Girls St George’s Day festival 2020

Date: Sat 25th & Sun 26th April 2020

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The 2020 St George’s Day Festival will be held as follows:

  • Saturday 25th April – U11 and U13s
  • Sunday 26th April – U15 and U18
  • Venue: Wasps FC, Twyford Avenue, Acton

The St George’s Day Festival is open to both schools and clubs and clusters.

Please remember that this is about developing the girls so if you only have a few girls in each of the age groups, please do still enter as we will make barbarians teams. The priority of the St George’s Day festival is about developing the girls and giving them a great playing opportunity experience.

Please get the dates in your diary. We will also be looking for volunteers and club referees to support the day so please get the dates in their diaries as well.

Invitations to enter will be sent out in February.

Middlesex U16s vs Berkshire

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Two close fought games against Berkshire saw our U16s perform very well.

U16 Middlesex Swords 29 – Berkshire 27

It was the first fixture of the season and the boys were all ready and eager to play and prove that their selection was deserved and also to get a more resounding win against Berkshire this time around compared to last year’s last play winner. It was set to be a great matchup. Middlesex won the toss and elected to kick off with Berkshire choosing to switch ends and get the wind behind them in the first half. The whistle went and it was kicked deep into Berkshire territory. The game was on.

A few early Middlesex errors which were ruthlessly punished by Berkshire put Berkshire up 12 – 0 early on but the boys didn’t let their chins drop and kept a level head to get back to the Middlesex way of playing, with some big runs from the dominant forward pack and some lightning fast runs from the backs. Yet we were unable to score. Late in the first half, with five minutes to go before half time, we got a lineout on the Berkshire 22 metre line. With some deliberation we elected for a driving maul which we executed well and Buster Wilkins finished the move off with a dart down the blindside and he went into score in the corner. Middlesex 5 Berkshire 12. The boys were completely switched on now and were hungry for more. From the kick-off Charlie Davis collected the ball, avoided the tackle and made the break to then put a kick in behind and chase it, forcing the Berkshire defence to take it over their own try line. This was a great attacking opportunity, could Middlesex score? From the scrum Oliver Sterling picked the ball and drove for the try line but came up just short. However the forward pack didn’t panic and with two more pick and go’s the captain James Whitehouse found the try line and the score was level. We knew we were in control and we were all focussed on keeping it that way.

The second half consisted of a series of back and forth tries, with Oliver sterling scoring from the lineout that Middlesex were continuing to dominate, Jibran Okorefe powering his was through several defenders to score and Fintan Shaw finishing off a well worked backs move in the corner. However despite this Berkshire continued to respond with some rapid runs from deep and some very nice offloads. It came down to the final play of the game with Berkshire attacking. A perfectly executed kick to their winger set him up for a race down the wing before offloading to his support and enabling a try right in the corner. It all came down to this final conversion which had to be scored if Berkshire wanted to avoid defeat. The entire Middlesex team lined upon the try line ready to chase the kick down, would they win? The kicker took a step and the boys charged but the kick got away. The boys looked back to see the ball drifting wide of the posts and cheers went up on the pitch. We had done it, we had won by 2 points in a very tight game.

The boys played heads up rugby but also played with their hearts, playing for each other and the Middlesex name. We were glad to get the victory but there are some work-ons before our next game which can be sorted out in training. Overall a great start to the season and a season to look forward to.

U16 Middlesex Shields 26 – Berkshire 28

A dominant first half performance saw us dot down three times. Thanks to quick service of the bottom of the ruck and direct physical carries from the forwards it gave us a good front foot platform to play from. This partnered with weaving running lines from the backs and good communication throughout the team pinned Berkshire back into their half for the majority of the half. With clear objectives set before the game of executing the basics well in attack and focusing on realignment in defence both were brought into the game. This first half performance has set the standard for how we should play.

However after repeatedly absorbing the Berkshire attack in the first half organisation and momentum began to drop in the second which resulted in conceding and having the pressure put onto us for the rest of the game. Although we did score in the second half again due to our physicality, as bodies got tired they exploited us through fast opportunist running which eventually put them ahead on the score sheet. It was clear that in the second half our intensity had dropped.

Although the match ended as a defeat there was a lot of positives to take away from the game and good foundations set in place for the remaining fixtures. We have some work to do but know we can improve as a team. Moving forward we wish to carry through our attacking and defensive intent and execute our principles of play in order to turn around for the next game against Hampshire.

MIDDLESEX GIRLS U15 AND U18 RUGBY – NEW ASSESSMENT DATES

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Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to change the assessment dates for the Middlesex Girls Rugby

The U15 assessment will now take place on Wednesday 29th January 2020 with registration from 18.30 assessment from 19.00

The U18 assessment will now take place on Saturday 25th January 2020 with registration from 13.30 assessment from 14.00.

