I am always excited to hear of new clubs being formed and when it is one of your own that is growing the game on the continent, it is that much more special.From discovering the game with the North Herts Crusaders in Hitchin in their innaugral year Bonne Wilce went to the Netherlands to study at Den Haag University. Bonne went on to establish a new club wioth the help of some other enthusiasts and this weekend they had their first ever match against a established club The Rotterdam Pitbulls. It is great to see the game growing throughout Europe.
Thank you Bonne Wilce for the m,atch report for the fist ever game for the Den Haag Knights.
Den Haag Knight’s vs Pit bulls
18th of April 2015 marked the first appearance of the Den Haag Knight’s in their debut game against the well-established Rotterdam Pitbulls.
The Knight’s took to the field unsure what to expect from the Pitbulls, their heavy loss against Brussels made a few think it would be an easy game.
From the kick off the Pitbulls threw everything they had at the Knight’s the 20 minutes barrage was met by the Knight’s strong as steel defence. Alas the Pitbulls pressure did result in a Try, converted.
Now the Knight’s regrouped; although for of the players this was their first ever rugby league game. The Knight’s knew what had to be done.
A nice deep kick from Tui Boseniyasana put us in their 30. 2nd phase in and a stunning interception and 30 meters made by Frank Longhurst provided the Knight’s possession followed by a tremendous hand off by Devin which broke the defensive line and resulted in the Knight’s first ever try.
Den Haag Knights V Rotterdam Pitbulls
Restart; kick straight out by the Pitbulls giving a penalty and Knight’s ball. Big hits up the middle from Joost, Jordan and Misa comfortably passing the gain line each time. Turnover in the 20, the Knight’s defence now proving to be an offensive weapon, locking up tackles and driving the Pitbulls back. Cracking under pressure the Pitbulls give up possession in the danger zone to a yet again stunning interception by Frank Longhurst providing the Knight’s with plenty of phases for Bonne Wilce to crash though the line and provide a cheeky offload to Thomas Farrell securing the 2rd try
Half time, 8-6
Time for new tactics the Pitbulls responded to the Knight’s crash balls by narrowing the defence. Now was the time to open up and let Thomas Farrell burst down the wing for the 3rd try. Sadly disallowed as he clipped the touch flags.
Not disheartened the Knight’s regain possession at a scrum at the 20. Ball played to stand off Ian Thompson who decided to bring his premiership plays to the BNRL and pulled off a beautiful dummy and back inside to Bonne Wilce, scoring the 3rd try uncontested. Tui converts.
Score 14 -6
Den Haag Knights V Rotterdam Pitbulls
The Pitbulls now step up their game determined for a win; decide they will go wide they meet Patrick and Wouter in the centres whom make it clear that going wide is going to be hard.
Pitbulls loss ball control in the Knight’s 20 Devin quickly reacts and collects the ball and break loose to score an 80 meter try.
The Pitbulls now working harder than ever and with fresh legs on the pitch pummel the knight’s defence eventual managing to brake the steel shield and score a try, converted.
Keeping up the momentum the Pitbulls create an overlap and squeeze another quick try in the Conner
Score 18 – 16
70 mins in and the Knight’s are wearing down the hot day and no subs are really testing the teams resolve. Determined to win their debut game, the Knight’s up the pace with Paul L dirkzwager making 4 consecutive tackles; then providing quick turn over at the half way, giving another opportunity to go wide and allowing Thomas farrel to score the 5th try.
10 mins to go score 22-16: The Pitbulls making full use of their subs launch a final offence to try and even the score. Breaking wide again the Pitbulls are met by right winger matt who stops the offensive. The Pitbulls now desperate to get a finish with a try now hit it up though the forwards. Tired and on the back foot the Knight’s try their best to hold the Pitbulls back, but their big lads break though in the last play.
Final score 22-20,
Man of the match goes to Ian Thompson.
Coming out of retirement to make up the numbers and playing like a 20 year old!
Boone Wilce makes a tackle for the Den Haag Knights
The Knight’s had managed to secure their first win in the BNRL championship, with the Pitbulls putting up a courageous fight and almost stealing the game from under our feet.
3 weeks until the top of the table show down between Brussels gorillas and the den Haag Knight’s.
The gorillas are going to hit hard and play fast; the Knight’s need to get some strong numbers at training in the next few weeks if we want to achieve victory on the 9th
If you would like to join the Knight’s or perhaps you are interested in sponsoring the club in this rapidly growing sport.
or come to training
every Wednesday at the Haagsche rugby club 20:00 till 22:00
Many thanks to Brian Stanley from Hitchin for this article.
I believe that it is very important to give kids the sporting bug early on in their lives. Now in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, at Lordship Farm school there is a rugby based sports class for children aged 2 to 6 years of age calledLittle Ruggers that also run classes across the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire area that has been successful in getting more children having fun and throwing a rugby ball about and I am all for that.
Little Ruggers Play
Having sent my son classes I watched my twins, son and daughter grow from shy and inhibited 2 year year olds to a confident and polite 5 year olds, I believe down to the great coaching at Little Ruggers, the coaches truly instill the spirit of the game in fair play, respect and a huge dose of confidence. I have nothing but good things to say about the classes as everything they do is carefully thought out and teaches them something different and a new lesson is learned.
My daughter however did not pursue rugby as a sport instead she chose hockey as her mother was a hockey player and she is i believe a better hockey player because of her time at Little Ruggers. She just has great hand eye coordination and can pick up things quickly. What I am pleased about most is that she is playing sport and not playing on a ipad day and night.
My son Harry is now at a local rugby club and what became apparent is that when he started last September is that he was way ahead of the ones that did not go to Little Ruggers. There was a group of Little Ruggers that joined the rugby club at the same time and they were the stars in the group. The Little Ruggers could pass and catch and could follow instructions and generally had the best sporting ability and this was shown as they contributed to the success of the under 7s who went on to outshine many local opponents.
Little Ruggers company are rolling out their unique rugby classes across the country and if they come to an area near you then i would jump at the chance to get them involved. Not only will they get a head start in rugby and sports generally but they will be more confident and more social and most of all more confident about themselves as they go through childhood and into adulthood.
