Rugby Reports - 18th December 2021

Narberth look to spread the ball 

Championship Division:


Otters end 2021 on a high note


Narberth 40 - Cardiff Met 19

Narberth entered the festive season on a high note as they played some splendid rugby from forwards and backs to inflict a heavy defeat on the students of Cardiff Met that earned them a bonus-point victory and the chance to leap-frog their opponents and into third place in the table.
There was further good news when The Otters decided to present the proceeds from their half-time draw to the fund to help Ospreys’ hooker Ifan Phillips after his recent very serious accident has ended his very promising career – and the terrific some of £670 was raised!
Yet success on the field looked a little unlikely as the students scored seven points in the first minute when the Otters failed to secure the kick-off and visiting outside half Haydn Lidstone sliced through some weak tackling to score a try he also converted.

Set-piece edge pays dividends

But there were early signs that The Otters’ pack held an edge at the set-pieces and good work by the front row of Brad Davies, Rhodri Owens and especially Tom Slater set the platform for a period of pressure from which Jordan Roberts did well to squeeze in at the clubhouse corner and although full back Nick Gale missed the difficult conversion he soon slotted a simple penalty as reward for the efforts of Tom Powell, Alex Jenkins, Steff Phillips and skipper Richard Rees.
Left-winger Roberts added a spectacular unconverted corner try which he finished with a spectacular dive – and might have claimed his hat-trick after a neat chip by No 10 Jonathan Rogers set up the chance but he was unable to grasp the final pass.
The Otters missed a couple of half chances as Jenkins ruled supreme in the lineouts and The Met regained the lead with another good try from a sustained build-up which saw the ball sent across their pacy back division before winger Ewan Bowden crossed in the right corner and  Lidstone converted from wide out.
It was a warning that Narberth heeded well because they retook the lead straight away with a 42-metre penalty by Gale and then relaunched their attacks via a cracking high ball by Rogers and an even better aerial take from Roberts that saw Gale supply the scoring pass for a try by Tom Powell, who was lurking with intent wide out – and Gale added the extra points with a good conversion to give his side a 23-14 interval lead.

No-nonsense defence – and the ability to take chances prove vital

The Otters showed their defensive qualities when The Students tried desperately to claw their way back from a sustained series of drives near the Narberth line but with Jake Jenkins, Ashley Sutton and Ianto Griffiths giving good support to their pack the danger was cleared – and they made sure of a bonus point with a fourth try that stemmed from a break from Jordan Roberts before he exchanged passes with Gale, who sped through to the line and added another excellent conversion.
Jonathan Rogers had already taken the game with his excellent kicking out of defence and in attack – and his penalty into the corner allowed his forwards to drive relentlessly towards the line before scrum half Rhys Lane dived over and Nick Gale converted to take his personal haul to 20 points.
The Met finished the game as they started with a try in the closing moments from flanker Dylan Bartlett but they were well beaten as they lost their second game from five starts – and Otters’ director of coaching Sean Gale was obviously delighted by the way his team had played.
“We knew that we had to starve their backs of possession and that is just what we did with our ball-winning up front and good handling by our backs. I thought our replacements also played key roles and it certainly was a good way to round off the first half of our season.”
Narberth: Nick Gale: Ashley Sutton; Ianto Griffiths; Jake Jenkins; Jordan Richards: Jonathan Rogers; Rhys Lane: Bradley Davies; Rhodri Owens; Tom Slater: Tom Powell; Alex Jenkins: Richard Rees (capt); Guto Davies; Steff Phillips. Replacements: Tom Curry; Ifan Jones; Ryan Banner; Ianto Griffiths; Jake Jenkins.
Cardiff Met: Oliver Gibbon: Ewan Gregg; Bryn Goodall; Dafydd Tuetti; Ewan Bowden: Haydn Lidstone; Keian Richards: Rhys Barnett; Nathan Karea; Math Iorwerth-Scott: Dylan Bartlett; Alex Long: Ardal Yacob; Joe Locke;  Rowley Marshall-Tefu. Replacements: Jamie Savoury; Archie Kirby; Tyler Olding;  Jack McCallum.

Solid defence from The Otters


Division One (West):


Scarlets suffer in second half


Llangennech 65 - Pembroke 19

Geraint Powell - try for PembrokePembroke started really well against unbeaten Llangennech as they scored an early try and were still very much in with a shout at the interval after they lead changed hands a couple of times and they were only 19-24 adrift at the oranges – but then they lost their was as the section leaders piled on another 41 points without reply.
It was winger Steve Brown who claimed a Scarlets’ try after five minutes but Llangennech responded with a try from centre Tom Evans which outside half Callum Price converted.
But with skipper Scott Powell leading his pack alongside Will Edwards, Rhodri Walters and Sam Smith, the Scarlets earned two penalties by Luke Alderwick to put them ahead again.

