Category: Newsletter

2018/19 Fixture lists available for smartphones

The 2018/19 fixture lists for all teams are now available on our website.   The fixture lists are also available on your smartphone or computer by subscribing via the links below.

There as still some fixtures are still to be added, updates to fixtures on the website will automatically be updated to your computer or smartphone if you subscribe.

You can unsubscribe from a fixture list at any time.

How to get fixture lists on your smartphone

Google calendar users should select the Google link for the team you want to follow below.    For Windows, Macs and smartphones where you do not use Google calendars, select from the Windows/Mac links below.   When you click on a link you will be prompted to add the subscription, select how often you want the fixture list to be refreshed from the website, select if you want to be notified when fixtures do change or if you just want them to be silently updated in the background, then click ‘ok’ or ‘yes’ and that’s it!    The fixtures should now appear.

You may subscribe to as many fixture lists as you like.    There is a single fixture list at the bottom of the list that includes all fixtures.

If you already subscribe last season the fixtures will already be reflected in your smartphone calendar.

Team

Windows/Mac

Google

1XV Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
2XV Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
3XV Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
Ladies Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
Colts Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U17 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U16 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U15 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U14 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U13 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
Minis Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
All Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google

*iSheep/Apple Users : When adding the calendar subscription you will be prompted to add the subscription to your ‘iCloud calendars’ or ‘Local calendars’, do not select the iCloud calendars . If you do select the iCloud calendars the fixtures will appear but they will not pick up any subsequent changes. Because you have to select ‘Local Calendars’ the subscription will not automatically be picked up on any other apple devices you own, to get the fixture list onto each device, simply follow the process above for each device.

*If you need assistance in setting up a subscription on your laptop or smartphone we have a helpless desk which operates on a Thursday evening after practice at the bar.   After 9:30 and a few beers we have many experts available to offer help and advice.

6 Nations – Round 2 this Sunday

This weekend on Sunday we have the last game of Round 2 of the 6 Nations with England at home to France with a 3:00pm kickoff.

The Minis are at home practicing in the morning and with both bar and kitchen open for the day get yourself up to Stockwood Park RFC, support the Minis and then watch the game on our big 104″ HD screen in the afternoon.

The bar has a wide selection of drinks with something for everyone and the kitchen will be serving burgers, bacon rolls, chips as well as tea and coffee.

The quiet before the storm…..can England do it……again?

Bar Opening Times

Sunday: 12:15pm – early evening

Kitchen Opening Times

Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

St Patrick’s Day Party 2019

It’s party time at the Park – all day event on Saturday 16th March 2019 – Ticket includes:

  • Irish Stew from 4:00pm
  • Emerald Dogs band from 8:00pm
  • 6 nations games on our big screen
    — Wales vs Ireland
    — England vs Scotland
  • 2xv vs Winslow – KO 3:00pm

-Irish Dancers @ 4:25pm

Bar opens at 12:00pm
Hot food available all day

Tickets available from our website -> St Patricks Day Tickets

2019 – 6 Nations this weekend

This weekend the 6 nations gets underway with the Italy vs Scotland and the Ireland vs England games on Saturday 2nd February.

With both bar and kitchen open on Saturday get up to Stockwood Park RFC and watch the games on our big 104″ HD screen.

The bar has a wide selection of drinks with something for everyone and the kitchen will be serving burgers, bacon rolls, chips as well as tea and coffee.

The quiet before the storm…..can England do it?

Bar Opening Times

Saturday: 12:15pm – late

Kitchen Opening Times

Saturday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Stockwood U17 vs Old Albanians U17B

We welcomed an old adversary to Stockwood Park for a friendly and we were all prepared for a hard, physical game – we were not going to be disappointed!

Stockwood started off the stronger of the two sides and spent the first ten minutes camped Old Albanian’s half.  Fair play to our visitors they defended stoutly and try as we did we were unable to break through.  That was until Reece intercepted a pass in the Old Albanian’s 22 metre line and from the resulting ruck led to a Stockwood freekick and after a further passage of play that gave Arnold his first try of the season as he powered over to score in the corner.