THE LONDON BRONCOS HAVE MOVED JUST UP THE ROAD TO EDGWARE, JUST A MERE 30 MINUTES OR SO JOURNEY FROM NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE CRUSADERS AND JUST AS ACCESSIBLE FOR BOTH ST ALBANS CENTURIONS AND HEMEL STAGS, WHICH MAKES THE SUPER LEAGUE EVEN MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR THE NEW HERTS RUGBY LEAGUE HEARTLAND (HERTSLANDS) AND THE MANY CLUBS AROUND THE NORTH LONDON AND HOME COUNTIES.
I firmly believe that all clubs down south should be backing the Broncos to ensure their survival as we feel that having a super league club in London is very important for the growth of rrugby league in the south, which has seen considerable growth in recent years.
North Herts Crusaders Support the London Broncos
It not only gives players and clubs a pathway but also gives us the opportunity to build links with the Broncos and essentially grow the game in the south. So lets back the Broncos and help to fill out the Hive for the first ever Broncos game at The Hive and lets show the vale of rugby league to Barnet FC who are as keen as we are to make this a success not only for the benefit of Broncos but also the greater good of the growth of rugby league down south.
The Next open day at The Hive is Saturday 8th February(Details can be found by clicking HERE)
we urge as many of you to go down and check out the Broncos impressive new facilities and get your membership and tickets for the first game and hear what the plans are for the coming season and beyond.
I am hoping that we from the North Herts Crusaders will be getting big group up to the Hive for the Broncos first game at The Hive for Saturday 22nd February 2014 against Pottsy’s teamThe Salford Red Devils.
We are hoping that other clubs particularly in the South also make the effort to “Back The Broncos” and we can show Barnet FC that rugby league in London has huge potential and that rugby league can thrive at its new ground which will hopefully grow the game at grassroots level.
Broncos New Home The Hive Barnet FC
1 comment - What do you think? Posted by
January 31, 2014 at 12:12
Hitchin Boys School In the North Herts Crusaders Emerging Colleges Tournament
The North Herts Crusaders under the guidance of Head coach Colin Baker along with the help of coaches Daniel Bendon and Robin French have been busy getting schools interested in rugby league with the aim of organising a emerging colleges tournament. The Crusaders coaches have been busy going around schools introducing players the greatest game.
Myself, being a founder of the North Herts Crusaders could have only dreamed of the success we have had in the last 2 years since our inception. In year one we ran 2 teams on a number of occasions and in year 2 we had a huge number of players join us in the newly formed under 16s age group in addition to our 2 senior teams. Now on the cusp of our 3rd season we will be adding another junior team of which both will be playing in the London Junior Leagues. The teams will be under 17s and under 15s.
With the success of the schools coaching and the emerging colleges tournament we have every the new Crusaders Junior teams have every reason to be optimistic for the 2014.
Finalists Hitchin Boys School and Leventhorpe College
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon we welcome four local schools down to Legends lane to take part in the emerging colleges tournament of which the winning team will go onto a regional colleges competition on 12th February.
The following teams bought players to take part in what turned out to be a hotly contested tournament with some real talent in all the teams on show.
1. Leventhorpe College (Sawbridgeworth)
2. Hitchin Boys School (Hitchin)
3. Samuel Whitbread (Shefford)
4. Knights Templar (Baldock)
Hitchin Boys 4-26 Leventhorpe
Hitchin Boys 22-0 Samuel Whitbread
Knights Templar 16-4 Samuel Whitbread
Leventhorpe 26-0 Knights Templar
Knights Templar 0-30 Hitchin Boys
With these results this left Leventhorpe and Hitchin Boys to contest the final. Throughout the day all the teams got the hang of what is a new game for them and none more so than Hitchin Boys. It was expected that Hitchin Boys would looking to exact revenge for their earlier defeat and we will see a close game that will go to the wire and that is what we got.
Leventhorpe College 6-4 Hitchin Boys
HERTS CRUSADERS RUGBY LEAGUE FOOTBALL CLUB BADGE
With just a conversion separating the teams it was a fitting end to a great day of rugby league and it was Leventhorpe that qualify and go through to the regional colleges finals on 12th February.
What we saw from all teams was a lot of raw talent that really enjoyed their day of playing rugby league of which many were playing their first ever game. This indeed bodes well for the future of the game within North Herts and the surrounding areas as we hope that they will come and play some rugby league during the summer.
With this successful tournament behind us we can look forward to the season ahead and particularly our two junior teams the Under 15s and Under 17s age groups of which many of the players on show today will be involved.
The Crusaders Junior preseason training will be on Saturday mornings and will begin on Saturday 1st February. Both teams will be entered into the London Junior leagues.
So tell your friends and lets get more people playing the greatest game. We are also looking for open age players of all abilities. Come and join a thriving sports club.
SOME OF OUR EXCITING PLANS FOR SEASON 2014. THERE IS A REAL BUZZ ABOUT THIS YEAR WITH A GREAT RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP BEHIND US AND THE BRONCOS MOVING TO BARNET FC THERE IS REASON TO BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE GOWTH OF RUGBY LEAGUE IN THE SOUTH AND PARTICULARLY HERTFORDSHIRE.
HERTS CRUSADERS RUGBY LEAGUE FOOTBALL CLUB BADGE
I don’t know about you but I have definitely been inspired by the greatest rugby league world cup ever, as have we all at the Crusaders. With the news that London Broncos will be moving just up the road to Barnet FC is great news for us and will make the possibility for some of our talented players to have a visible pathway into Super League Rugby.
These facts combined with Hemel Stags, who are a Semi Pro Championship 1 club, on our doorstep in Hemel Hempstead, paints a very rosy picture for the future of Rugby League in Hertfordshire where numerous pathways exist for playing the game professionally and we definitely have a few players that could make this leap. We at the Crusaders will always push our players to fulfill their full potential and gain representational honours, again of which there are many.
We have also been working very hard behind the scenes not only strengthening the infrastructure and teams we currently have in place but also to increase the player base in both senior and junior sections of the club with the introduction of another junior team. This season we will be running under 17s and under 15s double aged groups.
