Rugby Reports 23rd November 2019

Alex Codd scores the opening try for Whitland

PHOTO: Alex Codd scores the opening try for Whitland


Featured match:


Division One (West):


Borderers battle back with two late tries

Whitland 19 - Penclawdd 19

A late try and conversion by outside half Nico Setaro helped Whitland gain a draw when ten minutes earlier it looked as if they were likely to concede a shock defeat against a Penclawdd side in bottom place in the section table.

With the pitch inevitably badly cutting up it is to both teams credit that they attempted to play entertaining rugby and fortunes ebbed and flowed as The Cocklemen started well and scored an early try,

Whitland bounced back to lead 7-5 at the interval but then made glaring errors which allowed Penclawdd outside half Tom Howell to grab two opportunist tries which he also converted and the game seemed over at 19-7 to Penclawdd until The Borderers hit back with a late 12 points, ironically after being disgruntled after Penclawdd went down to uncontested scrums.

Whitland also had complaints about referee’ Justin Williams’ inconsistent application of high tackles and losing balls in contact by clever tactics on the ground from the visiting pack.

Penclawdd had far the better of the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead as half backs Tom Howell and skipper Lee Gunnell fed off the marauding play of Tom Evans, Elliott Rees and Johnny Hughes – with centre Zac Chambers posing a real threat with his direct running.

It resulted in Howell slotting an inch-perfect diagonal kick to the left corner for winger Ben McCarthy to win the race for the touchdown.

Whitland’s response was led, as usual by Jack Mason in cahoots with Ryan Morgan, Scott Buirds, Raff Williams and Courtney Bowman but some careless kicking and loss of possession in the contact area limited their chances until Nico Setaro finally fooled the opposition with a change of direction and as winger Jac Howells joined centres Josh Thomas and Alex Codd in an excellent chase and dispossession it was Codd who picked up and scored a try which Setaro did well to convert.

There were other half chances early in the second half for The Borderers as Jac Howells burst through the middle and James Stephenson and Johnny Thomas combined with a kick and chase but as they tried to build pressure they again lost ball on the ground and Penclawdd No 10 Howell spotted a gap on the blind side and sped 60 metres for a soft seven-pointer.

Even worse was to follow as a careless pass on the far side of the pitch allowed Howell another 55-metre dash which he gratefully accepted and added the simple extra points.

It seemed as if Whitland were dead and buried but after a heated debate over front row injuries saw The Cocklemen calling for uncontested scrums it forced Whitland to up the tempo.

They brought all their replacements on – and they reduced the deficit after good work by Bowman, Ryan Morgan and replacement hooker Marc Jones allowed a Setaro chip through to give left winger Jac Howells a deserved try – although the conversion attempt fell just a vital yard short.

Then, with Penclawdd clearly feeling the pinch in defence Setaro worked a one-two with Codd and sliced through to the posts and added the conversion with three minutes left.

There was still time for both teams to press in search of a winning score but the final whistle saw those still sharing 38 points – and in the final analysis perhaps a draw was the fairest result.

Whitland: James Stephenson, Jac Howells, Alex Codd, Josh Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Aaron Mayne, Iwan Lewis, Michael Ryan, Courtney Bowman, Raff Williams, Scott Buirds, Ryan Morgan, Jack Mason. Replacements: Marc Jones, Jamie Lewis, Josh Thomas (2), Ben Kirk, Jamie Thomas.

Penclawdd: Rhys Eaton: Liam Davies; Sam Devonald; Zac Chambers; Ben McCarthy: Tom Howell; Lee Gunnell: Matty Evans; Danny James; Rhys Jones: Edward Curtis; Matthew Donahoe: Johnny Hughes; Elliott Rees; Tom Evans. Replacements: Alan George; Josh Stevens; Will Guarneri; Sam Court; Paddy Jennings.

Jack Mason powers forward for Whitland

PHOTO: Jack Mason powers forward for Whitland


Championship Division:

Otters beaten by bad weather

Narberth P Cross Keys P


Division One (West):

Local derby called off

Crymych P-P Pembroke


Division Two (West):


Moors even too wet for Seagulls

Fishguard & Goodwick P Loughor P


Not plain sailing for Mariners

Milford Haven P Pontyberem P


Seasiders stymied by the weather

Tenby United P Burry Port P


Division Three (West) A:

Wasps wilt in second half

Llangwm 0 - Aberaeron 31

It wasn’t as one sided as the score suggests, but it was a job well done by Aberaeron.

On an inevitably heavy and muddy pitch at Pill Parks, they were forced to defend for long spells in a tight first hour before cutting loose late on as the class of Dafydd Llewellyn shone through.

The centre crossed twice and also created a try for midfield partner Ollie Sawyer, to go with earlier tries for prop Mathew Roberts and scrum half Gareth James.

A scrappy first 40:

It was no surprise to see members of the Llangwm committee on the field with pitch forks before kick-off, with referee Neil Jones ensuring all excess water was removed.