Whereas, the first try was a good team try, the second was scored as a result of a piece of individual flare by Anset.  Stockwood found themselves pegged back in their own 22 but with a strong defensive line our visitors never looked like breaking through.  From a ruck on our own 22 and good interplay between Dan Spain and Kieran ultimately led to Anset receiving the ball and running virtually the whole length of the pitch, breaking at least three tackles before scoring between the posts, a try that was duly converted by Kieran.  This was to prove the final score of the first half and Stockwood went in 12 points to zero ahead.

If I thought that we had played our best rugby in the first half and would struggle to keep the intensity up in the second half the lads were about to prove me wrong.  The second half started off in the same vain to the first with us putting Old Albanian’s to the sword.  Park stopped another attack and claimed another turn over on the half way line and another excellent passage of play where we passed the ball through the hands, Anset was able to break the line to score his second try of the day.

Instead of taking the foot of the gas Stockwood drove their advantage home and put our opponents under even more pressure!  Old Albanian’s were definitely rattled by this time and it wasn’t long before Stockwood were once again driving towards the Albanians line.  Stockwood formed a ruck on Old Albanians 5 metre line and following a quick pass by Will to Kieran, who in turn offloaded to Max who ran the ball over the try line for Stockwood’s fourth try of the day.

Stockwood then prepared for Old Albanians restart and what happened next was a moment of brilliance and opportunism from our captain, Dan Loft.  Dan L was given the ball from the start and ran through the middle of our visitors to get a well-deserved try to make the score 27:0.  Kieran got his second conversion of the afternoon.  Stockwood were not finished and following another well worked scrum Stockwood broke down the right wing and a clever kick over Old Albanians try line allowed Kieran to add to his two conversions with a try of his own.

This was to prove the final score of the day as the game had to be ended early as there was a nasty injury to one of the Albanian backs who got injured in a ruck.  A very satisfying score line for the team who won by 34 points to Nil.

I was really impressed with the effort shown by the whole team, even though we were comfortably winning they did not stop putting Old Albanians under extreme pressure.  It was nice to see in the first half Old Albanians were forced to kick to try and break down Park’s defensive line as they were unable to penetrate it during normal play.  Every player played for each other and the support play shown for one another was tremendous to see and it was lovely to get one over Old Albanians!!

Ladies vs Harlow

Stockwood Ladies v Harlow

This Sunday at London Road saw the visit of Harlow in the return league fixture .

Harlow are known for their dogged determination and no little skill especially their no 9 and 10 … unfortunately they struggle for squad numbers and arrived with only 10 In the Ladies game we have to match up and so a 10 aside game was agreed with 5 forwards and 5 backs … Now I cannot hide my dislike for 10s it’s a completely different game from a full 15 aside and to be honest you need to be fit. So the plan was to rotate second rows every 10 mins or so and fit Lisa and Chloe into the backs at some stage .. we had decided to have a smaller squad as trying to get 22 players on would prove too disruptive. Also with Harlow playing this shorter sided game they are much more used to it and so really had an advantage.

Nonetheless we talked about setting a platform and then releasing the ball to Ellen / Sophie and Debs who have a real pace to their play …. Lets get it done early as in the past we have always had a tough encounter with Harlow. So to the crowds delight we caught the ball from the kick off … I was talking with the physio … turned around to see Sophie sprinting up the line to score under the posts after 30 seconds or so … With the bits firmly between our teeth this was the format for the first half .. with the forwards working really hard to create the platform to release Sophie on another 2 Occasions and with Tracey converting very soon it was 17-0 up …

As I mentioned 10s is a far quicker game with more energy expended and so Harlow would get opportunities especially their 9-10 axis ..they decided to kick and chase a lot ..especially as there was a strong wind behind them … we were aware of this and with Ellen , Sophie and Lisa staying alert managed to kwell these moves fairly easily and launch our own attacks . With Sophie scoring again at 22-0 it would appear the game was in control … Changing things about a bit making sure everybody had some game time Harlow started to get a little bit more of the ball and for all the world looked like they would score in the far corner .. but the scrambling Stockwood defence was incredible and not only kept them out turned that defence into an attack which was thwarted in Harlows 22 …

