Rugby Reports 16th November 2019

Jack Clancy on a burst 


Jack Clancy on a burst

Ashley George scores The Blues  second try

Featured Match:


Division Three (West) A:


Blues beat front runners Quins


Haverfordwest 34 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 21

The clash between Haverfordwest and top-placed Pembroke Dock Harlequins was billed by some local pundits as the match of the day at Pembroke Road and that is the way it turned out as both sides conspired to produce a contest that was a credit to the section with a lot of skill and physical comment before The Blues gained a bonus-point victory.

Whatever Blues canny coach Steve Barnett said after their unexpectedly easy defeat at Llanybydder the previous Saturday it certainly worked because as both sides were in attack mode from the first whistle by referee Steve Harwood (Morriston) – and The Blues established a 14-point lead in the first quarter.

Blues get off to a cracking start

Their dominance in the linesout certainly worked as from a set-piece experienced No 10 Mikey Jones kicked diagonally into space and centre Gareth Owens took a kindly bounce, fed winger Jack Evans, who is the club’s youth team captain, who cleverly flicked an inside pass to centre Steve Barnett, who not only outstripped the Quins’ cover but added the extra points as a bonus.

It was a real confidence booster and Haverfordwest soon doubled their lead after winger Unaia Balekinasiga served notice of his power with one run and from a second charge set up a period of pressure from with No 8 Ashley George ploughed over the line –and Barnett obliged with the tricky conversion.

Ashley George scores The Blues  second try  

Quins show durability as lead changes hands

It says much for the Quins’ durability that they quickly fought back, with Jack Price, Jake Griffiths and Huw to the fore as they reclaimed eight points from a penalty from New Zealand No 10 Tyler Castle and a corner try by winger Jordan Asparassa.

Barnett made it 17-8 with a penalty but two more kicks on target by Castle on either side of half time made it 17-14 to The Blues, who suddenly found themselves trailing for the first time when classy centre Jack Price and Castle added the extra points.

Haverfordwest finish the stronger

Jamie Zambas looked as if he had put Haverfordwest back in front but was recalled for a double movement – but The Blues finished better with a try by replacement prop Tom Carrington and a penalty try after referee Harwood lost patience at a series of disrupted scrums. Matthew Clayton rounded off The Blues scoring with an unconverted try.

Coach Barnett told us,

“It was a cracking game and credit to The Quins for the way they battled. We were delighted as coaches with our squad performed to today and it shows our capabilities if we all train hard and show that sort of commitment on the pitch!”

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker, Jack Evans, Craig Barnett, Gareth Owens, Unaia Balekinasiga, Mike Jones, Elgan Roberts, Jonathan Clout, Jamie Zambass, Terry Lovell, Gareth Phillips, Jack Clancy, Karl Busch, Jake Evans, Ashley George. Replacements: Tom Carrington, Matthew Clayton, Steve Thomas, Ashley George, Geraint Sergeant.

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Luca Trimarco, Jordan Asparassa, Jack Price, Kieran Machin, Gethin Bradney, Tyler Castle, Jake Davies, J Davies, Carl Williams, David Mosely, Mark Van Rhun, Ollie Parsons, Jordan Palmer, Harry Owen, Hywel Baker. Replacements: Martin Culley, Ben Gibby, Carl Scott, Nick Drewett, Ieuan Jenkins, Daniel Manning, J Brown

Blues win lineout ball

PHOTO: Blues win lineout ball


Championship Division:


Otters slammed in second half


Bargoed 52 - Narberth 6

Narberth battled bravely until half time against a Bargoed side now boasting seven wins and a draw from their eight league starts but after trailing by only 6-10 at the interval the wheels really came off the Otters’ wagon as the homesters ran in another six converted tries in the second period whilst maintaining an impressive clean sheet.

Bargoed were ten points ahead after as many minutes as outside half Steffan Jones landed a fifth-minute penalty and then added the extra points to a try by Benny Kines.

It is to Narberth’s credit that they didn’t buckle and right at the end of the half actually played well up front to secure two penalties which full back Nick Gale converted.

