Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vacancy: Head coach, Old Albanian Saints

The role will consist of coaching the Old Albanian RFC Women's section (1st and 2nd Teams) and will consist of stringent planning and delivery of coaching sessions as well as coaching and facilitating team preparation on match days. We are looking for a Head Coach to work with and lead, 4 excellent assistant coaches and a strength and conditioning coach.

Old Albanian women’s section (OA Saints) is a premiership club that has two squads for women from the age of 18 through to 40. The 1st team is in its second year in the premiership having been promoted in 2010 due to its phenomenal success in the lower leagues. The 1st team consists of several current and ex-international players from England and Scotland. The 2nd team is in National Challenge South East North 2 and is pushing for promotion into National Challenge South East 1 for the 2011/2012 season. The 2nd team has also been very successful in their league having won 7 and lost just 1 match in this past season.

The club is based in St. Albans at the outstanding facilities of OA Rugby which is currently the base at which Saracens Rugby Club train on a daily basis, with facilities including a floodlit training pitch, 6 full size rugby pitches including an international standard 1st XV pitch, a fully equipped rugby gym, 8 changing rooms and a physiotherapist suite.

This would be a fantastic opportunity for any coach who is keen on working with a dedicated and talented premiership side and enthusiastic squad and who wants to further their coaching career. The coach must be keen to develop their skills and bring something unique to the club.

- Coach the 1st and 2nd team players on a Mon & Weds evening
- Facilitate team preparation on match days (Sundays)
- Attend training and match fixtures throughout the season
- Attend coaching & selection meetings
- To lead on the delivery of training sessions
- Provide constant player feedback to squad players
- Liaise and work with the other club coaches

Potential candidates will be invited to interview with the club chairwoman and Club Captain. Candidates may also get the opportunity to meet the players and lead a pre-season training session.

- Level 2 (minimum) or 3 Rugby Coaching Award with a proven coaching background
- Strong written and communication skills
- Strong Leadership, delegation and planning skills
- Knowledge of Strength & Conditioning an advantage
- Enhanced RFU CRB Disclosure less than 3 years old

- Support towards CPD Training
- Potential for expense payments
- Opportunities to work alongside National coaches and to assist in player development of national players
- Opportunities to work with an ex-England International player and current Saracens coach who will oversee the overall coaching plan for the Saints
- To be involved in coaching a hugely talented Premiership sides at one of the best amateur rugby facilities in the UK.

Please send letter of application and CV to amanda.bate@hotmail.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

County dates for your diary

Some important dates for the start of the new season
  • The next HWGRDG meeting is taking place at Welwyn RFC starting at 7.30, is now on Mon 5th September not Mon 12th September, as 12th Sept is the date of the County Club Meeting at Welwyn RFC, to allow participants to attend both meetings if they need to. An agenda for the next HWGRDG meeting will be issued beforehand, but if there is anything specific that you would like included then please e-mail Peter McCullough.
  • The Herts Girls County Trial is taking place at Welwyn RFC starting at 1.00, is now on Sun 18th September not Sun 25th September, which means that there will now a training session for those selected at the Trial on Sun 25th September (venue tbc). This is to enable a Herts Girls County Training session to take place between the Trial and the first Girls County Games on Sun 16th October away against Kent, which the published RFUW fixture schedule hasn’t made provision for.
  • On Sun 6th November Herts County Girls are at Home against Surrey County Girls. These games will provisionally take place at Old Albanians RFC, but will be confirmed by the next HWGRDG meeting. Herts and Surrey are arguably the two strongest Girls Rugby Counties in England, so these games will be of the highest level, and a big crowd is expected.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Herts' Hannah hits hat-trick as England retain U20 Nations Cup

England Women Under 20s lifted the Nations Cup crown on Saturday night after a 48-11 victory over hosts the USA in Santa Barbara with Hertfordshire flanker Hannah Gallagher once again in the thick of the action scoring a hat-trick, and finishing the tournament the leading scorer with eight tries. The Final victory also saw England cap a tremendous season which has seen England beat every other U20 team in the world - USA, Canada, South Africa, Wales, Scotland and France.

England U20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “This is a fantastic result not just for all the U20s players but for England Rugby. Since the squad came together in October we have made significant improvements in our game and these have culminated in a great team performance and winning the 2011 Nations Cup.

“Against the USA, we were outstanding in the first 40 playing at the tempo and in the style we had planned. But after the break the USA were ferocious, coming out with a desire to restore pride and put points on the board. Their physical approach really tested us and it showed in the second-half score-line.

“We have beaten every team we have faced this year which is a wonderful achievement. The true test now for each of these players is not just to enjoy this moment but to build on this success and take their game to the next level.”