Open Age Rugby League For 2014
2014 will see the Crusaders defend the East of England Championship. With 2 back to back grand final wins and a cup win the Crusaders are the team to beat and this coming season the other teams in the league will be looking to steal our crown and will no doubt be lifting their games against us, so there is no room for complacency.
This year we have a new team that joins the East Premier and that is Southend Spartans who are a well run club and will be a strong addition to the league and a somewhat unknown quantity but will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.
The league will look like this
North Herts Crusaders
St Ives Roosters
Kings Lynn Black Knights
We will also be looking to increase player numbers and have more fixtures for the Knights (2nd team) and will be looking to attack the entry league also this season. So bring your friends down this spring and enjoy the great club atmosphere in the sunshine.
Junior Rugby League For 2014
North Herts Crusaders under 16s 2013
Due to the success of the under 16s last year and the interest shown from younger players to play the greatest game we will be adding an addition Junior team this year. Due to changes in the structure of junior league we will be running the following double age groups.
Coach: Robin French
Under 15s (including under 14s)
Coach Dan Bendon
Under 17s (Including under 16s)
These junior teams will be entered in the London Junior leagues.
Junior training will be on Saturday mornings and will commence on Saturday 1st February 2014.
Feedback from the under 16s playing rugby league last summer, with many going onto being selected for the London Origins squads, is very positive. This year we are hoping to have more players selected for not only the Origins but other representational rugby league opportunities, of which there are many. We as a club are very keen to push players for these honours.
As you can see rugby league is growing down south and I like to think that as a club the North Herts Crusaders are playing their part in introducing the greatest game to a new audience and thus growing the game down south.
I would welcome your thoughts on how you think that clubs like ours can make a real difference down south.
1 comment - What do you think? Posted by
January 9, 2014 at 14:14
Living in Hertfordshire and from a family where rugby union is the main rugby code, it is maybe a surprise that the author is a total convert to the “Greatest Game” of Rugby League. Indeed this is largely due to myself beinginvolved in the creation of the North Herts Crusaders. The Crusaders though only 2 years old have won 2 grand finals and the newly created East of England cup in their short history.
In our first year the plan was to get a team out every week but we exceeded that by putting 2 teams out on a number of occasions. In year two we again put out two senior teams and we also started out first ever youth team, the under 16s. Though the under 16s did not get entered into a league, they did however play established opponents and went unbeaten all season until their last game away to Coventry Bears which was the only loss for the young Crusaders. We also had eight players from our under 16s team who went on to being selected for the London Origins squads.
By any standards this has been a successful first two years for the Crusaders. How did we do it? We have been extremely lucky in attracting a top coach in Colin Baker, however how did we get so much interest in our club. Well that was my job to get as much publicity for our club and we somehow needed to make a much more effort in my view than a established club and indeed an established sport. Before the club was even started I created a Twitter account and quickly gained hundreds then thousand of followers with the last count being 6590 followers, which is almost as much as a SuperLeague club. In addition to this the Crusaders Facebook page also has well over 200 Likes. Our website is almost always in the top 50 rugby league websites on Pitchero.
However its not just the social media we are relying on, I also ensure that we are given lots of publicity in the local papers as this is where you will be letting the locals know that your club has arrived and to keep them informed. I have also been successful in getting us in national rugby league publications such as League Express, Forty Twenty Magazine and Rugby Club Magazine. I meet lots of people and its always pleasing to hear how the Crusaders are doing from others.
In this day and age Social media is very important for promoting your club and getting more people involved in your clubs. Its a great way to engage with potential players, volunteers and sponsors as in this day and age the young people are all on twitter, Facebook and many other social media sites and these are the people that we need to engage. In addition you should be getting press releases out in the local newspapers, with all clubs there is always a story that can be interesting whether its your club or members of your club that are the topic.
Rugby League in Hertfordshire
The above combined with being friendly and welcoming on both training and match nights, something i have written about before, Please see HERE,
So if you are in need of getting more people involved in your club in whatever capacity, then there is always something that you can do. I give you a few here as i believe in the future social media is becoming more and more important. However this does not mean that you do not use more traditional advertising like flyers or newspaper adverts. Try and do a bit of everything but ignore Social Media at your peril.
1 comment - What do you think? Posted by
October 31, 2013 at 20:12
Spen Allison Presents Man Of Steel shield To Kyle Hughes of the North herts Crusaders
I am sorry for the lack of posts however i have been busy helping build a sustainable rugby league team in the south of England. Its been a great buzz and have really enjoyed getting the word out and trying to convert players to a game that i have grown to love. This last week we had our second ever awards evening and had the pleasure of the company of Spen Allison and Ikram Butt legends in the rugby league world, a world we are learning about and are loving it.
The much anticipated end of season Dinner and presentation evening was a sell out with over 72 guests that included players, partners, parents, sponsors and friends that have all contributed to the success story of the Crusaders. The venue was The Orange Tree In Baldock, who are also a club sponsor and along with Greene King kindly sponsored the food for the evening which was delicious.We had great honour of having as our guests for the evening Ikram Butt and Spen Allison. Ikram is and ex professional rugby league player having played at representative level for England, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, and London Broncos, as a Wing. Ikram Butt was the first south Asian to play either code of international rugby for England in 1995.
Spen Allison as the second of our special guests. Spen Allison is a living legend within rugby league circles having been the long serving Chairman of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) and now still involved as the Senior Vice Chairman of BARLA. Spen has been on the BARLA management committee since 1958 which is just over 55 voluntary management years to British Amateur Rugby League a great achievement and a great commitment to the greatest game.
The Crusaders had a lot to celebrate this year with the open age team going the league season unbeaten and winning both the East Cup and East Grand finals and making it to the quarter finals of the National Harry Jepson Cup. In the national cup we suffered our first defeat of the season at the hands of the eventual winners of the Harry Jepson Cup South London Chargers.
It was not all about the open age section as this year was the inaugural season for the newly formed under 16s team which shocked the Eastern Rhinos team in their first ever game and indeed when on to win all but one game this season. In addition to this we also had 7 under 16s players gaining representational honours playing in the London Origins where the best of north and south of the river Thames battle it out in a three game series.
