Monday, September 29, 2014

Herts U18 Girls Squad 2014-15

This year's Herts U18 Girls trials were well attended with 39 girls attending from four different clubs. This is a big increase from 22 girls last season, and the standard stepped up too.

The following girls have been selected for the Herts U18 Girls squad this season:

Ellena Perry
Faye Coregan*
Floss Jones
Harriet Austin
Hayley Everett
Helen Roberts
Izzie Sloan
Jeanine Stephenson
Pat Metcalfe-Jones
Rosanna Moynihan*
Sara Blissett
Tian Figg

Aine McMahon
Beth Summerfield
Ella Wyrwas*
Eloise Bloomfield*
Emily Bentley*
Hannah Botterman*
Jade Clarke*
Kate Summerfield
Katy Walker
Reece Kneafsey*
Tamzin Luftig*
Zoe Harrison

* denotes player is new to the squad this season

The following girls have been invited to join the development squad:

Casey Rhodes
Chloe Dawson

Antonia Soldano
Charlotte Robinson
Lauren Bellinger

Friday, November 29, 2013

Herts U18 Girls end season with win against Essex

Hertfordshire U18s girls concluded their matches for this season with an overwhelming 67-0 victory against Essex. The match, held at Hitchin RFC, was actually stopped a third of the way through the second half due to a potentially serious injury to one of the Essex players, so the winning margin could have been much higher still. Luckily it turned out to be only a minor shoulder injury.

Since Essex had won their previous match against Sussex, Herts were hopeful of a more even match than the one earlier in the month against Eastern Counties. Unfortunately, Essex were only able to muster 13 players, so Herts loaned Essex two of their players in order to get a 15-aside match.

The Herts forwards were commanding at the breakdown and in the scrum. On several occasions they turned over the ball which allowed the backs to make inroads. By half time Herts had scored nine tries, three of which had come from the forwards who had found themselves with room. Zoe Harrison was on form with the boot and added six conversions to take the score to 55 – 0 at half time.

With several changes at half time, to give all the Herts girls some game time, the try rate slowed a little in the second half. Nevertheless Herts scored two further tries before the match was stopped after 14 minutes of play.

Fittingly the top scorers, with a hat-trick each, were fullback Sydney Gregson and prop Vicci Cogger. They were playing their final representative match for Herts U18s, along with Catrin Bowser, who also scored, and scrumhalf Bryony Pomfret. Katy Walker contributed two tries, Ellena Perry scored one and Zoe Harrison added one as well as her six conversions.

After the match the girls rounded off what is a short county season with some appropriate speeches at the dinner. Head coach John Harrison paid tribute to the squad who had played saying, “You can be very, very proud of everything you have achieved…you have been a pleasure to coach and fully deserve your success”.

Team: Harriet Austin, Sara Blissett, Catrin Bowser, Vicci Cogger, Hayley Everett, Tian Figg, Sydney Gregson, Zoe Harrison, Florence Jones, Rosie Kay, Aine McMahon, Pat Metcalfe-Jones, Sandra-Jo Palfrey, Ellena Perry, Bryony Pomfret, Helen Roberts, Izzie Sloan, Megan Smith, Jeanine Stephenson, Beth Summerfield, Kate Summerfield, Katy Walker

Monday, November 04, 2013

Herts U18 Girls too strong for Eastern Counties

In the first of two county matches this month Hertfordshire U18 girls won very convincingly by 83-0 against an inexperienced Eastern Counties side on Sunday. The match was played at Stowmarket in very blustery conditions. Paradoxically, Herts played better against the wind in the first half, notching up nine tries. They seemed to switch off for much of the second half before rounding off strongly at the end with a further four tries.

All of the tries were scored by the backs. But the key was the domination of the pack, led by Harriet Austin, who was awesome in her destructive capability at the breakdown. With plenty of quick ball coming out in the first half, distributed superbly by half-backs Bryony Pomfret and Zoe Harrison, there was plenty of time and space for the backs to run round and through the Eastern Counties defence.

In the first half tries were scored at regular 2-4 minute intervals by Beth Summerfield (three), Katy Walker (two), Bryony, Zoe, Rosie Kay and Aine McMahon. Zoe also converted five of these in conditions that were very difficult for placekicking, as the wind was liable to whip the ball out of direction at any point.