Half time was greeted with a sigh as clearly we needed a break … Abbie ,Amy ,Shania, Hannah, Fran , Cath , Leeanne ,Emma ,P and Freya had worked so hard creating the platform for the backs and they all had done exactly that … The second half would become frustrating after Debs got an early score to take it out to 27-0 clearly the exertions of the first half had taken their toll … as Harlow had the majority of the possession and increasingly becoming dangerous and a little feisty to be honest … but this is the measure of our ever maturing ability and mental strength .. to make tackle after tackle ..with Charlie a constant pain to their scrum half and Tracey making a tremendous try saving tackle we did everything to keep them out … with us missing out on some 50-50 calls from the ref Harlow got a real head of steam and tried valiantly to get back in the game … but apart from just once it was not going to happen …at the final whistle 27-5 the result and in many respects a fine display of attacking Rugby in the first half and defence in the second…. We now have a break for a couple of weeks on the League ..but we do have a development friendly this coming weekend so some of the squad can get some real game time….

Well done girls that’s 3 wins out of the Last 5 and the 2 losses were very close ……. Keep going its getting tight at the top ….

Ladies v Hampstead Ladies

On a nigh on perfect day for Rugby .. soft underfoot and not to cold or to hot … the New Year started with a bang at London Road .

Stockwoods Ladies were entertaining Hampstead in the return fixture in what is the Business end of the season …. Having defeated Hampstead by a final second try earlier in the season they were here for revenge.

Park had been playing really well just before Xmas and it was feared that perhaps the break might stop that momentum now we were going to see.

The early exchanges were fierce and Parks scrum was put under pressure but with Amy and Abbie ,Freya and P .. tackling and counter rucking despite not having much possession we were keeping Hampstead at bay …

Both teams were playing with a good structure clearly this was going to be a tough game with two evenly matched sides and it was Hampstead that struck the first blow ,having won possession in our 22 we were just starting to exert pressure of our own when Hampstead intercepted a pass and ran in to score under the posts ..with the conversion made after 10 mins it was 0-7 …

Parks response was swift winning the ball creating a platform finally managing to go through hands out to Sophie on the wing to run past 3 or 4 Hampstead players to score also under the posts .. to tie the scores up …

Katie our normal Captain and scrum half was injured and Daisy had taken up the reigns of Captain for the day with Sophie King playing at scrum half for the first time ever and her first full game for a year or so these 2 in particular were having influential games.

Hampstead however continued with their intensity and after a kick over the top Annie collected and retuned to be met by Hampsteads impressive and solid 12 who hit her hard in the tackle … Annie had to be replaced .. Lisa for the second match in a row dropped to fullback duties and the returning Debs came on at outside Centre … Sophie (winger) also had to have a break as a dead leg meant she was suffering a bit. Chloe replaced her on the wing.

The squad was being tested .. with the terrible twosome ably supported by Emma and now Lee-anne and Hannah – Park were starting to get some ascendancy .

Hampstead were still dangerous though and the 9 and 12 combined to create an overload .. Ellen was about to tackle the Hampstead player when she accidentally collided with Cath … and this left a 2 on 1 with Lisa and a dummy pass from the Hampstead girl sent her over under the posts again to go 14-7 up ..

We talked about needing another 10% if possible ..we were starting to get more possession in the forwards and Debs was getting line breaks and Daisy made several forages forward needing 4 or 5 of the opposition to stop her .

We were putting some phases together … from a penalty 5 mtrs out first Abbie then Amy then Daisy all tried to break the line ..the good thing was we kept the ball alive and recycled brilliantly … finally Tracey dived for the line to score as the ref had somehow tripped over and whilst doing a magnificent summersault still blew his whistle for the score … quite impressive … missing the conversion it was 12-14 with 6 mins or so to go to half time …

At half-time we talked about being patient as we were now getting more and more possession and they were starting to drop back off our intensity .. keep playing don’t panic game isn’t won at half-time … with Sophie (winger) returning to the fold pretty much everybody had been involved .. Ally was still due a run out …with Annie not being able to return there was a good chance she might be needed. Anyway, we made a couple of handling errors early and found ourselves defending again but managed to snuff anything out without too much difficulty ..we started to get some real go forward and with some good hands from Tracey , Fresh and Debs put Sophie away once more and she finished it well as she still had some work to do .. in the corner.

