Thursday, November 29, 2012

Herts U13 Rugby: Pictures from Herts v Kent

Herts U15s: Photos and match reports

Herts U15s lose narrowly to Kent
In a close and exciting match, Hertfordshire U15s lost 29-26 to Kent at Old Albanians on 18 November. After a long delayed start due to Kent's transport problems, Kent got stuck in straight from the kick off stretching Herts and using their big pack to rumble downfield. Herts were pinged for holding on and a tap and go saw Kent work the ball through their forwards to the Herts line. One of the big Kent forwards drove over the line and first blood went to Kent with the try converted. Herts were on the back foot.

Herts responded with a penalty of their own which was drilled into touch by Zoe Harrison (minus boot). From the resulting line-out the ball was recycled well and a powerful run from Helena Rowland saw her crash over for Herts' first try. Herts were now finding their heads and a blistering run from Zoe Harrison found Hannah Botterman in support who jinked the defence and went over the whitewash. Zoe Harrison added the conversion to take the score to 12-7. Kent again used their forwards to rumble up the pitch and from a Kent scrum 5m out the ball was moved down the line for a large forward to crash over to even the score. Zoe Harrison then stormed through the Kent defence to score and then convert her try. From the restart  Herts gave away a penalty which was drilled into touch. From the line-out Kent moved the ball to their  flying centre who outpaced the Herts defence to score in the corner. It was real end to end rugby with the Kent centres making telling runs whenever they had the ball in their hands, and being stopped by the Herts defence. Against the run of play Helena Rowland powered through the Kent defence to score, with Zoe Harrison converting the try to give Herts a  26-17 lead at half time.

From the restart Herts were awarded a scrum only to hold onto the ball and give away a penalty. The ensuing pressure exerted by the Kent pack led to another Kent try under the posts and a conversion to put them within two points of Herts. Herts now threw everything at Kent, who absorbed the pressure and then spent a long period of time attacking the Herts line. Despite a valiant defence by Herts, Kent broke out to score in the corner to go ahead. Herts were now camped out in their own half and despite their best efforts time eventually ran out.

Credit to all the Herts girls who put up a superb display. Considering they are a fairly new squad every single player stood up and played to the best of their ability. Thank you to all the parents and friends who attended today - your vocal support was much appreciated.

Team: Isabella Allison, Sapphire Bennett, Alexandra Bentley, Katie Boggas, Hannah Botterman, Jessica Duncan, Tian Figg, Zoe Harrison, Millie Kay, Anna Liddelow, Chloe Olliffe, Daisy- Mae Parker, Ellena Perry, Charlotte Robinson, Lillian Ross, Rhiannon Rouch, Helena Rowland, Chelsea Singfield, Izzie Sloan, Jeanine Stephenson, Cara Wardle, Rebecca Wye

Herts U15 Girls put Essex to the sword
Hertfordshire Under 15 girls travelled to Upminster on 28 October and achieved an outstanding 90-10 win in their first county game of the season.

Herts started positively with the forwards securing clean ball which led to Helena Rowland scoring with a conversion from Zoe Harrison. Essex straight away fought back using their powerful forwards with their fly half going over to score a try in the corner. Herts responded immediately, with the ball being passed down the line to Anna Liddelow who outpaced the opposition to score in the corner. Herts were now getting into their stride, and Zoe Harrison followed this up with an individual try on the left. Essex brought their big pack into action, and again drove over for a well worked try. Herts upped the tempo and went over the whitewash only to be pinged for a forward pass. Superb direct running from Herts led to Anna Liddelow going over in the left corner for her second try. Herts backs then started to rampage through the Essex defence with Helena Rowland scoring and Zoe Harrison converting. Herts were now dominating, and Hannah Botterman broke four tackles and then passed to Zoe Harrison who scored and converted her own try. 

