Rugby Reports - 20th January 2019

Jonathan Rogers spins the ball wide for the Otters 

Jonathan Rogers spins the ball wide for the Otters




Otters beaten after brave battle


Narberth 16 - Pontypool 18

Narberth pushed runaway league leaders Pontypool all the way at The Lewis Lloyd Ground and were actually 16-13 in front with ten minutes to go but then conceded a try for Pooler outside half Matthew Lewis which meant that they had to settle for a losing bonus point.

That try came after influential back rower Steff Phillips had to leave the pitch with a suspected broken or dislocated elbow and rugby players across the county and beyond will wish him a good recovery.

His departure meant a reshuffle up front but The Otters never gave up trying and more than made amends for their awful showing at Pontypool Park, where they were slammed 55-8.

Pontypool showed why they have a 100% record from the outset as they stole possession at the first midfield scrum and No 8 Brendan Lampitt and scrum half Aaron Quick stole away on the blind side and sent winger Lloyd Lewis scorching his way to the line – although Lewis hit the near post with a conversion that was well within his range.

Otters strike back early

But The Otters struck back from the kick-off and second row Tom Kaijaks helped set the platform for outside half to land a simple drop goal.

Then ace points scorer Nick gale influenced matters as he cleverly kicked ahead twice and benefitted from a stumble by Pooler winger Jordan Thomas to win the race for the touch-down – and add to his opportunism with a well-judged conversion.

As Pontypool applied pressure there was plenty of commitment from the likes of Jack Price, Kieron Jones and the entire Otter pack, especially in the last minutes of the half when they had Richard Rees yellow-carded but somehow held out in the clubhouse corner.

Another close battle in second half

But early in the second period the visitors drew level after giant locks Danny Hodge and Curtis Gregory joined No 8 Lampitt in setting up a try for flanker Mikey Herbert – but again Lewis missed the conversion as his kick hit the far post this time!

After referee Dewi Phillips had gone off to change his whistle it was gale who put The Otters back in front with a superb 45-metre out on the left touchline but for once Lewis was on target to level matters again.

After Phillips had painfully departed Gale again slotted a good penalty with time running out but Pooler showed why they are top of the section tree as Lewis cut through for an unconverted try – and the men of Gwent must have been delighted to escape with such a narrow win because they knew they had been pushed all the way by Sean Gale’s committed squad.

Narberth:  Ianto Griffiths: Nick Gale; Kieron Jones; Jack Price; Will Lewis: Jonathan Rogers; Rhys lane: Dan Jacobs; Rhodri Owens; Tom Slater: Tom Kaijaks; Alex Jenkins (Capt): Richard Rees; Tom Powell; Steffan Phillips. Replacements: Kyle Hamer; Bradley Davies; Andrew Cook; Lewys Gibby; Gethin Gibby.

Pontypool: Geraint Walsh: Lloyd Lewis; Joel Mahoney; Kieran Meek; Jordan Thomas: Matthew Lewis; Aaron Quick: Aaron Coundley; Darren Hughes; Ollie Drake: Danny Hodge; Curtis Gregory: Scott Matthews; Mikey Herbert; Brendan Lampitt. Replacements: Craig Price; Lewis Ball; Ben Sparks; Martin Luckwell; Clayton Gullis.

Narberth win clean lineout ball against Pontypool

Narberth win clean lineout ball against Pontypool


Division One (West):


No hangover for Preseli Men


Crymych 41 - Yr Hendy 14

Nick Bevan - two more tries for CrymychThere was no hangover from Crymych’s defeat in Felinfoel last week as they blew Yr Hendy away with a comprehensive display of attacking rugby to gain ample revenge for a 43-27 defeat at Hendy.

The visitors arrived as the league’s in-form side with four straight wins under their belt, but it was the Preseli Men who led 17-7 at the break as the home pack dominated proceedings – with hooker Carwyn Rees touching down twice and centre Ifan Phillips converting.

Phillips also added a penalty while Yr Hendy kept in touch with a try by Lee Thomas, converted by the reliable Rhydian Morris.

Full back Jake Newman also crossed after the break and Morris again added the extras, but it was Crymych who added four more tries to notch a deserved bonus point win to stay sixth in the table.