With our noses in front 17-14 .. we started to dominate the game a bit more with Freya returning our SQUAD was really making a difference especially as Hampstead started to lose some ….. however they were not giving up and possibly one of the moments of the game when from good field position Hampsteads 12 darted for the line getting past 2 defenders ….I didn’t see who did tackle her as she dived to score but whoever it was did enough to dislodge the ball from her grasp and she knocked on …. From this moment on Park pushed Hampstead back and from a break from Daisy the offloads kept the ball

Alive pretty much everybody at some stage offloaded FAY , P , Fresh and with Debs crashing onto it at the end to score was a truly sensational score … at 22-14 this gave us some breathing space … We really did dominate possession from here Sophie and Ellen looked like they had combined to score again but some desperate defending kept us out …

However we were not to be denied another score and with another great team move Fresh found the space she always does and slid through under the posts and with the conversion being made 29-14 … with Sophie King needing a break … Ally got to run out albeit 6 mins or so and Chloe with her textbook set back from a tackle ..made sure that all the squad got some minutes …

The most impressive thing about this result is the growing mental strength of these girls and the patience to trust in their skill set to see them through … we didn’t look panicked or stressed at any stage there was a clear inside belief we can win this game whatever they throw at us and so this proved …..

Home again next week … Oh when the Park !!

Defence work
Good forward work and then sooooooo close!
good attempt at break out play
try!
try!
try!
try!
and for good measure!

LADIES JUST FALL SHORT AT HITCHIN

Stockwood ladies showed yet again how much improvement they have made in the last couple of season by narrowly being defeated away at unbeaten league leaders Hitchin on Sunday.

In a wonderful advert for ladies rugby the game ebbed and flowed with Stockwood at first having to defend their line for the majority of the first half. Some wonderful defending from front row pair Abbie and Amy and the true never say die Stockwood spirit, shown especially by the excellent Hannah, they kept the hosts at bay and gradually Stockwood confidence grew and they were able to turn defence into attack.

A Hitchin chip over the top very nearly resulted in a score, especially when the ball rebounded off the post, thankfully full back Annie was cool enough not to panic and touch the ball down, before the on rushing Hitchin attack could get there.

Our hosts began to get more and more frustrated as they were unable to turn possession into scores and a succession of Stockwood turnovers form Shania, Abbie and Amy allowed Danni, Daisy and Freya to get us going forward and put doubt into Hitchin’s play.

With good clearances from fly half Tracey, especially as we were playing into a strong breeze, Stockwood began to get some authority of their own on proceedings. With our captain, Katie, having to go off with a knee injury midway through the half, some teams may have panicked, however Charli, playing her first game as Scrum Half, really stepped up and we were able to build some quality play of our own.

The last 15 minutes of the half really belonged to us, the hard work of our defence now bearing fruit as we were now getting to see more and more of the ball. Stockwood now had the platform to attack and Fresh, Sophie Ellen and Lil were able to get us going forward and at times get behind our opponents, who were now on the back foot, however their defence was also equal to ours.

On the stroke of half time all of Stockwood hard work paid off, a great platform built by the forwards allowed Tracey and Fresh to link up, gain 10 meter’s and get outside centre Sophie into a small amount of space. From the half way line she was able to weave her way around the outside of three despairing tackles to touch down in the corner and give Park 5-0 lead at half time. A memorable moment for all of us involved, but credit to Sophie who was coolness personified, every time it looked like she had been caught she changed her angle and found that vital space, that she adores so much. 

Hitchin are an excellent side and are not unbeaten for a reason and Park were fully aware that the second half was going to be difficult and ten minutes into the half our defences were broken for the first time.  This gave Hitchin more confidence and Stockwood were struggling to get any clear possession of the ball and wave after wave of attacks were repelled by some truly remarkable defending by Faye, Hannah and Abbie. On at least four occasions Hitchin crossed our whitewash only to be denied points, by players getting underneath the ball or holding our opponents up. It really was a remarkable passage of play, where sheer determination and will power was evident in everyone of Stockwood’s players.

Unfortunately the lack of being able to get the ball from our opponents in this period of the game resulted in one too many attacks and as a result midway through the half Hitchin got their noses in front.

