Touch Euros Get Underway in Treviso

Tomorrow sees the first round of games in the 8th biannual European Touch Championships (ETC2012) which are taking place in the Lancenigo Sports Complex, in Treviso, Italy.  Wales are the reigning champions and will again be represented in force.

After an excellent showing at the Touch World Cup 2011 (TWC2011) – Wales’ Open teams (men’s, women’s and mixed) finished in the overall fifth position and the senior teams (M30, M35, M40 and Senior Mixed) finished in joint third, confidence is high.  Let’s assess Wales’ chances at the Euros this year…

Wales are the reigning overall European champions having won the 2010 competition in Bristol.  Wales entered teams in all six 2010 categories and despite only winning one outright title (Mens Over 35s), by reaching the final in five categories, they gained enough points to snatch the overall title from the previous champions, England.

European Touch Championships 2010 – Total Rugby Highlights Video

In 2012, Wales are again hedging their bets by entering all available categories (England is the only other team present to do so) and will be confident of bringing home the title from northern Italy.

So in which categories do Wales pose the biggest threat?

Men’s Over 40 (M40), Ranked 1 : 7

The Mens over 40 (M40) team are ranked number one in the over 40s category and will be favourites to take the title having finished fourth in TWC2011 – the highest placed European team.  Ireland and England are their closest rivals and the Wales team will fancy their chances following a 4-2 victory over Ireland and a 3-3 draw against England in TWC2011.

Mixed Open (MXO), Ranked 1 : 13

Wales’ best hope of a medal is the MXO team who are ranked number one and were the highest placed European team in TWC2011.  The team feel that the title is theirs to lose and will be going all out to make sure they bring home the spoils.  In their quest to do so, they have even recruited a TWC2011 winner in order to realise this aim. Ryan Pollock captained the Australian MXO team to World Cup success last year (picking up the Most Valuable Player in six out of ten games) and has been working closely with his Welsh counterparts in the month leading up to the Euros – no doubt instilling the winning confidence needed to go the whole way in a major tournament.  They will need this strength of mind having narrowly lost 7 – 6 to Ireland in 2010 and will be seeking revenge.

Women’s Open (WO), Ranked 2 : 7

Wales Women (WO) are ranked second only behind England so will be confident of making the final and with a fifth placed TWC11  finish (just behind England) there is no reason why they can’t push their arch rivals all the way.  England ladies, however, are the reigning champions, having overcome Wales 2-1 in the 2010 final, but there is very little to choose between the teams, as a four-all draw in their TWC2011 game proves.    In fact, Wales didn’t lose to European opposition in TWC2011, so the ETC2012 title is there for the taking.

Senior Mixed (SMX), Ranked 2 : 5

Ranked behind number one seeds, England, Wales Senior Mixed team finished TWC2011 in seventh place out of eight, but were still the second highest placed European team.  They found the going tough in Edinburgh, only winning one game (against Italy) and losing 7 – 1 to England.  However, they will be very confident of reaching the final in Treviso and could surprise favourites England if they meet in the predicted Cup Final clash between the two nations.

Men’s Over 35 (M35), Ranked 2 : 4

The M35 team finished TWC2011 in fourth placed, behind third placed, England.  They are ranked second only behind England although they suffered a convincing defeat, 7 – 2 during their last competitive game in TWC2011.  They’ll be confident of making the final and are the reigning champions, so they have a very good chance of retaining their title.

Men’s Open (MO), Ranked 3 : 8

The Mens Open (MO) team lost 8 – 3 to Scotland in the 2010 final, but will come back stronger and may fancy their chances, although a ninth place World Cup finish behind their major European rivals, Scotland, England and France, means a tough ask to collect the MO title.  Many of the team remain the same and the squad has been training hard in preparation for the Euros.  They are seeded third behind Scotland and England so it’s well within their capabilities.

ETC2010 MO Final – Scotland v Wales

Men’s Over 30 (M30), Ranked 3 : 4

The Mens over 30s (M30) also go into the tournament with confidence having had an excellent run in of preparation games – even running the Wales MO team close in a final training game at the Vale Hotel last weekend, losing 7-5 despite being without several strike players.  They will be underdogs in ETC2012, seeded third out of four teams and finished in seventh place in TWC2011, but they could be an outside bet for success.