Ikram Butt Presents Awards To Under 16s Players Player Of The Year
First up for the rewards was the under 16s our special guest Ikram Butt was to give out the awards.
The Under 16s winners
Players Player Of The Year: Simon Taylor
Coaches Player of the year: Ruiri Shanahan
Top Gun Award: Charlie Parkhouse
Graduation awards are given to those players that break through from junior rugby to the open age team and we had 2 players that stepped up and performed admirabley in possibly our toughest game in the quarter final of the Harry Jepson Cup the two graduates this year were:
Open Age Winners
Players Player Of The Year: Evan Griffiths
Coaches Player of the year: Alex Nolan
Man Of Steel: Kyle Hughes
It was a tough decision to pick just three winners from each age group as there were many worthy winners. A huge well done and thanks for a great season.
We also like to reward volunteers that go the extra mile to help the club function and thus a special award which recognised the hard work and commitment throughout the season.
Crusader Of The Year: Anne Peterson
This wraps up the second season for the Crusaders which has seen great growth and ultimately success on and off the pitch. Thank you everyone that contributed in whatever way no matter how small as its with the involvement of great people that we can grow and continue to thrive as a club in North Hertfordshire.
North Herts Crusaders a rugby league club based in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire have had an amazing first season they managed to get to the East of England play off finals and indeed beat St Ives Roosters 63-30 which is quite impressive for a club in there first season. As you know the author has been involved with this enterprise since it was merely a thought in my mind and seeing this success has been amazing.
Rugby League in Hertfordshire
With this success we are not resting on our laurels we know that the club needs a lot of hard work to make us a great club and hopefully make us a club that goes places.
We have been working very hard behind the scenes to make season 2013 even better than the first. Next season we plan to run two open age teams every week with North Herts Crusader ‘A’ team playing in the London & South East Entry League. In addition we have great pleasure in announcing that we will also be establishing a under 16s junior team. Players in the age range 13 to 16 years of age that want to play rugby league next summer then please get in contact. The under 16s will have the opportunity to play other local teams.
The advantages for getting involved in rugby league and playing during the summer are immense. Not only do you get to keep fit during the summer but the demands of the game and the skills gained can and will help your all round rugby football skills as has been demonstared by some of our players, who are clearly better rugby union players as a result of playing league.
We at the Crusaders are very lucky to have former Harlequins RL and London Broncos player performance coach Colin Baker as our head coach. Colin has recently been awarded the prestigious London and the South East Regional Open Age Men’s Coach of the Year award. He will not only be coaching the senior teams but he will be assisting with the junior coaching also. We will be enrolling two of our senior players on Level 2 rugby league coaching courses who will then be able to assist Colin with both the Junior set up and open age team coaching.
North Herts Crusaders Against Kings Lynn Black Knights
This will As you can see the North Herts Crusaders is an exciting place to be right now and we hope to see more of you next summer and hopefully we can make the Cruaders grow even more. Pre-season starts in March/April.
Watch out for further announcements on this website HERE and please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page.
Developed in France back in 2000, Wheelchair Rugby League was introduced to our shores back in 2005.
The game is quite unique in that it offers both disabled and non-disabled players the opportunity to compete both with and against each other.
No matter what gender or age all players compete on level playing field which is created by the use of wheelchairs and some slight adaptions of the rules of Rugby League.
A brief overview of the game includes:
There are five players on each side
The object of the game is to score tries
Conversions are scored by punching the ball over the mini-posts from a tee
Tackles are made in the same way as Tag Rugby by pulling off the attached tag
Five tackles are followed by the handing over of possession
Offside, knock-on and in-touch apply just like in the full version of the game
Wheelchair rugby league is an all inclusive sport which allows disabled and non-disabled players to play at the elite level of club and international competition ,the only wheelchair sport that allows this. The wheelchair rugby league world cup corresponds with the running rugby league world cup year and England are current champions, winning the competion in 2009.
Bury Jigsaw WRL was formed in 2009 after the world cup success and funding from a local charity called Jigsaw, which specialises in helping disabled people lead healthy lifestyles by participating in sport and physical activity. Paul McCormick, who works for Jigsaw and is a wheelchair rugby league World Cup winner with England, took the helm as coach.
Since formation Bury Jigsaw WRL have played in the top tier of Wheelchair rugby league starting off slowly but eventually progressing into 2011 National champions, beating Halifax in the Grand Final 56-47. From this success they have acquired enough players to enter two teams into the league, one remaining in the Premier League (1st tier) and the other being entered at Championship level (2nd tier).
In their current squad of players Bury Jigsaw WRL have the England coach, Captain and three Senior england internationals with two england development team players and the Scotland captain and a senior Scottish international player, although many players within the club are pushing for call ups for their respective countries.
Bury Jigsaw WRL are at the midpoint in our current season with both Premierleague and championship sides in contention for their respective leagues.
As with any club Bury Jigsaw WRL are always on the look out for volunteers that would like to help out at the club, sponsorship or people interested in playing the sport whether they be disabled or non-disabled.Rugby and sports and a sport that both abled bodied and disabled can play together on a equal footing. From my perspective it sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to get more people playing and being members of your club.
I would sincerely like to Thank Jack Heggie for this brief introduction to the sport and to to Bury Jigsaw WRL.
To find out more about the sport, or to give it a Try, please email Paul McCormick at email@example.com and/or phone him on 0161 253 6308
North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was formed in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire which is not exactly a hot bed of rugby league. The area has many rugby union clubs the like of Letchworth rugby union club itself, Stevenage Town , Hitchin, Royston and Datchworth Rugby Union Clubs, there was no rugby league side in the area. Rugby League generally being played in the summer months means there is no crossover so players can play both codes.
North Herts Crusaders RLFC
St Albans had a well established club The St Albans Centurions founded in 1996 and Hemel Hempstead has the Hemel Stags who have been around since the 1981 and till now these are the only clubs in the Hertfordshire area. Now there is a new kid on the block, North Herts Crusaders.