Sam Melmoth put the home side in front with a try converted by Price before a third Alderwick penalty had the teams sharing 28 points – but in a topsy-turvy session hooker Callum Jenks grabbed a Llangennech try, converted by Price before Geraint Powell crossed the whitewash for an unconverted Pembroke try, only for Price to land a penalty that gave his side a five-point interval lead.
But things changed after the interval and having two players yellow-carded certainly didn’t help their cause as Llangennech showed their intentions with some slick handling that saw them score seven more tries through Melmoth again, full back Kallum Evans , replacement prop Craig Thomas, winger Rhys Davies (2), No 10 Price and another replacement in Tom Meale, who also joined Price and Tom Evans in adding another conversion  apiece to give Llangennech a fourth win on the trot whilst Pembroke have so far lost all four of their matches.
Pembroke: Tom Harding-Jones: Barry Alderman-John; Luke Alderwick; Geraint Powell; Steve Brown: Lewys Gibby; Jarred Sharrett: Tom Zoogah; Seamus Wiseman; Lloyd Davies: Scott Powell (Capt); Will Edwards: Jordan Cornick; Rhodri Walters; Sam Smith. Replacements:  Shane Gwyther; Johnny Palmer; Simon Stanford.


Carmarthen Athletic secure scrum ball


Division Two (West):


Seagulls slip up at The Moors


Fishguard & Goodwick 10 - Carmarthen Athletic 12

Fishguard were always in with a chance of victory over Carmarthen Athletic at The Moors but in the final analysis they failed to take their chances as several final passes went astray in promising attacks and The Athletic defended well and took their opportunities to land four penalties, two in each half that were just about enough to give them the verdict.
The patterns of play were well established in a tight first period as The Seagulls found themselves 6-0 down thanks to brace of penalties by outside half Matthew Evans but having just shaded the possession stats.
But then they took the lead with what turned out to be the only try of the afternoon as a promising Athletic move saw the ball intercepted by Fishguard centre Luke Marshall, who pouched possession to race clear before young outside half Creegan Foot added the extra points.
The Athletic used their powerful pack to stay in touch, however, and they regained the lead when Tom Gravell landed a penalty and then added his second after The Seagulls felt they had been unfairly punished in a melee.
The home side pressed hard towards the end and Foot fired over a penalty to narrow the gap to only two points but with a losing bonus point almost assured already some supporters wondered why a kick to the corner and a forward catch and drive but have been more appropriate.
Be that as it may, it was The Athletic who celebrated a good win that saw them go top of the table - and left The Seagulls to reflect on what might have been.
Fishguard & Goodwick:  Robbie Jones: Joe Dunn; Luke Marshall, Sion Jones; Tom Lewis: Creegan Foot; Andrew Williams: Will Delaney; Gavin Walsh; Ryan McVeigh: Gwilym Evans; Ben John: Griff Williams; Cai Llewellyn; Chris Shousha (Capt). Replacements:  Max Jones; Iwan McVeigh; Osian Rowe; Adam Bowen; Liam Wilkes.

Seagulls go on the attack

Division Three (West) A:


Wasps well beaten by slick Saints


St Clears 61 - Llangwm 5

Daf Waters - three tries for St ClearsTom Williams - crossed for first half try for St ClearsSt Clears showed why they are near the top of the section table with this comprehensive beating of a Llangwm side which battled away as it always does but was under the cosh for most of the 80 minutes as The Saints led 28-5 at the interval – and added a further 33 points afterwards whilst keeping a clean sheet.
Leading the way for The Saints in that first period was full back Daf Waters, who once again showed his ability to run ball back at the opposition and create havoc with his extra pace, running in three tries alongside another from flanker Tom Williams, all four converted by outside half Che Thomas.
For Llangwm there was no shortage of effort as Dave Reynolds, Ian Griffiths and Ieuan Power led them in the forward battle as James Lewis, playing on permit from Whitland, also caught the eye whilst Jack Roberts covered well behind them.
In the second half The Saints ran everything and were rewarded with further tries from No 8 Will Icke, centre Dan Griffiths and replacements Mike Georgiou (2) and Jack Green.
Che Thomas added another four conversions  to put his team in joint top place with Cardigan but having played a game more, whilst Llangwm stay in the bottom three but having battled hard and maintaining their proud tradition of always trying to fulfil fixtures.
St Clears: Daf Waters: Aled Owens; Lewis Daniels; Dan Griffiths; Jon Gostling: Che Thomas; Rhodri Evans: Dai Barnes; Gethin Williams; John Rees: Tom Rees; Rhodri Evans: Brandon Williams; Tom Williams; Will Icke. Replacements: Jack Green; Tom Daniels; Jac Howells; Jake Philpin; Mike Georgiou.
Llangwm: Ewan Griffiths: Jack Roberts; Owen Swain; Dan Woodward; Matty Lewis: Jacob Lay; Luke Hayman: Ieuan Power; Gethin Thomas; Callum Jenkins: Jason Mock; Dave Reynolds: James Lewis 1; Ian Griffiths; James Lewis 2. Replacements: Morgan Rees; Gavin Jones; Rhys Thomas; Louis Murphy; Mikey Phillips.