Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Monday, 6 March 1989

Great Britain v France: report

Chris Thau

In a match that displayed most of the features of the men's encounter at Twickenham skill, purpose, commitment and dedication the British women (England, with two Welsh reinforcements) scored a historic 13-0 first win over France by a goal, a try, and a dropped goal to nil at Roehampton on Saturday .

The progress of women's rugby under the competent coaching of Jim Greenwood is astonishing. The British forwards, admirably led by Lisa Burgess, controlled the game, which was sponsored by Carlsberg, from the outset.

They produced a steady stream of good-quality possession, allowing Karen Almond, the stand-off half and captain, to shine again. She contributed to a long-awaited, well-deserved win with a try, a dropped goal and a conversion.

SCORERS: Great Britain: Tries: E Mitchell, K Almond. Dropped goal: K Almond. Conversion: K Almond.

Copyright (C) The Times, 1989

Source Citation
"Almond bears most fruit in women's game; Rugby Union." Times [London, England] 6 Mar. 1989

Tuesday, 18 October 1988

Breaking clear of the Cinderella image

Chris Thau charts the popularity of women's rugby and the steps it is taking to win even more friends

England's 40-0 victory over Sweden in Waterloo at the weekend was another landmark in the short history of the women's game in Europe.

The women's international, sponsored by Chelsfield plc, was part of an international schedule agreed at a preliminary meeting of the representatives from European countries last April.

The meeting, attended by delegates from Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain has decided to form an international women's confederation similar to the International Rugby Board to coordinate and promote the women's game worldwide. The first meeting of the newly-formed body is scheduled for this month in Paris.

The conference was organized during the first European women's cup in Bourg-en-Bresse in France. French women beat Great Britain 8-6 in a closely fought contest to win the first tournament. France is the leading European nation, but both the US and Canada have strong teams and they would be expected to join the WIRB.

One of the first decisions of the WIRB was to organize a second European tournament in England in 1991, the year of the men's second world cup. Naturally the glamour and the media build-up surrounding the senior event would help the publicity of the women's game.

The French have about 30 clubs organized since 1972 on a league system. The French women's federation is affiliated to the FFR and is recognized by the French sports ministry, therefore receiving a subsidy from the Government.

During the last five years the women's game has soared in popularity in Britain. There are more than 60 teams, mainly in England and Wales, and the league structure has operated since 1985.

A five-year development plan has been devised to increase the number of players, raise the playing standards and encourage more women, former players to become involved in administration, refereeing and coaching. The plan is to be submitted to the Sports Council by the new WRFU coaching and development officer, Carol Isherwood.

Until last season, Miss Isherwood was both the secretary of the WRFU and, as a tireless loose forward, the captain of both England and Great Britain.

Sidelined by injury, she has been replaced by Wales's Carolyn Mann as the WRFU secretary and by Karen Almond as the England captain repectively. Karen Almond, a product of Loughborough University, the cradle of women's rugby in Britain, is a gifted stand off half and she was the leading try scorer in the game against Sweden with 16 points (two tries and four conversions).

Miss Almond, a PE teacher in Potters Bar, near London, cherished the occasion though according to her, she never regarded herself as a natural leader.

She believes that women's rugby is still facing an uphill struggle in its attempt to establish itself and cut through prejudice and preconceived ideas.

``It will take a long time before the women's game will lose its present image as a kind of Cinderella sport,'' Miss Almond said.

``But every time we play somewhere new we make new inroads.

``A lot of the men spectators at Waterloo never saw women play before. To their credit, they were full of praise after the game. Even the president of the Waterloo Rugby Club was heard saying that he would support the formation of a women team within the club. I have to admit that we encountered the same reluctance from ordinary members when we joined Wasps. However, nowadays we are accepted as just another team of the club.''

Source Citation
"Breaking clear of the Cinderella image; Women's rugby." Times [London, England] 18 Oct. 1988.

Sunday, 20 April 1986

Great Britain v France: report

Great Britain .......... 8pts France ................ 14pts
Dr Johnson, who thought it sufficient for a dog to walk on its hind legs or a woman to preach, never mind whether it was done well, should have been at the Athletic Ground, Richmond, yesterday. There, women not only played their first rugby international in this country but played with a fervour and commitment that echoed many of the battles between these rugby-playing nations.

