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, August 30, 2007

Fixtures & Results 2007/8


23rd : U18 : Wimborne 10 Letchworth 0


7th : U18 : Ampthill 12 Letchworth 39

14th : U18 : Rochford 10s :
Westcliff 12 Letchworth 0
Aylesford 10 Letchworth 14
Sudbury 5 Letchworth 12
Basford 17 Letchworth 5
Welbeck College 22 Letchworth 0

28th : U18 : Letchworth 46 Ampthill 5


11th : U18 : Letchworth 5 Kettering 44

25th : U18 :
Letchworth 0 Basford 27
Letchworth 0 Paviors 12


9th : U18 : Letchworth 47 Ampthill 12

January 2008

13th :
U18 : Letchworth 29 Saracens & Ampthill 0
U15 : Ampthill & Letchworth 0 Saracens 72

27th : U18 :
Worcester 40 Letchworth 5
Westcliff 12 Letchworth 0


17th :
U18 : Kettering 20 Letchworth 10
U15 : Kettering 35 Ampthill 20


2nd : U15/U18 : (A) Training
9th : U15/U18 : (A) Regional training (venue : tbc)
16th : U15/U18 : (A) Regional match (venue : tbc)


6th : U15/U18 : (H) Dorking
13th : U15/U18 : (A) Basford
20th : U15 : (H) Training
20th : U18 : Regional 10s (venue : tbc)
27th : U15/U18 : (A) Regional training (venue : tbc)


4th : U15/U18 : (A) Worthing 10s (tbc)
5th : U18 : National 10s (if qualified) (venue : tbc)
11th : U15/U17 : (A) Regional Festival (venue : tbc)
11th : U15/U17 : (A) Dorking 10s (tbc)
18th : U15/U17 : (A) Herts 7s (venue : tbc)
25th : U15/U17 : (A) National 7s (venue : tbc)

I think it's worth reminding everyone that the only thing certain about a fixture list is that it will change ...... for example, we will be adding tour dates and venues when they have been agreed. This list on the blog will, of course, be updated as changes occur.

The end of pre-season - and registration

Apologies for the gap in any postings, but there's not been much to report ove rthe Bank Holiday - and I've been elsewhere anyway.

Final pre-season training tonight (6pm as usual) before the "real" thing begins. Which, admittedly, for the first week or so will be mainly training... but not for long. Mike will be publishing the fixtures shortly, but the main points for the next couple of weeks are:

This Sunday:
Registration, starting at 10.00. Bring a parent and a cheque book. Leaving them in the clubhouse to work their way through the paperwork will leave you free for an important Sunday session, because the following week is....

County day (9th September)
at Welwyn for all Hertfordshire people. Trials for U18s, training sessions for U12s and U15s. There will also be county days for East Midlands, Eastern Counties and Hampshire (for those with an interested in these) but - so far as I am aware - the actual trails for these three are not until the 30th, when Herts will also probably have their U15 trials.

This actually means that - for U18s who are dual qualified - you can have a go at getting into the Herts squad without it stopping you trying elsewhere a few weeks later - you are not tied to any one county until selected, and until you accept that selection.

After that its the build-up towards the first fixture. As I said above, Mike will announce the details shortly but it will be a visit to a club we have never visited before - and buckets and spades might be in order...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First injury of the season

We've not started the season yet, but Carla has still managed to put herself out of action for the next few weeks. The exact circumstances behind our senior hooker's injury ("senior" in as much as she has been playing for Letchworth longer than Charlie or Emily) are unclear but I gather that she has damaged tendons in her shoulder and hand and will be unable to train or play for at least the next two weeks, and possibly as much as three months.

Carla has been involved in a number of bizarre off-field injuries over the years, but normally this has involved inflicting the injury on others - such as, or example, knackering Hayley's hand on a bouncy castle the day before the Regional Festival in 2006, and then (if I remember right) managing to injure Robyn with a chocolate bar last Christmas (but without any explanation as to how this was achieved). Taking herself "out" would seem to be a new departure, and it all goes to show that the rugby pitch often seems to be a far safer place to be than the Real World.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No training next Sunday (26th August)... at the moment...

Just a note for those who where not there today that Simon and Kirsten are away next Sunday, as am I - plus Joe no longer has any keys - so at the moment there will be no training over the Bank Holiday weekend. But we've already had a good start so one session "off" this early shouldn't be a major problem.

For those of you who haven't made it yet, training at Letchworth is now on Thursdays from 6.00-7.30 and Sundays from 10.00-11.30 (unless there are fixtures). Next Sunday training at Letchworth will be on the 2nd September, which will also be registration. The following Sunday is County (including County Trails for U18s) at Welwyn.