As expected due to such a tough and physical game some of the Stockwood players were now feeling the strain, however the squad we have is outstanding. Hazel was able to come off the bench twice to give players a breather for two good shifts and Pariese also came on 

A mark of how far this team has come however was their reaction to going behind, as the whole team were somehow able to increase their levels of performance and determination, with the remainder of the game seeing Hitchin defences being probed and tested time and time again.

Stockwood began to vary their play, Tracey putting in a lovely kick in over the top for Sophie to catch and just get caught. Fresh seeing more of the ball was now punching her way through, our support play was also allowing Hannah, Pariese, Amy and Daisy to get us going forward and the general structure of our play by all the players was excellent.

Ellen looked like she had managed to break through only to be thwarted by a superb tackle at her feet. Then there was a succession of scrums, Cathy who had been in excellent form all day rallied the forwards and time after time Stockwood drove the league leaders back.

The last few minutes were really nip and tuck, Kiera and Cath were now on the wings and were able to contribute and then Sophie received an awful high tackle that resulted in a yellow card for the opposition player.

Unfortunately for Park with time running out they were unable to take advantage of their numerical advantage and could not break the white wash, for what would have been a deserved equalising score.

So Hitchin continue their unbeaten run with a 10-5 win, but Stockwood should now look to maintain this level of performance for the rest of the season. The team spirit showed today, by the whole squad, from the moment we arrived at Hitchin to when we left the bar following the speeches, was excellent and if we maintain this level of commitment in training and match days there is no limit to how far this team could go.

We must not concentrate on what happened at the end of the match as this will only take away from an excellent display by the team. Truly excellent performances from every member of the squad with Hannah and Charli excelling, however this level of performance must now be repeated until the end of the season.Special mention to a great turn out from Stockwood Park supporters, which  was really appreciated from everyone associated with the team. OWTP!

Ladies vs Kilburn Cosmos

This Sunday saw the visit of Kilburn to London Road a team who have experienced a lot of bad luck over recent seasons with injuries leaving them with a bare squad

However what you cannot take away from them is the spirit and determination they have to continue to play Rugby at all costs.

They arrived with 11 and after discussions surrounding potentially lending them players as we had a squad of 20 … Kilburn wanted to play with just their team as they are training to

Play 10s ….

For us it is a bit foreign and these smaller sided games we don’t like as we just aren’t very good at it …. However having been prepared for the potential we had trained on Thursday for this specific occurrence

so hopefully it will bear some fruit.

The other issue with a big squad is ensuring everybody gets game time especially in a small sided game .. and if we were making constant changes that effects the flow of our game … albeit a better problem to have .

We decided as the scrums were uncontested to pair up second rows for 10 min spells .. Freya and Danni , Hannah and Fran , Faye and P and Leeanne rotating with Fran and Hannah …. With Abbi driving from Bristol and hadn’t arrived Hazel started in the front row with Cath and Shania…

With Katie , Tracey , Fresh , Sophie and Ellen .. making up the starting 10 .. let’s see what happens. …

As a coach one of the best things that can happen is that your side listen to your instructions and implement the plan you think will work … We have been fortunate enough to have Ellen and Sophie in the squad and they are quick and with the width that would be available we must look to use them …. The early skirmishes were Kilburn pushing us back .. but suddenly Freya and Danni ,Cath Hazel and Shania started to counter ruck and turned over possession the ball as requested was moved fast and out to Sophie .. who fixed the last defender and released Ellen to run into the corner … 5-0 and a great start exactly how we wanted it … there was quite a strong wind behind us and we had also talked about popping the ball over for chasers as there would be no full back and tons of space … from the re-start we had a scrum just in our half .. we pop the ball to Tracey who dinks it over the upcoming defence Sophie is on it steadies herself and accelerates away to score under the posts and with Tracey making the conversion it 12-0 in no-time and when Sophie is released again with good hands at 17-0 very quickly allowed us to make a few quick changes with a different second row and Fran going on at prop because Hazel needed a break . We needed also to try the opportunity of mixing things up and Charlie came on and Tracey took a break as she was going to try out scrum half so we have cover should there be any issue with Katie .

