Rugby Reports 4th November 2017

Toby Smith en route to a vital Pembroke try 

Toby Smith en route to a vital Pembroke try 
Picture by Daf Palmer


Featured Match:


Division Three (West) A:


Toby’s late score ruins Harfat hopes

Pembroke 22 - Haverfordwest 18

A last-ditch try by outside half Toby Smith gave Pembroke victory over Haverfordwest in their mighty top of the table clash with second-placed Haverfordwest at Crickmarren.

It came with The Blues leading 18-15 but defending desperately and conceding a penalty in front of the posts – and Scarlets’ skipper Scott Powell turned down the chance of a safe penalty and share of the spoils to take a scrum, even though he knew it would be uncontested.

His team went instead for a training ground move which saw Toby Smith come in at an angle to power over at the posts before Sean Dalling added the simple extras as fortune favoured the brave.

There was a disappointment before the start for the home side as influential young scrum half Tom Lewis sustained an injury in the warm up but Simon Hooper came in and played well, as did front rowers Johnny Palmer, Max Hayward, Lloyd Davies and then Seamus Wiseman.

Both teams were eager to dominate in the first half by they shared 24 points as The Scarlets had tries by second row Will Edwards and No 8 Sam Smith after winger Josh Atherton had given The Blues an early lead, converted by Gareth John and then another from winger Liam Manwaring in between the home scores.

The second half proved attritional as both sides sought for ascendancy but two Gareth John penalties put The Blues ahead after an early penalty by Dalling to take the game down to the wire.

It ended with joy for Pembroke as they stay top of the section tree but The Blues at least had the consolation of a bonus point as Lewis Wood was their man of the match with his back row performance.

Pembroke  forwards goes on the charge at Crickmarren

Pembroke  forwards goes on the charge at Crickmarren
Picture by Daf Palmer


Championship Division:


Superb second half fight back by The Otters

Tata Steel 31 - Narberth 35

Narberth prop Bradley Davies - raced 30 metres for winning try at Tata SteelNarberth fought their way back from a hugely disappointing first half where poor tackling and ball retention saw them deservedly trail 21-0 to fourth-placed Tata Steel, scoring five converted tries after that interval to deservedly retain second spot in the table.

Whatever coach Sean Gale said at half time clearly worked as a back division shuffle and the introduction of Ryan Banner up front certainly worked because within ten minutes of the restart they were level – and The Otters also recovered a second time after The Steelemen also showed grit to retake the lead.

Tata centre and skipper Bleddyn Davies, prop Chris Jones and back rower Jakob Williams scored their tries between the 19th and 29th minute, all converted by outside half Callum Bricknell, as a heavy defeat loomed.

But hooker Dan Smith, centres Paul Davies and Joe Hutchings scored good tries for The Otters and Ianto Griffiths, who had switched from full back to No 10, converted all three as they moved up a gear.

Then Tata battled back with a Bricknell penalty and try from David Giggs which Bicknell converted but Narberth refused to throw in the towel and Liam Hutchings sped over for a converted try to set up a tense final which ended in The Otters’ favour when popular prop Bradley Davies showed a real turn of speed on a 25 metre run to the posts for a match-winning try which Griffiths goaled!

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths, Liam Hutchings, Joe Hutchings, Paul Davies, Gethin Gibby, Jonathan Rogers, Rhys Lane,  Bradley Davies, Dan Smith, Ryan Rees, Jake Simm, Alex Jenkins (Captain), Dewi Williams, Tom Powell, Richard Rees. Replacements: Rhys Davies, Rhodri Owens, Ryan Banner, Lewys Gibby, Jack Parkinson.

Narberth's prop Bradley Davies - raced 30 metres for winning try at Tata Steel


Division One (West): 


Crymych collapse in second half

Gowerton 64 - Crymych 17

Dylan Thomas - poetry in motion for CrymychAt the half way mark in their match at fourth-placed Gowerton it seemed that Crymych might take something from the tussle as the teams shared 34 points but the loss of Sion Colella and Zac France-Miller to red cards saw the wheels come off as they conceded 47 second-half points.