In the meanwhile this article from the Times entitled Getting fit for rugby may be useful!

Meanwhile in the Caribbean...

Its a story that the press as a whole seem to be ignoring with avengence, but as I was only exchanging a few emails with the islands a few days ago I kinda feel obliged to pass on what is happening out there - or at least that which I know, which isn't much. Partly so that if anyone ever complains about the weather again I can point out that it could be worse, but mainly because I reckon someone should say something.

Anyway - the story so far. After a year or preparations the Cayman Islands were due to host one of their most prestigious rugby events ever this weekend. Rugby in the islands had been all but wiped out on three years ago when Hurricane Ivan devastated the islands, and especially the rugby grounds in George Town on Grand Cayman. However, since then the game has been revived and they have hosted a number of regional sevens tournaments, including the ironically names "Hurricane Sevens".

These have brought in cash - and also sparked a revival of the game, including the women's game. The men's team is one of the strongest in the Caribbean and the women sound as if they have been catching up - despite a very small base they have run the Caribbean's leading women's nation - Jamaica - close in the internationals played to date.

So the hosting of the third Caribbean Championships was a big event - and the first time the women had entered. Women teams from Trinidad and Jamaica - plus men's teams from seven nations (including Mexico!) were on their way in the lead up to the first game, due to be played today.

Then last Wednesday came the hurricane warning - headed straight for the Caymans by way of Jamaica. This is a proper hurricane - not the storms we occasionally have over here which are mistakenly given that title. Hurricane Dean is big - we are talking average wind speeds of 100mph+ winds plus 20" of rainfall over a few hours.

Its seems that the Jamaican team had not set off - fortunately - though they will have the storm arriving with them today. Most of the Trinidad team were already in George Town, however, and have only just managed to find a flight out. That flight will take them to Miami, but they will have no accommodation there nor any news of any other flights taking them home. However, three of their party - plus their referee - were still in transit and were last heard of stuck in Jamaica (not a great place to be stuck at the moment).

As for the Cayman girls, and their clubs - presumably battening down everything and hoping the storm will miss them. The good news is that the latest forecast has the predicted line of the Hurricane inching south... it might just miss them... They'll find out tomorrow...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

This 'n' that...

Some short snippets of news here - some good, some less so...

  • Coaching. Message from Danni:
    "I'm really sorry to do this to you at the last minute, but I have recently got a new and very demanding job, that involves me occasionally working late nights and travelling. As a result I will not be able to make a full time commitment to coaching the girls. I would like to take this chance to thank you for the oppertunity, and would be delighted to coach them in the future when my schedule is not as demanding!"
    In practice we knew that Danni would not be able to be with us every week, so its not in practice going to cause too many problems - especially with Simon and Kirsten around. And once she has settled in we'll hopefully see her. Until then - best wishes to her in her new job.
  • Barbeque. To confirm that there is no BBQ tomorrow as Simon and Kirsten have to be away in the afternoon. Suggest you discuss with them an alternative date.
  • New "Half of Fame" addition. As some may have heard on Wednesday Randy will be available for us for most weekends. The even better news is that she is very involved with rugby in her Corps - REME. Indeed she sounds as if she is one of the leading players in the junior squad, and already has a place in the senior squad waiting for her when she turns 18. As REME are possibly the leading rugby unit in the army (certainly in women's rugby) this is pretty impressive, and only one step away from the British Army team. Could Randy be our first player to pull on a national shirt?
  • Finally, spare a thought for... the players from Trinidad, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands due to play in the third Women's Caribbean Championship starting tomorrow in the Caymans. After months of preparation the entire event has just been called off - due to a hurricane. It sounds pretty chaotic with bits of various teams diverted at the last minute to various islands, or trying to get out of the Caymans having only just arrived, or being simply worried about what state their own islands will be in even if the hurricane misses wherever they currently are. We may complain about ice and snow, rain and mud, but at least we know the buildings will remain standing...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The new season is underway

Good to be back?

Well done everyone for a great turnout for the first training session tonight. Clearly some people were a bit rusty, and it was interesting to see the U15s (and U12!) tended to show some of the U18s up a bit when it came to catching the ball!

For those who didn't make it, Simon will now be here on Sunday so it'll be 10.00 to 11.30, 6-7.30 next Thursday... and so on.

Needless to say that the fixtures are still be worked on - more news there as we get it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Coaching courses

Many of you are intersted in taking your Level 1 coaching course (Steph, Katie and Nim did this last season). The dates are now out (see the Herts blog). Courses are once a month - but note that the closing date for the first course is next week.

