Rugby Reports - 5th October 2019

Blues skipper Matty Phillips carries strongly

PHOTOS: Blues' skipper Matty Phillips carries strongly
Fullback Rhys Baker races to the try line
Mikey Jones kicked well for Haverfordwest
Young referee Tom Carew had a good game


Featured Match:


Division Three (West) A:


Blues show their fire-power in section’s top clash


Haverfordwest 27 - Laugharne 0

With both teams having a 100% league record it was clearly that something would have to give at Pembroke Road and in the final analysis it was Haverfordwest who were clear winners as they deservedly rattled up 27 points and prevented Laugharne from scoring a single point.

Blues’ coach Steve Barnett had been in confident mood before the game because his squad was nearly at full strength – but they were taken aback a little at the outset when they were shunted back at a couple of early scrums – but soon put that right to take control, especially at the break down where they turned over Laugharne ball as the visitors didn’t seem to have their usual drive or determination.


Blues’ pack in splendid shape

The back row of Gareth John, skipper Matthew Phillips and Jon Mason was involved in everything and locks Jack Clancy and Gareth Phillips ruled supreme in the lineouts whilst forming a fantastic tight favour with Terry Lovell, Jamie Zambas and Tom Carrington.

Even more-eye-catching was the terrific midfield defensive play of half backs Elgan Roberts and Mikey Phillips in support of outstanding centres Unaia Balekinasiga and Gareth Owens, who set the early pace with two crunching tackles in the space of a minute.

Rhys Baker, Jack Evans and Tony Steiner also covered well and there were few moments where Laugharne really troubled them.

Mikey Jones kicked well for Haverfordwest

Mikey makes Laugharne pay a heavy price . . .

At the other end Mikey Jones landed penalties in the 6th, 12th and 17th minutes, before he was heavily involved with his midfield and then supplying the scoring pass for Baker to score in the left corner.

Jones then added a fourth penalty to make it 17-0 at half time, and even the most die-hard Laugharne supporters would have had to say that their normally dynamic squad wasn’t at the races!

. . . And continues in the second half

Jones also opened the second half with a well-struck penalty and although the visitors came back a little in terms of possession it was Haverfordwest who scored their second try after sustained pressure on the Laugharne line allowed skipper Phillips to cross at the posts for Jones to convert.

To be fair to Laugharne they enjoyed a strong period of pressure late on but were unable to break the shackles spun around them and it was The Blues who made it three wins from as many starts, whilst sending Laugharne home pointless.

Young referee Tom Carew had a good game

Young referee Tom does well

And finally, a word about 19 year old referee Tom Carew, who is studying Maths at Swansea University after attending Milford Haven Comprehensive. It was Tom’s first game in this section and, despite being under the added pressure of being assessed took firm control, made his decisions clear to players and supporters alike, and when a Laugharne forward was yellow-carded received a hand-shake from the sporting player on his return to action.

Well done Tom!

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker: Tony Steiner; Unaia Balekinasiga; Gareth Owens; Jack Evans: Mike Jones; Elgan Roberts: Terry Lovell; Jamie Zambass; Tom Carrington: Jack Clancy; Gareth Phillips: Gareth John; Matty Phillips (Capt); Jon Mason. Replacements: Craig Barnett; Ashley George; Jonathan Clout; Dane Pindair; Matthew Clayton.

Laugharne: Thomas Thomas: Antonio Setaro; Tom Jameson; Tom Davies; Will Evans: Dominic Pullen; Adam Davies: Rhys Thomas; Richard Walters; Dorian Harries: Leigh Thomas; Tomos Rees: Rhodri Rees; Mikey Williams; Carl Smith. Replacements: Tom Waters; Tomos Walters; David Thomas; Jack Flanagan; Carwyn Jones; Gavin Jones.

PHOTO: Blues' prop Terry Lovell bursts through the Laugharne defence


Championship Division:


Otters outplayed in second half


Narberth 8 - Pontypool 50

Nick Gale - scored Narberths pointsPontypool showed just why they are hot favourites to be runaway winners of this section as they not only took away Narberth’s unbeaten tag after three wins on the trot but made it four from four themselves and rattled up 50 points in the process.

To be fair to The Otters they never gave up battling away and actually took the lead after only six minutes when quick hands sent Nick Gale over in the corner for a try which he was unable to convert.

But Pooler were quick to redress the balance soon afterwards as Dan Hodges scored their first try, which Kieran Meek converted, as he did when half way through the period Ieuan Jones added a second score.

The Otters reduced the deficit after 28 minutes when Gale notched a penalty following good work by Tom Powell, Steff Phillips and skipper Richard Rees but Pooler had the final word of the first 40 minutes when Owain Leonard crossed the whitewash for Meek to add the extra points.

