Rugby Reports - 13th November 2021

Josh Thomas on his way to the line 


Division Three (West) A:


Blues’ pack power pays off in top clash


Haverfordwest 27 - St Clears 13

Daf Waters - outstanding for St ClearsHaverfordwest won the top match in Division Three (West) A as they beat St Clears after both had gone through their sections of the WRU Bowl competition unbeaten and came together at Pembroke Road with The Blues in the next stage of that competition after winning all five of their matches in  District H and The saints having won eight and drawn their other two in District G.
It proved to be an absorbing clash as saint Clears had a very pacy back division in which debutant full back Daf Waters was outstanding, always posing a threat and scoring both of their tries, whilst Lewis Tingay was outstanding at No 8 for the homesters in a powerful pack that held a clear edge, especially in the second half when they held a huge territorial advantage and scored 24 unanswered points after trailing 13-3 at half time.

Blues start well but Waters makes an impact on debut

Blues’ outside half Mikey Jones gave them an early lead with a penalty but they failed to turn pack pressure into points and The Saints had excellent runners in half backs Rhodri Thomas and Che Thomas, Dom Davies and Dan Griffiths alongside Waters.
Che Thomas levelled matters with a simple penalty and after The Blues had lost player/coach Matthew John to injury the visitors scored an excellent try after  their back row had gained possession and when play was spread wide second row Rhodri Evans supplied the pass for Waters to squeeze in at the corner.
Haverfordwest had chances to open their try account but final passes went astray and it was Waters who popped up on the right to dive over in the corner and give his team a 10-point interval lead.

Blues start second half with a bang – and keep the ball for long periods

But Haverfordwest started the second half with a bang as St Clears knocked on from the kick-off and with Terry Lovell, Jamie Zambas and Tom Carrington ruling the scrums it allowed Karl Busch, Rhydian Watkins, Matty Phillips and especially Will Blackburn and Tingay to be used as human battering rams – and their efforts were rewarded with a penalty try.
Then Tingay ploughed over for an unconverted try to give his side and No 9 Lee Summons, who was by then enjoying an armchair ride, added another – although with Jones having a rare off-day with the boot The Saints were still just a score behind.
But The Blues made sure of victory, and a precious bonus point, when another forward surge was ended when Summons released his backs and powerful centre Josh Thomas crashed over at the posts, with a loud cheer as Jones converted.
So Haverfordwest started well and a pleasing fact for their coaching staff was the way that replacements Owen Hamer, Ieuan Bevan, Jonathan Clout, Jack Clancy and Adam Williams contributed to victory.
St Clears will do well when they have their full complement of forwards back and it was good to see a sizeable crowd in attendance to enjoy a good game which, one second half punch-up apart, was good to watch.
Haverfordwest: Craig Barnett: Scott Candler; Matthew John; Josh Thomas; Jack Evans: Mikey Jones; Lee Summons: Terry Lovell; Jamie Zambas; Tom Carrington: Karl Busch; Rhys Williams: Will Blackburn; Matty Phillips (Capt); Lewis Tingay. Replacements: Ieuan Bevan; Jonathan Clout; Jack Clancy; Adam Williams; Owen Hamer.
St Clears: Daf Waters: John Gostling; Dom Davies; Dan Griffiths; Aled Owens: Che Thomas; Rhodri Evans: Gary Barnes Dan Hughes; Kieran Haycocks: Rhodri Evans; Rhys Strawbridge: Brandon Williams; Tom Williams; Tomos Rees (Capt). Replacements: Gethin Lewis; Geraint Harries; Will Icke; Jac Howells; Jake Philpin.

Lee Summons crashes through for a try

WRU Championship:


Otters push All Blacks all the way


Narberth 22 - Neath 30

Jonathan Rogers - try for Narberth No 10Narberth went down to defeat against Neath at the Lewis Lloyd Ground after they trailed by 6-6 at half time, fought back to draw level midway through the second period but that the Welsh All Blacks made a man advantage count when The Otters were reduced to 14 men – and went on to claim victory.
No 10 Steff Williams certainly called the shots for the visitors because he claimed all 16 of their first-half points with a try, conversion and three penalties, whilst Ianto Griffiths landed a dropped goal for The Otters and Nick Gale kicked a penalty.
The Otters clawed their way back soon after the restart when centre Jordan Thomas charged down an attempted clearance and No 10 Jon Rogers was on the chance in a flash before Gale added the extra points and then a well-struck penalty.
But then Neath used their experience to good effect when right winger Alan Graham scored a try converted by Williams – although two more Gale pulled Narberth back to within a point – only for The All Blacks to secure victory with a Gareth Lloyd try converted by Williams.
The Otters did have a late chance with a penalty that would have given them a deserved bonus point but it went the wrong side of the upright and so they sadly had nothing to show for a lot of effort!
Narberth: Nick Gale: Ashley Sutton; Jake Jenkins; Joe Hutchings; Jordan Roberts: Jonathan Rogers; Rhys Lane: Bradley Davies; Tom Curry; Tom Kaijaks: Rhys Williams; Alex Jenkins: Richard Rees (Capt); Tom Powell; Steffan Phillips. Replacements: Rhodri Owens; Ifan James; Guto Davies; George McDonald; Ianto Griffiths.