North Herts Crusaders RLFC was founded by Mick Johal, James Tirrell, Liam Corcoran and Robin French. The story was that James Tirrell who had made his name in rugby union representing Saracens, England under 20s and England 7s teams and now the Rugby development officer for Letchworth Garden City Rugby Union Club, was looking for ways to further increase participation in sports in North Herts. James suggested the idea to Mick Johal who instantly thought this is a great idea for giving players a way to keep fit and sharp during the summer period and he ran with the idea. Liam Corcoran and Robin French had a avid interest in rugby league and had often spoke about starting a team and thus were recruited onto the committee and a plan of action was put in place. North Herts Crusaders is a completely independent rugby league club with its own membership and sponsorships.
This was all going on in February 2012 and a meeting was arranged with The RFL and The North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was born with Letchworth Rugby Club as its home ground. The Crusaders were placed in the East Regional League – East along with St Ives Roosters, Bury Titans, Kings Lynn Black Knights, Bedford Tigers and Milton Keynes Wolves.
North Herts Crusaders First Ever Team against Bedford Tigers
The Crusaders are now over half way through their league campaign, having shocked Bedford Tigers in there first ever game defeating them at their home 22-26. As of 7th July 2012 we have played 7 first team games and won 5 of them. In addition hey have fielded a second team on a number of occasions with their first ever game against Weald Warriors and running out winners by 84-30. Its looking very good for their first season.
North Herts Crusaders has been a huge success story they have registered over 50 players and have recruited a top coach in Colin Baker who comes with a lot of experience previously being a coach at Harlequins RL and London Broncos.
There is now plans to extend the membership by setting up junior teams so that a pipeline that feeds into open age rugby league with players that already know the game. The Crusaders are very lucky to have the support of Letchworth Rugby Union Club who are one of the areas top clubs with a huge number of players, which gives the crusaders access to a talented pool of players, who want to play rugby through the summer months. The membership of the Crusaders is not solely based on Letchworth Rugby Club however, they have registered players from a number of local rugby clubs with a split of around 50% letchworth and 50 % non Letchworth based players with players from rugby union clubs across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
North Herts Crusaders V St Ives Roosters
The advantages to Letchworth Rugby Club are numerous but primarily the clubhouse will be in use all year round with added revenue to the bar and bringing new people to use the facilities who otherwise would never have done so. The advantage for the players is that they have been keeping fit and sharp in readiness for the Rugby Union season to start. This has the added benefit of having players that are match fit at preseason.
Players from different clubs are forging new friendships with players from different clubs and indeed from different sports as a number of their players are footballers who wanted to play competitive sport during the summer, hopefully these players will enjoy it so much they take up rugby league as there first sport.
The phenomenon of The North Herts Crusaders in Letchworth is is set to grow and grow already it has created much interest in both local press and the Rugby Football League itself. North Herts Crusaders have today over 2300 followers on twitter with the likes of Leeds Rhinos following them.
North Herts Crusaders are always looking for new players and coaches so if you want to be involved with Rugby League in Hertfordshire then there is only one club to choose that is the Crusaders. For Further information contact them through their website www.northhertscrusaders.com or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
2 comments - What do you think? Posted by
July 9, 2012 at 21:37
Rugby is an excellent sport for young children to take up, and the earlier the better. Children, both girls and boys, can take up rugby based classes such as Little Ruggers which is based around the South East of England. At Little Ruggers they can start to play from as young as 2 to 6 years of age and then further their rugby skills at a rugby club at age 6 onwards. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding rugby for children as parents may worry that rugby is all about scrums rucks and mauls and most of all big hits. It is natural for a parent to worry about this aspect of the sport however all rugby up until the under 9 age group will be non-contact, usually playing tag rugby. This then takes away the worry of your little ones getting hurt and at this age group both girls and boys will flourish.
It has been shown in especially in New Zealand where children get involved with rugby at a younger age that girls and boys can become quite expert at the the basics of rugby before the age of 6 as shown at Little Ruggers Classes. This is because children at this age are like sponges and have the amazing ability to absorb the lessons learned. If a child then goes onto to join a rugby club then the clubs can work on more rugby honed skills rather than teaching the basics, essentially it’s a leap up for them to go on and achieve great things.
In the UK it seems the choices for team based sports is somewhat limited in the past for 2 to 5 year olds there were not many options available unless you chose to do football, however these days new activities based around rugby are springing up around the country which will inevitably get more children addicted to this great sport and increase the playing numbers in the country for both girls and boys sections.
Rugby is unique in that specific human qualities can be learned. It has been shown that rugby can help develop better concentration, discipline, tolerance and determination. They learn to work as a part of the team they are taught to respect the coaches and referees and thus learn great manners.
Rugby helps to build a healthy body, healthy mind and creativity is instilled in such a child who takes up the game at an early age and that child will often bloom into a player with an exceptional eye for opportunity.
Problem solving, learning to take tricky decision and having confidence becomes a lot more developed as anyone learns the game. Rugby has the power to help youths develop the capability of analysing and deducing some general principles of life while dealing with complicated problems often bolstering their developing mental, social and physical agility.
Little Ruggers Classes are fun
Benefits of learning rugby for kids:
The moral and ethical level of a child is developed by rugby thanks to the rugby laws of the game.
Necessary challenges are offered by a game of rugby which is quite a good thing for those children seeking to exlore and test their ‘wings’.
Developmental thinking is be cultivated in a child through a game of rugby – especially social skills.
Underachievers are most likely to be helped by rugby which promotes healthy competition.
Rugby is able to teach a child about teamwork, boundaries, rules and/or responsibilities.
The communication power of the child is improved through playing rugby, as are various team skills.
The concentration level of a child is enhanced by rugby.
Powers of evaluation and analysis are developed and so is the ability to strategise.
Rugby incorporates discipline – control of emotions, anger and aggression is key.
A child learns that the game ends on the sports field – respect for the opponent is instilled.
Playing a game of rugby can give one a sense of accomplishment.
I’m told that critical thinking skills of a child can be developed too.
The spirit of sportsmanship is enhanced.
Kids can learn problem solving through rugby and develop their own unique style of play.
It helps youths gain confidence.
Different patterns of play need to be recognized and it’s necessary for tactics to be learned and be developed by the child.
