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This year the women tournament is a cracker! Ever since the Women Rugby World Cup held in this city in 1998 The Netherlands has not seen a gathering of such rugby talent. If you want to see players that will be making a name for themselves at the first Olympic Rugby Sevens tournament; the Amsterdam Sevens 2012 is the place to be.

AAC Rugby

The hosts who have always performed very well at this tournament whilst not forgetting that it would be bad hospitality to win your own tournament. The Amsterdam women have been the team to beat in The Netherlands this century. Having won the national title four years in a row, they were plundered by the Dutch Rugby Union when a professional Dutch rugby squad was assembled with the Olympics in mind. Even so they only missed the final by a whisker. The Amsterdam side has been a breeding ground for rugby talent, and with a club focussed on Rugby Sevens as AAC Rugby is, this team can be expected to bring quite a few newbies into the limelight. This year you will be able to see the future perform in blue and white.

Austria

One of the two sides from the Alps to grace the tournament this year. Austrian rugby is on the rise and their women are set to be part of it. Things must be lively along the banks of the Danube, as one of the confirmation e-mails received started with: “Having survived another voting session…” The side finished sixth at the recent European Emerging Nations tournament. If your reference for Austria is Niki Lauda, to be honest, that may be a bit too much to expect. But if it is “Sissy” then you may be in for a nice surprise.

Australia

The World Champions! Australia is the country, or even continent, where sports have become a way of life. It is said that where most commonwealth rugby sides have beating the English as their primary goal, it is the Australians that just want to beat everyone. Coming from a country of sunshine and plenty most people would be satisfied to live life the easy way. But the easy way has never been the Australian way. The Australian rugby women want to be just as big an opponent for every side they’ll encounter as their male counterparts are. And so far they have been pretty good at it. Having lost the Hong Kong tournament final, they will want to do better in this tournament.

Canada

The title holders. Not just the Amsterdam title holders, they basically hold the title of every tournament they have entered. Rugby is Canada’s little secret. Outside our beautiful sport people will think of ice-hockey when someone mentions Canada and sports in one sentence, but rugby folks know better. The Dutch know that Canada also produces some more than respectable speed skating women. Taking this sporting rivalry one step further the Dutch rugby women have travelled over the Atlantic a few times to take on Canada in Rugby Sevens and the Canadians have returned the favour by travelling to Amsterdam. After narrowly beating The Netherlands in the semi-final in last years edition of the Amsterdam Sevens, the Canadians crushed the Samurai women in the final taking the Silver Pier with them back to the Americas. This year they will want to defend their title, especially as the price has just gone up with the tournament line up of this years edition.

Dambusters Thistles Squadron

This team had their inception during last year’s tournament when the Dambusters had a chance encounter with four Scottish lasses over a court session. One of the said fair maidens had a dalliance with one of our younger more impressionable players and therefore were put on trial… This did not end well for either of them. An idea was sown, which meant that the Dambusters would branch out and embrace the female of the species hence this year they are happy to enter the Dambusters Thistle Squadron. These ladies hail from the Murryfield Wanderers Club in Edinburgh. The Dambusters are taking a gamble with this one: “they are a very strong side but being like their male counterparts they like a tipple so we are not sure how they will fare come the Sunday morning, oh and to make matters worse they are on a hen do.”

Danish Vikings

Denmarks national women side. One of the developing sides in European Rugby Sevens. The European game has been growing immensely over the past few years with sides from countries you never knew they played rugby, coming up and performing. Naming your side after such notorious forebears is brave. Being the (great-grand) daughters of such notorious ancestors expect them to be great and grand.

England

The European Champions. England rugby women are on top of their game and have been for quite a while. They’ll be looking to win the tournament, and the only reason for them not to exceed that is that there is no where higher to go. They won the Hong Kong tournament in style and will be more than eager to consolidate their place at the top. The English field a star studded side with players that make you realise that the amateur days when just being a good singer was usually good enough to get you into any side are over. For good! It wasn’t that long ago, but it feels like ages.