The second half was fairly one-way traffic as centre Leonard claimed his second try after only five minutes and although Meek missed the conversion he made amends with an unconverted try of his own after 61 minutes.

Pooler also added another three tries in the final 10 minutes as outside half Richard Powell pulled the strings and there were two tries for Lloyd Lewis, both goaled by Meek, before Aaron Choudney took them with the half century mark.

Narberth now face an equally tough task this Saturday as they travel to the Caerphilly area to play the other high-fliers in the championship as they play Bedwas, whose 16-14 victory at Neath saw them also maintain their 100% start in this very competitive division

Narberth: Nick Gale: Dafydd Pritchard; Josh Davies; Joe Hutchings; Elliott Dawe: Jonathan Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Dan Jacobs; Rhodri Owens; Tom Slater: Jake Baker; Roy Osborne: Ricard Rees (Capt); Tom Powell; Steffan Phillips: Replacements: Dan Smith; Tom Kaijaks; Dewi Williams; Bradley Davies; Ianto Griffiths; Yannic Parker.

PHOTO - Nick Gale - scored Narberth's points


Division One (West):


Preseli Men power their way to sixth spot


Crymych 30 - Gorseinon 10

Rhys Davies - good try by Crymych forwardYoung No 10 Jack Davies starred for Crymych as they produced a superb second half display to see off Gorseinon.

The score was locked at 3-3 after 38 minutes, as Davies and Rhodri Phelps swapped penalties, but the home fly half went over before the break for an unconverted try that proved critical.

He added another after half time and winger Laurence Headlam and skipper and No 8 Rhys Davies also crossed, with the outside half converting one of the tries and kicking two penalties.

Gorseinon did have a try from Josh John that Phelps converted, but home team manager Iwan James was left more than satisfied.

“They came at us very hard to start with and we did a lot of defending,” he said.

“But we came through it and deserved the win.”

PHOTO - Rhys Davies - good try by Crymych forward


Delighted Scarlets claim first success of the season


Pembroke 20 - Llanelli Wanderers 3

Alex Thomas - man of the match for PembrokeAfter two narrow defeats and a draw in Division One (West), Pembroke finally found some winning form with a deserved victory at Crickmarren over a gritty Llanelli Wanderers outfit which boasts a big pack and lots of experience.

Canny coach Geraint Lewis told beforehand that he was confidant of success against a Wanderers’ side now holding up the foot of the table – but sharing six points in a very tight first half where The Scarlets clearly held the edge but was unable to turn pressure into more points.

Toby Smith landed a penalty to give them the lead but it was cancelled out by a three-pointer from Lewis Jones so that although the home held the edge there were handling errors in the wet conditions, and sometimes the taking of wrong options too as their over-eagerness for a first win played a part.

But with half backs Tom Lewis and Toby Smith calling the shots as they turned around to play with the elements in their favour, there was a real effort from the pack, in which youth hooker Shane Gwyther continues to play well between Johnny Palmer and Lloyd Davies.

Alex Thomas and Tom Powell also caught the eye before Toby Smith dropped a goal and there was the vital first try which finally came when Jamie Kaijaks made a reappearance at tight head prop after injury and not only anchored the scrum but latched onto a flat pass by Smith to plough over the line before Smith landed the extras.

Dom Colman also came on as replacement for his first game of the campaign and there were other good performances by second row Billy Kinnear and No 8 Jordan Evans, with man of the match Alex Thomas adding the team’s second try, converted by Smith to ensure a Scarlet success.

Coach Lewis told us, “I told the squad that a win was due and they certainly raised to the challenge, with everyone playing a part as we move up to seventh place – but face an even big tester on Saturday as we travel to take on undefeated Felinfoel.”

PHOTO - Alex Thomas - man of the match for Pembroke


Borderers grab 35 points – but still lose!


Llangennech 47 - Whitland 35

Nico Setaro - two tries for WhitlandThere was one hell of a contest at Llangennech as the home side beat Whitland in what proved to be a points fest.

The home side led 33-7 at half time as centres Dale Watts and Nathan Bowen, full back Tom Neale, flanker Craig Kelly and scrum half Gareth George all crossed for tries, with Neale adding four conversions.

They had further tries second half via three replacements in second row James Cartwright, and wingers Richard Thomas and Tom Davies – but The Borderers left with a bonus point as the in-form Nico Setaro notched two tries, three conversions and three penalties, alongside a score for No 8 Scott Buirds and a penalty try.

“It was a game of two halves and we didn’t turn up till after half time,” said Whitland coach Gareth Bennett.

“But we got a bonus point and there were positives. Especially the way two of our 18-year-olds performed in Josh Thomas (scrum half) and Jac Howells.”