European Touch Champions 2012?

Wales can be very confident of picking up another ETC overall title.  In 2010, they did so by reaching five out of the six available finals and only picking up one final victory.  In 2012, they should pick up the Mixed Open and M40 titles and have a good chance of making the final in several of the other categories.  However, it is England that start the tournament as favourites – ranked number one in four categories and second in two others.  They should provide the sternest test for the reigning champions and it is going to be a closely fought battle between the two nations.  We wish all the Welsh players, coaches, managers, referees and support staff the best of luck!

Canlyniadau Rownd 3 / Results Round 3 CSGT12

 Orangutans storm to the top of the table with a close-fought win against much improved, Friendly Rivals. 

Both teams have been competing in the Llanelli league since the CSGT10 and whilst Orangutans have won two titles and are very much in the running for a third, the Friendly Rivals have made a disappointing start to this year’s campaign losing their opening two games.  Despite suffering a third consecutive loss, they remain hopeful that their weekly training sessions will pay off and look to record their first victory in Round 4 against CSGT newcomers Hyrddod yr Hendy.

One advantage that the Friendly Rivals have is that one of the team has been training with Wales Men 30+ squad since January. 

Christen Rees-Jones, could be the first CSGT produced player to win an international Touch cap having only started playing the game in 2010.  Chris is training hard each week with the national Mens Over 30s team and is hopeful of cementing a place in the squad which travels to Italy in September to participate in the Touch Euros

Wales are the reigning overall champions having taken the title in Bristol in 2010 and hope to defend the title in one of the Federation of International Touch’s showcase events.  CSGT wish Chris every success! Pob lwc!

Christen Rees-Jones – the first international player produced by CSGT?

Elsewhere, Gower Dragons, another team with a number of representative Touch players, move up the table into second spot with their third consecutive victory, winning 7 – 4 against Once Were Athletic.  No Dropped Balls improve on their two losses so far, with a draw against Lookilikies and Hyrddod yr Hendy record their first win in 2012 with a 9 – 2 victory against Charlie’s Angels.

The game between Y Mellt and Y Genhedlaeth Nesaf had to be postponed and will be played at a later date.

VIDEO – Part 1 An Interview With Dennis Coffey (Fed. Int. Touch)

Please note – this is a ‘Prezi’.  It allows the viewer to navigate around the presentation in his/her own time.  There are several parts to this show.  Simply use the arrows to move to the next section.  You can also use the zoom keys to get in closer to the action!

Dennis talks to Wild West Touch about his role with the Federation of International Touch, potential new FIT members including Afghanistan and U.A.E. and gives his good luck message to Wild West Touch.

The next instalment will look into the origins of Touch and how the game has developed, particularly in Australia.

VIDEO – Dennis Coffey Interview INTRO

Dennis Coffey is one of the most respected figures in Touch.  He is accredited with codifying the rules of Touch and has played and coached for national Australian teams in Touch World Cups.  He is currently Secretary General of the Federation of International Touch.  See another post about Dennis.

This video is a short introduction to the main interview film which will be available shortly.

Preview clip – Dennis discusses the merits of Touch and gives a mention to Wild West Touch in Wales!

Represent Wales at the Euros 2012 / Cynrychioli Cymru 2012

Men's Touch Wales / Cymru Dynion

Budding Wales Touch internationals have the chance to show their skills at a trial.

The Wales 30s Mixed team are holding a trial to identify men and women to go to the Touch Euros in Italy this September.  Wales are the current overall European champions, so this is a chance to be a part of Wales’ campaign to recapture the title.

Anyone interested should contact coach, Steve Higgs on sphiggs@westonmoore.co.uk or 07850 177 935

 

 

Wales 30+ Mixed Touch Trial:

8pm-10pm on Friday 17th February 2012 at Gartholwg all-weather pitch

St Illtyds Road (opposite the post office), Church Village, Pontypridd, RCT

Cymru Cyffwrdd Wales Touch Woman