Finland

If all you know about Finnish rugby is the cult movie “Freetime Machos”, then you’ll be in for a surprise. The Finnish women are dead serious about their rugby and they have performed well at this tournament before, especially when considering the small pool of players they have to choose from.

By the way; if you do not know about Finnish rugby because you have never seen “Freetime Machos” make sure you will as soon as possible. It is one of the better sports films ever made and will remind you why our sport is so beautiful. Because of the people!

France

What to say? They are France, so everything is possible. They say results in the past aren’t any good for predicting the future, but we all know that that is not true. Past results are of course the best measure you can have for predicting the future. Except, that is, in the case of French rugby teams. Whenever Les Blues get onto a field anything is possible. They may win the tournament without even breaking any sweat, or they may perform so horrible that wish you would not have been there to witness it. But you do. Just because the French tend to put up their best and most exiting results when no one expected it to happen.

France did well at the Las Vegas tournament, finishing second in their pool, only to be stopped by eventual winners Canada. In their final game they narrowly beat The Netherlands to take bronze.

Germany

If you do not know German rugby it may hold a nice surprise for you. German rugby is excellent and the only reason for them to not be the force they could be is the distances that need to be covered just to play league games. As rugby is still an amateur sport in a country full of people with an admirable work ethic that is a drawback. With the German women there is also the slight issue of lack of players. But they get things organised as you would expect them to do. So the foundation for women rugby in Germany is the seven a side game. The results show of their national squad show it. Germany has been a great performer in this tournament for years now and we expect them to do no less this time around. They’ll be fun too.

Irish Lightning

The Irish development side. Ireland hasn’t been making an impact on women rugby sevens as their male teams have been doing in 15-a-side rugby, but there is nothing the people on the Emerald Isle can’t do when they put their minds to it. So when the Olympic Council of Ireland announced that the Irish were back on the international scene the rest of the world better beware. Or as the president of the OCI, Pat Hickey phrased it: “I think we could do very, very well.”

Ireland last outing on the international scene saw them winning the Plate competition at the European Top 10 five years ago. If the key to Rugby Sevens is to be fit, fast & furious, you can expect the Irish to be good at it.

Lorraine

Lorraine isn’t exactly in the hotbed of France rugby. To be more precise you could not be much further away from the South of France than Lorraine (well there is of course still Lille, or Rijsel as we Dutch like to call the place), but it is a region with a strong focus on development. Lorraine has been attending the tournament before and performing well. They now bring their women as well. Expect some French gusto and daring-do.

Netherlands

The pride and joy of Dutch rugby. With the crispy fresh Olympic status of rugby Sevens the Dutch Rugby Union (Nederlandse Rugby Bond) together with the Dutch Olympic Committee (Nederlands Olympisch Committee) started a project to get the Dutch rugby women on their way to Rio. After their participation at the world cup and their medal at the European Championships a select group of women got a chance to fulfil their greatest ambition; to become professional rugby players. With that squad the country finally got its chance to show the rugby world the potential that has always been there in Dutch rugby. The Dutch rugby women have been gathering great attention for the sport in the country and they have been instrumental in the growth in popularity of the sport in the country in recent years. With the Dutch Olympic champions in water polo and field hockey as their examples these women are here to mean business. They’ll be aiming to perform at their very best at their home tournament.

Netherlands Development

Behind every great rugby team there are great women. The Netherlands Rugby Sevens squad is backed up by a development squad that puts in at least the same effort as the elite squad does. The development squad has been the backbone of the recent successes of the Dutch Rugby Sevens squad, proofing that the results are not simply due to a fluke congregation of talent. The development squad has been performing outstandingly in the domestic Rugby Sevens circuit and they’ll be wanting to show their progress on the international stage of the Amsterdam Sevens.