The shackles were off, and in the second half Hannah Botterman sold an outrageous dummy to score under the post, and Zoe Harrison followed it up with a conversion. Zoe Harrison led the charge, scoring with one catch from the restart, and scoring again within thirteen seconds. Hannah Botterman then sold another dummy, to score under the posts, which Sapphire Bennett converted. Things weren't going Essex's way, and an attempted kicking clearance ended with Zoe Harrison charging the ball down to score. Again Sapphire Bennett converted the try. Herts were now dominating in all aspects of the game with Hannah Botterman's straight and hard running resulting in another try. The pattern continued with Zoe Harrison scoring the tries, and Sapphire Bennett kicking the points. Herts ended the game with a tally of 14 tries and 10 conversions to Essex's two tries. All in all a fantastic display by the Herts girls in their first match together and a good start to the county season. 

Team: Isabella Allison, Sapphire Bennett, Alexandra Bentley, Katie Boggas, Hannah Botterman, Jessica Duncan, Tian Figg, Zoe Harrison, Millie Kay, Anna Liddelow, Chloe Olliffe, Rosanna Moynihan, Ellena Perry, Charlotte Robinson, Lillian Ross, Rhiannon Rouch, Helena Rowland, Chelsea Singfield, Izzie Sloan, Antonia Soldana, Jeanine Stephenson, Cara Wardle, Rebecca Wye

Picture from Herts vs Kent November 2012 (with thanks to the Wardle family)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Divisional CB Festivals Postponed

We have received the following from the RFU:
"Due to the inclement weather across the country a decision has been taken to postpone all Divisional CB festivals this weekend for both the Junior and Senior programmes. We are very disappointed to have to make this decision but a number of the venues are currently waterlogged, there are over 200 flood warnings across the country and travel warnings have been issued. We do not wish to put any player at risk through unnecessary travel. We felt it was important to make an early decision to keep any inconvenience to a minimum and to an ensure a consistent message was given to everyone.

We will look at the possibility of further CB activity after Christmas depending on local and national need and will be in come back to you on this in the New Year. Please feel free to contact your WRDO if you have any thoughts on this."

The Herts county training session due to be held at Welwyn RFC on Wednesday 28 November has also been cancelled - though the U15s training may still go ahead if the pitches are suitable..

The coaches would like to thank the players and parents for their support at the two matches we have played, and the training sessions.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Herts U18s draw with Kent

In the second of the county friendly matches in the run-up to the London and South East county festival Hertfordshire U18 Girls drew 12 – 12 with Kent U18s in an absorbing fixture at Old Albanians RFC on Sunday.
The match started late after Kent had managed to sink their original coach in the field at Aylesford, not having sufficient space to turn around in the car park, and so had to wait for replacement transport to turn up. Despite the difficult start off the field, Kent took the lead in the match after barely three minutes. They turned over Herts around ten metres out and moved the ball across rapidly to give an overlap for an easy way in.
Herts fought back immediately and in the twelfth minute Saracen’s Marie Beaufils made a strong run from the Kent 22, fending off one back before being pulled down just short of the line. Welwyn flanker Harriet Austin was right on her shoulder and the ball was popped up to give her an easy try.

The next ten minutes saw a tense stand-off in the middle of the field, as the two packs got to grip with each other, with a growing sense that the next score could be decisive. The deadlock was broken when Welwyn centre Stevie Farrow found a great line through Kent’s defence to run in from their 22-metre line. She topped this with her own conversion.

Once they got going Herts began to dominate their counterparts and had the advantage in the first half. At half time several changes were made to give all players game time, and to help the Herts coaches to assess all members of the squad for selection for the upcoming festival. This seemed to have a profound impact. Immediately from the restart Herts were on the back foot and spent several minutes with Kent pounding them around the 5-metre area, with the ball held up twice in the try area. Eventually the pressure told and after a penalty Kent shipped the ball out wide to give Kent the equalising score.

The two teams were very evenly matched in all aspects of the game, with Kent perhaps looking the more threatening in the second half. Nonetheless it was remarkable, given the talent and commitment being shown, that there were no further scores over the next twenty-five tense minutes.

