14 March 2010

Hampshire Rugby Clubs

Just updated my Google Map of Hampshire Rugby Clubs with the changes that I'm aware of for the season 2009-10.

The map includes
  • Member Clubs of Hampshire RFU including the Channel Island clubs

  • Associate Clubs of Hampshire RFU

  • Associate Schools

  • non-Hants clubs that play in Hampshire leagues or merit tables.

Please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions.

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31 December 2009

RBS Six Nations 2010

As I can't find a calendar file to download for the RBS Six Nations 2010, I've made one myself that you are welcome to use.

It's available in several formats:

vCalendar file (.vcs)
Comma Separated Variable(.csv)
HTML file
Zip file of Time & Chaos Transportable Records (.ixl)

The start times are all shown as Greenwich Mean Time. Where a separate KO time is shown, this is the local time for matches in Paris and Rome only.

Looking forward to a great tournament, but Stade de France on a (cold?) March night could be a very tough place for England to finish their campaign.


19 April 2009

EDF Energy AngloWelsh Cup

After the excitement of the semi-finals, the final was one-sided. Gloucester never managed to raise their game in the way that had seen off Ospreys. They never looked as though they would win the collisions. It almost seemed as though the confidence that had allowed them to put extra firepower against Ospreys into the breakdown had evaporated against Cardiff. The half time score was 22-5 to Cardiff, and maybe they'd had one or two lucky breaks to be so far ahead. By the end, the result of 50-12 was fully justified, and they were worthy winners.

What a shame that this competition, in this format, won't be around next year. It's a fantastic opportunity for the best teams of the two countries to test themselves against each other, and to give great entertainment and thrills to their fans.

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01 April 2009

EDFEnergy Anglo-Welsh Cup

I've now finished catching up on recordings of the two semi-finals in this year's Anglo-Welsh Cup. Magnificent! Gloucester beat Ospreys by 17-0, with an 80 metre interception try by Balshaw at the death to seal an intense match. This showed Dean Ryan's coaching and direction of the team at its magnificent best - committing more men to the tackle area and literally blasting Ospreys off the ball. Ospreys, despite the brilliance of their attacking resources, never managed to compete against the sheer commitment shown by Tindall's team.

Northampton stayed in touch but never led against Cardiff Blues in the other match. In the first half, their defence was awesome but they rarely left their own end of the pitch. Cardiff pressure brought a deserved try by scrum half Spice, following an early penalty, to lead 8-0 at half time. Northampton came back strongly after half time with an early try by Ansbro, created by Myler (8-5). Northampton had the lion's share of territory and possession for the remainder of the match, but were unable to break through. A penalty for Blair, with 10 minutes remaining, gave Cardiff a wider margin at 11-5, but the match remained on the knife edge until the last play. It was a strange game, with both kickers misfiring and odd tactical choices made, but the intensity of the physical confrontation was wonderful to watch.

Sadly the future of the competition is undecided - the RFU and Premier Rugby seem unable to agree, and this excellent link with the top Welsh sides could be lost. That would be a shame. At least we still have this year's final to look forward to, on Saturday 18th April at Twickenham.

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05 March 2009

Hampshire Rugby Clubs

The headline of this article links to a Google map with all of the Hampshire RFU member Rugby Clubs plus associate members and associate schools. It includes Channel Island clubs, and so far as I can make it, it's comprehensive; some details are elusive.

Based on the Hampshire RFU Handbook for the 2008-09 season.

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28 January 2009

Rotten January

My fourth cancellation of the month - waterlogged pitch today at King's School Winchester. Others were at University of Portsmouth, Alton Women, and at Winchester for the Hampshire U14 Trials. And Petersfield's 1st XV match versus Ellingham (I was there for the Vice Presidents' lunch) was postponed for a week due to the frozen pitch.

This has been just about the worst month since I started refereeing for Hampshire RU Referees' Society, after gaining my National Foundation Certificate on 24th January 1999. Hopefully, February will be better.


25 January 2009

Petersfield Colts reach cup last 16 in a great if muddy performance

Petersfield 29, Saracens Amateurs 0. A well-contested game of Rugby, but Petersfield scrambled better in the Penn's Place mud to score three tries before half time, adding two more in the second period. Great joy.


23 January 2009

Matt Stevens

What a sad story - at 26, he's admitted using a 'serious recreational drug' and is likely to be out of Rugby for the next two years. This will wreck or at least seriously delay his career. He's a big man - big enough to apologise to all of the people who've helped him up to now, to take counselling, and to own up rather than trying to pretend the allegations were false.

He could really help others to avoid his fate by naming and shaming the people that got him on this slippery slope. But that's unlikely to happen.


23 April 2008

Rugby at Petersfield

My friend Andy Millar sent me this photo. Four Petersfield tacklers trying to stop the Totts player's run, but he just kept on going. This was in the first half, which Tottonians won 0-26. Petersfield were a little better in the second period, scoring a converted try and then mounting a tremendous (but well defended) attack that lasted almost the entire final 10 minutes.