In that competitive first half the Preseli men had tries by winger Dylan Thomas and centre Ifan Phillips, who converted them both, plus a penalty by Luke Rogers.

Crymych skipper Rhys ‘Beaky’ Davies tried hard to rally his troops in a one-sided second half but Gowerton ended up with ten tries alongside seven conversions by Josh Hamer, who also grabbed a try brace in his 24-point haul.

Influential No 8 Lewis Bradley (3), scrum half Robbie Jones (2), second row Josh Solomon and Chris Jones (2) were the other Gowerton try scorers as they moved into the top three as their reward.

Dylan Thomas - poetry in motion for Crymych!


Seasiders have to settle for a bonus point

Tenby United 24 - Dunvant 31

Tenby United were in contention for the majority of their match against Dunvant at Heywood Lane but the visitors showed why they are top of the table with a victory that keeps them there despite two yellow cards, and saw The Seasiders having to settle for a bonus point for being within seven points of the opposition.

The opening exchanges were very even as Tenby’s ace points gatherer Ashley Sutton and opposite number Sam Evans exchanged penalties on three occasions before Sutton added a fourth kick on target to nudge his team into a 12-9 lead.

But then Evans increased his influence as Dunvant pivot by cutting through for a try which he also converted to give his team a 16-12 lead at the oranges.

Featuring strongly for Dunvant were former Narberth stalwarts Adrian Killa and Craig Hawkins, the former controlling play at scrum half and Hawkins claiming a try from his hooker’s berth alongside others by Sam Crowley and Danny Davies.

Tenby responded with a try from the powerful Moritz Neumann and Jack Guerreiro, converted by Sutton – but couldn’t add any further points as hard as they tried.

Moritz Neumann crashes through for Tenby United

Moritz Neumann crashes through for Tenby United  (Pic by Susan McKehon) 

Division Two (West): 


Battling borderers win clash of undefeated teams

Whitland 15 - Pontarddulais 10

Ryan Michael - played really well in Whitland winWhitland produced a performance of commitment, passion and high skill levels to gain a narrow, but fully deserved victory over Pontarddulais in this top of the table clash where both teams entered the fray with 100% records.

In the final analysis five well-struck penalties from Nico Setaro gave them the vital four points but this was anything other than a one-man show as The Borderers remained disciplined, were excellent in defence and taking their chances from periods of pressure The huge experience of Dai Ebsworth, Raff Williams, skipper Marc Jones, Jack Mason and Ryan Michael were telling factors alongside the youthful exuberance of Benji Kirk, whilst the defensive qualities of Scott Newton, Johnny Thomas, Alan Howells, Liam Price and Sean Coles were to the fore.

All The Bont could muster in terms of points was a first half try by Gethin Williams which was converted by Paul Geary, who also landed a later penalty but with Adam Davies and Nico Setaro controlling matters it was the latter’s five penalties from seven attempts which proved decisive on the day.

Whitland: Scott Newton; Liam  Price, Jonathan Thomas, Alun Howells, Sean Coles, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Tomas Evans, Marc Jones (Captain), Michael  Ryan, Dai Ebsworth, Raff Williams, Benji Kirk, Ryan Michael, Jack Mason. Replacements: Jacob Dewhirst, Kevin Allen, Dan Evans, Josh Thomas, Tomos Parry.

Ryan Michael - played really well in Whitland win


Mumbles fumble in vain for a team
Fishguard & Goodwick P Mumbles P
Match called off because Mumbles were unable to raise a team!


Division Three (West) A: 


Wasps struggle in Aber

Aberaeron 80 - Llangwm 0

Llangwm made the long journey to Aberaeron with an under-strength squad and paid the inevitable price as they conceded 40 points in each half.

But Aberaeron spokesman Parry Evans was quick to praise the Wasps’ efforts as skipper James Lewis and Dave Reynolds tackled non-stop and made the homesters work hard until late on, when tiredness stepped in.

Aber’s first half tries were scored by No 8 Tudur Jenkins, winger Rhodri Thomas, flanker Iwan Evans, second row Dafydd Lloyd, centre Dyfrig Davies and winger Morgan Llewellyn, five of them converted by outside half Rhodri Jenkins.