Whitland: James Stephenson: Dan Evans; Jonathan Thomas; Josh Thomas; Jac Howells: Nico Setaro; Josh Thomas (2): Tom Finucane; Gethin Lewis; Tomos Evans: Raff Williams; James Thomas; Jack Mason; Ryan Morgan; Scott Buirds. Replacements: I Lewis; Mike Ryan; Courtney Bowman; Ben Kirk; Adam Davies.


PHOTO - Nico Setaro - two tries for Whitland


Division Two (West):


Seagulls just miss out in a Moors’ thriller


Fishguard & Goodwick 29 - Mumbles 31

Liam Wilkes - try for Fishguards hooker-turned-wingerIt was an epic game at The Moors, as Mumbles held on to beat Fishguard in a contest that went back and fore throughout.

The Seagulls ultimately paid the price for a slow start during which the visitors were superior, despite home outside half Mark Jones landing a simple penalty to make it 3-0.

But soon Mumbles took command, and their pack were quicker to the breakdown as twice they evaded Fishguard attacks with turnovers, before centre Cian Rowlands put them on the front foot with a 50 metre clearance .

From that platform the Swansea side won a lineout against the head and it was Rowlands who chipped cleverly for Andrew Claypole to gather and score. The full back converted his own try.

Another away try soon followed as after prolonged pressure, scrum half Harry Davies popped a pass to flanker Sam Cook to score in the corner.

Fishguard responded though, James Griffiths bursting through in midfield and although his off-load went to ground after he was hauled down just short of the line, the Seagulls regained possession and some slick handling set up winger Rhys Evans to score in the corner.

It didn't stem the tide though, and the Mumbles pack was dominant in the closing minutes of the half and their play yielded two penalties - which Claypole took advantage of to give his side an 18-5 half time lead.

And then early in the second half the game looked over as Cook again forced his way over from close range and Claypole converted.

But then the chaos started. First Fishguard fought back with a try from hooker-turned-winger Liam Wilkes, who shrugged off two tackles to score out wide and although Claypole promptly landed three more points for Mumbles, second row Will Thomas and winger Joe Rimell were both sin binned.

The Seagulls sensed blood and duly indulged, Mark George coming off the bench to good effect by picking up from a scrum 30 metres out and bursting through, before linking with Mark Jones who in turn popped a pass to skipper Chris Shousha to score. 

The No 10 converted and then seconds later Fishguard led as another Griffiths break in midfield led to a chance for Robbie Jones, and the young full back finished superbly for a try that Jones again goaled to make it 29-28.

The tide turned again when home second row Ben John was yellow carded for a high tackle and from the resultant penalty, Claypole made no mistake from 25 metres.

Still though, the home side could, and maybe should, have won it. Griffiths snatched at a drop goal chance and knocked on, and then from the very last play, attempted to kick a penalty from 45 metres that dropped two yards short of the bar.

It meant a win for Mumbles and a first league defeat of the season for Fishguard. But against a side widely tipped to challenge for the title this season, head coach Nathan Jenkins will take heart from the fact his side picked up two bonus points without actually playing that well.

Fishguard: Robbie Jones, Liam Wilkes, Thomas George, James Griffiths, Rhys Evans, Mark Jones, Andrew Williams, Ryan McVeigh, Gavin Walsh, Andrew Morrillo, Richie Hunter, Ben John, Scott Riches, Luke Freebury, Chris Shousha (Capt). Replacements: Jason Davies, Will Delaney, Gwilym Evans, Mark George, Ryan Foot.


PHOTO - Liam Wilkes - try for Fishguard's hooker-turned-winger


Sam steers Mariners to deserved home victory


Milford Haven 23 - Tycroes 19

The boot of James Trueman helped Milford Haven continue their strong start to life in Division Two as they held on to beat Tycroes at The Obs.

The return of No 8 Sam Dolling was also crucial as he crossed over in the first half, and once again there was a long range try for centre Dan Jenkins as Milford to go with two Trueman conversions and a penalty. It all helped Milford to a 17-12 half time lead.

He kicked two more penalties after the break as The Mariners led 23-12 late on, but a late try for Tycroes provided another tense finish before Nathan Williams’ side prevailed.

For the visitors, Luke Rees, Luke Conway, and John James had tries with Shane Roberts and Dean Bromham adding conversions.

Milford Haven: Lee Riley: Gareth Fawcett; Steve Martin; Dan Jenkins; James Trueman: George Evans; Dan McClelland: Mike Cockburn; Luke Ryan; Adam Rees: Chris Hall; Nathan Banner: Zac Davies; Ryan Mansell; Sam Dolling. Replacements: Nathan Williams; Brandon Cooper; David Round; Zac France-Miller; Jay Goodall.

