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pirates4001121Cobh Pirates hosted a development day for girls rugby recently which saw the participation of 33 girls from Carrigline RFC, Cobh Pirates RFC, Highfield RFC, and Midleton RFC.

The U18 Girls, under the watchful eyes of Rob Pasley (Cobh), Emir O’Brien (Cobh), and Karen McKinnie (Midleton) were split into 10-a-side teams with Carrigaline combining with Cobh Pirates and Highfield with Midleton. Following a 10 minute warm-up game of touch rugby it was straight into a high tempo 20 minute a side game of full contact rugby. The two sides gelled immediately and there was excellent inter play between the girls from each of the clubs. The match was not only highly physical it was also a fast paced game, with offloads successfully being made in the tackle on numerous occasions. High levels of discipline were observed during set piece play. The match finished with a scoreline of seven tries to three in favour of Highfield / Midleton.

The U15 Girls played Sevens rugby with two teams formed from the four clubs and were coached by Jason Clifford (Cobh), Anneline Weinmann (Cobh) and Deirdre Lynch (Highfield). Despite the fact the girls had never played together before, the coaches were highly impressed with the teamwork, levels of communication and commitment in ball carrying. Regular breaks of play were introduced to allow the coaches give tips and pointers to the girls, focused on ways of improving tackling, holding depth in attack, effective use of space and decision making on the ball. The girls were eager to apply this feedback into the game and executed with confidence. It was fantastic to see such a high level of display for players who are just learning the game, with some great displays of footwork and counter attack. The two teams were well matched and were level at 5 tries each at the end. The U15s finished with some tackling drills to work on both getting low and committing to the tackle, with standards and confidence growing over a short space of time.

The success of the day is a major boost for girls rugby in the area, and the clubs have all agreed to run further days throughout the season, with the next scheduled to take place mid November.

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