The principal difference was that they kicked many fewer penalties and, recognising their limitations in this respect, ran and passed much more often than do their male counterparts.

Indeed, the game started with Britain's scrum-half fielding the French kick-off and releasing her centres at the opposition; and then, at the breakdown, the French getting the ball to their left wing. It was a cracking start.
Initially, the French scrum was disconcertingly superior and the British women, pushed off the ball for the second successive time, had to yield a try.

For a time, the pattern of play held echoes of Twickenham and the Parc des Princes: the French overpowering the opposition up front and their backs looking adroit and pacy; the English forwards occasionally surging back at them with sheer cussedness - and winning penalties for French infringements and backchat.

But the home side also managed to get back on terms at the scrummage - a monumental achievement in itself. They did it, explained their captain later, by making sure they got themselves well set before the sides engaged.

Karen Almond of Wasps was Britain's most powerful and effective player. She came scything through on to a break by scrum-half Hill (another outstanding player who always made the ball available) and from five yards out had too much momentum to be halted. Then, on the outside of a blind-side move, she swept around the French flank for a second try and an 8-4 lead.

If the first half was splendid, with Britain apparently forging ahead, the second was somewhat anticlimactic. Eventually the French ended the stalemate when their left winger rounded the defence and, with all the players tired, there was no coming back for the British. Increasingly there were errors, and the referee picked up all of them.

Indeed, if anything came badly out of the game it was the laws, now seen in all their overkill glory, as innocent mistakes produced a stream of penalties.

The British women were able to react to the final whistle with elation, however, as they hugged each other. They had done well, and so had women's rugby.

GREAT BRITAIN: V Moore (Wasps); P Atkinson (Loughborough University), S Robson (Loughborough), A Benett (Loughborough), D McLaren (Finchley); K Almond (Wasps), S Hill (Wasps); J Talbot (Swansea University), K Lee (Loughborough), J Watts (Finchley); T Durkin (Bromley). T Moore (Finchley); J Gedrych (Finchley), C Isherwood (Leeds University, capt). L Burgess (Loughborough).
Tries: Almond (2).

France: C Fenoll (Tulle); F Saudin (Le Creusot), M Fraysse (Toulouse, capt), S Rival (La Teste), A Fenoll (Tulle); A Hayraud (Romagnat), M Gracieux (La Teste); V Champeil (Tulle), M Lugrand (La Teste), S Girard (Bourg); P Merlin (Le Creusot), C Henry (Bourg); N Amiel (Narbonne), B Pagegie (Tulle), C Marbleu (La Teste).

Tries: Gracieux, A Fenoll. Pagegie; Conversion: Hayraud.
Referee: C Leek (East Midlands). Copyright (C) The Sunday Times, 1986

Source Citation
"Rugby: French women have it." Sunday Times [London, England] 20 Apr. 1986.

Saturday, 19 April 1986

Great Britain v France: preview

Today Great Britain play their first women's rugby international against the ferocious femmes of France. Despite the intimidating thought of playing such names as Marie-Paule Gracieux and Christelle Henry, the British are in bullish mood for their match, which will be at Richmond Athletic Ground at noon. 'The bad weather could help us', said Tricia Moore, a dashing forward from Finchley. 'Frenchmen hate soggy pitches, and I hear the women are the same. ' Copyright (C) The Times, 1986

Source Citation
"Sports Diary: Hit and miss." Times [London, England] 19 Apr. 1986. InfoTrac Custom Newspapers. Web. 24 Dec. 2009.

Sunday, 5 January 1986

Great Britain v France: announcement; Sponsorship of women's rugby

A first-ever women's international between England and France will be played at the Richmond ground on April 19, despite the loss of a pounds 12,000 sponsorship deal which the newly-formed Women's Rugby Union thought was all wrapped up.

The wine company Piat d'Or had approached the women's union, and a season's programme had been agreed, culminating in the France international, before Piats parent company cried off - the reason being that it had been unable to arrange a parallel deal with men's rugby.

For the women, who feel they were 'left in the lurch', it was a dismal reminder of their dependence on men's rugby. But they will stage the international anyway, even if the visitors have to pay their own fares.

Source Citation
"Rugby Round-Up." Sunday Times [London, England] 5 Jan. 1986. InfoTrac Custom Newspapers. Web. 24 Dec. 2009.

Friday, 12 February 1982