As mentioned at the start Kilburn always came hard and were very good at keeping the ball moving ..taking advantage of the slight drop in intensity as the changes settled into the game moved the ball well to create an overlap and their 14 had enough gas to get around the defence and score under the posts and with the conversion made 17-7 … and showed we couldn’t relax as Kilburn were good players …

This woke us up again and for the rest of the half we dominated even making changes with second row constantly changing every 10 mins and all the girls passing the ball and going wide Sophie scored a further 3 tries and Ellen added to her tally and with Hannah converting one and Tracey 2 ..the score was now 43-7 .. However we had to work for everything as Kilburn were slightly quicker to the breakdown. on one occasion turned the ball over and again put a good phase together to score before the half time whistle and at 43-12 .. we turned around …

Abbie had now arrived and we rotated again with Keara going on and Chloe staying on and Annie also that was everybody in the game … Ellen and Sophie were having a rest and so let’s see what might happen … With the girls maintaining the pressure albeit a less experienced back line .. we were good at covering and both Annie and Keara making great tackles to thwart some breaks … the forwards decided to get in on the act a bit now and with Shania making a clean break from a ruck she looked for all the world she was going to score but was caught and Kilburn defended well to keep us out … from a penalty 10 mtrs out Abbie got on the ball and crashed over to score a fine try .

Kilburn came straight back at us and again were very good at keeping the ball alive and again managed to get over the whitewash for what turned out to be their final score ….

Understandably Kilburn were tiring and with Sophie and Ellen retuning on rotation Sophie managed to score 3 more times from distance and with Fran adding her , burst out of the ruck score, maintaining here feat of scoring against Kilburn .. Tracey converting 3 out of 4 the game came to an end at 74-9

For us it turned out to be a comfortable score but to be fair to Kilburn .. it was anything but comfortable if we hadn’t stuck to the game plan it would have become an arm wrestle which we normally do in these situations .. looking at Harlow in particular if we had played like today we would have won that game comfortably instead of the nervy tense finish we actually had …

Everybody played . everybody was really good and we made few mistakes really hence the score line … take some confidence and if we can combine the back play of this week with the forward play against Haringey… we will be a very difficult proposition for any team …

Final note on Kilburn .. you cannot fail to be impressed with the attitude and commitment they show and they clearly enjoy playing Rugby … if you live in North London .. I suggest you give Kilburn a ring a fantastic club that need some Ladies …

For us next up is Hitchin .. always a tough encounter … the training in the last few weeks has been really good and the performances are starting to show it …. Final note of the day .. I believe that Sophie’s tally maybe a club record for the Senior section in one game ….. and right now I think she is the leading try scorer in the club with her 14 at Senior Level …. Considering she has only played 6 games of Rugby ever ..this is truly phenomenal ….. ……. come on the Park …..

Another tough game for the ladies

On yet another perfect day for Rugby the next instalment of our journey was to take place in Haringey as we had yet another away game.

Feeling a little more buoyed from the previous week after finding out that the Lady that caused us all the problems was an ex semi –professional and one time Saracens player ..that really is too good for this level …

We again had a squad of 20 and with a lot of travelling support arrived with perhaps our strongest team this year .. Hitchin game apart, We were still without a couple of regulars due to injury but none-the less a solid squad .

A lot of discussion prior to ko was around trying to be a bit more assertive and to play our game whilst stopping the opposition from playing theirs .. it was always going to be a close / tough encounter as Haringey have had a good start to the season having lost only once and that was to

Hitchin who now sit top of the table … but clearly they would be confident and well structured .

Having chosen to kick up hill and into the sun ,as we felt the slope and the dipping sun would help us in the second half, the game started at a pace .. our intensity was good and we were making the tackles and competing at the rucks … however Haringey were very good at offloading in the tackle .. keeping the ball alive .. with good hands they attacked out wide and despite tackles being made kept the ball moving to score in the corner.. .conversion missed 5 mins in 5-0 down ….