Winger Nick Bevan twice went over with a try from flanker Aled Harries sandwiched in between - and young full back Rhodri George completed the scoring. Phillips added four more conversions.

“The whole pack played well today and laid the foundations for the win,” said club spokesman Adrian Howells.

Nick Bevan - two more tries for Crymych


Late try inflicts double defeat on The Seasiders


Tenby United 17 - Llanelli Wanderers 21

Lloyd Thomas 8 points for Tenby UnitedGood fortune really is running low at Tenby United as The Seasiders suffered a 13th straight league defeat against Llanelli Wanderers, and were left to reflect on a game that got away.

The Wanderers controlled the early stages despite having Rich De Filippo yellow carded, and built up a 9-0 lead through the accurate boot of outside half Rhydian Jenkins, who landed two penalties either side of a snap drop goal.

But the Seasiders bounced back before half time as Moritz Neumann, who carried hard all game in midfield, crashed over in the corner and No 10 Lloyd Thomas superbly converted.

In the second half the visitors turned the screw up front and a rolling maul led to an unconverted try for flanker Elgan Morgan – but with skipper Luke Dedman and No 8 Roy Osborn both increasingly prominent, back came Tenby again through another Thomas penalty and then a try for centre Yannic Parker.

Thomas again added two points to make it 17-15 in favour of the home side.

Wanderers win it late on

But the visitors then piled on the pressure late on, and to their credit turned down kickable shots at goal that would have secured a draw to go for the win.

And they duly got in in the dying minutes, when another lineout drive led to a try for hooker Dyfan Watkins which Jenkins converted- to give them a fortunate double since they had already beaten The Seasiders 40-14 at home.

“I think if we’d had wins under our belts this season we would have closed the game out,” admitted assistant coach Jonathan Evans. “So it was one that got away. But fair play they went for the corner and for the win, and executed their rolling mauls well.”

Tenby United: Jack Tucker, Connor Ennis, Yannic Parker, Moritz Neumann, Ashley Murdoch, Ashley Murdoch, Will Crockford, Ethan Morgan, Dan Allen, Rob Luly, Luke Dedman (capt), Tom Barrass, Jack Broadhurst, Harry Phillips, Roy Osborn. Replacements: Huw Evans, Dom Booth, Luke Dedman, Robbie Tuttle, Mark Hamilton.

Lloyd Thomas kicked two conversions and a penalty for Tenby United


Borderers easily beat high-flying Gowerton


Sean Coles - back from Zimbabwe to score a Whitland tryWhitland 38 - Gowerton 3 

After two agonising defeats, Whitland bounced back in style by hammering second- placed Gowerton at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn.

The Borderers lost 32-17 when the team last met but got the perfect start when flanker Danny Evans showed great skill to pick a low pass off his ankles and dart under the posts, and No 10 Nico Setaro converted.

Setaro also added the extras when centre Liam Price pounced on a chip ahead to score, while Josh Hamer landed a penalty to Gowerton to make it 14-3 at half time.

Early in the second half young scrum half Josh Thomas scored the try of the game, rounding off a superb team move to take a pop pass and dive over from close range. Shortly after and winger Sean Coles, back after a break in his native Zimbabwe, sealed the bonus point with an interception try.

Liam Price - try for WhitlandSetaro converted and then took centre stage himself, dummying his way over before again adding the two points, and then rounding off the win with a try in the corner.

“We played to our potential today and it was a hell of a result for us,” said backs coach Dan Mason.

“The last couple of results have been tough to take but our attitude was first class.”

Whitland: James Stephenson, Dan Evans, Liam Price, Josh Thomas, Sean Coles, Nico Setaro, Josh Thomas, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones, Jimmy Buirds, Raff Williams, Dai Ebsworth, James Thomas, Danny Evans, Jack Mason. Replacements: Adam Davies, Courtney Bowman, Scott Buirds, Ryan Morgan, Gethin Lewis.

Sean Coles - back from Zimbabwe to score a Whitland try

Liam Price - try for Whitland

Sam Smith on the charge for Pembroke

Sam Smith on the charge for Pembroke
Pictures by Dafydd Palmer


Division Two (West):


Scintillating Scarlets account for league leaders


Pembroke 25 - Penclawdd 8

Toby Smith - key player for PembrokePembroke made a big statement in the race for promotion by accounting for league leaders Penclawdd.

