We had four Blackadders’ players represent us at the recent England Touch Nationals weekend (29th April to 30th April 2023) at Highfields Sports Complex, University of Nottingham.
What are the ‘Nationals’?
The Nationals series is a weekend of competitive touch rugby, where each region is represented in a variety of divisions from seniors, men’s, women’s to mixed and juniors. It is the main stepping stone to international selection.
To play at nationals you first need to be selected to play for your region. This involves being selected by the coaches / volunteers at regional trials, where players are put through various drills and games against the best players in the North East. Well done to the following on their selection for the Raiders:
Athena Enderstein – Far side link
Lesley Marshall – Box side link
Carl Cockburn – Mid
Michael Ferguson – Far side link
Don’t miss out on some of the action from the weekend, check out the England Touch YouTube channel:
Saturday 29th April 2023 the following fixture were played on the live link:
12.00pm NE Raiders Women’s 35s vs West Wildcats
2.30pm NE Raiders Women’s 35 vs SE Taipans
Sunday 30th April 2023:
9.50am NE Raiders Men’s 30s vs Midland Tigers
North East Raiders Divisions
M30s – 6 teams played Saturday and Sunday – Midland Tigers, North East Raiders, North West, South East Tiapans, South East Sharks, South West Saxons. They played in a round robin format, followed by play offs.
W35s – 3 teams played Saturday and Sunday – North East Raiders, South East Sharks, West Wildcats. Women’s 35 played both teams in their division each day, as well as some friendlies on the Saturday. The top two W35 team would play in the final and the third place would place against W27 in a friendly.
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend with lots of high standard touch rugby, with the Raiders sides all improving over the weekend to put on competitive touch. Nice to see all Blackadders make the score sheet too!
Well done to Lesley for receiving Captains Player and Michael who got the nickname “wheels” from the commentator for his injection of pace in the live game.
Last but not least… it is a NE Raiders tradition is to issue funny player fines following funny things that happened over the competition weekend. The following were issued:
Lesley – for tripping herself up whilst reffing, but styling it off with a backward roll
Athena – For taking part in Amy’s synchronised swimming performance on the Saturday night
Michael – For getting his van stuck in the field and having to stay the night!
Carl – For rocking the touch tan look with the sunburnt shoulders!
Well done all, you should be proud of yourselves!!