At the half-way point Herts turned around 55-0 and so it was perhaps not so surprising that they found it
 hard to maintain the same cohesion in the second half. The play became surprisingly scrappy as the girls became a little too complacent and over-ambitious with their passing and handling errors occurred.

It wasn’t until the twentieth minute of the second half that Zoe found her way through to score once more. Eight minutes later Zoe broke through again. This time she was tackled 10 metres from the line but managed to pop up the ball to Beth who was on her shoulder and had an easy run in to score.

Even when Eastern Counties got close to the Herts try line, they were unable to execute. After they gave away a scrum at the 5-metre line, the Herts defence was rapidly turned into attack as Zoe kicked the ball downfield for Katy to run onto and carry over. The final try was scored by Beth, with a run down the wing from midway to score under the posts. Zoe converted all four tries in the second half.

With two of the Herts' divisional players unavailable, this wasn’t actually the strongest side that could have been fielded. It did, however, give the coaches the opportunity to play some of the less experienced players, with Kate Summerfield, Izzie Sloan and Tian Figg all making their Herts debuts at under 18 level. However it is hard to see much value for either side in such an unequal encounter. Even so these are still matches to be won and the girls executed much of their hard work in practice convincingly on the day. Credit should also be given to the Eastern Counties girls who didn’t give up and managed to contain the Herts girls for a 20-minute period at the start of the second half.

After the match the referee complimented the Herts girls on both their good play and excellent attitude. The second county match will take place against Essex at Hitchin on November 24.

Team: Harriet Austin, Catrin Bowser, Hayley Everett, Tian Figg, Zoe Harrison, Rosie Kay, Florence Jones, Aine McMahon, Pat Metcalfe-Jones, Ellena Perry, Bryony Pomfret, Helen Roberts, Izzie Sloan, Megan Smith, Jeanine Stephenson, Beth Summerfield, Kate Summerfield, Katy Walker,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Herts U18 Girls win London & South East Rugby Festival

Herts beat Surrey in the final to take the London & South East county rugby festival title for the second time in succession on Sunday 6 October.

The Herts girls romped through the pool round without conceding a try. The first match was a comprehensive 50-0 victory over Eastern Counties. Strong running by forwards Ellena Perry and Harriet Austin, followed by a string of passes among the backs, resulted in Katy Walker scoring the first try in the corner.

Sydney Gregson completed a hatrick. Two of her tries were almost identical with strong running through the middle complete with handoffs. Her third came as a result of some good handling among the backs. Beth Summerfield scored two tries. Her first involved a neat sidestep to score under the posts and her second came from a run down the wing. Herts added a further try from their inside centre and Zoe Harrison converted five of her eight attempts.

The second match against Kent was, as expected, a tighter affair with Herts coming out with a 12 – 0 win. Kent contained Herts for much of the match allowing the Herts backs very little freedom with the ball. Herts’ first try came when prop Vicci Cogger emerged with the ball from a maul and powered her way uphill 30m to the tryline with players hanging off her. Sydney scored the second try under the post which gave Zoe an easy conversion.
The third pool game brought a 19 – 0 victory over Hampshire. The score line stood at 0-0 for much of the game. Bringing on Vicci towards the middle of the second half seemed to bring Herts to life and they scored three tries in quick succession by Welwyn/Hartpury teamates Vicci and Sydney (who scored twice). Zoe added two conversions.

The final was against Surrey. Herts scored in the opening minutes when the ball was moved neatly along the backs from a lineout resulting in a try for fullback Sydney. This was her seventh of the day, making her Herts’ top try scorer. Herts’ second try followed a scrum 7 metres out when their inside centre powered through the middle to score.

Herts final try of the day came when Beth picked up a loose ball near the half way line and outsprinted the Surrey defence down the wing to score in the corner. With Zoe successfully converting two of her three attempts Herts were 19-0 ahead. Surrey then came back with a try of their own to take the scoreline to 19-5. With an injury to a Herts player requiring an ambulance the match was stopped with a minute to go and Herts were divisional champions.

Head coach John Harrison said, “All the coaches are proud of the way the girls played today and they deserve to be champions. It was a fantastic team performance. All the girls worked for each other and did everything they were asked and more.” 

