ball
It takes three Saracens to stop one Nikki...
Letchworth forwards domiant again
Nim with her new friend
Carla drives forward...
... to score the try that gives Letchworth back the lead at the start of the second half
Teams at the end

In pictures: Cornish conquest - last minute in Liskeard

Recalling Saturday at Liskeard and Looe, where the team began affairs by disguising themselves in the colours the Cornwall county team, and where weather conditions varied from one end of the ground to the other (for those who were not there, it rained - but only in one corner of the ground. Moreover the corner where everyone was sitting...)

Hayley gets to grips with a Liskeard prop

Liskeard's defence gets ready for a rhino rush
Katie breaks through to score Letchworth's first try of the tour.
Nim signals a more determined approach in the second half
Emily catches in line out - the base for eventual victory
Jess thwarted by a very small wing...
"Give me the ball!!!" - Hayley demonstrates what she can do when she is angry
The winning try - and the first time Letchworth had held the lead. Liskeard player's face says it all...

All smiles at the end

A tour in pictures: starting soon

The touring party attempt to remain inconspicuous and adopt a low profile on their first evening in Devon.

WANTED: Coaches for Letchworth Girls

Right - this one is aim firmly at the diaspora beyond Letchworth.

You've read the blog. You've seen the pictures. You've maybe even watched the videos. You probably feel you know all the players personally. So how would you feel about coaching them?

Because next season we lose Joe to college and Rachel to playing, which leaves us a shade short of people who know the game well (as opposed to those who can merely write about it).

Obviously we have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat - though the former at least will not be yours. You will get a pretty high profile (if that helps) as it is likely that people who soon know who you are, but you will not become rich. Well, not in the financial sense.

So if you are interested drop me a line. Find out what Sundays were made for.

Remember the National Cup?

The final was last weekend - you will recall that if we had beaten Wimborne by sufficient margin it would have potentially mucked last weekend up a bit?

Fortunately we didn't because a) we would have missed a great weekend, and b) we'd have been stuffed. Big time.

I say that with some authority because Peter, the Wimborne coach and reader of this blog, has emailed me the following details

"I thought I would update you on our National cup visit to Lichfield where we unfortunately lost to Leodonias 15-5. The game was as expected a tight game with Leos scoring in the first 5 mins before adding a second midway through the half. We then pegged them back with a score just before half time.

"The second half we were camped in their half for long periods of time but unable to break their lines of defence only for Leos to score a break away try to seal the game."

Leos a good side obviously - and congratulations to them on their win. Indeed they are quite outstandingly good - apparently they had five TDG girls on show, which is more than most regions can come up with (East, who I believe have more TDGs than anyone, have only six!).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hertfordshire Sevens: The draw

The draw for Herts Sevens took place this evening. The full draw will appear on the Herts Blog shortly, but the important bit for us is....

Under 14s

Twelve teams in four groups of three, we were in the third group of seeds, and have been drawn in Pool D which will be:

Milton Keynes

As last year there will be Cup, Bowl and Plate semi-finals for teams finishing first, second and third respectively, so we will get to play at least three games.

Under 17s

Sixteen teams in four groups of four. We were seeded in the top four (number 4 in fact), and have been drawn in Pool A which will be:

Worcester II

As last year there will be Cup, Bowl, Plate and Shield semi-finals for teams finishing first, second, third, and fourth respectively, so we will get to play at least four games.

Seedings were based on performances in all tournaments over the past year.

Tour coach: ETA Letchworth [REVISED]

The coach is making good progress and should reach Letchworth around 5.15.

The team will disembark in the coach park at the Leisure Centre.

Tour: Final day and returning home

The brusied, but unconquered, heros' plan for today is to spend the morning in the historic city of Exeter.

Or, more likely, its shops.

Departure will be around lunchtime with a expected arrival time in Letchworth of around 5pm. A more accurate ETA will be posted here this afternoon.

Training and Regional Tens news

The regional tens at Aylestone (Leicester) on Sunday week will start at 11am, with registration from 10.

Teams will be restricted to a squad of 15, which might be a problem as we took 16 to Exeter but in practice Sasha is likely to be with the "Eastern Furies" at the London North 10s in Harpenden, so there should be no selection issues (fortunately).

Wednesday practice for both age groups as normal this week - and training on Sunday at a time to be confirmed.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Result: Exeter Saracens 26, Letchworth 34

22-19. Carla in corner after long period of sustained pressure in the Saracens half. Carla breaks through several challenges to score, but try set up by good play by other forwards.

27-19. Carla again two minutes later from penalty five metres out. Opposition (and all the spectators!) expect Sasha to get the ball, neat dummy to Carla who slips through a totally miss-footed defence. 12 minutes to go.

Team changed (five roll on/roll off).

34-19. Hayley under the posts from a well worked scrum on halfway thus proving that all those hours spent rehearsing back moves DO pay off sometimes! 8 minutes to go.

Team changed (six roll on/roll off).

34-26. No cover for that wing at scrum. 1 minute left.

A better performance against a tiring opposition, Carla the real star making great yardage. Katie exhausted at the end, but whole team has got through the tour without serious injury - Hayley's scratched lower back and eye being the only significant knocks.

