Connacht Girls Rugby Wrap-up

Girls rugby’s gone mad in the province since September.

Between mini girls rugby and schools tag blitzes, we’ve had U16 and U18 blitzes as well as the Connacht U18s playing their Munster counterparts. The season thus far has been nonstop action in Connacht. To start, Salthill’s Scoil Ide played an intra-school blitz in October, involving nearly 100. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth classes took to the pitches in The Prairies, and the girls played tag rugby for over an hour-and-a-half. This blitz was part of the Play Rugby initiative, where teachers work with the WCROs in coaching the students. Many thanks to Amanda Morris and all the teachers in Scoil Ide who coached and prepared the girls for the blitz, and to Lisa McDonagh and Emer O’Dowd for refereeing.

WBlitz1011b_800x600Galwegians hosted a mini girls club blitz on October 22, with Westport travelling down to take on Wegians’ mini girls! There were two categories, with the six-to-eight year olds occupying one pitch, nines to 12s the other. The girls played for about an hour, but inclement weather conspired against them and cut short the blitz. Many thanks to Dolores from Westport for travelling down, and to all the girls who played such fantastic rugby!

The U16s and U18s girls were playing matches against themselves since September, and November 12 yielded an opportunity to conduct an interprovincial blitz on Buccaneers soil. Six teams partook at U16 level: Westport, Dunmore/Connemara, Ballina, Dingle (two teams) and Thurles played each other on the day, with no shortage of talent on show. Many thanks to Charlie Couper, John Davy and all coaches who helped referee the fixtures. That afternoon the Connacht U18s met Munster. Depth and experience on Munster’s part proved the most telling factor, Connacht struggling throughout to deal with the visitors’ clinical efficiency. While Munster went home victorious, all within the Connacht girls set-up gained valuable experience, have regrouped, and look forward to the Leinster exchange this weekend. A very special thanks to Diarmuid Morrisey, Diarmuid Sloane, Geraldine Kenny and Buccaneers RFC for its facilities and hospitality.

The PlayRugby schools blitz took place in NUIG (Dangan) among five schools: Garrafrauns, St Endas, Claddagh, Menlo, and St James (Bushy Park). The two-hour pow-wow showcased some classy tries and great sportsmanship across the board. Several of the girls showed their mettle against the pick of the boys, and a good few beginners improved as the tournament progressed. The Play Rugby programme continues in January, with more schools indicating interest.

Any queries re girls/womens, or inter-school blitz rugby, please contact [email protected]

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