Team: Abigail Ativie, Harriet Austin, Sara Blissett, Vicci Cogger, Hayley, Everett, Sydney Gregson, Zoe Harrison, Florence Jones, Aine McMahon, Pat Metcalfe-Jones, Jo Palfrey, Ellena Perry, Bryony Pomfret, Helen Roberts, Megan Smith, Jeanine Stephenson, Beth Summerfield, Aleah Townsend, Katy Walker

(Photos: Jonathan Cirkel)

Monday, October 07, 2013

U18 and U15 Herts Squads 2013-14

The following girls have been selected for the Herts Girls squads this season:

Under 18
Abigail Ativie
Harriet Austin
Sara Blissett
Catrin Bowser

Vicci Cogger
Hayley Everett
Sydney Gregson
Zoe Harrison
Florence Jones
Rosie Kay
Aine McMahon
Pat Metcalfe-Jones
Sandra-Jo Palfrey
Ellena Perry
Bryony Pomfret
Helen Roberts
Izzie Sloan
Megan Smith
Jeanine Stephenson
Beth Summerfield
Kate Summerfield
Aleah Townsend
Katy Walker
Tian Figg
Eleanor Wilson

Under 15
Bella Allison
Teya Ashworth
Lauren Bellinger
Alex Bentley
Katie Boggas
Hannah Botterman
Jade Clarke
Jessica Duncan
Megan Learmonth
Bethany Lee
Anna Liddelow
Abigail Morgan
Rosanna Moynihan
Chloe Olliffe
Daisy Parker
Charlotte Robinson
Helena Rowland
Chelsea Singfield
Antonia Soldano
Yasmin Tasker
Cara Wardle

Under 15 Development Squad
Catherine Cirkel
Rita Mukwahuri
Emma Powdrill
Grace Spillane
Elizabeth Timpson

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Herts County Trials 2013

The Herts Girls county trials will take place on Sunday 22 September at Hitchin RFC, King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin SG5 1XL.

Girls should arrive at 1:30pm for registration, with the session starting at 2pm and finishing around 3:30pm. Girls should arrive dressed ready for rugby in case the changing rooms are not available until later.

If you wish to attend the trials please return the attached registration form by Wednesday 18 September at the latest. It must be signed by a parent for any player under the age of 18, to give permission for the player to take part. If you are unable to scan and email the signed form please email a copy of the completed Word version of the form and bring a signed copy with you on the day.

U15s (School years 9 and 10 - plus Year 8s who have special dispensation from RFU as they have played club rugby)
Forms should be sent to:

U18s (School years 11, 12 and 13)
Forms should be sent to:

On arrival at Hitchin RFC please sign in inside the clubhouse, where you will have your photo taken and be allocated a number that you will need to wear throughout the session.

Eligibility: a girls is eligible to play for Hertfordshire if:
(a) She attends a school in Hertfordshire
(b) She resides in Hertfordshire
(c) She was born in Hertfordshire; or
(d) She is a member of a club affiliated to Hertfordshire.

Girls will be notified whether or not they have been selected by email by Tuesday 24 September. If you are selected you will be expected to attend all training sessions as follows:

Wednesday 25 September 7-8.30pm at Welwyn RFC
Sunday 29 September 2-3.30pm at Hitchin RFC
Wednesday 2 October 7-8.30pm at Welwyn RFC
Wednesday 30 October 7-8.30pm at Welwyn RFC
Wednesday 20 November 7-8.30pm at Welwyn RFC

Fixtures are:
Sunday 6 October Festival at Reigate Grammar School
Sunday 3 November Eastern Counties (Away at Diss)
Sunday 24 November Essex (Home)

Team shirts will be provided for matches but if selected girls will be expected to buy Herts shorts (£15) and socks (£6).

Herts 7s 2013

Herts 7s - the UK's longest running girls' rugby tournament is back. Don't miss it!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Second Herts Girls Open Development Training - Sunday 10 February

We will be holding an U13, U15 and U18 Herts Development Training session at Welwyn RFC on this Sunday 10 February at 1.30pm. 

It is open to all U13, U15 and U18 girls in the county who play for a club or a school, irrespective of experience or ability. So any girls who haven't already got a match are encouraged to come along.

We are hoping to organise a match-based session on the following Sunday (17th February) where girls can turn up and we will form them into teams to play informal matches. 

Adrian Pomfret
Herts Girls Rugby