England started at a furious pace and put their marker down early on. England were already two tries up after 15 minutes when Hannah scored her first try, stepping her way through America’s defence to cross the line under the posts in an excellent display of power and pace. Amber Reed this time added the conversion.

Herts' hero's second came early in the second half when Charlotte Keane took a quick tap penalty before offloading to Hannah, who broke through the midfield and then America’s last line of defence to score her second. Then, from the final play of the game, Amber Reed ran hard to break America’s defensive line and although she was stopped just short of the try-line she managed to offload to Hannah who then completed her hat-trick. With Reed adding the conversion England took the final 48-11 victory and the Nations Cup crown.

A full video recording of the game can be found here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Herts girls at core of "best women's U20 team - ever!"

There can be no doubt - England have the best Women's U20 rugby team in the world, and Hertfordshire's quartet have been at the heart of that triumph. Last night (well, it kicked off midnight our time, so really early this morning) they beat South Africa 66-7, thus completing an unprecedented clean sweep - beating every other national women's U20 team in the world in the space of just under six months. The match was webcast live last night - but can be watched starting here (for technical reasons its in several parts. After you've watch Part One, subsequent parts can be found on the right of the screen).

Hertfordshire's Hannah Gallagher opened the scoring within the first five minutes, after which England stumbled slightly - and even went behind. However, after Herts' Georgia Peedle went over for her team's fourth try near the end of the first half the floodgates began to open.

This world-beating squad has one more game together, on Saturday evening (Sunday around 1am our time) before they go their separate ways - many, perhaps, to the senior team.

But for now, let's salute the best U20 team women's rugby has ever seen!

RFU Report:

England Women Under 20s will face host nation, the USA, in Saturday’s Nations Cup Final after defeating South Africa with a comprehensive 66-7 victory on Wednesday night in Santa Barbara.

England ran in a massive 12 tries with Hannah Gallagher, Georgia Peedle and Alexandra Matthews claiming braces of tries. South Africa, however, became the first team in the tournament to put any points on England with fullback Phindile Mtshali claiming their one and only try.

Now England will face the Eagles on Saturday hoping to repeat their earlier victory over the USA in the tournament which saw England running out 37-0 winners.

England U20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “Naturally we are delighted to be in the Nations Cup final and winning three from three games has generated huge confidence in the squad. We put 66 points on a South African team that quite simply did not give up. They chased and tackled to the final whistle and forced us into several errors, not least tactical mistakes.

“There is as much to be learned from this game as the wins over Canada and the USA. We competed very well at the scrum but still need to show more composure when faced with try scoring opportunities.

“We will prepare for the final against the USA with a more clinical approach to ball retention and use of space. Despite the score lines no game has been easy this year and we will certainly expect the USA to be at full tilt on Saturday.

“There are also a number of selection dilemmas as so many players have put in strong individual performances but, as a coach, this is a great position to be in.”

In a physical game which England generally dominated the Red Roses showed good discipline and patience to score their 12 tries. It took just two minutes for Gallagher, who continues her run of scoring in every England U20s game this season, to register her first try.

South Africa were penalised with a penalty for holding on and a quick tap penalty by scrum half Charlotte Keane saw her set-up the Saracens flanker to drive over and score. Fly half Emily Scott couldn’t make the conversion.

The Springboks immediately bounced back with a seventh minute try of their own thanks to full back Mtshali which was converted by fly half Mpho Moloto handing South Africa a 7-5 lead after as many minutes.

England, however, reasserted their dominance on 21 minutes with Bristol centre Amy Wilson Hardy making her mark. No. 10 Scott helped set-up the score with a nice pass to Wilson Hardy who flew through South Africa’s defence to score relatively unopposed. This time Scott added the conversion to hand England a 12-7 lead.

No. 8 Poppy Cleall claimed England’s third try with a typical forwards move with saw her crash over the try line after a period of sustained pressure, with Georgia Peedle then adding another try to make the score 22-7. Two further tries for Lucy Demaine and Scott put England into a comfortable 34-7 lead at half time.

After the break South Africa struggled to combat a forceful England, with the tries coming in thick and fast.

London Irish’s Matthews, who had an excellent game coming off the bench, scored within three minutes of being on the pitch. After some more sustained pressure by England Scott made the move and passed the ball out to No. 8 Matthews who stepped inside South Africa’s defence to score.

Rebecca Hughes then added England’s eighth touchdown. A good scrum and then some good handling by the entire England backline saw Hughes score, which was quickly followed by a 60th Fiona Davidson try.