Poland

Another of the up and coming women rugby sides. As the game has virtually exploded internationally in Europe over the past few years, the Polish women are on their way. They finished with a bronze medal at the recent European Emerging Nations tournament. Anyone who has ever played against a Polish side knows that they mean business when they come onto a pitch. Expect the Polish women to put up a good fight.

RBW Frauen

The regional side from the land of Baden-Wurttemberg. They visited the tournament last year for the first time, and liked it so much that they have returned to do even better than they did last year. “Baden-who?” you may think. Baden-Wurttemberg is the country of Porsche, so expect speed and power combined with elegance.

Scotland

No Scots, no sevens; it’s as simple as that. The Scots invented many things, Rugby Sevens being one of these. It is therefore very peculiar that this proud nation has been absent from the international women Rugby Sevens scene for some one and a half decade. That has lead to the curious fact that Scotland currently does not have a ranking in European Rugby Sevens and they will have to qualify for the European Championships at the qualification tournament in Ghent this June. What better way to prepare yourself then the Amsterdam Sevens. If nothing else; the people speak the same language.

South Africa

South Africa won the Confederation of African Rugby Southern title. That may be a not much of a surprise in the 15-a-side game, in sevens things are different. With opposition from teams like Uganda, Zimbabwe and Kenya the CAR South is everything but a free ride. Lack of funding and sometimes not really up to standard transport systems are of course a continuing curse in the development of African rugby (the Uganda Lady Cranes for instance had to withdraw from the tournament due to lack of funds). It is not lack of talent though as these proud representatives of the Rainbow Nation will show you.

Spain

Finalist in the last three European Championships, winning the title in 2010, Spain had to let go of their title in the final against England. But not before they had thrashed absolutely everybody else. Finalists in Amsterdam in 2010 and semi-finalists in 2011 Spain has not yet won this tournament. You can bet your sweet mortgage (for what it is worth these days) on it that they’ll more than eager to take the Silver Pier back to Madrid this time around. Especially since they were so close in 2010, when they had to succumb to a team named WOP in the final. That sounds worse then it is; WOP (Watch Out Pedestrians) is actually the Dutch national team in disguise.

Susies Sevens

Susies made their first visit to the Amsterdam Sevens in 2008 and have performed consistently very well at this tournament, having only been beating by national sides in the later stages of the tournament. This year Susies is expected to perform at least as well as they did in their previous visits, with the possibility of them throwing up one or two surprises along the way.

Switzerland

The other Alpine side to visit the tournament. The Swiss ladies have been around on the European Sevens circuit for longer. They have qualified for the top tournament in Europe, as part of the European Top 12, and can therefore be expected to perform well. Coming form the great heights of the Swiss mountains low lying Amsterdam must be an ideal playground to them.

USA

The United States have made major steps in Rugby Sevens. Based at the Olympic Training Centre in Chula Vista, California, the Eagles are now a fully professional side. The Olympic status of the seven-a-side game must have been a great catalyst in this process. Coming from a nation that just loves winning (and they are pretty good at it too), the prospect of winning olympic medals must have been to sweet to resist. Finishing in second place at the Las Vegas tournament, after beating The Netherlands in the semi-final, they will be looking to go one better in Amsterdam.

Wales

No, the female version of wizards is not witches! Or is it? Coming from the country where rugby is a religion the Welsh are bound to be finger-licking good. With the principality only recently recovering from the success of the men in the Six Nations, the women will be wanting to put some results on the cards as well. They should! The Welsh were European Champions in 2006 and then somehow lost their way along the proceeding qualification route to the World Cup. They are back though, and we bet they are back with a vengeance.

Wildcats

The women of CERN. When they are not busy winning Nobel prizes, they are playing rugby. Running proof that rugby is the above all a game of brains. This year the Amsterdam Sevens not only has the greatest athletes in women sports, it also has the greatest intellect.

Reactie toevoegen
Foto’s van Kevin Scott van wedstrijd Oud tegen Jong bij de dames
Geschreven door Nick den Uijl
Kevin Scott heeft weer een prachtige serie foto’s gemaakt en geplaatst op zijn website. Dit keer van de dames-oud-tegen-jong-wedstrijd.

