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Bali Salisbury praised his Portsmouth Valkyries squad after they lifted the RFU Junior Cup with a 22-8 win against Sutton Coldfield at Henley.

The Valkyries head coach was thrilled to the team lift their first silverware, said the PORTSMOUTH NEWS.

It was the biggest game the Rugby Camp club have been involved with in their 132-year history and it was the first time any Portsmouth senior side has won a national competition.

Salisbury said: ‘All the coaching staff are immensely proud of the efforts the players have made this season.

‘Not just the 22 involved in this game, but the entire squad that have made this season so successful.’

Team captains Charlie Morgan and Sandy Newsham lifted the trophy to the delight of the team and the travelling support.

This first silverware for the Valkyries is testament to the hard work they have put in on and off the pitch this season.

They continue to go from strength to strength with the ambition for a second senior team the Amazons and the creation of an under-13 girls team to help grow the future of women’s rugby in Hampshire.

A brace of tries each for wing Bronwyn Jacobs and full-back Makeda Lewis gave The Valkyries the edge over Sutton Coldfield with Jordan Wilshire providing the extra two points from the tee.

In the final stages the Valkyries stood up to everything Sutton threw at them.

Big tackles from prop Pauline French and second row Sydnee Checkley kept the opposition at bay.

Gutsy defence by Portsmouth was needed while the yellow cards were being served, wing Laura Ineson and her fellow backs put themselves on the line time and again, while forwards Wilshire, Kerrie McCormick and Lucia Crotti tackled with an intensity worthy of the occasion.

Both teams gave their all and both sets of coaches used their subs to replace tired and weary bodies in the final exciting minutes of the game.

Sadly, it wasn't quite to be a league and cup double despite beating London Welsh on Sunday 10-5, the bonus point the capital ladies took from the game meant they topped the table on points difference with both sides finishing on 60 points.

But what a season for the Valkyries!  Cup winners, second in the league, the creation of a second XV and new players pouring through the doors to join.  Hampshire Rugby is delighted to see the ladies set up thriving.

Although Hampshire narrowly failed to make the knock-out phase of the Jason Leonard U20 County Championship this season, 9 members of the squad have been selected by the London and South East assessors to attend an initial assessment day from which the Divisional squad will be selected.
 
 
 
 
 
It is a great achievement to have so many Hampshire players selected so congratulations and best of luck at Cheshunt RFC on Sunday 22nd April, go to the following members of the U20s squad:
 
 
Elliot Bellman - Havant
Rob Cuffe - Havant
Pita Koroi - London Scottish
Josh Moore - Swansea University 
Harry Johnston - Cardiff Met University
Russell Bennett - London Irish Wild Geese
Eddie Jenkinson - Birmingham University
Jerome Rudder - Havant
Cameron McDonald - Bracknell

England Counties U18 vs Ireland Clubs and Schools 4th April 2018 England 15 Ireland 13

 

Three Hampshire U18s played in this exciting match yesterday at the United Services ground in Portsmouth yesterday. Having been beaten by Ireland for the last two seasons, the England squad were very keen to reverse that trend in the first to two matches.
 
Our three U18s all played well in exceptionally challenging conditions of heavy rain snd strong winds. 
 
Ireland set the pace in a difficult first half England initially struggled to get into their half  but an early try run from the centre by England 13  Zach Clow  lifted their spirits and determination.
 

Ireland replied with a great try from their number 15 in the corner and another try from the England 3 after a great push meant a very physical and hard fought battle began.

 

A converted penalty to Ireland and a held up try for England increased the pressure until Clow grounded a loose ball for the winning try.

 

England Counties showed real determination in the second half with all players contributing to a superb win. Coming together only recently after a season of selection matches from October across the Country and this only their second match demonstrated their commitment and the high quality of the coaching they are receiving as part of the England Counties set up.

 

 

squad photo

 

 

United Services and the Navy have given tremendous support to this weeks camp over Easter giving these players a unique experience of life in a navy base near to Gunwharf and other attractions. Supported by the local MP Stephen Morgan and the Mayor of Portsmouth Ken Ellcome... there was also a tremendous turn out of local clubs, friends, relatives and schools to cheer on our Hampshire players.

 

Both teams are working together to coach younger aspiring rugby players today before they prepare for their second match on Saturday at the US ground –

 

KO 12 noon - please come and support the England Counties team and our Hampshire players again. It will undoubtedly be a hard fought game.

 

Please follow this link for the official RFU match report... http://www.englandrugby.com/news/england-counties-u18s-edge-out-ireland/

 

 

Hampshire lads

The second game between the England Counties U18 and the Ireland Schools and Clubs was a nail biting, exciting game of thrilling rugby. 
 
Ireland, determined to overturn the result on Wednesday, came out with enormous determination and scored their first converted try early in the first half. They were excellent in the line out and in their driving mauls putting England under real pressure.
 
England replied with a superb try from the first of three set up by Hampshire's Zach Clow and the conversion was the first of many great kicks by the England number 15. Hampshire's Tom Knight Owen made some superb kicks and fantastic tackles relieving the pressure in a strongly contested game.
 
Ireland hit straight back with another converted try which England answered and each side had a penalty kick each so both sides were level at 17 when they went in at half time.
 
A keenly anticipated second half did not disappoint the large crowd of hundreds of supporters. With a scoreline more akin to a tennis match than a rugby game, each side continued to score alternately with Hampshire's Luke Spring coming on to make a real difference steadying the scrum and made a telling pass for a key try. The England side again showed their team cohesion, self belief and sheer determination.  It was 29 - 29 at last play after charged down kicks and conversions when a penalty was given to England and they won 32 -29. 
Pic1
 
Pic3
 
 
 
Exhausted players and spectators alike  celebrated a hard fought England win against an excellent Ireland performance. 
The after match presentation of England caps was a fantastic end to seven months of continual assessment and a recognition of the players commitment and ability.
 

HAVANT 25 BOURNEMOUTH 0
HAMPSHIRE CUP FINAL 2018 - REPORT
by Richard V Isaacs

Havant lifted the Hampshire Cup for a record 19th time after causing something of an upset in beating higher league visitors Bournemouth 25-0 in a pulsating encounter on Saturday afternoon.


The Dorset side, playing in the County Cup showpiece for the first time since 1975, were the perceived favourites coming into the game but, on the muddy and sticky surface, it was the home side that took the spoils.

A sole Joel Knight penalty for Havant was the only score of a first half which was dominated by the promotion chasing South West Premier side, who had the majority of the possession and territory.

But they were unable to find a way through the resolute Havant defence and only had a missed penalty from 40 yards to show for their efforts.

Two tries in the space of three second-half minutes eased the home side clear.

The first came on 48 minutes when Darren Bamford crashed over in the corner and Knight cracked an impressive conversion and then Scott Morris benefited under the posts for the second.

Bournemouth tried to get back into the contest but some poor handling let them down when it mattered and it was the home side the topped off a fine performance with a penalty and a third try.

Knight made no mistake from in front of the posts and, in injury time, Harrison Young strolled to the line after excellent work from winger Jerome Rudder which sent the large crowd of over 500 into raptures.

In a re-run of Havant’s first ever Cup win 43 years previous, when they beat Bournemouth 12-6, this was their third straight County Cup title and their 19th victory overall.

HRFU/RICHARD ISAACS' PICTURES FROM THE GAME
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hampshirerfu/albums/72157693387325051

MARK DELLER'S EXCELLENT PICTURES FROM THE GAME

https://www.flickr.com/photos/windandsurfimages/albums/72157694371178384/

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