Rugby Reports - 13th October 2023


Championship Division:


Llew Jones scores. Picture Bill Carne


Otters win a great advert for local rugby


Crymych 24 - Narberth 39

Narberth won this bonus-point encounter at Parc Lloyd Thomas which was fought out in front of a large and partisan crowd and had echoes of the divisional cup game a short time ago where Crymych played far better than the final scoreline would suggest.
In this compelling battle The Otters were actually trailing 24-25 midway through the second period but called upon their greater experience at this level to put pressure on and add 15 unanswered points as careless errors crept in to The Preseli Men’s play.
But it was still a match which showed why these two teams are far and away the top two in the county, with high skill levels, terrific pace, total commitment and not getting involved in any lack of self-discipline.
Yet there were still penalties aplenty as referee Sean Mills did well to keep players focussed so that he didn’t have to issue a single yellow card, although inevitably both sets of supporters felt aggrieved at different times!

Family matters

And the undoubted star of the match was Otter centre Ilan Phillips, who was formerly a Crymych player but had a huge impact against his old team mates as he scored three of Narberth’s five tries, with outside half Ifan Davies the most influential Crymych player as he scored most of their points.
On what was very much a family occasion their respective fathers, Andrew ‘Togo’ Phillips and Gareth Davies were nervous onlookers, both with more nervousness than in their own illustrious playing days for Crymych.

Otters start with a bang

It was The Otters who made a great start as they scored after only three minutes when full back Ashley Sutton made an incisive break and scrum half Lewys Gibby continued his try-scoring run at the posts for Sutton to add the extra points.
Crymych responded almost immediately with a penalty by No 10 Davies, but he hit the right upright with a longer-range effort and Gibby showed what an asset he is with a mazy run out of his 22 that left would-be tacklers trailing – and established the platform for a Jonathan Rogers’ penalty kick to the corner and good lineout control up front that eventually saw Ilan Phillips slice through for a try which Sutton again goaled.

Jon Rogers converts. Picture Bill Carne


Crymych keep fighting back

Crymych again responded with a sustained attack and after Carwyn Phillips’ pack had set up a ruck in the Narberth 22 a lovely flat pass by scrum half Tristan Jones saw centre Tomos Phillips reach the line for a try converted by Ifan Davies.
But near half time The Otters added a third try as Ilan Phillips struck again by running a good line and showing his pace en route to the posts but Sutton missed the simple conversion.
Even then the action wasn’t over because Crymych had the final word before the oranges as Ifan Davies sped through from the 22 and added the conversion to restrict Narberth to a 19-17 lead.

Otters take control from Crymych errors

Narberth used the breeze to establish an early foothold but Crymych defended well and stung the opposition when No 9 Jones took a quick penalty and some good handling saw Ifan Davies grab a try and conversion to take his team into the lead at 24-19.
But Sutton, Rogers and Gibby used the elements well and Rogers regained the lead with an easy penalty and then added a second from much longer range.
Narberth opted to kick to the corner soon afterwards but lost lineout possession – but a Crymych handling error allows Ilan Phillips to score his third try, converted by Rogers.
Even then the scoring wasn’t ended because another Crymych error allowed a Narberth counter-attack which allowed replacement Llew Jones to round off some quick hands and Rogers added the extras to complete a match that was one of the best this writer has seen in the last decade.
Crymych:  Eilir George: Laurence Headlam; Tomos Phillips; Rhys Davies; Tomos Lewis: Ifan Davies; Tristan Jones: Dylan Phillips; Carwyn Rees; Ryan Rees: Matthew Freebury; Iestyn Wood: Osian Davies; Gethin Davies; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Lee Phillips; Luke Griffiths-Dawes; Llyr Davies; Adam Phillips; Dafydd Phillips.
Narberth: Ashley Sutton: Dean James; Ilan Phillips; Hedd Nicholas; Josh Davies; Jonathan Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Bradley Davies; Kyle Hamer; Tom Slater: Will Blackburn; Alex Jenkins: Josh Hamer; Tom Powell (Capt); Roy Osborn. Replacements: Tom Clarke; Lewys Davies; Richard Rees; Josh Evans; Llew Jones.

Crymych try to counter-attack. Picture Bill Carne


Division Two (West):


Great away win for Seasiders


Lampeter Town 16 - Tenby United 20

Cam Broadhurst - vital try for Tenby UnitedTenby United maintained their unbeaten start to their league campaign as they travelled to Lampeter, one of the other strong teams in the section, and came away with a hard-fought success that will doubly please coach Jonathan Evans because he hails from Lampeter and started his rugby career there.
“They were easily the strongest side we have played this season,” he told us, “and for the  first quarter their pack were on top in terms of physicality and tight, disciplined pack but we defended well and our only points conceded came from two penalties by Osian Jones.”
So The Seasiders were only 0-6 adrift after 35 minutes and they managed to go in 7-6 ahead because when they gained a foothold in Lampeter’s 22 and were awarded a scrum a  quick interchange between scrum half  Tom Lewis and No 8 Jack Broadhurst created problems for the home side and the referee awarded a penalty try for what he deemed a deliberate knock on that prevented Max Brindley from scoring a try.

Tenby battle hard in second half

Tenby lost Lewis with a calf injury and was replaced by Cam Broadhurst, whose brother Jack played well in the back row as he, Hywel Baker and Dan Colley interchanged to have a significant period in cahoots with Jack Brown and Jake Roberts, who also caught the eye with his work rate.
The Seasiders’ forwards established a solid platform that served Cam Broadhurst well as he sliced through from 10 metres out at an attacking scrum and Lloyd Thomas added the extras.