Pressure begins to tell on gritty Otters

But the pressure began to tell after the oranges and within six minutes James Leadbetter crossed the whitewash for full back Josh Prosser to convert and he found the target again after 50 minutes when Kines claimed his second try.

Although Narberth battled manfully to try and stem the flow they conceded further tries to prop Adam Powell, replacement second row Matthew Thomas and winger Duane Dyer (2), the first two goaled by Prosser before Steff Jones returned to the action to convert both Dyer’s scores.

There is no doubt that The Otters found that second half hard going but coach Sean gale will be looking for them to bounce back on Saturday as they entertain Cross Keys, who are three places below them in the table and have only won once from seven previous outings.

Narberth: Nick Gale, Josh Davies, Joe Hutchings, Jake Jenkins, Elliot Dawe, Jonathan Rogers, Lewys Gibby, Bradley Davies, Rhodri Owen, Tom Slater, Jake Baker, Alex Jenkins (capt), Dewi Williams, Tom Powell, Roy Osborn. Replacements: Dan Smith, Dan Jacobs, Steff Phillips, Ianto Griffiths, Rhys Lane.



Division One (West):


Late penalty misery for The Seasiders


Pembroke 15 - Yr Hendy 19

Tom Harding-Jones - cracking try for PembrokePembroke came within five minutes of what would have been a terrific home win over Yr Hendy, who were lying in fourth place in Division One (West) but then the Scarlets conceded a contentious penalty at a scrum, where they had been strong all afternoon, and another followed right on full time when they were desperately seeking a try to take them home.

Small wonder then that coach Geraint Lewis told us,

“I am gutted for the squad because I couldn’t have asked any more of them. Everyone gave 100% and we had victory snatched from us. It is a hard lesson to take but we are gradually coming to terms with the demands of this tough division.”

The Scarlets take the lead but gift a try

The Scarlets took the lead after 15 minutes when Toby Smith and Sean Dalling took play down the blind side and full back Tom Harding-Jones used his pace to good effect as he sped through for an unconverted try.

But just when it looked as if the home side would take this narrow lead into the oranges they had an attempted clearance kick charged down and Yr Hendy centre Josh Davies claimed a try which Rhydian Morris converted.

Toby Smith put The Scarlets back in front with a penalty but two Morris penalties put the visitors back in front – but as the lead changed hands again as Pembroke constructed a lovely try after young No 10 Kyren Gray put in an inch-perfect diagonal kick which allowed winger Dalling to claim a try which levelled matters before Smith slotted the very difficult conversion to nudge Pembroke back in front.

And that’s the way the scoreline stayed until those fateful final moments, when Morris landed two excellent pressure kicks to snatch the points and keep his side still very much on the fringes of the promotion race.


PHOTO: Tom Harding-Jones - cracking try for Pembroke


Crymych crash to basement battlers


Gowerton 33 - Crymych 7

Daf Phillips - grabbed Crymychs only tryFor the second successive week, Crymych were well beaten by a side previously bottom of the table as The Preseli Men paid the price for a poor first 40 minutes in Gowerton.

Randall Williams’ side slipped to 10th after a third straight defeat and their derby game at home to Pembroke next Saturday now looks a big one.

In Swansea, The Preseli Men were 21-0 down half time and conceded 12 more points after the break – although did cross themselves with scrum half Dafydd Phillips grabbing a try that Jac Davies converted.

But it was the hosts who ran out comfortable winners with tries for Tries No 9 Bleddyn James, centre Gareth John, second row Jack Solomon, flanker Steve Branigan and replacement scrum half Robbie jones. Robert John added three conversions.

PHOTO: Daf Phillips - grabbed Crymych's only try


Division Two (West):


Seagulls storm back for morale-boosting success


Pontyberem 10 - Fishguard & Goodwick 31

Chris Shousha - two more tries for Fishguard skipperFishguard and Goodwick stormed back from an early ten-point deficit at Pontyberem to not only take a third win of the campaign but to also deservedly pouch a bonus point for running in four tries.