  • Player of the match: Nikki
  • Parents' player: Carla and Katie (joint)
  • Player of the tour: Carla

The team has gone through the Easter with a 100% record - four games, four wins - though two were only won from tries by Hayley from the final plays of the game so things could easily have gone either way.

Even the other two games were closer than the scoresheet appears - the margin of victory over Weldon was aided by another last minute try (not to mention several girls from Sudbury!), and moreover against a team that had not played for some months, while if the Exeter Saracens girl had been able to put the ball down instead of dropping it when under no pressure at all we'd have been down by nine at half-time, not two, which might have been a different story.

Still its a good run to take into the Regional 10s in two weeks time.

HT: Exeter Saracens 19 Letchworth 17

5-0 try from Katie after two minutes from short penalty. excellent
inter-passing and support.

10-0 Saracens fail to ground breakaway try, Hayley recovers 22 drop out, passes off to Sasha who scores.

Team changed (six roll on/roll off).

10-7. Poor defence and bunching leads to overlap. Score under the posts. Half way through half.

Team changed (six roll on/roll off).

10-14 Break by fast wing. Again under the posts.

17-14 Hayley breaks though on right.

17-19 Its that wing again... Conversion missed.

At this point we were behind in a game we should have been dominating. Again the effect of changing a team shows - the side effect invaribaly seems to be letting in a score within minutes of the change, regardless of who actually goes on or off.

Kick off in 10 mins

It'll be 10 a side with our girls looking a lot bigger than them. And its gone from hot sun to drizzle...

Court report

At Dawlish Warren beach, yesterday.

Amongst those guilty of crimes too varied to remember were Sasha, who was convicted on three counts, Nikki (who developed a taste for Twix and chili), Nichola, and Jess R.

Jess and Sasha failed to complete their punishments and will be recalled today.

For some reason no mention was made of the judge forgetting to take the pennants to the game yesterday, which should be worth something...

Team goes down to big defeat


At rounders!

Due to a slight error on kickoff times, the U17 team have just challenged the "rest" to rounders.

Despite certain advantages (like knowing the rules and having more players) they were no match for the camp followers.

A second match is currently in progress...

[Later: And was again won by the the "rest". Better stick to rugby, girls!]

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Liskeard 17, Letchworth 20

A brace of tries by Hayley won the game, her second from the final play finally overturning Liskeard's lead, which had been extended to 17-10 within a minute of Sasha's try.

The light cloud had now cleared and the sun was beating down.

The exciting climax came from a lineout near halfway, which had been delayed by several minutes to patch Hayley up. From a clean take the ball found Hayley who sprinted across the field downhill breaking two tackles to touch down in the corner.

But everyone had contributed to the win, with the team playing better as the game went on.

  • Coach player of the match: Hayley.
  • Parents player: Carla

HT: Liskeard 7, Letchworth 5

Close half with most of the play in Letchworth half.

However slow passing by the home team reduced the advantge so that the first real scoring chance was a break by Hayley.

In the end the pressure told with a Liskeard try, well converted.

But Letch were not finished and a well worked try by Katie at the break reduced the lead.

Latest: 12-10. Quick home try leveled by Sasha from 5m penalty. 18 minutes left.

The serious stuff begins...

Liskeard at last. After diversions and big red lorries on small roads
its 10am and we've found the ground!

Ringed by trees and partly dug out of a hill its not unattractive. .

The sun is shining and its also raining!

Lots of South West kit on show. Should be interesting. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 13, 2007

National sevens "on"

RFUW have announced today that the National 7s will go ahead as planned.

A week ago the event was threatened with cancelation as only two adult teams had entered. Since that scare there has been a rush of entries in all categories and as a result the event is now secure.

In fact all U17 places are now taken, and almost all U14 and adult, so an event that it was feared might have too few teams max now be oversubscribed!


Its just after 1 o'clock and everyone is out on the field at Exeter Saracens training. No incidents to report. Attempts to decorate Joe failed - but Sophie is a heavier sleeper it seems!

Warm, humid but plenty of grass.

Slight research failing as Joe seems to have confused Exeter Saracens with Exeter Chiefs!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Exeter Tour: Reports directly from the touchline

For those of you who will not be in the land of cider and clotted cream this weekend the blog will cotinue to run, keeping you in touch with everything that is going on in the far south-west. Well, most of it - unfortunately (or firtunately) I'm not on the bus, but am travelling separately - partly because I have to be back at work on Monday morning.
This will be partly because I will be experimenting with a new element of the blog which will allow me to post information on here directly from a mobile phone. So you will be able to read all about the matches and non-match happenings as they happen.
Well, that is the theory.
At this stage it will probably be just text - no pictures - unless I can find a way to send them as well. But even that may be a good thing....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weldon look back: local press coverage

I E Weldon's tour is making the headlines now they are back in Canada. Both Corrie and Kirk have been interviewed by their local daily newspaper - see here for the article.

I wonder which forwards Kirk had in mind?