So come on give your kids a headstart get them involved in Little Ruggers to get maximum benefit from sports and particularly in social and sporting skills. Contact Little Ruggers via their website www.LittleRuggers.com.
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Come and play rugby league with the North Herts Crusaders
North Hertfordshire is now firmly on the Rugby League map with the formation of North Herts Crusaders, which will be based out of and sharing the facilities of Letchworth Garden City Rugby Union Club at Legends Land, Baldock Road, Letchworth Garden City SG6 2EN.
North Herts Crusaders was set up during the winter in preparation for their inaugural season in the East Division in the summer of 2012. The teams they will be playing against are listed below.
Bedford Tigers Bury Titans (Bury St Edmunds) Kings Lynn Black Knights Milton Keynes Wolves North Herts Crusaders (Letchworth Garden City) St. Ives Roosters
There will also be a National Cup competition which will run alongside the league, which gives the Crusaders a chance of playing some of the top clubs in the country and the possibility of picking up some silverware.
Rugby League club is traditionally played in the North of England however the sport is growing in popularity in the south now too. North Hertfordshire now has its very own Club which should attract fans and players from across the region to play and watch games.
Liam Corcoran the founding Chairman said “In North Hertfordshire we have a number of large Rugby Union clubs and it is hoped we can attract players from across North Hertfordshire and beyond to come and help make North Herts Crusaders a major force in Rugby League”.
“The great thing about running a Rugby League Club is that there is virtually no cross over in terms of seasons dates, Rugby League being played in the summer and Rugby Union in winter. Therefore the two forms of rugby compliment each other perfectly and hopefully build camaraderie and friendships with players from different areas”.
“There was a strong demand for Rugby League club in Hertfordshire and it was felt that it was a great way to keep fit during the summer”.
“The desire for playing Rugby League in the area has been immense and we have already had over 35 players sign a intention to play declaration. We are looking to run more than one team so we are looking to run a 2nd as often as we can. In the future we hope to grow and introduce a ladies team, junior and mini sections”.
“We essentially aim to provide a sport that was previously unavailable in North Hertfordshire and with doing this we hope to attract Senior, Junior, Men and Woman players into playing and training Rugby League through out the summer”.
Indian Army Red Win All India South Asia Rugby Tournament, 2011
Rugby is the fastest growing sport in India today. The All India south asia rugby tournament is a testament to this fact. The tournament consistes of the Division-1 teams from across India who will do battle. The participating teams were Army Red (Western Zone), Army Green (Western Zone), Tamil Nadu Police (Tamil Nadu), Delhi Hurricanes (New Delhi), Jungle Crows (Kolkata), CCFC (Calcutta Cricket & Football Club), Bombay Gymkhana, Sergeant’s Institute (Kolkata), Pune Rugby Team (Pune) and KISS Rugby Team (Orissa).
After 6 days of rugby at the tournament it was the final day in the All India South Asia Rugby Tournament, 2011. The two finalists; Army Red, the team that has won this championship on the last 4 occasions and the hosts, Bombay Gymkhanna were evenly matched, and the game promised to be one full of passion, commitment and grit.
As the game kicked off, the first 15 minutes were as close as ever, with both teams battling hard for possession around the half way mark. Army Red were the first team on the score sheet when Pushpendu Das scored from a penalty kick after a Bombay Gym player infringed on a ruck. After the restart Bombay Gym put pressure on the Army defence but came up short, and after a few consecutive infingments once again found themselves in their 22 meter zone. The Army set up a maul from a line out and the Army Red Hooker, Hemant Kumar scored off the rolling maul. Pushpendu Das failed to convert the conversion kick and Army Red went into half time 8-0 up.
When the teams came out at half time, the first 10 minutes were very similar to the corresponding minutes of the first half, with both teams fighting for possession at and around the halfway mark. After a break by the army back line, which was broken up by a good tackle by a Bombay Gym winger, Army found themselves on the Bombay Gym’s 5 meter line. A strong Army scrum put Bombay Gym on the backfoot and Scrum half Sujai lama broke through the gap in the defence to score the Army’s second try right under the posts which was easily converted by Pushpendu Das. Bombay Gym then went all out to pull back some points, and as a result saw captain Nasser Hussain and flanker Anwar Sheik yellow carded for infringements in the ruck.
Bombay Gym were unable to comeback and the game ended, 15-0 to Army A who were crowned champions of the All India and South Asia Rugby tournament for the 5th consecutive time.
The world cup is well underway and apart from Ireland beating Australia there has been no real upsets and even Ireland beating Australia is not a huge upset as Ireland can beat anyone on their day. However this year has seen some of the minnows give a good account of themselves and have given tier 1 countries tough games which turned out to be rather close.
These teams are no longer the pushovers they used to be when cricket scores were a comman occurrence. We have been some very close matches for example Canada beating Tonga and Romania leading Scotland until the final quarter.
I firmly believe that for the tier 2 nations playing in the world cup are generally playing better than in previous years and are obviously getting better with the more matches they play. It seems a shame that these countries walk away with nothing to show for there efforts after the group stages.
I think that the minnows flourish in playing against better teams in a Rugby World Cup tournament and will get better the more matches they play. I propose that teams that go out of the group stages should then enter the plate competition in a format similar to the Sevens World Series. Do you think this is a good idea or one that is not workable?
Also what could be done to make the tier 2 countries more competitive on the world stage? The world cup will in my opinion be won by any one of 4 teams as is always the case. I cannot see that changing unless fully professional leagues are established in these tier 2 countries, perhaps the IRB should be doing more?
Following up on my interest in rugby in India and particularly rugby in the Delhi area I am pleased to report that Delhi Hurricanes Rugby Club is going from strength to strength. The people behind the Delhi Hurricanes are working very hard in promiting rugby in Delhi and their latest venture is starting a rugby academy. It is set to become a very fun day and if anyone wants to find out more or wants to get involved then please get yourself there.
Inauguration of Hurricanes Rugby Academy on 31st July, 2011
On the behalf of Delhi Hurricanes Rugby Football club, I invite you for the Inauguration of Hurricanes Rugby Academy on 31st July 2011. I sincerely believe that you can make difference to this event I sincerely request you to attend this event & make it huge.