But Lampeter were far from finished as they were also awarded a penalty try when prop Rob Luly, who had battled hard alongside Dan Allen, Ethan Morgan, Tom Barrass and skipper Luke Dedman, was adjudged to have collapsed a maul near their line and was shown a yellow card.
Osian Jones hauled Lampeter back into a single-point lead with his third penalty but when they were restored to their full complement Tenby regained the lead with a Thomas penalty and then moved four points in front when No 10 Harri Williams launched another kick from long range.
But the drama wasn’t over because with very little time left the homesters were awarded a penalty and kicked to the corner – but their throw in from five yards out wasn’t straight and Tenby were delighted for what coach Evans described as their ‘get out of jail’ card!
Tenby United: Gwion Jones: Jordan Asparassa; Luke Waygood; Lloyd Thomas; Max Brindley: Harri Williams; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Tom Barrass; Luke Dedman (Capt): Hywel Baker; Jack Brown; Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Liam Pugh; Dan Colley; Jake Roberts; Cam Broadhurst; Jack Gooding.

Division Three (West) A:


The All Blacks on a typical charge. Picture William John


All Blacks too strong up front as Wasps wilt


Llangwm 3 - Neyland 41

Neyland made the short journey to Pill parks for this local derby and produced a powerful pack performance as the platform for a comfortable bonus-point victory over Llangwm.
The Wasps never gave up trying and seemed out of sorts, with a club spokesman telling us,
“To be honest we never got going today and have no complaints about the final scoreline as Harry Makepeace landed a single penalty after The All Blacks had taken an early 12-point lead.
Neyland led 19-3 at the interval and added another 22 unanswered points afterwards, which will have pleased coach Steve Evans because on the odd occasions when they were forced to defend for any length of time they showed good organisation and strong tackling, led by full back Jake Griffiths, who had a cracking game.
Leading the way for The All Blacks was dynamic scrum half Owen Hamer, who not only orchestrated moves as the ideal link between forwards and backs but found time to snipe over for two tries.

Liam sets All Blacks on road to victory

But it was winger Liam Rees who opened Neyland’s account with a well-worked try that was converted by George Evans – and then No 8 Ben Williams powered over from the 22 for another five points.
Hamer had the final word in the first half with his second try from a scrum near the Llangwm line with a clever dummy before cutting back inside, with No 10 Evans converting.
The second half followed a similar pattern as further tries came from the influential Hamer, powerful centre Adam Peele, who bounced off would-be tacklers on his way to the line, and flanker Owain Evans, who worked really well alongside Williams and Dan Hart.
The final All Black try came from second row Jimmy Buirds, playing on permit from Milford Haven and formed a strong partnership with Iestyn Evans as the front row of Ben James, Alex Swales and Jack Harries also put in a good shift as a front row unit.

Llangwm: Dylan Philpott: Jack Roberts; Yale Grice; Matthew Hughes; Aaron John: Harry Makepeace; Steff Thomas: Ieuan Power (Capt); Dan Woodward; Aled Rogers: Dave Reynolds; Jake Thomas: Owain Jones; James Lewis; Matthew John Replacements: Charlie Wilson; Dan Hughes; Gethin Thomas; Tom Meehan; Ollie Kersey.
Neyland: Jake Griffiths: Liam Rees: Jordan Wright-Allen; Alex Peele; Chris Morgan: George Evans; Owen Hamer:  Ben James; Alex Swales; Jack Harries:  Jimmy Buirds; Iestyn Harries: Dan Hart; Owain Evans; Ben Williams. Replacements: Jasper Endean; Callum O’Riorden; Lucas Jones; Ebs Sokoriwasa; Mark James.

Owain Evans scores for Neyland. Picture William John


Quins win well against battling Llan


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 40 - Llanybydder 17

Gethin Bradney - two tries for The QuinsPembroke Dock Harlequins were good value for victory against Llanybydder at Bierspool, although the visitors did well to make the long journey on international day, after missing some earlier matches, to play their part in an entertaining tussle where the managed to score three tries.
The Quins served notice of intent early on as their back row of Liam Scourfield, Dan Wilkes and Harry Owen set up a possession platform for centre Gethin Bradney to score a try which Ben Hathaway converted.
Then half backs Morgan Rogers and Craig Barnett joined with centres Kieran Machin and Bradney in putting pacy winger Tom Donovan over for a try, again goaled by Hathaway.

Llanybydder fought back well and their efforts were rewarded when Steffan Rees sliced through for an unconverted try but Donovan was set free by full back Jake Griffiths for his second try, with Hathaway again on target to put The Quins 21-5 ahead at the break.

Bonus point secured

They secured a deserved bonus point after the oranges as centre Machin scored before Hathaway inevitably converted – but Llan bounced back with their second score, claimed by Josh Jones before Steve Bagnell converted.
This reverse stung The Quins into raising the tempo and Bradney bagged his second try, converted by Hathaway, and winger Owen Turner also crossed the whitewash – and for once Hathaway was wide of the mark with his kick.
Perhaps it was appropriate that Llan had the final work before their long trek home as Steff Rees scored but the Quins were delighted with their win, especially since replacements Callum Jones, Euan McDonald, Rhys Davies, Aaron Spencer and Rhys Gammer had some game time, the last-named after switching from local football to join the Quins!
Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Ben Hathaway: Owen Turner; Gethin Bradney; Kieran Machin; Tom Donovan: Craig Barnett; Max Rogers: Alfie Ball; George Bellmaine; Mark Van Rhyn: Rhys Doyle; Andrew Edwards: Liam Scourfield; Dan Wilkes; Harry Owen. Replacements: Rhys Davies; Callum Jones; Ryan Gammer; Euan McDonald; Aaron Spencer.