Rugby Reports 31st March 2018

Emlyns Ashley Sutton is boxed in by keen Otter defenceĀ 


Emlyn's Ashley Sutton is boxed in by keen Otter defence 


Championship Division:


Otters gain local derby double

Narberth 42 - Newcastle Emlyn 17

Narberth were good value for victory in this local derby clash with Newcastle Emlyn as they ran in seven tries and kept a clean sheet for much of the match until Emlyn grabbed three late tries as Otters’ coach Sean Gale gave his players on the bench a chance of a run-out.

Winger Nick Gale, happily back in action after a long spell out injured, gave Narberth the early lead with a long-range penalty and then Gale’s winding run and excellent scoring pass gave Ianto Griffiths the chance to cross the whitewash in his 100th match for The Otters.

A busy Gale looked likely to score a try himself but was recalled for a forward pass; but Narberth went into the break with an 18-0 lead as other unconverted tries came from hooker Rhodri Owens, who showed real determination as he rounded off a forward drive at a lineout and twisted his way out of a tackle before stretching out to reach the whitewash, and No 8 Richard Rees as reward for his support play.

Similar story after half time

It was a similar story after the interval as Newcastle Emlyn battled away but home half backs Lewys Gibby and Jonathan Rogers varied their play well – and bustling flanker Tom Powell cut through to the posts so Gale could slot the simple extras.

Nick Gale claimed the try of the match after a chip ahead by Rogers found Kieron Jones, whose second kick allowed Gale to sprint in at the corner and add the superb conversion.

Powell and Griffiths scored second tries to put The Otters 42-0 ahead before Emlyn showed great resilience to score late tries by flanker Callum Evans, winger Daniel Davies and replacement Mike Jones, one converted by Mitch Jones but it was too late for them to pouch a bonus point as reward for their contribution to an entertaining match.

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Nick Gale; Kieron Jones; Paul Davies; Gethin Gibby: Jonathan Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Bradley Davies; Rhodri Owens; Tom Slater: Ryan Banner; Alex Jenkins (Capt): Tom Powell; Sean Jenkins; Richard Rees. Replacements: Ryan Rees; Steffan Phillips; Dewi Williams; James Stephenson; Joe Hutchings.
Newcastle Emlyn:  Ashley Sutton: Llyr Freeman; Llyr Jones; Steffan Jones; Daniel Davies: Mitch Jones; Dafydd Evans: David Jones; Alex Williams; Ifan James: Dan Harvard; Bleddyn Davies: Emrys Davies; Callum Evans; Brynmor Jones. Replacements: Dai Bryant; Dyfed Morgan; Osian Davies; Mike Jones; Tomos Jones.

Jonathan Rogers gets his Narberth backs in action

Jonathan Rogers gets his Narberth backs in action


Division One (West):


Another great win for the Preseli Men

Tomos Phillips - good try for Crymych wingerCrymych 19 - Gorseinon 16

Crymych’s excellent recent run of good form continued as they claimed a deserved victory over fourth-placed Gorseinon at Parc Lloyd Thomas which saw them move off the bottom of the section table.

The Preseli Men had lost 22-15 in Gorseinon but were on top from the outset as they eventually led 12-3 at half time thanks to tries by wingers Tomos Phillips and Lawrence Headlam, one converted by centre Ifan Phillips.

Gorseinon’s only response was a penalty by outside half Tim O’Kelly but they fought back after the oranges with a penalty try and an unconverted try by Nicky Southgate.

But young centre Phillips was the hero of the hour for the Preseli Men as he ghosted through for a try which he also converted to set the seal on a committed all-round team performance for coach Randall Williams’ boys.

Tomos Phillips - good try for Crymych winger


Division Two (West):


Seagulls lack composure as the Saints shine in second half

Jac Evans - try in vain for FishguardSt Clears 19 - Fishguard & Goodwick 8

Fishguard and Goodwick led by 8-7 at the interval against St Clears and looked to be in with a chance of the double since they had already beaten The Saints by 16-5 at home.

But they failed to turn pressure into points in the third quarter and could have few complaints about the home side claiming 12 unanswered points and a revenge win.

Saints’ full back Adam Phillips scored their first-half points with a try and conversion but The Seagulls nudged a point ahead with an Alun George penalty and unconverted try from second row Jac Evans.

But although The Seagulls had their chances it was The Saints, with tries by Matthew Lewis and Matthew Jones, one converted by Phillips, who claimed victory, leaving Fishguard without even the consolation of a bonus point for their efforts.

Jac Evans - try in vain for Fishguard


Division Three (West) A:


Steve shines in All Black victory

Neyland 25 - Cardigan 24

Experienced player/coach Steve Martin was the undoubted hero of Neyland’s narrow win at the Athletic Ground in an entertaining tussle where The Teifisiders were 24-10 to the good with the referee looking at his watch as The All Blacks gained a foothold at a scrum in the Cardigan 22.