You will not have to pay - either the club will, or there are grants available. If you are interested (and over 16 on the date of the course) let me know.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A tackle Sasha would be proud of!

Thanks to Saturday's a Rugby Day for this.

I hesitate to maybe highlight this at a time when we trying to bring in new girls, so maybe a should emphasise that this is an international U19 game. You pretty unlikely to see this sort of thing at club level, especially at U12 or U15s!

Anyway, Wales U19s vs USA. The Welsh wing (14) gets a quick pass inside and tries to dodge through the US forward line. Unfortunately the US loose-head has other ideas....

To be honest what is really impressive is that the Welsh girl is not only still in one piece after that, but actually managed to lay the ball back so that Wales kept possession. They breed them tough in the valleys!!

There are also a few more video clips from the same game, including a line-out "masterclass" and two magnificent tries. Well worth a look.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

All systems GO for training... on 16th August!

Yes - the clock has jumped forward a bit!

The first training session will now be on Thursday 16th August from 6pm to 7.30. We know that a fair few people will be away, but if you are around please make a special effort to get to you new coach's first session.

At this stage there also seems to be enough interest (ie. about half of the people replying have said "yes") in a session on Sunday 19th from 10.00 (or 10.30), which Joe has agreed to take. We will confirm this next Thursday. After that it'll be Thursdays evenings and Sunday mornings (or afternoons for fixtures) from there on for the next eight and a half months!

So enjoy your final week of relaxation... a whole new season awaits!

And - yes - this means EVERYONE. U15s and U12s as well!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

U18s wanted for "fun" season opener

Hertfordshire "Ladies Link" is a programme to try to introduce new adult or late teenage players to the game. As part of this a "fun" mixed age tag tournament is being organised at Welwyn on the afternoon of the 2nd September (kick-off 2pm).

Teams at the tournament must include 5 adults and 5 U18s (that is the new RFUW U18 age band) though squads can be any size, and Amanda Bate is putting together an impressive team. This already includes two England players (Shelley Rae and Vanessa Grey) plus county level netballers, footballers, and a fitness instructor.

On paper it looks like a world-beater - but she doesn't have enough U18s at the moment... so she has asked if any of our U18s would be interested in joining this team for an afternoon of fun, adult tag (and maybe the odd trophy)? At least four other teams are also taking parts, including OAs, Welwyn, and Barnet - so it'll be pretty competitive.

If you are interested then drop Amanda a line ( or give her a ring on 07809 512738.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The votes are in...

Both votes for the try and tackle of the year (or at least of the video) were close (and not really affected by some suspicious of multiple voting), and we now have winners:

Tackle of the Year.

3rd: Katie vs Saracens (2:04) - 11%

For a long time this was leading, mainly I suspect because of its sheer comedy potential. Not that anyone does anythng wrong, but there is something slapstick about the way in which the Saracen girl is suddenly lifted clear off her feet and into the crowd by an unseen hand (thanks to Joe partly steeping in the way of the camera).

2nd: Natalie vs Dorking (6:59) - 23%

A late rush of voting for this one nearly pipped the eventual winner. Natalie shows great speed running down a certain Dorking try. Not only does she bring the larger Dorking girl to the floor, but she also traps her arms and prevents her from passing to her support. Great stuff.

1st: Sasha vs Vampyres (4:54) - 24%

This is over in about a second, but its the tackle that gets the big reaction when you show it - everyone goes "Oooo" and winces! Typical Sasha and justification for the nickname. Vampyres girl (probably a wing) picks up the ball in open space near her line. However just on the edge of frame something is moving in at high speed and.... well, that winger's going no-where!

Try of the year:

3rd: Sasha vs Exeter (6:01) - 10%

Having seen what Sasha does when she doesn't have the ball, we now turn to what she can do when she has it. First we see a typical Sasha hand-off, then we find that the inconvience of having one of the Exeter girls hanging round her waist from about 20m out is not going to stop her reaching the line...

2nd: Jess vs Ampthill (2:58) - 27%

A very different sort of try this. Jess receives the ball in her own half with the entire Ampthill team in front of her. The the video seems to switch to fastforward as Jess explodes forward, side-steps three girls and then disappears into the far distance...

1st: Katie vs Liskeard (4:00) - 28%

This is not Katie's try - its a total team effort. Katie actually begins the whole move wth a pass to Jess who explodes through the Liskeard line (as above!), is caught this time though... but there is Natalie on her shoulder. Natalie races for the corner but is held up short, she turns to her left and there is Nikki perfectly placed to take it through the gap Natalie has opened. But Liskeard haven't given up and even Nikki is now pulled up short... but racing though on her right is Katie. Touchdown!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Training: update (Sunday 19th August)

If enough people are around on Sunday 19th (and there haven't been enough replies yet really to say one way or another) then Joe has confirmed that he could take the session.