The Scarlets stay third in the table, but now just six points separate them and their visitors at Crickmarren, and Geraint Lewis’ team have a game in hand.

Fraser James had to switch to the centre early on as Dan Colley limped off with a hamstring injury, but he slotted in well to run onto a long cut-out pass from Toby Smith to score.

The Donks responded with a penalty from Tom Howell but Smith, who along with half back partner Tom Lewis controlled matters with his kicking out of hand, wiped that out with three points of his own.

And before the break it became 15-3 after a series of close range scrums, and eventually the pressure told as the Penclawdd pack infringed and the referee went under the posts for a penalty try.

Scarlets stay strong in second half

But early in the second half the away side enjoyed their best period and grabbed a deserved try through Kristian Corbisiero.

Pembroke also lost No 8 Sam Smith to injury but brother Toby added another penalty, and then in the final quarter the fitness and power of the Scarlets told as man of the match Lloyd Davies excelled in the front row, while club captain Scott Powell and Jordan Gwilliam added impetus off the bench.

And they sealed a great win with a superb individual try from Jack Parkinson, who won a turnover on halfway and then hacked the ball ahead before regathering and scoring.

Toby Smith inevitably converted, and Pembroke perhaps showed a measure of their progress since losing to the same side 51-31 in October.

“It was a fantastic result for us,” said Lewis.

“We beat a top side in an intense game of rugby. Both with and without the ball we were at our best today.”

Pembroke: Luke Hartland, Barry Alderman-John, Jack Parkinson, Dan Colley (Sean Dalling), Fraser James, Toby Smith, Tom Lewis, Lloyd Davies, Seamus Wiseman (Rhys Mainwaring) Jonny Palmer, Cyle Weatherall (Scott Powell), Will Edwards, Rhodri Walters (Jack Smythe), Alex Thomas, Sam Smith (Jordan Gwilliam).

Toby Smith kicked eight points for Pembroke...

Pembroke on the charge 

...Pembroke on the charge


Slow-starting Seagull suffer again


Pontarddulais 31 - Fishguard & Goodwick 24

It was a case of déjà vu for Fishguard and Goodwick in away matches as they travelled to Pontarddulais and were trailing 28-0 at half time before fighting back to come within a score of The Bont.

“At least we picked up two bonus points,” said a club spokesman, “but we are baffled at why we are such slow starters because we do the same pre-match practises as we do at home!”

Be that as it may, The Seagulls were very disappointing from the outset and could have few complaints about the interval scoreline as they conceded tries to  flanker Jordan Davies, centre Jordan Hughes (2) and winger Scott Simmons, all converted by The Bony kicker Aled Stone.

Stone also opened the second half scoring with a penalty but then Fishguard lifted the tempo and began to play as long-suffering coaches Nathan and Steve Jenkins would expect them to, with hooker Jordan Jones grabbing an unconverted try before replacement Scott Riches added a second which No 10 Alun George again failed to convert.

With ten minutes left skipper Chris Shousha rounded off a successful pushover attempt and George added the extras – and Shousha claimed his second score of the match for George to slot the conversion.

But it was too late for Fishguard to make any further inroads as they had to settle for those bonus points – but they know that if they could find the key to a better start they could beat any side in the section!

Fishguard & Goodwick: Robbie Jones: Liam Wilkes; Thomas George; Sion Rowlands; Rhys Evans: Alun Evans: Andrew Morrillo; Jordan James; Ryan McVeigh:  Ben John; Richard Hunter: Lewis Davies; Luke Freebury; Chris Shousha. Replacements: Simon James; Gwilym Evans; Scott Riches; Mark George; Dan Evans.

Chris Shousha - try brace for Fishguard skipper

Mark Wonnacott breaks for the Mariners

Mark Wonnacott breaks for the Mariners


Division Three (West) A:


Mariners stay unbeaten after titanic tussle


Milford Haven 12 - Aberaeron 7

As expected it was a colossal battle at The Obs as a second half try from Lee Riley settled this much anticipated clash between Milford Haven and Aberaeron.

