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Upwards for the girls

After the disappointment of the news that their U18s are not competing this season it was a good afternoon for Castleford RUFC Girls as their remaining three squads played at the new Yorkshire RFU Pitch Up and Play events designed to provide playing opportunities for established and growing club teams to gain valuable match time and for the game as a whole to grow.

The U16s went to Old Crossleyans and enjoyed the mix of training and games, joining up with Bradford Salem’s girls. Enjoying playing in their new kit sponsored by Yorkstone Construction Ltd and Bee Safe Training and promoting #autismawareness they performed really well. Try scorers were Poppy Adams, Olivia Phelan, Olivia Screene, Harriett Hirst, Lexie Hagues and on her debut, Mataya Dale. Conversions were by Poppy (2), Faith, Tegan and Lexie. The club also congratulate Poppy, Harriet, Frankie Blakey, Olivia S and Tegan for their selection for the new Yorkshire Girls U16s DPP programme, part of the England Rugby Player Development Pathway and wish them every success

The U14s played at West Park Leeds and whilst there were only 9 available players, they showed what they were capable of in two games on a slightly reduced sized pitch against mixed Thorne/Old Brodleians and WPL/Barbarian-type sides and joined with the Old Brods' girls to play 13 a side on a full-size pitch against a good, well organised Sandal squad to end the afternoon's play.

In her first ever game of rugby, Jessica Le Hanie played well, going forward at all times and tackling bravely. Emily Tiffany was a revelation in her first union game and deserved the accolade of Parents' Player of the Day with some powerful running. Sereen Alkhaldi tackled her heart out and was rewarded with a try. Both Darcy Pursglove and Millie Stocks showed aggression in defence and speed in attack. Jenny Sutcliffe showed admirable 'go forward' and linked well with her other forwards. Georgia Longfellow characteristically was always there to feed off scraps and Alicja Kadziak showed again her ability to break through the opposition defence with her acceleration. The team’s rugby was characterised by good support and continuity play and Olivia Stead epitomised that with her speed, side step, enthusiasm and general never-say-die attitude. Try scorers were Olivia (8), Alicja (2), Emily (4), Millie (2, including one full length of the pitch carry), Sereen and Jenny with Olivia scoring a consolation conversion in the defeat to Sandal.

Whilst there were only 2 U12s that went to their PUP they really did stand out as they showed the skills that they display each week in training. Sophie Brealey and Daisy Carter performed very well and they had the chance to learn a few more things and have some game time. The U12s’ is a new age band for the RFU this season and most Yorkshire clubs have low numbers presently but numbers will improve as the season progresses - and our girls will have more chance to show their tackling prowess.

Castleford RUFC Girls are always looking for new players (from absolute beginners to those with union or league experience) and training is on Wednesdays at Willowbridge Lane, Whitwood; the U12s train at 6.00-7.00 and both U14s and U16s train from 7.00-8.00. For more details contact Steve Ball on 07707927090 or visit

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