So... once more for old time's sake?

[And, by the way, U15s (and come to that prospective U12s) this means you too - so let us know about your availability as well!]

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Training: Start date?

As you see from Simon's piece (below) he can't make 19th now and so he is suggesting we might begin on the 16th - if enough of you are around. So... are you?

And also - even if Simon cannot make the 19th - do you want to train on that morning anyway, if we could get someone else to run you through a few light drills (Joe did suggest he might be able to make it - and Katie is our in-house coach)?

Rather than try to get you to reply to emails, or ring people up, or just guess I've put together a couple of simple polls appear below. Replies by Friday week - or earlier if possible!

And - yes - it looks like midweek training will be Thursdays for U15s and U17s (and U12s is we have any!), from 6pm to 7.30 for all. For every reply that said it was a problem, someone else said that it was better so it balances in the end.

Also if you can't make a 6pm start (not easy for many I expect) but can get here later, then get here later - remember that we trained for an hour last year from 6.45, and now we'll be having 90 minute sessions from 6.00 - so even if you could only make the old start time you'd still be having a session almost as long as last year.


Yes training is almost upon us. I am now away on the 19th of August so we will have to move the BBQ the week later to the 26th which should hopefully work out better as you guys will be back form holidays. regards to the thursday before (16th ) a session can be arranged. I know it is still holidays and some of you are away but if there is enough interest we will start then, otherwise we will start in full swing on the thursday 23rd at 6pm. Train until 7.30pm then look forward to the BBQ that weekend. Parents are invited to stay we will be training first, then hopefully sit down in the sun and get to know each other properly over a sausage and a beer, if you are old enough.

I am starting to look at session plans for the season, if there is anything you lot think you need to work on, then email me your thoughts.

Also the front row, yes I know you dont get a mention very often, which is a shame as we do most of the work beofre the backs score the tries, the seniors and the older boys teams are going to be going through technique and skills on some wednesday nights before the season starts. specifically scrummaging. I will be up there. I dont know when the next session is going to be but i am hoping for next week, I will keep you posted. It will be very benificial you need to organise it between you as it would be better if there were atleast three there to make a full front row.

We are going to have a great season i have looked through some of the videos and I am very impressed. tell all your mates to come down to training as well we can get them playing. Thats all from me, hope I have done it right computers and me dont really go together.

If the going ever gets tough next season...

... things could be worse. Women's Rugby Review have picked up a story that appeared in the Australian Daily Telegraph (absolutely no relationship to the British paper of the same name, incidentally) who seem to have been doing a search for Australia's worst sports team.

Because, believe it or not, not every Australian sports team is an all-conquering steamroller - occasionally there is the odd team that are less than world-beaters. However, one effect of Aussie sports culture is that if you are a bit lacking the opposition will not let up and take their foot off the pedal just because they are 50 or 100 points up. Oh no.

So spare a thought for Wollondilly White Waratahs women's rugby team (from somewhere near Sydney before you ask - they are the ones in the white, black and green stripes in the picture), a bunch of sports-mad women (emphasis on the second word maybe) who got together to enter a team in the Premier Division of the Sydney Rugby League (there is only the one division in fact...). They made a good start as one team promptly withdrew from the league, thus granting the Waratahs a "28-0" walkover... but after that things went slightly downhill.

Once they got onto the field - and being relatively new to the game (like none of them had played before) - loses of 83-0 and 88-0 in their first two games were perhaps not too surprising, but it was their next fixture against Parramatta which made the rugby world sit up and take notice as our heros went down 237-0, or (if you do the maths and assume pretty much every try was converted) a try every two minutes or so (you see what I mean about Aussie sport culture?). Since then the scores have not be quite as bad as that, but still not good - 0-112, 0-137, 0-140, 0-168, 0-121, and (last weekend) 0-170. So far Wollondilly have now conceded 1,385 points in 12 games without scoring once themselves - and there are still four games to go.

However they remain upbeat - nearly scoring in a recent game when they were held up over the line - and their aim is record that elusive first try before the season ends (on 1st September). So the best of luck to them in their away game at Warringah - a side currently unbeaten and second in the league...

Personally, its the coach I sympathise with. I find there is something eerily familiar about these words...

"Two girls involved with the club saw a women's rugby game a few years ago and thought "why not?'" They approached me and I told them if they could get a team together I'd coach and get them into the competition. My big mouth."

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