The Seagulls have become renowned as slow starters on the road and it seemed as though this latest away game might also follow the same patters as with 12 minutes they had conceded a try by Ponty winger Sion Nicholas which was converted by centre Mike Sauro to go with a well-struck penalty.

Skipper Shousha starts the Seagulls’ fight back

But then Seagulls’ skipper Chris Shousha took a quick penalty in the opposition 22 and charged through for an unconverted try – and outside half Mike Jones notched a penalty and then rounded off a move started near his own 22 to reward The Seagulls’ attacking rugby with another unconverted converted try to give his side a 13-10 interval lead.

The Seagulls had outside half Nico Setaro playing on permit from Whitland and although he gave the home supporters a few nerve tremors as his trademark long passes were almost intercepted on occasions – he showed his experience with two neatly-taken dropped goals.

Then skipper Shousha scored his second try after good handling down the right flank after he had been treated for a knee injury and Mark Jones converted for good measure.

The Seagulls had the final word when Setaro’s diagonal  ‘kick pass’ allowed winger Daf Ridgeway to race away – and now they will enter their home match against lowly Loughor with confidence at The Moors this Saturday!

PHOTO: Chris Shousha - two more tries for Fishguard skipper


Mariners miss out against Athletic


Carmarthen Athletic 22 - Milford Haven 13

Milford Haven still await their first point on the road in the Division Two (West) after they failed to ever properly get going in Carmarthen Athletic.

With No 8 Joel James outstanding, it was the hosts who took control in the first half as flanker Carwyn Thomas opened the scoring with a try, and then No 10 Tom Gravell also went over and centre Liam Price converted.

No 10 James Trueman did respond with a penalty for The Mariners but was off target with a couple of attempts – and then he and Price exchanged three pointers early in the second half to leave the score at 15-6.

The visitors had second row Zac Davies yellow carded though and Athletic effectively sealed the win with another try from back rower Dan Davies, Price again converting.

There were positives for the away side though and George Evans impressed after coming on, and it was from his break that led to a spell of a pressure and subsequently a penalty try when Trueman was high tackled in front of the posts.

No 8 Scott Buirds also stood out on permit from Whitland and there was a promising display from young flanker Dylan Evans – but overall Milford could have few complaints about the defeat.

Milford Haven: Jamie Lewis, Lee Riley, Jimmy Thomas, Dan Jenkins, James Williams, James Trueman, Danny McClelland, Mike Cockburn, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees, Tristan Lewis, Zac Davies, Gareth Cheshire, Dylan Evans, Scott Buirds. Replacements: Nathan Williams, Ben Jenkins, Jay Goodall, Steve Martin, George Evans.

Tenby so close. Picture by Brian McKehon

PHOTO: Tenby so close. Picture by Brian McKehon


Seasiders stymied in tight tussle


Tenby United 9 - Tycroes 13

It was a frustrating defeat for Tenby United at Heywood Lane as they failed to capitalise on dominating second half possession against Tycroes.

The Seasiders led 3-0 early on through the reliable boot of Harry Rossiter but centre Elgan Griffiths responded in kind for Tycroes – and then from a lineout drive prop Trystan Morgan got what proved the game’s only try.

Then from the final play of the half Griffiths added three more points in front of the posts to open up a 13-3 lead.

The home side then enjoyed the ball for much of the second half and with flanker Andrew Cooker and skipper Luke Dedman standing out, they edged back into it as Rossiter landed two penalties.

And then came drama as they piled on the pressure late on, and after being awarded a series of scrum penalties and battering away at the line, Dedman appeared to ground the ball only for the referee to be unsighted. The Seasiders were unable to score from the scrum five that followed and it was Tycroes that held out for victory.

“We’re just not winning as many home games as we should be,” said coach Jonathan Evans.

“It’s frustrating, especially given their try. They were going nowhere on half way then we gave away a needless penalty and they kicked to the corner and scored.”