And the opening minutes set the tone for a scrappy first half, with The Wasps first to attack when winger Daniel Morgan gathered a clearance kick and charged over half way, but after a strong carry from No 8 Jason Mock things broke down when centre Daniel Thomas knocked on.

Moments later it was Aberaeron who threatened - and did so more clinically as they took a 5-0 lead.

A series of forward drives set up a penalty which No 10 Rhodri Jenkins kicked to the corner, and from the lineout drive that followed prop Mathew Roberts peeled blind to score. Jenkins was short with the conversion.

With the slope in their favour though, Llangwm responded and outside half Joe Kiff launched an up and under that Aber full back Dyfrig Dafis spilt in his own 22, but in the scramble that followed referee Jones spotted a knock on which averted the danger.

Another chance came when Mock took an inside pass off Luke Hayman and charged upfield, before the No 9 cleverly chipped ahead and forced Dafis into touch five metres out. From that lineout came further pressure and Gethin Thomas and Ieuan Power were both stopped inches short, but again it came to nothing when winger Morgan lost the ball forward when tackled.

It was Hayman who was then short with a penalty attempt from 40 metres but when the home side had a much simpler chance for three points, they opted for the corner but again Aberaeron held out to lead 5-0 at the break.

Seagulls stay solid before sealing the win:

It was the visitors who then started the stronger in the second half and after a burst from winger Kieron Etheridge, it was No 9 James who picked up from close range and reached over the line for a try that Jenkins did well to convert from out wide.

And then came a pivotal period after Llangwm winger Ewan Griffiths was taken out chasing his own chip kick, winning his side a penalty just 10 metres out. In a frenzied few minutes The Wasps battered away at the line as Mock, Power again and Phil Llewellyn all went close. Two further penalties followed which the home side opted to run but eventually the ball went loose – and Jenkins gratefully cleared his lines.

It proved crucial when with 20 minutes left, Llewellyn found himself wide on the left and showed real pace to beat the cover defence and go over to make it 17-0.

From there The Seagulls, still very much in the title picture, sensed a bonus point and they nearly got it when a clever kick from Jenkins was hacked ahead but Llangwm full back George Morgan covered back.

Finishing with a flourish:

The fourth try duly came though and it was one that defied the conditions – Jenkins breaking strongly from his own 22 and linking with Llewellyn who again cut loose down the left before supplying the inside pass to Sawyer to score.

Jenkins again converted and then with time running out, Llewellyn got his second against a tiring Llangwm defence, this time searing down the right hand side from the half way line and side stepping two players on his way to the corner.

Again Jenkins added the difficult extras to complete a hard fought, if not always pretty, win for Aberaeron.

Man of the match - Dafydd Llewellyn:

It wasn’t a day for silky running, or side stepping, or finishing off tries from long range. In fact, it wasn’t even a day for backs.

And yet it was Llewellyn whose pace and evasive running led to three of Aberaeron’s tries and it was a classy display by the centre. As soon as the Llangwm defence began to tire, he was cutting through at will.

No 10 Jenkins also kicked well both out of hand and at goal in treacherous weather, while Llangwm No 8 Jason Mock put in a real shift up front for The Wasps. But Llewellyn comfortably gets the nod.

Llangwm: George Morgan, Daniel Morgan, Yale Grice, Daniel Thomas, Ewan Griffiths, Joe Kiff, Luke Hayman, Will Scriven, Phil Llewellyn, Ieuan Power, David Reynolds, John O’Boyle, Gethin Thomas (capt), James Lewis, Jason Mock. Replacements: Gavin Jones, Mathew Lewis, Ian Griffiths, Daniel Ridge, Kieran Barclay.

Aberaeron: Dyfrig Dafis, Kieron Etheridge, Dafydd Llewellyn, Ollie Sawyer, Ifan Slinger, Rhodri Jenkins, Gareth James, Owain Wozencroft, Sion Evans (capt), Mathew Roberts, Llyr Davies, Tudur Jenkins, Huw Wozencraft, Gethin Dafis, Lewis Tomlins. Replacements: Jason Freeman, Alex Danton, Richard Cummins, Bleddyn Thomas, Justin Lloyd.

Referee: Neil Jones.


Table-topping Quins well beaten by Llan

Llanybydder 30 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 3

At the midway point of Pembroke Dock Harlequins match at Llanybydder they trailed by 10-3 but were very much in contention since they had second use of the elements – but they were unable to turn pressure into points.

They gave away a score as early as the third minute when Carwyn Blayney crossed the whitewash and talented outside half Steff Richards added the extra points.

Richards also landed a penalty after 30 minutes but missed another chance soon afterwards – and The Quins efforts were rewarded when their No 10 Tyler Castle landed a penalty from the last kick of the half.

But the loss of Jordan Asparassa with a hamstring injury caused disruption in The Quins’ camp and they conceded two further penalties to Richards, who also controlled play as he linked well with scrum half Jack Thomas and skipper Richard Davies at No 8.

Strong-running centre Kieran James claimed Llan’s second try and skipper Davies added the third, both converted by Richards as the home side gained their third win in six starts to move up to seventh place – whilst Lampeter Town moved ahead of them in the table and St Clears share joint second spot with The Quins!

