PLEASE ORGANISE PAYMENT NOW £52 for the entire League Details HERE
Location: LINK HERE
Yup, we all know THAT kind of player…
We have all had that one player in the team. Always out of position, never knows when to mark the ball, runs all over the pitch, destroys the team’s attacking and defensive play and can’t catch the ball if it was handed over to them. Furthermore, we all WERE (or are) that player at some point. Whatever sport we played, we were never good from day one. In my early years of playing rugby union, I regularly pissed people off by being rubbish and bringing my football attitude onto the rugby pitch. But mainly, for being rubbish. Couldn’t catch or pass, all I could do was to get the ball and run as fast as I could, as far as I could, and then complain to the referee about an imaginary foul. Those moments are still vivid in my memory, getting tackled so hard, my gum shield would fly out of my mouth and then getting told off by my captain, Jim, for complaining. Towering above the rest of the players at almost 7 feet, all flowing black locks and furrow eyebrows attached to a lumberjack beard size of an average snow shovel, Nigel Owens mode fully activated. “This is not soccer”, he would grunt in a voice that was more suited to a tank engine rather than an interior designer that he was.
However, despite me routinely being moany and cocky, he never stopped teaching me the dark arts of beating the defenders or upending the opposition players and using my speed and agility against them. He was always as supportive as a more experienced player can be to a newbie.
Now playing tag rugby, I regularly come across team “leaders” who quietly drop less experienced players. It usually happens when the core of the team has played together for a long time and the newcomer disrupts that idyllic environment. So, unless the newbie becomes very good very quickly, they are given the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk at some point. Worse leadership decision ever. Not only is the leader going against one of the core tenets of tag rugby, known for its inclusiveness, but they are limiting their team’s potential for growth. What happens when the best player has to leave the team due to an injury or work or family commitments? It is difficult to imagine that there is a pool of readily available high standard players, waiting to join your bunch. It is impossible to keep improving unless there is a regular influx of new players, once the older ones have peaked.
One of the examples from my own experience dates back to autumn 2014 when our team was put together from a bunch of individuals most of whom have never held a rugby ball in their hands. I had the pleasure of playing alongside one of the best players in London, Terry Winter, who was a newbie but had a wealth of speed, agility and determination of a pit-bull chasing a frisbee. Barely 5 feet tall, the guy could carve through defensive lines in a blink of an eye and was a relentless defender, earning himself a nickname, The Iron Curtain. He went on to become the Player of the Season a few weeks later, and an attacker that nobody wanted to mark, lest they end up looking silly. But before all of that, he was an enthusiastic but clueless ball of energy, running around the wind-swept, cold pitch in Stratford, having no idea what he was doing.
Terry Winter, at Tag Rugby Championship in 2016, just before becoming the Male Player of the Tournament
Luckily, our team leaders, Dee and Lauren, who had an accumulated experience of over a decade of playing tag, told him everything they knew about the game, nurturing him into the impressive player that he became. It was thanks to their excellent leadership, and sometimes a stern word, that he achieved so much and was equally respected by the teammates and opponents. He could have very easily been excluded from the team as we had several experienced players, but he was given an opportunity and the time to learn and improve.
So, my recommendation is to welcome and embrace the new players, you never know what sort of a hidden gem you might discover. They could grow into the next star of tag rugby and champion the sport across your local area, or city, or even globally. Worst case scenario, you make a new friend. But never dismiss them after their first knock-on, show them the respect of looking them in the eye and telling them what they need to improve and how they can do it. They have earned at least that much, just for turning up to a wet, muddy pitch on a cold February night. Grow them into something better, nurture and encourage their talents and you will inevitably build stronger team bonds and long-lasting loyalty.
Perhaps I am biased, as I was extremely lucky to have enjoyed good leadership, and it is easy for me to preach this way of growing the teams. But it makes perfect sense to me to try to hold on to the oldies and encourage new team members to join, not just in tag rugby, but at work, friends groups and everywhere else.
I hope this helps you improve, and, as always, give me a shout if you want to have a chat.
Az – Tag Rugby Player London
Eight had become four, and four had become two as Woolwich Arsenal took on Rainbow Pimps in the final of Stratford South League Division 2.
Having topped the pool going into Thursday’s clash, Woolwich Arsenal’s hopes were running high. For good reason, it proved, as the Arsenal came out strong in defense and the Pimps ran set after set into a strong defensive wall. It was a low scoring first half, neither side creating many chances, but with some great support lines and individual trickery, Woolwich went into half time 3-0 up. Rainbow Pimps weren’t done though. After the break they emerged a different team and began to find gaps in the previously solid defense. A solo break and a girl try soon drew them level. From there, Woolwich Arsenal struggled to regain control. Holes appeared in the line and Rainbow Pimps ran in a few more tries to open up a decent lead. Arsenal fought back bravely but in the end it wasn’t enough. Rainbow Pimps clinched an 8-5 victory and were crowned victors.