Tenby United: Max Brindley, Jack Gooding, Yannic Parker, Lloyd Thomas, Jack Tucker, Harry Rossiter, Ben Pugh, Ethan Morgan, Dan Allen, Rob Luly, Huw Evans, Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman, Andrew Cooke, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Rob Clarke, Jack Brown, Harry Bolton, Luke Hansford, Joe Owen.



Division Three (West) A:


Hayman penalty decides it!


St Davids 0 - Neyland 3

It wasn't a game that will be released on DVD anytime soon.

But after 60 minutes which probably defined the phrase 'cancelled each other out' - a penalty from Neyland No 10 Toby Hayman broke the deadlock at St Davids and the All Blacks duly held on.

In truth, it was a poor spectacle that was plagued in adverse conditions, but for Neyland it was at least a third league win of the season while St Davids registered a first bonus point of their league campaign. Although they were left ruing not getting more.

Scoreless at the break:

The opening stages were scrappy as the rain teemed down, although there was no shortage of physicality with the home pack losing both Ray Owen and Tommy Reynolds to arm injuries.

It was Neyland who put the early pressure on as centre Kyle Hamer, on permit from Narberth, twice burst into the 22 to set up attacks - but they opted to boot a kickable penalty to the corner and The Saints held out.

The hosts slowly worked their way into it though and got on top in the scrum - and centre Louis Murphy, helping out from Llangwm, was just wide with a 30 metre penalty.

The Saints then opted to go to the corner with two other penalty chances, but this time it was Neyland's turn to hold out.

Stalemate continues:

The early stages of the second half were also stagnated and Neyland went down to 14 men when replacement Mark 'Russell' James was sin binned.

And then both sides went close, firstly Neyland when Henry McBeth's run down the left wing was halted by Rhys Morgan's tackle, before veteran second row Chris Busby was held up inches short.

And then the All Blacks again ran a close range penalty but after the ball went to ground, Fraser Watson intercepted and broke upfield before linking with Morgan - but the All Blacks scrambled back.

Hayman's precious points:

The deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark when the Saints failed to clear their lines, and a burst from No 8 Iestyn Evans won his side a penalty - presenting Hayman with a chance from 20 metres.

This time, he took the points and you sensed then it might be the match winning score.

And so it proved, but only after the Saints twice opted to go for goal from long range penalties - with Morgan and then Murphy coming up short.

Neyland also survived having hooker Craig Power sin binned for a late tackle and losing James to injury, and then right at the death Yale Grice broke upfield for St Davids and chipped ahead, but the scramble that ensued finished with a knock on and referee Tom Carew promptly blew the final whistle.

Steve Evans (Neyland assistant coach): "I won't lie - that was beyond poor. We have won but St Davids can consider themselves very unlucky."

Gethin Bateman (St Davids player coach): "It was heartbreak again for us. We were in the hunt throughout game but couldn’t finish off our chances.

"However, the boys stuck to the task and we have to take the positives and move on."

St Davids: Rhys Morgan, Paul Clayton, Yale Grice, Louis Murphy, Lee Phillips, Dylan Walsh, Ian Griffiths, Will Davies, Dan Murphy, Ben Evans, Gethin Bateman, Raymond Owen, Rhys Price, Andrew Groves, Tommy Reynolds. Replacements: Fraser Watson, Ashley Shearer, Dan Jenkins, Jack Crimlis, Mikey Matthews.

Neyland: Shane Phillips, Henry McBeth, George Williams, Kyle Hamer, Sean Meaney, Toby Hayman, Jack Richards, Jack Harries, Craig Power, Luke Griffiths-Dawes, Chris Busby, Steve Hamer, Ben Williams, Owain Evans, Iestyn Evans. Replacements: Mark James, Ieuan Hadley, Sam Hadley, Simon Phillips.

Referee: Tom Carew.