Voor de volledige set: zie Keven Scott’s Rugby Photo Journal.

Reactie toevoegen
Vierde, vijfde en zesde Amsterdam Sevens Promofilmpjes
Geschreven door Nick den Uijl
De afgelopen dagen uitgebracht; ik kan ze in de verkeerde volgorde hebben.

Voor de vorige filmpjes klik *hier*, *hier* of *hier*.

www.amsterdamsevens.com

Ook op facebook en twitter (#amsterdamsevens).

Dutch Sevens Ladies: facebook & twitter.

Reactie toevoegen
Foto’s van Kevin Scott van wedstrijd tegen Club du Muguet
Geschreven door Nick den Uijl
Kevin Scott heeft weer een prachtige serie foto’s gemaakt en geplaatst op zijn website. Dit keer van de wedstrijd tegen Club du Muguet van 28 april j.l..

Voor de volledige set: zie Keven Scott’s Rugby Photo Journal.

Voor meer; klik dus *hier*.

Reactie toevoegen
Derde Amsterdam Sevens Promofilmpje
Geschreven door Nick den Uijl
En alweer een promofilmpje verschenen voor de Amsterdam Sevens van 19 & 20 mei!

Voor de vorige filmpjes *klik hier* of *hier*, maar niet *hier*

www.amsterdamsevens.com

Ook op facebook en twitter (#amsterdamsevens).

Dutch Sevens Ladies: facebook & twitter.

Reactie toevoegen
Win een busreis voor je club naar de zondag van de Amsterdam Sevens
Geschreven door Nick den Uijl
Goed nieuws van Barry: clubs die een weekend groep ticket bestellen voor de Amsterdam Sevens maken kans op ene gratis busreis voor de club voor de zondag!

Zij worden opgehaald bij de club en daar ook aan het einde van de feestelijkheden weer naar terug gebracht.

Kaarten bestellen via de website: Tickets.

Meer info in de brief die naar alle clubs is verstuurd.

www.amsterdamsevens.com

Ook op facebook en twitter (#amsterdamsevens).

Reactie toevoegen
Nederland tweede op EK
Geschreven door Nick den Uijl
Het Nederlands team, met daarin een behoorlijke AAC-vertegenwoordiging, zijn er niet in geslaagd om het EK voor de B groep in Enkoping winnend af te sluiten. Na de meer dan uitstekene wedstridj tegen Finland, bleek dat de Zweden thuis net iets te sterk waren (3-10).

AAC-ers in Zweden: s.v.l.n.r.e.d.l.*: Elisabeth, Sarah, Anita, Mirjam & Lizette.

Volgens het wedstrijdformulier (ik ben er zelf niet bij geweest, maar er zij die er wel waren zullen ongetwijfeld alles binnenkort in geuren en kleuren vertellen) is er buiten een try van Zweden weinig gebeurd in de tweede helft. Als ik datzelfde wedstrijdformulier een beetje juist ontcijfer kwamen ook alle vijf de AAC-ers in aktie deze wedstrijd.

Op de FIRA-website nog een stelletje fraaie foto’s trouwens, waaronder deze, deze & deze toppers (maar dit is helemaal een plaatje).

Nu klaarmaken voor de WK kwalifikatie.

In de andere wedstrijd versloeg Rusland Finland met 47-15 (ook leuke foto’s (bijv. deze)).

*s.v.l.n.r.e.d.l.: staand van links naar rechts en daarna liggend.

Reactie toevoegen
Meer artikelen…
Tweede Amsterdam Sevens Promofilmpje
Dubbelslag: Nederland in finale EK en play-offs WK
Aftrap Oud tegen Jong Dames om half 3
Amsterdam Sevens Promofilmpje
Sterkste Dames Sevens Rugby Toernooi ter Wereld tijdens Amsterdam Sevens 2012
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