It was a similar story after the break when further scores were claimed by Dafis, Thomas, Gareth James, Lloyd and Jenkins, with Jenkins again notching five conversions.

Saints suffer as Laugharne reach three figures

Laugharne 104 - St Davids 5

It was a one sided contest at Wood ford Park as Laugharne showed their ruthless side in racking up a century of points against St Davids.

Laugharne ran in 16 tries, five of them to in-form No 8 Mikey Williams, against a depleted Saints team that travelled down with 16 players and had to play three forwards in the backline to balance up the numbers.

Home No 8 and skipper Carl Smith got the ball rolling with a close range try before Williams got his first from a set lineout move, and centre Tom Jameson converted.

But then The Saints actually enjoyed their best spell, and a series of close-range lineouts eventually culminated in makeshift No 10 Gabe York throwing out a long miss pass from which full back Rhys Evans went over in the corner.

However, from then on Laugharne dominated, racing into a 41-5 half time lead before exploiting the spaces in a tiring away defence to score 64 more points in the second half.

Williams added four more tries to make it an amazing 10 in two league games, and further scores came from Tom Davies (4), Tom Windsor (2), David Thomas, Aled Rees, Jameson and Owain Thomas.
It was Thomas, who took over the kicking duties in the first half, who also added 11 conversions to help his team over the 100 point mark as they moved fifth in the table.

The visitors could at least take consolation in the promising debut of 18-year-old prop Ryan John, but this was a day that Matthew Williams and Anthony Davies’ side will want to forget.

Mariners Mark Wonnacott releases Dan Jenkins

Mariners' Mark Wonnacott releases Dan Jenkins


Groves guides Mariners to entertaining win

Milford Haven 38 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 22

There was running rugby galore at The Observatory before Milford Haven ran out winners against a Pembroke Dock Harlequins who contributed a great deal to the game and were rewarded with a bonus point for their hard work.

And leading the way for The mariners was industrious second row Ben Groves, whose support play and ability to shake out of a tackle earned him a hat-trick of tries.

But it was Groves’ second row partner Chris Hall who opened Milford’s account with an early try which scrum half Dan McClelland converted before the Quins fought back quickly with an opportunist unconverted try from outside half Jake Griffiths.

Groves then dummied his way across the line for McClelland to add the extra points but again The Quins made a speedy response with a try from full back Liam Hargreaves-Gibson as play sped from end to end.

Good work by Mark Wonnacott, Mike Cockburn, Craig Smith and skipper Adam Rees helped set up Groves for his second try, again converted by McClelland and although Rhys Bradney grabbed the visitors’ third try as he latched on to a clever kick ahead from Aaron Cookson it was the ubiquitous Groves who crossed the whitewash for his third try to earn The Mariners a 26-15 interval advantage.

Milford also made a good start to the second period with a try by winger Craig ‘Yoda’ Thomas but The Quins replied with a bonus-point try from bustling back-rower Hywel Baker which Griffiths converted.

The Mariners had the final say, however, when McClelland, who played at scrum half with a maturity beyond his years, sliced over for a try which he also converted to round off the scoring in a match where the home side took the plaudits but The Quins are clearly on the up under the guidance of coach Ossie Boswell.

Ben Groves touches down for The Mariners 

Ben Groves touches down for The Mariners 


Martin’s young All Blacks show great form

Neyland 52 - Tregaron 17

Chris Morgan - two tries for Neylands full backNeyland’s talented young team, aided by the likes of experienced coach Steve Martin and scrum half Mark Riley, showed how they have begun to flourish as they comprehensively defeated Tregaron to leap-frog their opponents in the section table.

The All Blacks led 19-0 at half time and there was no stopping them afterwards as Martin sped over for three tries and there was a try brace for influential full back Chris Morgan, alongside others from youngsters in winger Ben Goodridge, centre Alex Codd and prop Jack Harries.

For Tregaron there were tries by prop Rhys Ebenezer, hooker Rob Sutton and centre Melfyn Davies, one converted by No 10 Huw Bonner – but it was Neyland who were deserved bonus-point winners as a result of a very good all-round team performance.

Chris Morgan - two tries for Neyland's full back