Martin received the ball at pace and sliced through the visitors’ defence – and although he missed the conversion from the final touch of the game it mattered little because his team had just about deserved victory.

Neyland were 20-17 to the good at half time thanks to tries by Luke Dawes as reward for his front row efforts, and talented young centre George Williams, both converted by Martin alongside a brace of well-judged penalties.

Cardigan responded with tries by Dafydd Watkins, flanker Llyr Jones and full back John Lumb, who also kicked one conversion.

Pacy winger Rhydian Jenkins added a fourth try, converted by Lumb, to assure the Cardis of a bonus point but just when it looked as if they were going to win up stepped Martin to change things – and leave The Teifisiders with a second bonus point for coming so close to victory!

Action from Neylands win over Cardigan

Action from Neyland's win over Cardigan


Laugharne run amok at Bierspool

Pembroke Dock Harlequins 10 - Laugharne 57

Matches between Pembroke Dock Harlequins and Laugharne have traditionally been close ones but on this occasion it was the visitors who prevailed as they lead 31-5 at half time and went on to go past the half century mark whilst the homesters could only muster a first half try from flanker Harry Owen and a first-ever try in the second period by left winger Will Nicot.

Steff Evans, Tom Davies (2) and Mike Williams claimed the Laugharne first half scores, all converted by Steff Evans, alongside a penalty towards the end of the period.

Tom Davies completed his hat-trick and there was a try brace for Gethin Jones, plus another from Gareth Spiers alongside four more conversions by the in-form Evans to complete an easy win for the boys from Laugharne.

Aberaeron too strong for gritty Wasps

Josh Hicks scored Llangwms only tryLlangwm 5 - Aberaeron 31

Llangwm played far better than of late at Pill Parks against an Aberaeron side who achieved a comfortable double having already beaten The Wasps by 80-0 when the teams met up on the Cardigan coast.

Josh Hicks claimed The Wasps only try in another rumbustious performance by the No 8 alongside loose head prop Dan Davies-Breeze and outside half Luke Hayman, but Aberaeron always the edge and were good value for victory, although their scorers were not available for publication!

Josh Hicks scored Llangwm's only try

 The Pembroke squad and officials before they bowed out of the WRU Plate competition

The Pembroke squad and officials before they bowed out of the WRU Plate competition


WRU Plate Competition – Semi Final:


Scarlets sunk by students at final hurdle

Cardiff University 32 - Pembroke 12

It was a tremendous cup run – but there will be no Principality Stadium appearance for Pembroke as they were beaten by Cardiff University in their National WRU Bowl semi-final at Dunvant this afternoon.

Geraint Lewis’ side battled hard and had their moments, with tries through half backs Tom Lewis and Toby Smith, but in truth were unable to match the tempo of the students who were far more clinical as they ran in five tries.

And via outstanding flankers Luke Waller and Gareth Ansell, the University side were dominant at the breakdown and never allowed The Scarlets to impose themselves for any prolonged periods.

Yet things started promisingly for skipper Scott Powell and his side as after both teams had wasted attacking lineout positions, it was the Pembroke pack who signalled their intent with two powerful scrums that resulted in Cardiff hooker Joel Williams being forced off with injury.

But the students soon settled, and showed their willingness to go wide as wingers Kyle Hughes and James Scarfi both threatened with runs from deep.

And it was the latter who helped create the opening try, speeding down the left flank and into the Pembroke 22, laying the platform from which centre Harry Griffiths powered over in the corner.

The Scarlets responded as scrum half Tom Lewis went quickly from a penalty and darted towards the Cardiff line, but was then penalised for holding on under pressure from skipper Ansell.

Young No 9 Lewis fashioned another attack with a ‘tap and go’ minutes later, from which Pembroke were awarded another penalty in front of the posts with their opponents penalised for not retreating the 10 metres.

Powell opted to turn down three points in favour of a close range scrum, and from the platform outside half Toby Smith almost broke through before his off-load went to ground, and both No 8 Sam Smith and centre Sion Dalling were also stopped short of the line before Waller won a superb turnover on his own line.

It proved pivotal as midway through the half Cardiff struck again as full back Connor Graney countered from a Smith clearance kick, before a surging run from Ansell saw him eventually hauled down just before the line, and replacement hooker Dan Hostetler picked up and did the rest.

By this point the students had addressed their early set piece problems, and on the half hour mark they added a third try from close range scrum.

Although there attempt at a pushover try came up short, it was from that platform they battered away at the line before Waller crashed under the posts. After being off target with his first two attempts, No 10 Finn Robjohn added the extras to make it 17-0.