Both assessments will be held at Grasshoppers RFC. Full directions to ground can be found at https://grasshoppersrfc.com/club-information/directions  postcode TW7 5PN

MIDDLESEX SCHOOLS FINALS

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A great opportunity for school across the Middlesex region to come together in this festival of rugby. The U14, U15, U16 and U18 compete through the season in either the cup or the plate competition. 160 teams compete over 350 matches to reach the final stages across the county competing in the Middlesex Schools Finals.

2019 Schools competition finals

 U18 cup – Hampton v London Oratory 

 U18 plate – Isleworth & Syon v Wetherby

 U16 cup – London Oratory v Harrow

 U16 plate – St Ignatius v Fulham Boys

 U15 cup – London Oratory v Hampton

 U15 plate – Greycourt v Teddington 

 U15 cup – The Richmond upon Thames school v St Helen’s school

 U14 cup – Greycourt v Harrow

 U14 plate – Cardinal Vaughan v The Richmond upon Thames school 

NOMINATIONS FOR MIDDLESEX WOMEN’S RUGBY 2019 -2020

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All Women players and Middlesex Clubs, Colleges & Universities are invited to self-select or put forward a player to be part of the Middlesex Women’s programme 2019-2020. Building on the success of last season Middlesex have further developed their programme by recruiting a predominantly female coaching team which includes a number of international player/coaches.

We are participating in the Gill Burn’s Cup competition playing Essex, East Midlands and Hertfordshire.

This will be challenging opportunity for players to progress their individual and team skills further whilst having a great experience on the national stage.

We are holding open training sessions /trials on

Friday 17th and 24th January 2020
Registration 18.30 Trial 19.00
Venue – Grasshoppers RFC, Syon Lane, Isleworth TW7 5PN

To be nominate players please complete

NOMINATION LINK FOR MIDDLESEX WOMEN’S RUGBY 2019-2020

Please complete all the questions to nominate either self-select or put forward a club player for Middlesex Rugby. Push submit to complete the application

FILL OUT FORM

Training will be held at Grasshoppers RFC starting at 19 .00hrs on the following dates;
Friday 7th February 2020
Friday 24th February 2020
Friday 6th March 2020
Friday 20th March 2020
Friday 27th March 2020
Friday 3rd April 2020
Friday 17th April 2020
Friday 24th April 2020
Friday 1st May 2020
Friday 8th May 2020
Friday 15th May 2020

Fixtures
Saturday 11th or Sunday 12th April – Friendly Fixture
Saturday 25th or Sunday 26th April – Essex – Away
Saturday 9th or Sunday 10th May – East Midlands – Away
Saturday 16th or Sunday 17th May – Hertfordshire – Home

Our Coaching Team this season –

Head Coach – Laurisa Robson
Team Manager – Marie Sheffield
Forwards Coaches – Claire Purdy and Chloe Butler
Backs Coach – Claudia McDonald
Analysis – Niall MacSweeney.
Guest Coaches – Danielle Waterman, Harriet Millar-Mills, Cliodhna Maloney

U20 MIDDLESEX RUGBY PLAYER NOMINATIONS – JASON LEONARD COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

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All Middlesex RFU Clubs, Colleges & Universities are invited to refer suitably skilled/eligible U20’s players (born before 1-9-1999*) for County selection, to participate in the National 2019-20 Jason Leonard U20’s County Championship competition.
This is a challenging opportunity for players to progress their individual and team skills further whilst having a great experience on the national stage.
We are holding open trials on

Sunday 24th November 2019
1300hrs.@ Grasshoppers RFC
Syon Lane, Isleworth TW7 5PN
To be nominate players please complete
NOMINATION FOR U20 MIDDLESEX RUGBY

Please complete all the questions to nominate either yourself or a club player for U20 Middlesex Rugby.
Players should be aged 19 or aged U20 whose birthday was before 01.09.2019
Push submit to complete the application.

FILL OUT FORM

Training will be held on the following Sundays at Grasshoppers RFC starting at 13.00hrs on the following dates;
Training Schedule

Sunday 24th November 2019
Sunday 1st December 2019
Sunday 8th December 2019
Sunday 15th December 2019
Sunday 5th January 2020
Sunday 12th January 2020
Sunday 19th January 2020
Sunday 16th February 2020

The County will play Essex at home on 25th January 2020 kicking off at 14.30hrs at Grasshoppers RFC.
The final County match is to be played away on the 22nd February 2020 at Eastern Counties.

