W30s Success at World Cup
SuperNanas are Series Winners!
The England W30s team capped off an eventful year with a gold medal in the Series Final against Scotland W30s at the TWC 2011, coming back from a nerve-wracking 0-0 first half, to win 3-0.
The squad, comprising a vast range of experiences, from seasoned England regulars to those who had never played a competitive game of Touch before the trials in September, trained hard over a series of weekend camps across the country in the eight month build up to the WC. Combining these weekends with a detailed fitness programme put together by Andy Dean-Lee.
This commitment to training & fitness was made by every member of the team, despite finding out mid way through the process that the Womens 30s grade had been scrapped due to the withdrawal of the Australia and NZ teams, leaving Scotland and England with the option of entering their 30s teams into the Open competition, but with no real medal to play for. The team however jointly made the decision to continue and went on to brave sub-zero temperatures, 10km time trials and various other punishments inflicted upon them by tireless coach TP and team captain Teresa Dean-Lee, finally making their way to Edinburgh in June a fit, cohesive team of 'SuperNanas'... with Mascot 'George' to give that extra man support from the sidelines..
The team was fortunate enough to be joined at this point by aussie SuperCoach Mark Jones, aka Man-Nurse, aka Nan-Nurse, who played a vital role in supporting player-coach TP and making some invaluable tweaks to the team's defensive and attacking policies, encouraging the team to 'Nan-up', 'Banana-up' and Be Brave'.
The first real test for the team came in a friendly warm-up versus the South African Women's Open, achieving a respectable 3-1 loss - not bad against a team that was at that point ranked third in the world in the Opens grade.
England W30s then enjoyed four great days of touch, starting with a match against Australia Womens Opens, far and away the best womens team in the world quite a lesson!, before facing Wales, Scotland, Japan, Austria and Germany. There was highs (9-1 win against Austria) and lows (9-1 loss to Wales) but a lot of great touch was played and the team improved throughout the tournament. One of the least injured teams at the tournament (despite their age)
England W30s unfortunately lost one of their key players, Fume Kokoali with a couple of broken ribs on the Thursday. Nonetheless, as 8am dawned on Finals day, England took the field confident in their ability to bring home the silverware. After a tense first half, with no score, captain TDL lead by example early in the second, scooping through to create the first try. With the additional confidence this brought, England took control of the game from that point, scoring another couple of tries to earn the well-deserved title of the best Womens 30s team in the world.
The team would like to thank their sponsors informa for their contribution and support through out the tournament.
(written by Caroline Evans-Jones and Julie Walker)
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