It meant a 12th straight league win for The Mariners, whose destiny now appears in their own hands as they seek the title and promotion to Division Two West.

A huge crowd packed in and they were treated to a physical opening quarter, before the home side crossed on 23 minutes when Dewi Williams charged towards the line, and from the ruck that followed scrum half Dan McClelland threw a dummy and sniped over. Winger James Trueman landed the conversion.

Aber have their share of chances

That seemed to spark Aberaeron though and centre Ollie Sawyer twice broke through in midfield but was thwarted by good cover defence, and No 10 Rhodri Jenkins was uncharacteristically off target with a penalty attempt.

But early in the second half The Mariners shot themselves in the foot as they failed to clear their lines, and outside half Efan Morgan was caught on his own line before the ball went loose and Aberaeron winger Dyfrig Dafis pounced to score.

Jenkins levelled things up with the conversion, but Milford responded in kind and a quick penalty by McClelland created the overlap from which Riley went over in the corner.

Mariners hold on for win No 12

But after surviving going down to 14 men after a yellow card to hooker Sion Evans, it was Aberaeron who piled on the pressure late on.

Jenkins kicked a series of penalties into the corner but the Mariners repelled the lineout drives, and then in a frenzied final minute twice Aberaeron ran close range penalties before Milford prop Zac France-Miller jackalled at the breakdown and this time it was the visitors who were penalised – and Trueman duly booted the ball to touch.

It sparked a roar from the home crowd and afterwards coach Nathan Williams, who came on for the final quarter in the front row, said: “I’m happy with that.

“The hunger of the boys in the last 10 minutes was something else. You cannot coach that and it’s a pleasure to be part of the group at the moment.

“But we won’t get carried away and we go again next week.”

Milford Haven: Steve Martin, Lee Riley, Dan Jenkins, Dan Birch, James Trueman, Efan Morgan, Dan McClelland, Zac France-Miller, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees (capt), Brandon Cooper, David Round, Dewi Williams, Ryan Mansell, Mark Wonnacott. Replacements: Nathan Williams, Chris Hall, Ben Groves, Garin Gardner, Craig Thomas.

Aberaeron: Morgan Llewelyn, Dyfrig Dafis, Dafydd Llewelyn, Ollie Sawyer, Rhodri Thomas, Rhodri Jenkins, Gareth James, Owain Wozencraft, Sion Evans, Alex Danton (capt), Gethin Hughes, Bleddyn Thomas, Aaron William Lewis, Daniel Lewis, Tudur Jenkins. Replacements: Matt Roberts, Ceri Dorian Davies, Dafydd Lloyd, Lewis Tomlins, Gethin Dafis.

Referee: Ian Jones.

Mariners on the charge at the Obs

Mariners on the charge at the Obs


Cardis hold on for narrow win


Emyr Harries - more points for Cardigan kickerCardigan 21 - Llanybydder 20

Cardigan looked home and dry at half time as they led 16-0 but as Llanybydder fought back strongly after the oranges it was clear that The Teifisiders were glad to hold on to victory by the smallest of margins.

It was player/coach Colin Davies who again inspired the home side as he grabbed the only try of the first half, which influential outside half Emyr Harries converted to go with three well-struck penalties.

Strong-running centre Aaron Tomkinson added an unconverted try for The Cardis after the interval but fortunately for them Llanybydder were unable to convert any of their four tries scored by scrum half Jack Thomas, flanker Aled Evans and skipper Rickie Davies, whose play at No 8 earned him a try brace.

Emyr Harries - more points for Cardigan kicker

Josh Artherton breaks for Haverfordwest

Josh Artherton breaks for Haverfordwest


Laugharnees edge out The Blues at Pembroke Road


Haverfordwest 10 - Laugharne 13

Matches between Haverfordwest and Laugharne are traditionally hard-fought and this one was no exception as the visitors led 10-5 after a tight first half and eased home by three points despite the fact that The Blues scored two tries to one.

It was Laugharne who opened the scoring with a try claimed by No 8 Mikey Williams that centre Steff Davies converted.

The Blues had good performances from No 8 Gareth Phillips, second row Karl Busch, and the front row of Ashley George, Matty Clayton and Tom Carrington – and they eventually opened their account when second row Jack Clancy ploughed over for an unconverted try.