Things got worse for Pembroke as flanker Billy Wood was forced off with injury, but then with the final play of the half, the Division Three West A side grabbed a lifeline.

It was No 8 Smith who peeled off a lineout and charged into the Cardiff 22, and although a jinking Dalling was again denied near the line, Lewis sniped from the ruck and reached out to score. Dalling converted.

It brought huge cheers from the large Pembroke contingent of supporters who had made the trip to Dunvant, but with the Scarlets realistically needing to strike first in the second half, it was Cardiff who re-assumed control after the interval.

A high tackle on scrum half on scrum half Andy Lott presented Robjohn with a simple penalty which he sent between the uprights, and then it was second rows Jack Hollford and Charlie Stonehill who combined to all but seal the win.

Hollford burst through a gap in midfield before supplying the scoring pass to his ‘boiler house’ partner, who duly went under the posts and Robjohn did the rest to make it 27-7.

The No 10’s influence continued to grow as he pinned Pembroke back with some probing kicks, forcing the Scarlets to try and attack from deep and one quickly take 22 drop out from Smith found winger Simon Stanford, who crossed half way before finding full back Luke Hartland on his inside, but his grubber kick forward came to nothing.

And to their credit, Lewis’ men refused to give in, and got a second try when another burst from Smith set up a try for brother Toby, who took a pop pass from Powell before squeezing over in the corner.

Yet it was Cardiff who finished the stronger, and the bounce of the ball just evaded Griffiths over the line from a clever chip from Robjohn.

But moments later it was Griffiths’ partner in midfield, Tudor Forbes, who had the final word as after another spell of pressure he showed neat footwork to cut inside the cover defence and go over from close range.

It meant the end of the road in the National Bowl for The Scarlets after a brilliant cup run, and afterwards coach Lewis told Telegraph Sport he was proud of his players.

“We’ve had an outstanding run but lost today to a talented side,” he said.

“We had to come through a number of tough away ties to get here and I’m proud of all the players.
“Today we just couldn’t impose our game on them and we let them impose themselves on us.”

Lewis and co will now turn their attentions to the Division Three West A title race, where they currently sit in prime position to be promoted, and their Pembrokeshire KO Cup semi-final with rivals Pembroke Dock Harlequins.

Cardiff University meanwhile, will face Porthcawl in the Bowl final at the Principality Stadium on Sunday, April 29th.

Pembroke: Luke Hartland, Elliot Evans, Sean Dalling, Dan Colley, Simon Stanford, Toby Smith, Tom Lewis, Lloyd Davies, Tim Sharpe, Jonny Palmer, Scott Powell (capt), Will Edwards, Rhodri Walters, Billy Wood, Sam Smith.
Replacements: Jamie Brayford, Cyle Weatherall, Alex Thomas, Jim Brace, Alex Wilkes, Barry Alderman-John, Fraser James, Tom Harding-Jones.
Cardiff University: Connor Graney, Kyle Hughes, Harry Griffiths, Tudor Forbes, James Scarfi, Finn Robjohn, Andy Lott, Rob Hurley, Joel Williams, Dave Fellows, Jack Hollford, Charlie Stonehill, Luke Waller, Gareth Ansell (capt), Chris Williams.
Replacements: Frazer Martin, Dan Hostetler, Dan Morgan, Justin Rowlands, Rowan Davies, Royce Tooth, Alwyn Davies.
Referee: Nathan Davies.
Assistants: Richard Nuth and Anthony Kavanagh.

Pembrokeshire KO Cup Semi-Final:


Aber win semi-final over disappointed Seasiders

Aberystwyth 11 - Tenby United 9

Tom Turbo Lewis - kicked all Tenbys nine pointsAberystwyth edged into the 2018 Final of the KO Cup at the expense of previous holders Tenby United, who found themselves a few key players short and paid the inevitable price.

The Seasiders led 6-3 at half time as they recalled veteran outside half Tom ‘Turbo’ Lewis and he slotted two penalty kicks to one for Aber by Steffan Rees.

Last year’s final had been an epic battle at Parc Lloyd Thomas in Crymych but this was a pale shadow of that game as neither side was able to retain possession for long enough to make use of long periods of pressure – and Aber captured the initiative with an unconverted try by winger Ben Lloyd-Jones.

The Mid Wales side also had a second successful penalty on target, this time from Llyr Thomas and although ‘Turbo’ Lewis did mark his return to action with another three-pointer on target it wasn’t enough and now Aber must wait to see whether they play Pembroke or Pembroke Dock Harlequins, who will eventually compete in the other semi-final.

Tom 'Turbo' Lewis - kicked all Tenby's nine points