St Davids and Neyland battle in the rain

PHOTO: St Davids and Neyland battle in the rain


Cardis find their form at last


Cardigan 20 - Tregaron 5

Osian Rees, try helped Cardigan beat TregaronCardigan collected their second success of the season as they deservedly beat Tregaron with a young side that was well led by Tom Tyler, who was at the heart of most of The Teifisiders’ play in attack and especially defence from his No 8 berth.

They were 13-5 in front at the half way stage and made sure of victory with a second half converted try, whilst limiting Tregaron to a solitary try from flanker Gareth Jones.

Cardigan’s first try came from outside half Rhun Phillips, who picked up a loose ball near half way and after shrugging off a would-be tackler sped 30 minutes before cutting inside for full back Llyr Jones to add the extra points.

Jones also landed two penalties before the oranges and afterwards converted the homesters’ second try, which was claimed by flanker Osian Rees as reward for his excellent support play.


PHOTO: Osian Rees, try helped Cardigan beat Tregaron


Saints succeed in tense tussle


St Clears 13 - Lampeter 11

Owain Davies - vital try for St ClearsIt was every bit as tight and physical as expected as St Clears edged out Lampeter Town with a win that took the home side joint top of the table.

A solitary conversion proved the difference as both sides notched a try each - No 9 Owain Davies for The Carmarthenshire Saints and Osian Jones for the Mid-Wales side.

Daniel Griffiths added a conversion and two penalties for Tim Poole’s side though, and while Lampeter No 10 James Edwards also landed two penalties it was the hosts who took an important win in the battle for promotion.

PHOTO: Owain Davies - vital try for St Clears


WRU Bowl Round Three:


Great squad success for committed Aberaeron


Aberaeron 15 - Nantyglo 0

Try scorers Justin Lloyd and Richard Francis The sight of a second row galloping half the length of the field is indeed a rare occurrence but Richard Francis Cummings' 50-metre effort from paved the way for Aberaeron's progression into the next round of this year's Bowl competition.

The effort was all-important as it was always likely to be a tight affair with both teams enjoying considerable success to date in their respective leagues having only lost on the odd occasion.

Vital early score set the platform

Important therefore for Cummings’ early success to dampen the visitors’ spirit which they were never to overcome despite some strong forays, especially from rolling mauls.  Much credit must also go to Aberaeron's defence who were up to a considerable challenge against bulkier opposition, and the total squad epitomised the belief that's been nurtured on the dark and cold winter training nights.

The conversion by Rhodri Jenkins of that early try secured the early success and the outside half extended the advantage with a penalty, which had been reversed after inappropriate comments to the referee.

Danton drives through for another vital score

Scoring opportunities throughout the game were at a premium and Aberaeron had the opportunity of a break away score to extend the lead, only for centre Dyfrig Dafis to be denied metres from the line after outpacing the cover defence.

With the result in the balance after the restart the first score was all important and fortunately for the home support it came their way as strong pressure on the Nantyglo defence with a series of rolling mauls gave scrum half Justin Lloyd the opening of a deft scoring pass for prop Alex Danton to extend the lead.

From there on Lloyd directed operations from the base of the scrum with the reaction from his team ensuring there would be no comeback and the missing progress to the next round. In essence this was a comprehensive success based on a durable display by the full squad and much anticipation will now be on next Tuesday's draw where the luxury of home advantage would increase optimism of further progress in the competition.

Aberaeron: Dan Linton; Tom Slinger; Dyfrig Dafis; Ollie Sawyer; Ifan Slinger; Rhodri Jenkins; Justin Lloyd; Alex Danton; Ceri Wyn Davies; Owain Wozencraft; Richard Francis; Tudur Jenkins; Sion Evans (Capt)); Aaron Lewis; Lewis Tomlins. Replacements: Dafydd Lloyd; Huw Wozencraft; Kieron Ethridge; Bleddyn Thomas; Gethin Dafis

Referee:  Michael Bulpitt (Swansea)

PHOTOS: Justin Lloyd and Richard Francis - men of the match in Aberaeron's epic WRU Bowl victory



Laugharne match called off


Whitehead v Laugharne

Match postponed – Whitehead’s pitch waterlogged