Laugharne pressure pays dividends

The only other points before the interval came after a period of Laugharne pressure involving Carwyn Jones, Richard Watters and skipper Carl Smith saw their team awarded a penalty which Davies duly goaled.

Davies also opened the second half with a well-struck penalty before Clancy eventually claimed his second try, again unconverted – but, try as they might, The Blues were unable to further break down the Laugharne defence so Haverfordwest had to settle for a bonus point to fall even further behind still-unbeaten leaders Milford Haven.

Haverfordwest:  Rhys Baker: Ryan Neilson; Matty Phillips; Gareth Owens; Josh Atherton: Craig Barnett; Tony Steiner: Ashley George; Matty Clayton; Tom Carrington: Karl Bush; Jack Clancy: Gareth John; Steve Thomas; Gareth Phillips. Replacements: Ali Assaf; Ben Llewellyn; Liam Brown; Lee Summons.

Laugharne:  Tom Davies: Will Evans; Tom Jameson; Steff Davies; Gareth Spiers: Owain Thomas; Jack Flanagan: Dorian Haynes; Rhys Jones; Richard Waters: Carwyn Jones; Tomos Rees: Carl Smith (Capt); Lee Thomas; Mikey Williams. Replacements: Gavin John; Aled Rees.


All Square at Pill Parks


Llangwm 7 - Tregaron 7

Robbie Neil - vital try for LlangwmIt was a war of attrition at Pill Parks that ended in a draw, but Llangwm were left to reflect on missing a host of early chances in this draw with Tregaron.

The Wasps piled on the pressure early on and centre Robbie Neill knocked on with the line at his mercy but then did make amends, powering over for No 10 George Evans, who impressed on permit from Neyland, to convert.

To the credit of the visitors they did come into it after a ropey first quarter as Huw Bonner impressed at No 10, but the score stayed the same way until the hour mark when winger Ieuan Rees took a quick tap penalty and the home defence was slow to react as he made the line.

Bonner converted with what proved to be the match-levelling kick, and although winger Daniel Morgan made two terrific try-saving tackles and Ieuan Power put in a big display up front, the home side were left disappointed.

“It was one that got away,” said team manager Richard Scriven. “We left too many points out there early on.”

Robbie Neil - vital try for Llangwm


Bierspool Boys bounce back to beat The Saints


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 19 - St Davids 10

Hywel Baker - led the Quins to victoryAfter two very heavy defeats Pembroke Dock Harlequins showed that there is some spirit at Bierspool as they entertained a St Davids side that had beaten them 10-0 earlier in the season and finished up with a deserved victory.

The Quins took the lead after only three minutes as the Bradney brothers were heavily involved at half back, with No 9 Gethin charging down a clearance attempt before his brother Rhys claimed the touch down.

Rhys Morgan notched a Saints’ penalty midway through the half but The Quins took a 12-3 lead into the interval as quick hands put winger Liam Smith in at the corner for No 10 Rhys Bradney to add the extras.

In a very tight second period there was no scoring for 30 minutes but then the homesters struck a significant blow when Richard Jones put Liam Smith through for his second try and Bradney landed a terrific conversion from wide out.

The Saints used their forward superiority to grab a penalty try with five minutes left but The Quins defended well and as a club spokesman told us, it was nice to be off the bottom of the section table!

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Mike Doyle: Liam Smith; Richard Jones; Harry Owen; Dan Davidson: Rhys Bradney; Gethin Bradney: Joe Grey; Mike Jones; Tom Clarkson: Ben Gibby; Bron Birley: Jordan Palmer; Hywel Gibby (Capt); Nick Drewitt. Replacements: Ollie Parsons; John Davies; Martin Culley; Jason Keats; Bleddyn James.

St Davids: Luke Brooks: Mark Wilson; Delme Bateman; Gabe York; Tanapon Phumkhonsan: Rhys Morgan; Zak Morgan: Dan Murphy; Rhys O Price; Will Davies: Rhys L Price; Gethin Bateman: Josh Strangward; Dan Jenkins; Andrew Groves. Replacements: Ben Evans; Anthony Davies; Andrew Williams; Dan Ridge; George Raymond.

Hywel Baker - led the Quins to victory