This was a match which Bob Dawson, Herts backs coach, thought that Herts certainly could have, and probably should have, won. Commenting after the match he said, “While there was some great defensive tackling, Herts failed to play the game at sufficient pace and with variety in order to make their opponents have to think. Against such a tough opposition, as expected, this was a positive performance and with the first half in mind, bodes well for the festival coming up.”

Herts team: Harriet Austin, Marie Beaufils, Catrin Bowser, Lotte Clapp, Katy Cook, Elizabeth Crake, Emily Davis, Hayley Everett, Stevie Farrow, Melissa Gargaro, Ellie Hurer, Florence Jones, Hannah Jones, Rosie Kay, Abbie Maxwell, Corinne McDonough, Pat Metcalfe-Jones, Sidney Nurthen, Bryony Pomfret, Megan Smith, Olivia Stembridge, Aleah Townsend, Katy Walker.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Staniford and Alphonsi witness Herts girls’ strength in depth

RFU Press Release

HERTFORDSHIRE was the place to be for another example of the growing interest in girls’ rugby when 28 teams and more than 400 players from 17 schools took part in the Girls’ Rugby Festival for Schools at Hertford RFC.

Two of the most prominent faces of England Women’s rugby, Maggie Alphonsi and Michaela Staniford, were on hand to add to the excitement.

Michaela is a teacher at Rickmansworth School who entered two teams in the competition and Maggie, of course, is the RFU’s Divisional Talent Development Officer in London & South East.

Maggie said: “Many girls have the ability to play at a higher level, and the key is to let them know what opportunities are available to them and to help them progress.

“The talent is out there and it’s exciting to come to a school event like this and see their potential.”

In the Under 13 competition, 16 teams took part in the pool stages, with the top two from each of four pools progressing to the Trophy knock-out stages and the bottom two to the Shield.

The 12 teams in the U15 category followed a similar format, which meant all teams enjoyed a good number of matches.

Competition was fierce but every game was played in fantastic spirit, culminating in four finals as follows:

U13 Shield: Knights Templar 15 Queens’ 0;

U13 Trophy: Presdales 30 St Mary’s Catholic 5;

U15 Shield: Sir John Lawes 10 Knights Templar 10 (Sir John Lawes win on countback);

U15 Trophy: Beaumont 30 St Mary’s Catholic 10.

Mark Elliott, President of Hertfordshire RFU, presented the trophies and said: “The numbers taking part were unbelievable and it was good to see so many smiling faces of the girls clearly enjoying their rugby.”

Beaumont and St Mary’s U15 teams will be attending the QBE International between England and South Africa on Saturday November 24, to showcase the RFU National Girls U15 Schools Competition, which this year is being introduced in addition to the U13 Girls Competition.

The girls will play on the pitch before the match, and will form the Guard of Honour as England and South Africa run out – a marvellous day for everyone involved to look forward to.

For more information about Girls’ Rugby in schools please contact Clare Cooper, Women’s Rugby Development Officer .

Friday, November 09, 2012

Calling all students and past players

Not played rugby since the U18s? Or back from university? Then there is special festival for you!

19th December is normally the date for the boys students festival at OAs, for players who've gone off to Uni and are back for Christmas. However for the first time a senior ladies match has been organised - if there are enough people interested in playing! 

If you are interested contact - by 16th November. It takes some planning so please please let him know if you are interested.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Senior CB Results 4th November 2012

Cheshire 17 12 Yorkshire
Cumbria 12 34 Lancashire
Durham 12 5 Northumberland
Staffordshire w/o EastMidlands
North Mids 20 0 NLD
Warwickshire 0 45 Leicestershire
Essex 34 20 Hertfordshire
Middlesex 27 10 Eastern Counties
Kent w/o Surrey
Hampshire 32 0 Sussex
Cornwall 3 7 Devon
Gloucestershire Dorset & Wilts
Oxfordshire P Waterlogged Somerset
Berkshire 15 24 Buckingamshire