Kath Vass on the TikTok Women’s Six Nations so far
‘Women’s rugby is enjoying a renaissance’
With three countries enjoying a 100% record after the first two rounds of matches, there is still all to play for in this year’s Women’s Six Nations.
Former Scotland international, Kath Vass, looks at the tournament thus far and gives her tips for the remainder of the competition.
A keen supporter of Wooden Spoon, Kath will be captaining one of the teams at our Vets Fest in October.
What are your initial impressions of the Women’s Six Nations?
The best presented so far. TikTok has certainly had a positive impact on the visibility of the tournament. The team play has been generally good, but the gap between pro and amateur is still substantial.
What countries have impressed you and why?
As my home country, Scotland has impressed me with the battling spirit and skills. France are my favourite team so far as they are making their chances and not only reliant on their opposition making mistakes, which is what I have seen in many of the other matches.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) April 9, 2022
What players have stood out for you and why?
I was very impressed with the Laure Sanus who has been athletic with a great pass and a willingness to take it on herself. Shona Campbell halving the English fly-half was a great bit of play and grit. Absolutely no fear. I loved it.
With three teams enjoying a 100% record thus far, who do you think will win the championship?
I’m going with the French, so far. They have more to offer than just strength, with skills too.
What has pleased you most about the standard of rugby and/or tournament thus far?
Again, the availability of the matches to be watched live! Such a change. Most pleasing? As always the foul play is at a minimum, less of the cynical play that you get in the men’s game. Numbers have been good too. Crowds are definitely increasing and with a global audience as well, it can only mean a higher profile for the Women’s game and maybe a financial boost for the tournament. Remember, the winners have never got money.
Has anything surprised you during the first two rounds of matches?
How flat some defences are. Those teams with the very flat defence have let in some scores that were down to the defences lacks rather than good play.
— TikTok Women’s Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) April 3, 2022
How important are these Six Nations games in predicting how the World Cup might go later this year?
I’m not sure that they are. They are part of the selection process and training plan for the World Cup, but I wouldn’t be able to extrapolate placings based on the competition. It is a good place for opposition teams to watch and learn, of course. As well as match time together as a team is always useful.
Looking ahead, what are your hopes for this year’s World Cup and any early predictions for countries to look out for?
I hope that the tournament is on the world stage and used as an example of women in sport as a whole, not just rugby. A shop window is a favourite phrase used by organisations, and I think this will be the biggest yet. Teams to watch are always the big ones, England have the strength in depth to have a consistent tournament as do New Zealand. I always like to watch Australia and South Africa. We don’t see them much. And Fiji, what do they have in store? I’m excited for them.
How do you see women’s rugby at the moment and are there any improvements you would like to see?
Women’s rugby is having a renaissance, from the early years of the 1990s, when it was all go but not as much sustainability. Lessons have been learned but we need to bring the game wider, to show that it’s a great game to play, to make sure everyone knows that. The game is improving, but only by making it attractive to younger people will we keep the momentum of greater skills and experience going. We need those to trickle up to the most senior level of the sport.
🏉 VETS FEST 2022 🏉
Whether you’re a current or former player, if you’re over 35 it’s time to lace up your boots and represent your region at Vets Fest 2022!
— Wooden Spoon (@charityspoon) March 4, 2022
Please explain how you got involved with Wooden Spoon – and why?
Well, it’s all Gill Burns fault! She was having a great time on Facebook with Spoon. I saw the promotion for the Tour to the France battlefields and signed up. Sadly, Covid-19 struck and it wasn’t happening. Then Gill, again, advertised her event in Liverpool and I thought ‘Why not?’ That’s where I was cornered by Matt Mitchell to join in a Burns Supper and an invitation to get a team together for Vetsfest22.
And tell us about your involvement in this year’s Vets Fest and what you are looking forward to?
Dare I say, the fun! Old friends and new friends having an absolute ball – with or without an actual ball.