The knockout stages of the cup will be played on:

28th March 2020 Quarter finals
11th April 2020 Semi finals
3rd May 2020 Final.

This season the Head Coach, Nic Evans nicevans1978@hotmail.com and point of contact: John Porter-Griffiths, Portergriffiths@aol.com Mobile 07768308741.

Middlesex U17 Review for 2018/19

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The Middlesex U17 County squad achieved a clean sweep of wins in this seasons representative programme, recording a 5-30 away win to Berkshire, a 33-28 home win vs Surrey and a 24-29 away victory over Sussex.

Having undertaken an age grade trial of over 130 players a 45 player training and playing squad was selected. Good training numbers a willingness to continue to learn & develop was the hallmark of this group of talented players and with that came success.

 Very much a ‘transition year’ from U16 to U18 rugby the U17 warm-up game v Oxford was a good indicator of how the team would perform in their three county fixtures.  Right from the outset, despite a number of missing players, it was evident to the coaches that this could be a group full of potential. The hotly contested warm-up game saw a plethora of tries from the two attack-minded teams. However, it was the way in which the Middlesex lads constructed their attacks and eventual tries that impressed, and screamed “this team could go all the way” despite going down 5 tries to 4. With the majority of the team back, training for the 3 County fixtures sessions was focussed on developing the technical and tactical aspects of the game.  

 This clearly paid dividends, given the clean sweep of wins but interestingly it was the manner in which the team achieved their victories that demonstrated progress in their development. Whilst the win against Berkshire was decisive the two remaining games were always going to be more challenging. The first halves of the matches against Surrey and Sussex were dominated, both in attack & defence, by Middlesex in both cases Middlesex up by 3 or 4 tries by half time. Equally, in both cases, the opposition came back with strong second halves with Middlesex having to dig deep and apply serious game management and perfect execution of core skills.

However what set Middlesex’s apart was their mental resilience & trust in their own skills and ability to play the structures adopted during training.

This is a team that have developed and progressed and whilst doing so have truly demonstrated the Core Values of the game. I feel that we have achieved our objectives (both the coaches and players) and as coaches we can proudly hand over a squad of talented players to next years U18 group, to continue on their development pathway. 

The U17 Coaching team and I wish this group of fine young men every success in their rugby development and playing futures. We also wish Eden Richards, the U17 Captain, injured in the final game (nothing serious) a speedy recovery. I would also like to thank the Coaching team, Team Manager and Physio professionals for their commitment and professionalism.

 Juan Murray

Volunteers Awards Evening

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Middlesex hosted their annual club volunteer awards at the Spirit of Rugby on Friday 7th June. This is the 3rd year that Middlesex have combined the awards with Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition. Over 160 club volunteers were in attendance from 27 clubs with a record number of volunteer nominations received through the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer recognition.

Winners were treated to a special appearance by England 7s Legend James Rodwell, who, along with Andrew Joaman of Mitsubishi, presented all individual nominees with their certificates and ruck sacks.

Two Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Nominees were then selected to represent Middlesex at the National Awards in September. Congratulations to Rob Edison of Kilburn Cosmos RFC and Laura Curtin of Grasshoppers RFC. We wish them all the luck at the national awards, where they could win a Mitsubishi car for a year.

The Mitsubishi Motors awards were then followed by the Middlesex individual and club awards.

Long Service Awards, for 30 years plus service, were awarded to:
Terwyn Williams of London Welsh
Robin Greenwood of Pinner
Colin Seabrook of Finchley
Rob Allen of Teddington
John Crotty of Grasshoppers

The Individual Volunteer or the Year Awards went to:
Overall Individual Winner – Mike Hindley of Hammersmith and Fulham
Young Volunteer of the Year – Molly McNamara of Haringey Rhinos
North Group Individual Winner – Stephen Domoustchiev of Haringey Rhinos
North West Group Individual Winner – Karen Arnold of Ruislip Rugby Club
South Group Individual Winner – Billy Edmonds of Thamesians
West Group Individual Winner – Tim Lawn of London Scottish

The President Club Awards were awarded to:
Growing the Game – Belsize Park
Growing the Game – Old Grammarians
Growing the Game – Old Isleworthians
Community Engagement – Hampstead RFC
Special Recognition – Ian Webster of Mill Hill RFC

Middlesex men v Dorset & Wilts

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Middlesex men 18 – Dorset & Wilts Mens 20 

The third and final fixture in Middlesex’s successful venture in the Bill Beaumont Cup took place at Grasshoppers RFC. Grasshoppers who looked after the squad so well during the five training sessions and many planning sessions hosted not only Middlesex on May21st but Dorset & Wilts alongside a sizeable number of spectators. Dorset & Wilts promised to be tough competition as they had won this league last year and were chasing promotion in this years campaign. However Middlesex were not prepared to make victory easy and promised to put up a fight. They delivered.