Division One (West):


Scarlets suffer in second half


Pembroke 15 - Gorseinon 34

Lewys Gibby - try for Pembroke outside halfPembroke were certainly in contention at the half-way mark of their home match with Gorseinon but after being only four points adrift then they conceded two tries, a conversion and penalty in the third quarter.
Urged on by influential skipper Scott Powell they certainly had the better of the closing stages but were unable to turn that pressure into points.
The Scarlets opened their account with a well-taken try by Lewys Gibby, switching to No 10 from the base of the scrum so that Jared Sherratt could make his first start – and the young scrum half slotted a conversion and penalty as reward for being so involved.
The other Pembroke try was claimed by full back Lewis Davies and although there were a number of plus points for The Scarlets there was no doubting that on the day Gorseinon, whose scorers were sadly unavailable after the match, were the better side on the day.
Pembroke: Lewis Davies: Geraint Powell; Fraser James; James Jones; Barry Alderman-John: Lewys Gibby; Jared Sherratt:  Lloyd Davies; Seamus Wiseman; Johnny Palmer: Scott Powell (Capt); Will Edwards: Matthew Price; Rhodri Walters; Billy Kinnear. Replacements: Jamie Brayford; Shane Gwyther; Elliott Evans; Mathew Lewis.

Johnny Thomas races clear for Whitland with Marc Jones in support

Borderers beat Preseli men by a single point in tense derby


Whitland 13 - Crymych 12

Matches between Whitland and Crymych are traditionally hard-fought and this one was no exception as fortunes ebbed and flowed, with The Preseli Men opening up a 12-3 lead in the second half but then allowing The Borderers to claw their way back for a single-point success.
There were early set-backs for Whitland, however, as they lost experienced second row Raff Williams in the warm-up and 51 year old lock Dai Ebsworth suffered damage to his ribs in the first minute – but coach Gareth Bennett was pleased with the way that some of his youngsters stepped up to the plate.
Crymych might look back on a scoreless first half and reflect that they held a slight edge but a couple of half chances weren’t taken as Whitland also defended well at the back.
Nico Setaro landed a penalty in the second period as Crymych scored two tries at the other end as Matthew Freebury and Osian Davies played well up front and Tomos Phillips and Eilir George posed a threat behind the scrum, both scoring tries and also playing well in broken play.
But with Josh Thomas looking sharp at scrum half and with Calum Evans and Benji Kirk playing well up front for The Borderers they had a try by flanker James Lewis from an excellent forward drive and Nico Setaro converted and slotted the all-important late penalty to settle the issue in The Borderers’ favour.
Whitland: Geraint Jones: Johnny Thomas; Dylan Richards; Gino Setaro; Trystan Rees: Nico Setaro; Josh Thomas: Tom Finnucane; Marc Jones (Capt); Ceirion Evans: Benji Kirk; Dai Ebsworth: Calum Evans; James Lewis; Jack Richards. Replacements: Iwan Lewis; Trystan Bowen; Danny Evans; Raff Williams; Matthew Jess/Iolo Rees.
Crymych: Eilir George: Osian Hill; Tomos Phillips; Ilan Phillips; Tomos Lewis: Ifan Davies; Dafydd Phillips: Steffan Harries; Trystan Griffiths; Jonathan Phillips: Matthew Freebury; Rhys Richards: Llyr Davies; Rhydian Howells; Osian Davies. Replacements: Jason Nicholls; Dafydd Vaughan; Carwyn Phillips; Adam Phillips; Gavin Thomas.