Gallagher’s second try came in the 75th minute when Matthews broke through the midfield. She was tackled but Gallagher was in support and she scored under the posts extending England’s lead to 56-7.

Matthews was then back in the thick of the action with her second touchdown as she picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and broke through a number of tackles to score.

Worcester wing Georgia Peedle had the final word for England with a 79th minute try and her second making the final score 66-7.

Match action from the Nations Cup is available on http://www.ustream.tv/usarugby.

England U20s

15 Rachel Roberts (Gloucester Reds, Gloucestershire, North), 14 Georgia Peedle (Worcester, Hertfordshire, London & SE), 13 Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol, Sussex, South West), 12 Natasha Jones (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands), 11 Lucy Demaine (Bristol, Devon, South West), 10 Emily Scott (Thurrock, Essex, London & South East), 9 Charlotte Keane (Worcester, South West), 1 Millie Fuggles (Old Albanian Saints, Leicestershire, Midlands), 2 Charlotte Notman (Newquay Hornets (Queen Bees), Cornwall, South West), 3 Sarah George (Bristol, Devon, South West), 4 Ellie Gatlin (Rochford Hundred, Essex, London & South East), 5 Abbie Scott (Keswick, Cumbria,North), 6 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East), 7 Megan Oaten (Thornbury, Dorset & Wilts, South West), 8 Poppy Cleall (Bristol, Hampshire, South West), Replacements: 16 Emily Kingston ((Gloucester Reds, Gloucestershire, South West), 17 Mica Evans (Exeter Saracens, Devon, South West), 18 Harriet Mills (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands), 19 Alex Matthews (London Irish, Surrey, London & SE), 20 Fiona Davidson (Richmond, Surrey, London & South East), 21 Amber Reed (Bristol, Somerset/Devon, South West), 22 Rebecca Hughes (Bristol, Somerset, South West)

Tries: Gallagher (2), Wilson Hardy, Cleall, Peedle (2), Demaine, E Scott, Matthews (2). Hughes, Davidson

Conversions: E. Scott (3)


Substitutions: Hughes for Roberts (22), Matthews for Cleall (42), Davidson for Keane (45), Evans for George (51), Reed for Scott (51)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gallagher brace sees off Canada

Hertfordshire and Saracens’ Hannah Gallagher ran in two tries as England began their defence of the U20 Nations Cup with a convincing 41-0 win over Canada.

England Under 20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “The aim for this opening match was not just to win but to make a statement of intent. We wanted to demonstrate that we have built on the success of our spring games and improved in many areas, not least our defence. Our midfield and back row worked extremely well together to turn possession over.”

However it was Hannah's county colleague, and Old Albanians hooker, Geri Thomas who drove through the Canadian centre to set up the first try, the ball being taken on by fly half Jones. Despite taking a crunching tackle she retained possession and crashed over under the posts.

Gallagher opened her scoring when she touched down for England’s fourth try at the end of the first half, doubling her total 13 minutes into the second half with she was again at the heart of the action. An excellent drive by Mason down the right wing saw the winger come close, only for Hannah - in support - to muscle her way over the line from three metres out.

Hannah was rested after 70 minutes, England going on to win by 41-0.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Herts quartet off to California

Hertfordshire's Milly Fuggles (OA Saints) and Georgia Peedle (Worcester) have been called up to the England U20 squad that will compete in the Nations Cup in Santa Barbara later this month.

They join Hannah Gallagher (Saracens) and Geri Thomas (OA Saints) in the 26 player party that will be seeking to retain the trophy that England won back in 2009. And they will find one other familiar face in the team, as Emily Scott (who now plays for Essex) played much of her junior rugby alongside them at Welwyn.

The tournament, which also includes the USA, Canada and South Africa will take place between the July 14- 23 at the University of California, Santa Barbara - and all the matches can be watched LIVE, here, via free webcasts from USA Rugby  (in association with YSC). However, the time difference will mean an early start - England's first game, against Canada, kicks off at midnight (UK time) on the evening of 14th/15th July.

Live Video of England v Canada (kick off at midnight 15/7/11 (UK time))

The England Women’s U20 side has enjoyed a successful season with wins over Wales (32-19), Scotland (77-0) and France (12-5) but are expecting a tournament with three very physical encounters.

Amanda Bennett, England Women’s Under 20 Head Coach, said: "We want to be up front and say that we want to go to the Nations Cup and win it but we have no doubt how hard that is going to be.

"We are not taking any of these games lightly, it will be fierce. We know that we will be facing extremely fit and physical opposition. There are no performance guarantees when it comes to this tournament.

"The USA and Canada have a history of producing incredible athletes and South Africa has dedicated time and resources in recent years to developing the women’s game."