Outweighed across the starting 15 , Middlesex moved the ball around with a tenacity that at first pinned back the visitors and then shocked them as the favourites went behind to the quick feet of Dan Phoenix as he crossed the line on the 5 minute mark. Oliver Snook strode up to add the extras and the home side led with 6 minutes on the clock. Joe Healy continued to batter away and with James Lo yet again making yards with every reception the favourites grew frustrated and conceded a penalty. Snook again teed up and this time slotted a three pointer from a difficult angle to take the home side 10-0 up. Confidence and momentum were on the side of Middlesex as Billy Burrell probed and disrupted the defensive line backed up at the breakdown by Tom Gadsby and the inexhaustible Cale Holmes. Buoyed by the invaluable home support Middlesex rose to the occasion as it was the turn of Taylor Williams to dance across the line and extend the lead. The forwards , not to be outshone by the backline, dominated their considerably larger opposite numbers. Captain Cai Griffiths leading from the front continued the assault accompanied by Michael Griffiths (still no relation) at every contact. But in extra time , the experience showed and against the run of play Dorset & Wilts scored a well worked try from the hands of their No. 3. The conversion was successful and the home side went in leading 15-7.

Dorset & Wilts had a second visit in a row to Twickenham as their target and they came out of the starting block as the whistle went for the second half with a previously unseen determination. Yacob Kial and Jabob Lloyd threw their bodies into defense with Tom Foster providing resolute defense. But again the Dorset & Wilts No. 3 showed his agility and creativity to slide in for a second try. Middlesex heads refused to go down and in an excellent display of rugby by both sides the game continued at a ferocious pace. Peter Bicknell committing to lines with such pace that with almost every dart he opened up space around him, Max Imfeld making sure his opposite number was aware of his prescience continued his unending work rate and the introduction to the pitch of Alex Watts added a new dimension of physicality. Rich Bryan used himself as battering ram, his footwork belying his size as he continuously outstepped the opposition back row allowing the back-line room to move the ball. But Dorset & Wilts showed their composure and experience in the cup. Keeping their head about them they scored a well worked third try with confirmation from the touch judge to take the lead for the first time. Amazingly Middlesex refused to quit and the persistence paid off with George Kimmins slotting a penalty to make the game 18-17 with two minutes to go.

High drama was a fitting way to end the game. An infringement spotted in extra time was awarded in Dorset & Wilts favour, the referee noted this would be the last play of the game and the kick was lined up.

18-20 is a harsh way to lose at home , but there is no doubt that immense pride can be taken from what Middlesex have achieved in their return to the Bill Beaumont Cup. The list of thanks is long and those who played their part will undoubtedly be recognised in due course.

Next season should see the county add experience and a track record to its armoury , a trip to Twickenham in 2020 is surely on the cards.

1. Joe Healy – Mill Hill
2. Max Imfield – HAC
3. Michael Griffiths – London Welsh
4. Cai Griffiths – London Welsh (capt.)
5. Jacob Lloyd – HAC
6. Tom Gadsby – Chiswick
7. Cale Holmes – H & F
8. Rich Bryan – Chiswick
9. Billy Burrell – Hendon
10. Oliver Snook – Chiswick
11. James Lo – H & F
12. Dan Phoenix – London Cornish
13. Peter Bicknell – Hampstead
14. Taylor Williams – H & F
15. Tom Foster – Twickenham

16. Fred Bromley – Finsbury Park
17. Alex Watts – London Scottish
18. Yacob Kial – Grasshoppers
19. Jake Lamport – Uxbridge
20. Mark Coles – Uxbridge
21. George Kimmins – London Cornish
22. Arvin Poogooladoo – HAC

Head Coach : Mark Jackson

Forwards Coach: Corne du Rand

Backs Coach: Peter Halsall & Edd Conway

Physio: Steve Bosworth & Sofia Simeone

Manager: Alex Pereira-Inacio

Tom Petty selected for England Counties U20 tour squad

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Two Middlesex players, hooker Tom Petty and prop Ben Stone were shortlisted for the London and South East squad following the U20s County Championship group game against Essex and Surrey.  Ben was unable to participate because of injury, but Tom has been selected for the national squad.  He described himself as “absolutely chuffed” at his selection and looking forward to the tour.  The party will gather at Middlesex’s home ground, Grasshoppers RFC, prior to the departure to Romania.