For Woolwich Arsenal, there was much to be proud of even in a bitter defeat. Coming second in their inaugural season with a raft of novice players is nothing to sniff at after all. Congratulations must go to Kes Harding who captained the side and kept everyone in order, and also to Will Leggatt who, after a team vote, was awarded player of the season. Another shout out to JP holing a current club final record scoring a hat-rick!!!
Any defeat is hard to take but this one certainly had more silver lining than cloud and going into next season, the signs are all pointing in the right direction.
Will Leggatt – Club member / player
Most articles about sports, tips on becoming a better player, etc. focus on how to tackle or run lines, or out-manoeuvre the opposition. I thought it would be nice to have a look at more fundamental things that help me learn new thing in sports, before discussing the technique and speed tips. This is by no means the be-all and end-all, everyone has a different approach, but it’s just something I found useful throughout my not-so-long tag rugby career.
Despite having less experience in the tactical intricacies of tag rugby (or any form of rugby), I always try to prepare myself before each game; I am not talking about extensive stretching or running laps around the pitch, but rather, the technical aspect of my pre-game routine.
It starts at around 10.00 in the morning on the game day, after the daily update meeting at work. Like most offices, ours has one of those rooms with few sofas, a mini-fridge and those shapeless bean bags that you can sink into. I grab my moleskin notepad and a scalding hot coffee, and head to that room, hoping that everyone else is too busy having meetings at this time in the morning. Once I settle in, I start writing things down things I want to pay attention to in both defence and attack. The list usually includes moments like when to call for a kick or a switch or to remember to direct the marker when the ball has been recycled. So, it usually looks something like this:
Once the list is complete, I try to visualise each point several times, to get the picture in my head, and hopefully, in a game situation, things will work out as planned. Of course, to make these things work, you need a bit of field vision and speed, but this can help mentally put yourself in a game scenario. Where do you need to be when the opposition kicks their restart? How do I make sure the speedsters don’t outrun me? Just a bit of visual preparation goes a long way.
Moving onto the technical aspect of the game. One of my defining traits as a player is speed, and I have been lucky enough to score a few times, simply because the defenders were caught on their heels and couldn’t get there fast enough.
Once I realised that speed was pretty much the only thing I brought to the pitch in the early days, I had few conversations with sprinters at my local athletics club and got some pointers. Turns out, you can have twigs for legs like I do, and be fast, without having humongous leg muscles. Here are some tips on improving your speed:
Just a quick point about defence: in one-on-one situations, the defender should be on their toes, light-footed and be able to turn either way. Spread your arms wide, occupy as much space as possible, it is much more difficult for an attacker to get around you plus the width of your arm span, rather than when you are lunging for their tag with both hands.
I hope this helps you improve your game, and if you have any questions, give me a shout whenever you see me, I’m always happy to help out as well as learn anything from you. For now, have a good game!
Whenever you collect the ball you should be looking to decide your running line. When you receive the ball you should be running at the channel between two defenders. This gives the defender a decision to make. The inside defender should always be marking you. However, the outside defender then has to decide whether to stick to their number or now mark you as well. More often than not you should chose the person with the ball.
This commitment allows the person with the ball to create a late pass when they hit the line into a runner. The runner should then either run at the gap left by the defender committing, or set up the same scenario against the next defender. This is a prime way to create overlaps, or to create space out of nothing.
Kyle Graham – RARC Club Player / Member
Coaching Tip No. 10
And you’re back. Welcome again to RA Champion’s Cup Friendly which as you know, at this stage is part of a series of matches to be played monthly on the Royal Arsenal Club calendar.(also known as home games)
This format has finally found it’s groove, we have other local tag teams gagging to come and play us. Thoughts are still lingering of the last game played with Grubber Lang where the home team Royal Arsenal were shot down.
Our fourth championship cup match to date of recent and it all kicks off today in Woolwich Arsenal as title-holders Royal Arsenal open their new account for 2019 against Beasts From the East at the MOD grounds(Barracks Field Woolwich). So far the record is 1 game lost to BFTE and one game won-so a decider match as it were today!
For tag rugby supporters across east London, the feelings of expectation are akin to a kid’s on Christmas Eve: Hope, excitement, anticipation.
WOOLWICH ARSENAL VS SWEET LITTLE TRIES THURSDAY FEB 7TH, 2019 (PLAY OFFS 3RD/4TH) AT STRATFORD SOUTH KO 7:15PM
ROYAL ARSENAL VS FULL BACK & SIDES THURSDAY FEB 7TH, 2019 (FINALS) AT STRATFORD SOUTH KO 8PM
NEW LEGUE STARTS SOON
FOR THOSE INTERESTED – SELECTION IS ON FIRST COME BASIS UPON RECEIPT OF PAYMENT – WE EXPECT THESE SLOTS TO FILL IMMEDIATELY DUE TO THE NUMBER OF CLUB MEMBERS
PLEASE BE THERE 30-40MINS BEFORE KICK OFF FOR VITAL WARM UPS AND TEAM PREP