The rugby season is full swing again after the festive break and development coach David Mays is anxious to let the sporting fraternity know what’s happening.
‘First we have the Waterford Cup on 19 January which is a men’s 15, then it’s the women’s national 15 tour to Tampa and Orlando, from 25-28 January. We’ll have games against Orlando and Tampa select 15s.’
Mays also pointed out that the Maples Community Rugby programs start next week and Saturday morning junior rugby resumes from 19 January, 8.30am to 11am. The community programs are free to boys and girls aged four to 16 and all run from 4.30pm to 6pm. They begin on Monday at East End Community Field, Tuesday at West Bay (John A Cumber School), Wednesday at Prospect Primary School), Friday at Bodden Town Primary School and Saturdays at South Sound Road Rugby Facility. The Maples sevens academy starts on Thursday from 17 January.
The women’s 10 a side league starts the first week of February, the same time as the women’s touch league which should draw the crowds as it is sponsored by Top Drawer Lingerie.
On Saturday, the women’s team played a men’s oldies side. After a shaky first 20 minutes where the pace of the game settled down the women showed marked improvements in several areas. For many it was their first full 80 minute game. Most notably the set pieces were very solid with the girls winning their own line out and scrummage ball and pushing the men about on occasion. The rucking proved to be greatly improved with many multi-phase attacks being launched by the girls with excellent continuity at the breakdown. Generally, their handling showed improvement.
In defense, the tackling improved the longer the game went on and the defensive structure also showed improvement especially from set pieces. Mays said: ‘The main focus of the next two weeks prior to the tour will be turning the set piece into more of an attacking weapon rather than just a solid platform, improving all the tackling, improving the defensive structure from broken play and improving the three quarter attacking structure especially from set piece play.’