Join Delhi Hurricanes facebook page by clicking here.
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July 25, 2011 at 13:36
A big thank you to Chris Callaway for this contribution, which is a great story of how he and a few friends set up Southwark Rugby Club in London’s inner city Borough of Southwark.
Southwark Rugby Club & the Lancers
Looking back it was a strange decision to start playing rugby after 15 years of inactivity but I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of playing again over the past 4 years, I only wish that I had continued to play whilst I was at school. The catalyst to strapping on my boots had been the fact that as a business we wanted to sponsor a rugby team but had no real allegiance to anyone in particular. I decided to watch a local match and immediately knew that I would love to get involved with rugby again.
Not content with just wanting to play again I decided that the team we would sponsor would be one of our own creation. To this day I really cannot accurately describe how or why this decision was made but the club has just finished it’s 3rd full season.
Having contacted the RFU and asked for advice on setting up a club they pointed me in the direction of a junior team in inner city London who had been running for 5 years but had no senior team for the children to progress to. I met Vernon Neve-Dunn (founder of the Southwark Tigers www.southwarktigers.org) in the unfamiliar surroundings of Burgess Park which is situated just off the Old Kent Road and a million miles away from the leafy surroundings that you would normally associate with rugby. His brilliant vision had been to create a club for children who would otherwise never have come into contact with a rugby ball.
November 2007 saw the very beginnings of the Southwark Lancers, 4 friends throwing around a rugby ball on a cold Saturday morning in Burgess Park, nothing at all inspirational but a start. Friends of friends started to join and some replies to adverts meant that we had a motley crew of players ready for our first season playing in the Kent Metropolitan Merit Leagues. In fact we had managed to put together a useful team, many of whom had been out of the game for a number of years and had been keen to get back into the game. Our attractiveness was our central London location that can be reached in 10 minutes from Elephant & Castle tube.
We were pipped to top spot by Beckenham in our first season but managed to get promotion. At the beginning of our second season we had enough players for two teams, we were also approached by Niall O’Doherty who wanted to get involved with the club and who became our full time coach. We saw an immediate return and the 09/10 season saw us go undefeated and gain promotion mid way through the season.
Season 10/11 witnessed the club entering the proper national league structure and taking their place in Kent 2. We finally started to find our feet after the first couple of matches and strung some good results together ultimately finishing in 4th position.
This coming campaign will see us pressing for promotion but also looking to get our club structure in place. We rent our pitch from the council and at the moment we train once a week, the club has no club house (the excellent local pub is more than sufficient) and manages to field 3 full teams. I have been utterly shocked by the great success of the club and we hope to improve each year. It is a harsh reality that at grass roots level, participation is down and many clubs are folding so I continue to hope that Southwark Rugby Club will continue to buck the trend.
Whether you want to play or not Southwark Rugby Club are always looking for new players and social members. If you want to join a vibrant, friendly and welcoming club in Southwark please contact:
Hello All I have been encouraged lately about the number of people who have contacted me about playing rugby in Delhi. I seem to have a number of people asking where there is a club and how do they join. I have a contact at Delhi Hurricanes Rugby Club and hence if anyone want to play in Delhi then please use the contact details below.
Delhi Hurricanes rugby club normally train twice a week on Thursdays & Sundays. For the confirmation of the time, u can call the following people.
Vicky – 9818440814
Pulkit – 9873786001
Also for general information regarding the club and sponsorship opportunities or just ways to get involved with the fastest growing sport in india then contact the person below.
Finally, I have a weekend in Berlin. As is my lifestyle in Berlin, I got up on Saturday morning and I have no work, excellent so i can lay here and snooze for a bit longer. However though I have a fully functioning kitchen i have yet to use any of it due to the great value eating out in this great city. I can rarely afford to sit indoors for very long as I get hungry and have to get out.
During my time In Berlin working I made good friends with an Irish lad from Dublin, who I spent a lot of time with as we were both new to the city. So the clock hit 11.00am and I could go no longer to wait for my morning cup of tea and most importantly breakfast. A quick text to Ian (my new Irish Mate) and I was off on the U-Bahn to meet him at Charlottenberg which incidentally was the capital of West Berlin before unification of East and West Germany.
The plan was to get breakfast and make our way over to watch some Rugby which was not too far from here. We took a walk and ruled out all the possibilities for brunch until we passed an Irish Pub called the Irish Harp In Charlottenberg. We decided to go here as my Friend Ian felt really at home in these places. I ordered a Guinness and asked for the menu. I was feeling adventurous and decided on a “Irish Breakfast, you can imagine my disappointment when it arrived. Now don’t get me wrong but Sausage, egg, bacon, beans and toast and English tea is pretty much the same as an English breakfast. Irish or English it was a great breakfast and I learned the Irish have the same breakfast as the English therefore it was a Irish/English Breakfast.
After downing two pints of Guinness we decided it was time to leave for the Game. A game between Berlin second team and Hamburg first team.
We arrived at the game on time. There was quite a crown for a second team game I thought and especially for Germany. However the standard of rugby was pretty good and on show were mostly German players however there were a number of British players playing for both teams along with a few Samoans and New Zealanders. The Game was won by Berliner rugby club but the outstanding player on the field that day was the fly half for Hamburg who we later found out was a student on some sort of exchange program from Northern Ireland.
After the game we were invited to have a beer but we declined and headed back to the Irish harp for more beer and food. I now noticed by a poster on the wall of the Berliner Rugby team and later learned that the Irish Harp are in fact sponsors of Berliner Rugby Club. And this is their main watering hole and thus we drank a few more Guinness’s had a chat with a few of the rugby boys who happened to be New Zealanders and off we went. The rest of the night was a blur so can’t report on that.
All in all a rather different rugby day for me but enjoyable and am glad that I can enjoy rugby wherever I go regardless of the standard of rugby it’s just a case of digging around and finding what’s out there are hoping there is a fixture you can attend.
That’s it now for Germany, my 2 months here are done and now back to Rugby in England and looking forward to the Summer touch rugby tournament at Letchworth Rugby Club and Looking forward to Helping out at Little Ruggers a sports development club for children aged 2- 6 years.
