President’s message to all our Middlesex Members & Member Clubs.
We are aiming to provide regular updates on what the county is doing to support rugby in these difficult times. Please click on the link to read the lastest news from the county News Letter
RFU Statement on 2019/20 Season
Today, in a letter to rugby clubs in England, Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO, has confirmed the end of the 2019/20 season for all league, cup and county rugby in England with the exception of the Gallagher Premiership, which the RFU is in active discussions with.
The decision to confirm the end of the season was taken to assist with long term planning and provide clarity to the game at a time of continuous change.
The RFU continues to work on a range of options to support clubs at this challenging time and aims to outline these in more detail by mid-April.
Played at Alliance Park, Hendon beat Cranbrook (27 – 22). Hendon played with great spirit and determination to beat the well drilled Kent Club Cranbrook in the toughest match that they have competed in so far this season. This was a true test of determining the No 1 amateur Club in the London & SE Division from the 150 Clubs from the 7 Counties that were eligible to enter. Hendon can now claim to be the No 1 Club in 2020.
“This is the greatest victory that Hendon have ever achieved in a competition”, commented David Gershlick, the Hendon President and I must congratulate our Captain Cian Hynes and his 1st team squad and without doubt our Coach Phil “Smudger” Smith. Since joining in just two seasons Smudger has masterminded our success with his weekly coaching and training session in Allianz Park and the touchline management on match days which is borne out with the Club’s current top of the table position”. Smith paid compliment to his Hendon squad “ I couldn’t pick a “man of the match” as all the boys played their part in attack by taking every opportunity and scoring four tries whilst in defence to keep Cranbrook down to two tries that gave the home outfit the best possible advantage to win this great game for Hendon Rugby.
In the match it certainly was not all one way traffic. Hendon were penalised in the 2nd minute trying to run from defence only to concede a penalty that Cranbrook duly converted 0-3. However from the restart Hendon held the visitors in their own territory and after a wave of attacks were finally rewarded after a backline interchange between Rob Casey and Chris Kiyingi with Toby Ikwueke finishing in the corner; Captain Hynes then converted from the touchline and Hendon were ahead 7-3. Hendon came back into attack again with the forwards carrying after another text book backline move with Dan Watterson being stopped short but 2nd row Junior Farao was on hand to collect from the maul and crash over for Hendon’s second try with Hynes converting 14-3. Now midway through the period it was Cranbrook upping their play and a defensive error saw them score in the corner
To close in at 14-8. Cranbrook maintained the pressure which saw them camped on the Hendon 5 metre line but the Hendon defence tackles held good until the eventual long pass to an undefended wing saw them score a 2nd try and a 14-13 scoreline. Cranbrook now saw their opportunity to take the advantage with Hendon defence at full stretch but an offside gave Cranbrook the chance for the long kick slotted through for a ½ time score in the visitors favour at 14-16
Into the 2nd half and Hendon kick off and within two mins claimed a penalty out wide which just went short with the Cranbrook fullback defensive kick being charged down followed by them being penalised on their 22. Hynes took a quick penalty for forwards Jake Dunne and Ronan Jones to carry to the Cranbrook line; from broken play scrum half Billy Burrell picked up and dived over to Hendon once more back in the lead at 19-16 after only 5 mins.
After the restart and a line-out clearance it was Rossa Dooley setting up the next Hendon attack with several mauls and strong Cranbrook defence to stop the home side from attack but TJ O’Sullivan saw the opportunity to break clear on the 22 and score Hendon’s 4th try out to move into a commanding position at 24-16. The next 15 mins belonged to Cranbrook but excellent Hendon defence only allowing them a way back as Hendon conceded two further defensive errors for the score to close in at 24-22. Front row forward Luke Pollard led the next attack by Hendon as both teams had to summon up that extra strength from playing on the superfast 4G surface of Allianz Park; from the next breakdown Casey tried to break through the defence but was stopped then a kick by Hynes over the defence gave winger Robby Burrell a chance to touchdown but after consideration by the Referee, the try was disallowed. Hendon maintained their attack and were awarded a penalty, midway into Cranbrook territory that Hynes converted for a fragile lead of 27-22 with 5 mins still on the clock. Cranbrook were not yet beaten and put Hendon under pressure in the closing minutes but Hendon held on for the final whistle and win this epic final for Hendon Rugby.
The award of the Divisional Trophy was made by David Williams, London Director of Competitions who congratulated both teams on a superb performance.
Hendon now qualify for the RFU Semi-Final against the South West Division winners Old Cryptians from Gloucester scheduled for Easter Saturday at Hendon on April 11th with the Final at the Twickenham Stadium on Sunday 3rd May against the other semi-final of the Midlands and North Clubs to determine the England Champions.
NatWest RugbyForce 2020 has now launched and to be considered for a grant the deadline for applications is 15 March 2020. This year the focus is on improving your social spaces.
Now is the time to let us know how a NatWest RugbyForce grant of up to £3,000 could be a game changer for your club, what the impact would be on your social space and how it could in turn help bring the community into your club.
Clubs that register for NatWest RugbyForce 2020 can look forward to receiving a host of exciting rewards and benefits, from grant funding and online toolkits, to marketing and communications advice, as well as access to special offers.
To register, click on the link to the application form below, and you can also find the terms & conditions below.
Terms & Conditions can be found here
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Training will be held on the following Sundays at Grasshoppers RFC starting at 13.00hrs on the following dates;
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.
SPONSORS & PARTNERS
Playing Club Rugby
League Table League
Find A Club
Age Grade Rugby
Best Practice Guides
Facilities & Funding
Women & Girls
Fixtures & Results
Team Middlesex Kit
Middlesex 7s Festival
NW Floodlit Cup
Middlesex Merit Table
Merit Table Cup
Vets Merit Table