Potentially not deserved but none the less a good score .. important not to drop off we continued with Fran and Fay getting to the breakdowns . the terrible twosome of Amy and Abbie ..giving some good impetus .. Daisy , Hannah and Cath getting around the park well .. if anything when we had possession we were a little flat with our back line allowing Haringey to disrupt our attempts to get it out to Sophie and Ellen … Charlie on the other wing was having a good game holding her position and making her tackles … and when she did bite in it was the right call and she stopped several forays by Haringey …

Getting little change out of our forwards ..the scrum was dominant all day and the line out good as well … we were getting plenty of possession but not quite clicking with the attack … Haringey managed again to keep the ball moving and scored again in the corner to take them out to 10-0 after 20 mins or so ..

With the depth of squad we changed up a bit with Freya replacing Daisy .. Emma for Fay .. P for Shania and Amber for Ellen … this had a good effect as the fresh legs in the forwards gave a real boost , we started to really get the upper hand and with the backs starting to click we were looking dangerous .. however from an error in midfield Haringey managed to pounce and once again had enough to get over in the corner to go 15-0 up …. With 10 minutes left we felt that the score wasn’t reflective of the play and continued to play as we had … we then found ourselves in clear ascendancy as we pushed to try and get a score before half time .. with both Fresh and Sophie making clear line breaks only the excellent Haringey full back kept us out .. and with an attacking lineout on Haringey’s 5 metre line had a real opportunity .. completing the catch and setting for a driving maul sent Haringey backwards at a rate only for the ref to blow and say they weren’t competing therefore the maul was never formed .. whilst they hadn’t competed for the jump I did feel they engaged at the maul .. a fine call that didn’t go our way … and with a final push from the restart Haringey kept us out 15-0 at half-time.

It felt not right I think 10-5 would have been a fairer reflection as the forwards had dominated from 20 mins on and a few 50-50s didn’t go with us …. The second half we talked about patience and continuing how we were because we would have to create chances … Our intensity was excellent Katie and Tracy were linking well and we were pushing Haringey back .. Our intensity was beginning to have an effect as Haringey were not maintaining theirs .we started to turn some ball over and the counter rucking had been excellent all day .. Amy and Freya / Daisy and Fran making excellent breaks pushing us forward .. Haringey were tackling a bit high and the ref was warning them as we started to ramp up the pressure again the full back stopped 2 clean line breaks … and she was to prove a real thorn in our sides … from another penalty in the centre we got some real go forward and Amy decided she was going to score .. with 3 or 4 Haringey players hanging off her she drove to the line and scored under the posts … missing the conversion .. because we rushed it ?? …. We restarted … the game was now very much about us .. on the front foot with everybody contributing from the bench and then returning to keep things fresh .. Haringey managed to get a break from midfield and went up the line managing to keep the ball live … and when they finally got to score in the corner again .. there was a little murmuring as the girl had gone someway into touch and not been flagged … now previously this would have caused a meltdown .. but we refocussed and just played even better …. At 20-5 with 20 mins or so left we had time and the ascendancy … the full back managed to stop another of our clean breaks ..and this was getting on my nerves a bit to be honest … from a penalty Katie moved the ball Tracey to Fresh and we had moved Sophie to inside centre and she had enough room this time to accelerate away and score behind the posts and with Tracey making the conversion 20-12 with a good 10 minutes or so left ..Haringey were losing players to our intensity and they had received a yellow card for repeated high tackling we really did have the bit between our teeth but just could not get past the fullback who had a terrific game … when finally the ref blew for the end … whilst it had been a really good game and fiercely contested by both sides it felt like we could have won the game …

However for us it shows you Ladies you can compete with the top teams in this league .. we need to show more confidence and the effort of yesterday all the time every game and we will be right in there ….

Well done to you all .. can’t really separate anybody as stand out .. Abbie and Amy are a force and when supported by the rest of the forwards it’s an irresistible force… Ellen and Sophie are pocket rockets if we can get the ball to them … Katie had a good game at scrum half and and and … everybody was truly excellent… too difficult to separate out … which is a massive positive … this team if it can play together more than once will go places …..

It didn’t feel like a loss because of the great rugby played .. and to be honest if we played with that heart and determination every time and lost every time it wouldn’t matter …. But let me assure you if we play like that every time we will win more than we lose ……. Final note we had a young referee yesterday who was extremely good ….. think he should get a mention ….