Benji Kirk pulls off a great tackle. Pictures by Paul Rodgers

Division Two (West):


Seagulls battle hard after slow start


Fishguard & Goodwick 22 - Pontyberem 26

Simon James - try for Fishguard veteranFishguard & Goodwick went down to a narrow defeat against Pontyberem at The Moors but had the consolation of a losing bonus point and another for scoring four tries – but again were left to reflect on a slow start where they allowed the visitors to take an early 17-0 point lead before The Seagulls really started flying.
Outside half Dom Sauro was the catalyst for Ponty’s excellent start as he kicked an early penalty and then added the extra points to his own try, as he did when full back Carwyn Nicholas crossed the whitewash.
Fishguard finally came to life with a penalty try but Sauro slotted another penalty – but then young winger Creegan Foot, making his first start for The Seagulls did superbly to squeeze in at the corner for an unconverted try.
Sauro was again involved for Ponty with two more penalties but Fishguard battled hard and were rewarded when a lineout drive that started near the 22 saw them propel the opposition back for flanker Lewis Davies to be credited with another try – and then Simon James joined the fray to score a try but neither was converted and so Pontyberem went home with a win and The Seagulls still have to halt these slow starts!
Fishguard & Goodwick: Ed Bendall; Joe Dunn; James Reynolds; Jack Williams; Creegan Foot: James Griffiths; Andrew Williams: Will Delaney; Liam Wilkes; Adam Bowen: Griff Williams; Ben John: Gavin Walsh; Lewis Davies; Chris Shousha (Capt). Replacements: Iwan McVeigh; Ryan McVeigh; Ryan Foot; Gwilym Evans; Max Jones.

Mariners miss out at Mumbles


Mumbles 25 - Milford Haven 15

Sam Dolling - No 8 scored for Milford HavenMilford Haven played well at The Mumbles but eventually went down to defeat after conceding three tries, all from lineout drives in the opening exchanges – and not being able to capitalise on chances when they arose in open play.
Ben Fox, Harry Davies and Johnny Hayton were credited with those early unconverted tries but with Lee Riley, Steve Martin, Dan Birch, Dewi Williams and Sam Dolling playing well they gradually got back into the game and just before the interval they grabbed a welcome seven points as Dolling crossed the whitewash and James Trueman added the conversion.
Steve Thomas kicked a home penalty in the second period but Trueman added a penalty and Dan Jenkins raced clear for an excellent try to make in just a three-point differential.
But Mumbles had the final word when another forward drive allowed Davies to score his second try, which Nicky Thomas converted to ensure a home victory and stop The Mariners from even picking up what would have been a deserved bonus point!
Milford Haven: Lee Riley: Ieuan Davies; Dan Birch; Dan Jenkins; Steve Martin: Kyran Gray; Dan McClelland: Aaron Mayne; Luke Ryan; Ben Jenkins: Jay Goodall; Chris Hall: Zac Davies; Dewi Williams; Sam Dolling. Replacements: Scott Buirds; Ryan Mansell; Nathan Williams.

Seasiders miss out in second half


Tenby United 13 - Carmarthen Athletic 27

Rob Luly - 100th match for Tenby celebrated with son ChesterTenby United were level at the interval with Carmarthen Athletic as the teams shared 20 points but then allowed the visitors to take more control and went down to a disappointing defeat.
The Seasiders’ try came from a set-piece in the Athletic 22 when clean possession and a quick service from Cam Broadhurst saw centre Yannic Parker cross at the posts for Lloyd Thomas to add the extra points.
But they eventually lost both half backs Broadhurst and Thomas to injury alongside centre Toby Smith and their only other points came from a penalty in each half by full back Gwion Jones.
There were plus points for The Seasiders, not least the fact that powerful prop Rob Luly played his 100th game, and there was plenty of effort up front by skipper Luke Dedman, Will Swales, Jack Broadhurst and the rest of their pack.
Tenby United: Gwion Jones: Jordan Asparassa; Yannic Parker; Toby Smith; Matthew Morgan: Lloyd Thomas; Cam Broadhurst: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Luke Dedman (Capt); Tom Barrass: Jack Brown; Will Swales; Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Geoff Martin; Jordan Brace; Jack Byrne; Dan Colley; Adam Quill.

Division Three (West) A:


