Social Merit League Pilot goes from strength to strength
Last Saturday was the third round of fixtures in this the inaugural pilot programme to help Clubs support, sustain and grow their lowest social team. Of the nine clubs participating, most have seen an increase in both playing numbers and regularity of playing, there is a ‘League’ that not only rewards winning, but also participation, officiating and ‘playing away!’
Handsworth 3’s (socials) enjoyed a full game with WAP coming away with a win, and pictured below Essington 2’s, Willenhall 3’s and St Leonards 2’s came together to play three 30 minute games on a round robin basis, all three games close with nothing more than a score in it each time.
“Yesterday, Willenhall 3rds put a team out in the next round of the Staffordshire Social Merit League Programme. The league is intended to increase participation at all levels of the game and it ensures all people who want to play at senior level get the chance to do so with like-minded people and at the tier they want. It is great fun but still very competitive (the 3 teams yesterday were very even). Our selves, Essington and St Leonards had a round robin of 30 minute games with Willenhall winning both of their matches in tight affair”.
St Leonards quoted on their Face book: “we managed to send a 2nd XV to Essington rugby club for a 3 way “Pitch & Play” with Essington Rugby Club and Willenhall Rugby Club, opportunity for some of our Old Boys to play with some of our new recruits ,Regardless of results ( ok we lost both games ) Rugby is the Winner , Social Merit League ? A great idea from Staffordshire Rugby and Staffordshire Dev Team “
Sadly the third fixture involving Bloxwich 2, Aldridge 2 and Barton 2’s was postponed because of wet pitches with no club able to host, these three will be playing their game next Saturday provided a dry pitch with grass can be found!
The SMLP league table can be viewed on the Staffs web site and if any club wishes to explore the option joining in next seasons programme or indeed would be prepared to step in on any vacant fixtures this season please get in touch initially with your Rugby development officer Simonhincks@rfu.com 07912 541471