Just look at that mud!

PHOTO: Just look at that mud!


PHOTO: Tom Thomas - two tries for Laugharne


Laugharne too strong for Pembs Saints

St Davids 10 - Laugharne 47

Tom Thomas - two tries for LaugharneLaugharne picked up their expected bonus point win in St Davids but had to wait until the second half to seal matters after the home side fought hard in the first 40 minutes.

The Laugharnees, very much in contention for the title this season, started well as Carwyn Jones touched down and then winger Gareth Spiers crossed for a try that Tom Jameson converted.

Centre Jameson then got his own try as Laugharne continued to find joy out wide - and added the extras again to make it 19-0.

Saints battle back

But St Davids rallied, and after a series of forward drives scrum half Zak Morgan pounced from close range to score.

And soon after that No 10 Stephen Smith pulled it back to 19-10 when he followed up his own clever chip ahead to touch down.

In the second half though the visitors regained control and Jack Flanagan grabbed the bonus point try before Tom Thomas also went over – Jameson converting both to open up a 33-7 lead.

Hooker Tom Waters was next to score before Thomas rounded off matters with his second try, and again Jameson was twice on target with the extras to complete a good win for Laugharne.

The visitors will now turn their focus on a big WRU Bowl Round Three game on Wednesday night – where they will have key players Carl Smith, Mikey Williams, and Owain Thomas all returning.

For St Davids, there were positives as both prop Jason Davies and centre Dylan Walsh played well on permit while there were debuts for Jack Crimlis and Jamie Gollings, and player coach Gethin Bateman was pleased to how his side responded in the first half.

“From 19-0 down we dug in, attacked and got rewards,” he said.

“So there were positives but we need to find a way of turning positives into results.”

Gareth James scores for Aberaeron

PHOTO: Gareth James scores for Aberaeron


Blues win well in Mid Wales

Unaia Balekinasiga - try hat trick for Haverfordwest No 10Tregaron 11 - Haverfordwest 18

This second successive win has hauled Haverfordwest back into contention as they defied a strong home squad, a small but vociferous crown and the elements to put in the sort of commitment asked for by coach Steve Barnett

The result was doubly pleasing because his squad included three regular youth players who all caught the eye, with Johnny White playing on the wing as slotting a penalty, Will Blackburn coming on and playing really well and Jack Evans continuing his positive progress.

To make Mr Barnett even more pleased was the fact that his switch from wing to outside half of Unaia Balekinasiga paid huge dividends as the powerful runner stormed through for all three of The Blues tries as he linked well with returning No 9 Lee Turner.

It was White who opened The Blues’ account with his penalty before Balekinasiga spotted a gap and sped through it and he soon added a second.

But Tregaron showed they were far from beaten with a penalty by experienced kicker Huw Bonner and a try by winger Aled Jones.

The second half was equally hard fought as Balekinasiga scored his third try before Bonner landed a late penalty to take his side within seven points and so earning a losing bonus point for their contribution to a hard-fought tussle.

For Haverfordwest, relatively inexperienced forwards Ashley James and Geraint Sergeant shared the man of the match award to round off a good afternoon and joint fourth place in the table.

Haverfordwest: Unaia Balekinasiga, Stephen Thomas, Jack Evans, Jake Evans, Ethan Parsley, Mike Jones, Lee Summons, Jonathan Clout, Matthew Clayton, Jamie Zambas, Jack Clancy, Karl Busch, Ashley James, Geraint Sargent, Ashley George (capt). Replacements: David McCallum, Liam Brown, Will Blackburn.

PHOTO: Unaia Balekinasiga - try hat trick for Haverfordwest No 10

Cardis suffer in second half

Lampeter Town 34 - Cardigan 0

Cardigan conceded only five first-half points at Lampeter Town but with the elements in their favour had high hopes of a victory for their relatively inexperienced side but in the final analysis they ran out of steam and the home side eventually claimed a bonus-point victory that launched them to the top of the table.

The Teifisiders certainly defended well for much of the first period but finally conceded an unconverted try after 35 minutes which was claimed by loose head prop Morgan Lewis

Cardigan had odd chances after the break but failed to open their account – and paid the inevitable price as centre Tomos Rees and scrum half Dion Hughes also crossed before centre Ryan Docherty secured the bonus point with an excellent run.

Replacement Owain Jones and flanker Jason Edwards also scored late tries and there were two conversions by centre Osian Jones to boost Lampeter’s final tally.

Cardigan: Llyr Jones, Mike Richards, Kieran Greenland, Marcus Castle, Oliver Leeming, Rhun Phillips, Danny Bradshaw, William Brice, Andrew Fletcher, Ben Hughes, Toby Neilson-Dry, Sion Phillips, Ifan Morgan, Osian Rees, Ton Taylor. Replacements: Kester Adams, Callum Plowright, Cerith Griffiths, Justin James Noble, Gwion Morgan.


Athletic Ground too wet

Neyland P St Clears P