Meanwhile has anyone looked in any detail at the messages on the flag? If you get the chance, have a look just to the right of the maple leaf...

"Babe" was unavailable for comment...

Girls vs Boys

Training for the U11 tag team for this year's Herts Youth games begins on 22nd April (first Sunday back), running from 9am to 10.30 (ie. generally before the main training).

This is a great opportunity for those of you who have done your Level 1s or been on the "Start Rugby" course to put your skills into practice - so could I have some volunteers to assist on 22nd, 29th April and/or 5th May?

If you want a bit of incentive, the boy's tag team for the same competition will be training at the same time - and some practice matches are planned between the two squads. It would be kinda good if the girls could beat the boys (and they should, unless the boys team is full of "ringers") - and the more of you we can have inspring the girls on to greatness the more chance they will have.

Let me know what you can do to help.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tour Metting Reminder

Tomorrow evening there will be a meeting in the clubhouse for all touring players and their parents. It is really important that you all make the effort to attend and bring your parents with you.

The meeting will start at 7:10 so please start to arrive from 7:00. The meeting will take the place of U17 training thus avoiding any last minute injuries. It shouldn't take very long and we should be done by 7:40ish.

There are a few things to clear up final bits of money to collect and parental consent forms to give back. Hopefully the tour shirts will have arrived to be given out as well. It will also give your parents the chance to ask the touring managment any questions.

Please email me or leave a comment on here to let me know if you are attending or not.


With the countdown continuing tour is getting ever closer and with every day passing I bring good news.

So as planned these will be handed out at tomorrows meeting to ensure that you arrive on Friday wearing them.
Please can all of the touring party make an effort to attend tomorrows meeting and bring a parent along with you. 7:10 start. No under 17 training!!!
Not long left!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Flag presentation - and farewells

Thanks to Mike, one last post about the Canadians. After the game yesterday they gave us back our maple leaf flag, suitably enscribed by all the team and (I think) coaches.

I E Weldon "fan club", with Vikki, Robin, and Callie.

I E Weldon coaching team - Matt, Sandra, Kirk and Tom

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Return to matters domestic - Awards evening etc.

After a thrilling climax to the I E Weldon's tour today at Hertford (7-5, Corrie scoring the equalising try with final play, and then the winning kick going over - anyone remember who kicked it? Nerves of steel) its back to matters domestic.

But before doing so a big thanks to everyone who made it today - I know Weldon really appreciated the support, both today and at Welwyn. The whole team have signed the flag with messages of thanks etc. which will go up in the clubhouse on Wednesday. I also have some copies of their tour guide to give out.

Incidentally there have been many comments in praise of you all from the English teams since Wednesday - things like "I have to say that for one of the stronger sides in the region your girls are good sports and a pleasure for the visiting team". Well done everyone!

Anyway.... Tour meeting Wednesday - as covered elsewhere (have you seen the countdown clock to the right? Joe's idea). On Wednesday could we also have trophies back from Hayley, Natalie, and Jess as well. You also need to start thinking about your "Player's Player" award winner - we will be asking for nominations soon. This should go to the person you think it key to the team, ie. not necessarily the "best player". It is also worth remembering that the U17 Player of the Year is being decided on a points system this year, based on turnout at training, match appearences, and so on - so there could be some unexpected winners this season!

These awards - plus the "Most Improved" award - will be given out at a special junior awards dinner (including boys teams down to U13) on Friday 27th April at the club - so make sure you are available!! Tickets will not be expensive - about £6 probably - so there is no excuse to miss out.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Next season's fixtures

A first look at key dates for next year has now been issued (see the Herts blog).

This will almost certainly undergo several revisions, but at presnt this is what 2007/8 may look like.

Come and say farewell to Weldon

Doing anything tomorrow afternoon? No? Then come along to Hertford RFC to cheer on our Canadian guests in their final game (kick-off 3.30) and see them on their way.

The lost narrowly today 31 (or 29?) (or even 34? - thank you anon) to 20 - five tries to four - and had Welwyn on the run until a (hopefully not too) serious injury to a Welwyn player resulted in a break in play and chance for the home team to regroup.

The Weldon girls - who had a really great time on Wednesday, both the matches and what went on afterwards - made a point of asking if we could be there tomorrow for their final game. So if you can make it you'd be hugely welcome.

And you can start practising now. 1, 2, 3...


This Weekend

No training this weekend!!!!

Baggage reclaim

I am in possession of a large quantity of sleeping bags which require returnign to their owners. I'll bring them along on Wednesday in the hope of happy reunions.

U17+U14: Tour Meeting


Next Wednesday 6th April there will be a meeting in the clubhouse for all touring players and their parents. It is really important that you all make the effort to attend and bring your parents with you.

The meeting will start at 7:10 so please start to arrive from 7:00. The meeting will take the place of U17 training thus avoiding any last minute injuries. It shouldn't take very long and we should be done by 7:40ish.

There are a few things to clear up final bits of money to collect and parental consent forms to give back. Hopefully the tour shirts will have arrived to be given out as well. It will also give your parents the chance to ask the touring managment any questions.

Please email me or leave a comment on here to let me know if you are attending or not.

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