Rugby Reports - 10th February 2024

Lee Summons claims the match winning try for Haverfordwest. Picture William John


 Division Three (West) A:


Featured match:


Blues battle back for bonus-point win


Haverfordwest 24 - St Davids 23

Owain Roberts in control after half time. Picture William JohnHaverfordwest have never lost a league match against old rivals St Davids but they came mighty close as The Saints totally dominated the first half to establish a deserved 18-0 lead before Owain Robers earned The Blues’ ‘Man of the Match’ tag for his kicking for position as his powerful left boot dominated matters and saw his side edge home by the narrowest of margins.
One could only feel a little sorry for The Saints because they will look back on this tussle as one, they had plenty of chances to win but to add insult to injury they conceded four second-half tries so that the home side could also pick up a coveted bonus point to keep them in the hunt for silverware – whilst managing only three tries as they had to settle for a solitary losing bonus point after so much effort.
If Roberts just shaded being the best Blues’ player from Matthew Phillips and Jack Clancy, then Morgan Griffiths just edged out  George Raymond for similar recognition for St Davies, with Griffiths charging through to open their account and Raymond claiming a try in each half, both on the back of some powerful play by their pack, in which Tom Clarke, playing on permit from Narberth, was another who caught the eye.
Back rower Jack Jones also landed a conversion and two penalties in the first period to establish that very big advantage but whatever The Blues’ coaching staff said at the break in certainly worked because it wasn’t long before they were back in the hunt as influential skipper Karl Busch rounded off a sustained series of drives to plough through to the line, with Roberts adding the extra points and flanker Paul Dungey continued his try-scoring record by adding the second as reward for some excellent support play.
Then Jamie Zambas, showing his versatility by playing at prop instead of hooker, rounded off a concerted forward effort with a dive that would have graced the Olympic Pool and Roberts’ conversion put The Blues in front by a point – and Lee Summons added the bonus-point score as the winger/cum scrum half dived over in the corner, but not quite with the grace of Mr Zambas!
But it says much for The Saints’ resilience that they built another powerful of platform of pressure for Raymond to drive through – but the all-important, but very difficult conversion fell agonisingly close of the target.
It left The Blues very relieved to move into second spot in the table, three points behind Aberaeron but with a game in hand before the teas meet at Merlins Bridge on Saturday (17th February), whilst this performance showed just how much St Davids have improved this campaign as reward for their hard work in training under a committed coaching staff!
Haverfordwest: Owain Roberts: Lee Summons; Jake Evans;  Iestyn Arnold; Matthew John: Liam Eaton; Ioan Hawkridge-Jones: Jamie Zambas; Jared Roberts; Dan Murphy: Jack Clancy; Karl Busch (Capt): Paul Dungey; Dylan Wilkinson; Matty Phillips. Replacements: Ben Llewellyn; Rhys Lewis; Mikey Jones.
St Davids:  Fred Dorn: Harvey Godkin; Ben Joyce; Will Savage; Rhys Meredith-Barrett: Morgan Griffiths; Mike Gurney:  Adam Williams; Tom Clarke; Ben Lloyd: George Raymond; James Goldsmith: Rhys Simmonds; Nathan Foster (Capt); Jack Jones. Replacements: Gethin Bateman; Zac Morgan; Aaron Foster; Bob Froy; Harvey Lavin.

St Davids on top in the first half. Picture William John

Division Two (West):


Seasiders miss out in final quarter


Loughor 29 - Tenby United 19

Harry Rossiter - 12 points for young Seasiders No 10Cam Broadhurst - adapted to his new role wellTenby United travelled to Loughor for this top-three clash at The Villa without several key players and paid the inevitable price after taking a 9-0 lead in the first quarter and still ahead by 12-10 at the interval – but failed to build on the fact that Loughor were reduced from a red card and played half of that final quarter with only 13 men – but conceded penalties which were punished by outstanding home place kicker Ryan Davies as he slotted two conversions and five penalties to go home with 19 points in his kit bag.
The Seasiders’ young outside half Harry Rossiter landed those three early penalties and added a fourth before the break as Loughor showed their intent as No 8 Johnny Donaldson crashed through (but was later shown the team’s red card) and it was converted by Davies alongside the first of his penalties.
Jordan Evans played on permit for Tenby and caught the eye in the back row alongside Cam Broadhurst, who normally plays in the No 9 shirt, but their only second half score was seven points from a penalty try – and veteran home fly half Peter Smiriglia showed his experience as replacement flanker Iestyn Budge grabbed an interception try and played well alongside his brother Evan and as The Seasiders lost their way it was Loughor who confirmed their second spot behind St Clears as Tenby United didn’t even manage a losing bonus point as Davies’s final three-pointer right on full time took away even that hope.