I have been very busy lately and have neglected this blog, however I aim to update regularly from now on as I will have more time to devote to it.
As you may have gathered I am now back working in Germany however this time I am in the exciting city of Berlin. After doing a little research I was shocked to find out that there are in fact six rugby clubs in Berlin. I will be giving an overview of the rugby scene here in another post. The plan the coming weekend will be to find a rugby match and pitch up drink German beer and get chatting to as many people as I can and learn more about the people the club and the general rugby scene and hopefully have a decent night out with new friends. I was looking for a game from the highest league in Berlin who play in the Bundesliga.
In Germany because of the winter break, there has been no rugby until last week and that was the weekend I went home to watch my rugby club play and defeat our local rivals but that’s another post. In terms of German rugby all the traditionally strong clubs from across Germany are represented in the current Budgesliga league table as shown below.
SC Frankfurt 1880
Berliner Rugby Club
RK 03 Berlin
DSV Hannover 78
As you can see there are two Berlin Clubs in the German Bundesliga and are currently place 6 and 7, the first being Berliner Rugby Club and the Other being RK 03 Berlin. You may have read my post about Rugby in Germany in which I gave a breakdown of rugby in Germany and also a report on the games I watched namely being München RFC vs RC Luxemburg and Stuttgarter RC vs TSV Victoria Linden who both play in the 2nd tier of German Rugby and I said it was possibly equivalent to either level 7 or 6 in the English league system.
I am now told that the Bundesliga is probably equivalent to Level 5 in English rugby I have yet to see if this is the case. Anyway onto this weekend I am going to go and watch a game between Berliner RC II vs Hamburger RC. What seems to be quite common is that the second teams of these clubs often play in the same league structure, (Whats happens if the second team gets promoted also?). Berliner RC first team plays in the highest league and their second team players in the second tier. You may be thinking why is he going to watch the second team, well that’s because all the other teams seem to be playing away this weekend.
Heres what the league looks like its the Bundesliga North, if you remember Munich, Stuttgart and Luxembourg all play in the Budgesliga South. Please pop back and see how I get on, who knows if I take my boots along I might get a game.
An initiative that we at Rugbyclubman.com thoroughly approve of is getting more lapsed rugby players playing rugby again. From my experience there are lots of them out there. If you have been out of Rugby for a while it can drop to the back of the mind and before long rugby is often even considered a possible alternative to going shopping on Saturdays. Sometimes all that is needed is for someone to plant the seed in the mind of these lapsed players and make them realise that a run out on a saturday could be the escape they are looking for. So it is the duty of all rugby club members to plant the seed in as many minds as we can. So everyone get on those phones and start getting those legendary teams back together again and get involved.
As a start join O2 Rugby Reunion this summer and make the comeback to end all comebacks. It’s time to put the old team back together and get back out there. Each event has food, drink, competitions, prizes and England players present.
Along with former England player Mike Catt, Rob Andrew, one of the North East’s favourite rugby sons, is backing Newcastle as the perfect venue for this weekend’s launch of the O2 Rugby Reunion campaign, a nationwide initiative supported by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to encourage players that have drifted away from rugby to reconnect with the game and their friends.
“The North East has a great reputation for welcoming visitors and providing them with a tremendous social environment and that should tie in perfectly with the O2 Rugby Reunion theme.” says the former Newcastle Falcons fly-half and Director of Rugby who is now England’s Elite Rugby Director.
“I think the O2 and RFU efforts to keep people in touch and involved in the game is a really good idea and the launch of the programme at Ryton RFC on the outskirts of Newcastle is an ideal choice.
“When any of us look back on our careers, memories of the early days and the characters we played with always remain vivid and precious. Ironically, while the 16/24 age group which this project caters for is probably the most vulnerable, it is also the period in which RU players get most out of the game and the friendships it generates.
Reunite old rugby friends
“The touch rugby festivals in the O2 Rugby Reunion programme offer a perfect opportunity for schoolmates to rekindle the rugby spark and the use of facebook as a means of pulling teams together is a smart piece of thinking.
“I’m sure Newcastle, the capital of fun and social interaction for a while now, will ensure that the O2 Rugby Reunion series will get away to a great start.”
Teams have been invited to take part in one or more of a series of touch rugby events across the UK, culminating in a finale event, ‘The Big one’ in London on September 12, but more importantly, the project is aimed at bringing together players and pals who has drifted apart.
Aimed at reigniting players’ passion for rugby, O2 Rugby Reunion not only uses facebook to reconnect players with their old teams, but also offers an enrollment on the day option for teams who want to turn up and play.
A captain can register a team and interest in a specific touch rugby event, send invites to friends and confirm attendance at the event(s) once a minimum of six team members have been recruited. Teams can then opt to take part in either the ‘fun’ or ‘competitive’ category for their local event.
The programme is aimed at the 16/24 age group, where, because of further education and employment issues, it is easy for players to become detached and lose contact with the game and their former teammates.
The RFU has an O2 Pathfinder scheme in place which seeks to provide an aftercare and tracking mechanism once players move from the clubs and schools where they learned the game and O2 Rugby Reunion offers a chance for friends to get together again and have a run out.
Registration on Saturday opens at 10.00am, with the tournament getting underway after a team briefing scheduled for 11.00am. In keeping with the mood of the event, efforts will be made to accommodate all teams and individuals who share in the spirit of the O2 Rugby Reunion, even if their arrival is delayed.
And if Newcastle is out of your parish, why not get the ball rolling now and enter one of the remaining regional events. They are:
London, Old Deer Park – Saturday 31st July
Bristol, Portway Centre – Saturday 7th August
Manchester, Broughton Park RFC – Saturday 14th August
Coventry, Coundon Hall Park – Saturday 21st August
Dorset, Oakmedians RFC – Sunday 29th August
To register a team via facebook simply search online for ‘O2 Rugby Reunion’ – and start getting in touch with your rugby mates from yesteryear.
For further information on the Newcastle event please contact:
Tom Wilkinson on 07894 489096
Dave Reed on 07736 517728