Laugharne edge home in real nail-biter

Laugharne 36 - Neyland 34

Henry Macbeth - try brace for Neyland wingerThere was excitement and points aplenty as Laugharne entertained Neyland and fortunes ebbed and flowed before the home side squeezed home by just two points in a match which produced no fewer than 12 tries.
It was disappointing for the All Blacks, however, that they surrendered a 22-point lead and Laugharne grabbed a an unconverted try near half time and in the third quarter came back to lead 24-22 before the lead changed hands a couple of times as the tension grew.
Neyland also lost talented Matt Richards with a nasty knee injury and it inevitably had an impact on their patterns of play.
But they started with a bang as their pack won quality possession and there were tries for Henry McBeth, Matthew Coles, Ben Williams and George Williams, with George Evans converting one of them.
Coles and Macbeth claimed second tries in the second half and Evans converted one of them – but Laugharne replied with tries from Kian Williams (2), Del Howells, Tom Waters, Tom Lloyd and Steff Davies, who converted three of them, which in the final analysis was just enough to edge Laugharne home.
Neyland: Patrick Bellerby: Ben Williams; Matt Richards; Alex Codd; Henry Macbeth: George Evans; Chris Morgan: Ben James; Jack Harries; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Mark James; Iestyn Evans: Ben Williams; Owain Evans; George Williams. Replacements: Matthew Coles; Harrison Grice; Lewis Hamlett; David Walters; Steve Hamer.

Makeshift Wasps pay the price


David Lewis - interception try for LlangwmLlanybydder 49 - Llangwm 14

Llangwm made the journey to Llanybydder with no fewer than 17 players unavailable but still managed to honour the fixture with only one player on permit, but paid the inevitable price against an experienced Llanybydder side which was on top from the outset.
The Wasps only score in the first half came from Aled Morgan, who played really well alongside centre Jack Roberts, hooker Gethin Thomas and half back Luke Hayman, who slotted the conversion.
Their second try came very late on as reward for their perseverance when David Lewis made an interception and dashed to the line for Hayman to again add the extras – and all those who played deserve credit for the way that they stuck to their task in a testing fixture for The Wasps.

Quins go down in abandoned match


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 7 Lampeter Town 43 (abandoned after 62 minutes)

Pembroke Dock Harlequins were losing heavily to Lampeter when a massive punch-up developed and caused the referee to abandon the match – and it will be interesting to see what action follows to both clubs.
The Quins were 17-7 down at half time as replacement Aaron James, on for the injured Euan McDonald at outside half, raced through for a try which he superbly converted from wide out  - but Lampeter had tries from centre Rhys Jones, flanker James Edwards and outside half Osian Jones, who also landed the conversion.
At this stage The Quins were still in with a chance but they conceded early second-half tries as right wing Iestyn Evans (2) Edwards and Osian Jones were again on the score sheet, two of them converted by Jones.
Then came the lengthy skirmish and the referee decided enough was enough, a view supported by his assessor – and it was indeed an unsavoury end to the match.

Saints slammed as Cardis run in ten tries


Rhodri Davies - two tries in big Cardigan winSt Davids 0 - Cardigan 60

When Cardigan played at St Davids in their final WRU Bowl match they won 45-7 but went even better in this first league match of the campaign as The Cardis dominated throughout to register ten tries and keep a clean sheet at the other end.
They were already 26-0 in front at the interval thanks to tries from flanker Rhodri Davies, full back Llyr Jones, No 8 Tom Taylor and flanker Hester James, three of them converted by Jones.
The Saints never gave up trying but found the combined power and pace of Cardigan too much to handle on the day and further scores came from centre Tom Griffiths, winger Hedd James, centre Iestyn Noble and winger Carwyn Vaughan.
There were also second tries for skipper Taylor and flanker Davies, with two more conversions from full back Jones as The Teifisiders made the long journey home with a comprehensive victory.

Aber ease home in local derby


Tregaron 18 - Aberaeron 23

League rugby finally resumed for Aberaeron after the extended break with a local derby at neighbours Tregaron where both teams fought to the last with the visitors just emerging winners.
Skirmishes in the opening minutes were even with Rhodri Jenkins cancelling out an early home penalty, and the outside half added a second from the touchline to gain the advantage. With the home forwards competing well in the set pieces, it need some opportunism to create an opening and a chink of light allowed centre Ryan Williams to gather on midway and beat the cover defence to cross at the posts, allowing Jenkins an easier conversion.
Tregaron continued to take the game to Aber, who once again were guilty of indiscretions on numerous occasions, something which is developing into a worrying trend. Again it needed inspiration to break the hosts’ rearguard and it was Williams’ with a missed pass within his own 22 giving wing Owen Lloyd the chance show a clean pair of heels for an excellent score which Jenkins converted.
But Tregaron gave themselves hope with a penalty and they were soon rewarded with a close- range try following a series of rolling mauls, and the conversion brought them within a score of the visitors and an identical move within minutes resulted in a second try, with Huw Bonner crossing.
Aberaeron's advantage was reduced to a mere two points, and this resulted in some nervy moments in the final quarter. However, try as they might, the hosts were unable to create an unlikely comeback, and it was down to Jenkins to have the final say with a penalty from half way that allowed Aberaeron to travel home with the win.