Sutton & Epsom ladies skipper Katie Neilson says the team have faced some serious hurdles since its inception in 2001.

However, results suggest those hurdles have been cleared with ease as they are sitting pretty at the top of the Women’s NC London & SE South Two table. They have won six out of six so far this season, racking up 210 points and conceding only 56 – so they thoroughly deserve their Christmas break.

And if there is a Christmas party, you can be sure they will enjoy it as a team.

Neilson said: “Aside from learning the ropes of rugby, one of the biggest challenges has been becoming a team.

“That sounds weird, but we have so many women with different abilities and knowledge of the game, joining for different reasons whether it’s for fitness, to meet new people or love of the game.

“Then you’ve got people developing as individuals, learning about each other and incorporating all of that into an effective and enjoyable way for everyone has definitely been the biggest challenge.”

Rugby Union: Ladies, if you want to play rugby, don't let anyone stand in your way, says Sutton & Epsom skipper

From a personal perspective, Neilson’s own challenge requires more than a little man-management.

Although, with results going the way they are right now, half of her main job needs little attention.

“Keeping everyone motivated and driven in a match is my biggest hurdle,” she said.

“It is tough when things don’t go your way. Everyone deals with it differently and it’s about finding a way where you can reach everyone and just be like ‘Look guys, it’s ok, mistakes happen and it won’t always go our way, but we do know what we are capable of, let’s go show them, kind of thing.”

She added: “It’s all about trying to keep everyone’s head up, and focus on what we are doing right so that we don’t dip into this mindset where it then all goes horrendously wrong because we aren’t focused on what we want to achieve.”

Despite not being in league action last weekend, the ladies continued their winning habit beating Harwich & Dovercourt 52-5 in a friendly encounter.

The league action resumes on January 17 when St Francis Ladies are the visitors to Rugby Lane.

To get involved with the club, go to