PHOTO - Sam Dolling - outstanding for The Mariners


Seasiders so close to second success


Pontyberem 19 - Tenby United 18

Tenby were agonizingly close to back to back league wins but missed out at Pontyberem when Harry Rossiter’s last-gasp conversion went wide.

Trailing 19-13, the Seasiders piled on the pressure and after more than 10 phases of pressure, second row Luke Dedman ploughed over but in difficult winds, Rossiter was unable to add the extras.

Tenby led 6-3 half time thanks to their young fly half landing two penalties but Mike Sauro kicked one for the visitors and then levelled the scores with three points early in the second half.

Full back Joe Owen crossed for the Seasiders though and Rossiter converted to make it 13-6, but the game turned when home full back Alex Jenkins punted long downfield and then followed it up to collect the bouncing ball and score.

Sauro converted then added two crucial late penalties to put his side six point up, before that dramatic finish.

“Harry will win us a lot more games than he’ll lose,” said Tenby head coach Jonathan Evans.

“And we come away with a bonus point so we can be positive.”

Tenby United: Joe Owen: Max Brindley; Ben Pugh; Lloyd Thomas; Jack Tucker: Harry Rossiter; Matthew Morgan: Ethan Morgan; Tom Barrass; Rob Luly: Huw Evans; Luke Dedman (Capt): Andrew Cooke; Jack Brown; Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Harry Bolton; Wyndham Williams; Will Swales; Ash Murdoch; Jack Gooding.


PHOTO - Luke Dedman - try for Tenby skipper


Division Three (West) A:


Quins continue to pile up the points


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 64 - St Davids 5

Liam Smith - two tries for The QuinsFull back Aaron Treweeks grabbed a hat trick as Pembroke Dock Harlequins continued their perfect start to the season against St Davids.

But the win was tempered by a hamstring injury to in-form centre Jordan Asparassa, while the Saints could hold their heads high after again travelling depleted but competing well for much of the 80 minutes.

Treweeks crossed for the first try that Ben Hathaway converted, and after just three minutes it was 12-0 as Asparassa also went over.

Will Nicol touched down for try number three before Treweeks got his second, again goaled by Hathaway – but before the break Asparassa limped off and coach Neil Machin will be sweating on his fitness ahead of a crucial game in Laugharne next week.

Back came the Saints and early in the second half No 10 Dylan Walsh forced his way over for a deserved score.

Inevitably perhaps, the Quins ran in the tries late on though against a tiring defence, with Treweeks again, Mark Van Rhun, Liam Smith (2), Jack Price and Gethin Bradney all going over.

Hathaway added five more conversions to round off comprehensive win, but St Davids player coach Gethin Bateman again had reason to be positive after his side refused to cave in.

PHOTO - Liam Smith - two tries for The Quins


All Blacks find it hard going in Lampeter


Lampeter Town 57 - Neyland 7

Neyland found it hard going after making the long journey to Lampeter and battling hard – but they still lost by 50 points against a home side in which full back Carwyn Lewis caught the eye with three of their  nine tries.

Others came from second row Gareth Davies, centre Graham Jones (2), winger Iestyn Russell, replacement prop Dafydd James and No 8 Ryan Mackie.

Dion Hughes slotted six conversions and Neyland’s only score came from back rower Iestyn Evans, with outside half Toby Hayman landing the conversion.


Jenkins jolts Cardis with 21 points


Cardigan 14 - Aberaeron 26

Aberaeron outside half Rhodri Jenkins was the toast of his team mates as he contributed 21 points in their tough tussle at Cardigan.

Jenkins landed four penalties in a competitive first half to help establish a 12-0 interval lead and also raced away for a try which he also goaled; as he did when winger Ifan Slinger was put through to the line.

Cardigan played better in the second half  with skipper Tom Taylor leading by example, scoring tries tries by scrum half Danny Bradshaw and outside half Llyr Jones, who converted both of them


Hicks’ hat-trick in vain for The Wasps


Tregaron 48 - Llangwm 19

Llangwm could only muster 14 players for the trek to Tregaron but never gave up trying, despite being down to 13 men a couple of teams through yellow cards.

There were typically battling performances for The Wasps by Lewis Murphy, James Lewis, Will Scriven and skipper Josh Hicks, who claimed a deserved hat-trick of tries, two of them from 40 metres out, with Luke Hayman converting two of them.

For Tregaron there were tries by wingers Aled Jones (3) and Chris Williams (2), Rhydian Jones, full back Ieuan Wyn Rees and No 8 Steve Roberts, plus four conversions from No 10 Huw Bonner.