Rugby Reports - 28th October 2023

Championship Cup Second Round:


Narberth win this lineout battle. Picture Bill Carne

Outstanding Otter pack sets up superb success


Narberth 24 - Rumney 10

Otter Man of the Match Tom Powell with Bill RidgeNarberth showed great commitment, high skill levels in awful conditions and willingness to go that extra mile as they fended off a strong change from Rumney to make deserved progress into the last eight of the competition.
To do so they needed to take on a bulky Rumney side which has done well in the East Section of the championship, with only one defeat, and it was the Otter Pack which produced a barn-storming performance against a bulky opposition as they were superb in winning ball on the floor, totally disrupted the opposition’s aim of quality possession and used it well.
Inevitably there were handling errors in the conditions, including a couple of seeming monsoons, one of which came right on half time as The Otters were kicked into the corner by a Jon Rogers penalty and a lineout catch and 12-man drive saw assistant coach Richard Guest powered over the line for an unconverted try.
Prior to that score it had been a real war of attrition as Rogers kicked Narberth into a 14th minute lead from 38 metres and Rumney levelled matters 11 minutes later with a penalty by outside half Jake Hillman.
Rumney were understandably very physical as they tried to use their big pack to get their backs in motion but were knocked back by terrific tackles from Rhys Williams, Josh Hamer, and Bradley Davies, with Tom Slater, Roy Osborn, Alex Jenkins, Guest and outstanding skipper Tom Powell regularly rocking the Cardiff-based side back on their heels.

Superb second half by gritty Narberth

This was particularly so after the interval as Rumney made a bright start but gradually lost their momentum as scrum half Alex Williams had a good game with his darting runs and half back partner Jon Rogers controlled the patterns of play with his kicks tormenting the visitors.
Ashley Sutton was strong in defence and made some good breaks from full back and when replacement No 9 Lewys Gibby came on he proved full of running as he made his usual darting runs which might have brought deserved scores but for a couple of handling errors and a very debatable forward pass decision.
All the other replacements made good contributions from the bench and when Gibby became involved The Otters were awarded a penalty try after Rogers had slotted a penalty just before to make it 18-3.
After 65 minutes Rumney grabbed their only try when Hillman kicked a penalty into the corner and some acrobatics by Josh Evans seemed to keep the ball in play - and there was no touch signal from the visiting touch judge but the referee called for a throw in and prop Taylor Pescud was credited with the try, which Hillman converted.
It gave Rumney a glimmer of hope but they were quickly dispelled as Rogers thumped over a 40+metres penalty for a high tackle and then another from inside the 22 after Gibby had twice been involved in a move before it was illegally halted.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory for The Otters, whose supporters are now eagerly awaiting news of who their team play in the next round!
Narberth: Ashley Sutton: Geraint Llewellyn; Hedd Nicholas; Ianto Griffiths; Josh Evans: Jonathan Rogers; Alex Williams: Bradley Davies; Ricky Guest; Tom Slater: Rhys Williams; Alex Jenkins: Josh Hamer; Tom Powell (Capt); Roy Osborn. Replacements: George Rossiter; Sean Janes; Tom Clarke; Richard Rees:  Harry Phillips; Lewys Gibby; Aled Rees; Rhys Harries.
**Narberth club statistician Ken Mathias produced a fascinating article in the excellent Narberth programme recalling the final match of the 1996/97 season as The Otters travelled to play already-promoted Rumney at their Riverside Stadium, having already won 57-20 in Narberth - and needing a win to avoid relegation.
Chris McDonald led by example before going off with a nasty injury that left The Otters faithful angry but they held on to win 11-8 and avoid relegation from a very tough section.
There were some well-known names on board that day and the team was:
Wayne Jones: Andrew Young; Shane Williams; Lee Rogers; Andrew Phillips: Rod Gibby; Chris MacDonald (Richard Evans): Phil Stoddart; Gareth Charles; Rob Jones: Bill Ridge; Iestyn Evans: Rhodri Jones; Jay Wilkerson; Simon Davies.

Rumney go on the attack. Picture Bill Carne


Division Two Cup - Second Round:

Thomas last-second penalty seals Seasiders cup progress

St Clears 23 - Tenby 24

Lloyd Thomas - kicked Tenby to victoryTenby United outside half Lloyd Thomas was the hero of the last moment in their divisional cup match at St Clears as a he landed a penalty from the final kick of the match to snatch the verdict from the battling Saints in a typical local cup-tie.
Both teams conspired to produce a hard-fought tussle on an understandably heavy pitch where quality handling of a greasy ball was difficult but both teams giving 100% commitment as fortunes ebbed and flowed throughout.
It was Tenby who took the early lead with two well-struck penalties from outside half Thomas as skipper Dan Colley led a pack in which Dan Allen, Ethan Morgan, Tom Barrass and Charlie Patching were key ball winners and back rowers Jack Brown and Jack Broadhurst also played well. Max Badham also caught the eye when he later made his first-team debut from the bench.
But The Saints were awarded a penalty try for a collapsed maul to put them ahead before No 10 Thomas was on target with his third kick – and The Saints went in 14-9 in front after good work by Brandon Davies, Tom Williams, Daf Page and Will Icke set up the platform for a try by centre Shane Morgan as he intercepted a loose Tenby pass made under pressure and galloped 30 metres to the line for Waters to convert.
Daf Waters put The Saints further in front after the oranges with the first of three penalties but back came The Seasiders with a close-range try by Hywel Baker, switching from flanker to loose-head prop and marking his debut there, Thomas again adding the extra points.
Watters slotted two more penalties, one either side of a Tenby try where scrum half Tom Lewis put in a clever cross kick when his side was playing under a penalty advantage and all winger Max Brindley had to do was catch the ball cleanly and fall over the line.
These scores left The Saints ahead by 23-21 with the game going into time added on by the referee and The Seasiders ploughed forward in a desperate attempt at maintaining their winning streak – and it ended up with a penalty being awarded – and Thomas calmly slotting the penalty to take his team into the third round as reward!
St Clears: Daf Waters: Campbell Evans; Shane Morgan; Jack Howells (Capt); Jon Gosling: Sion Evans; Daf Evans: Dafydd Page; Brandon Davies; Tom Williams: Tom Rees; Jack Green; Will Icke. Replacements: Gareth Jones; Brandon Williams; Jayden Leefe; Tom Mason; Rhodri James Jones.
Tenby United:  Gwion Jones: Jake Henson; Max Brindley; Luke Waygood; Bradley Cramb: Lloyd Thomas; Tom Lewis: Hywel Baker; Dan Allen; Ethan Morgan: Tom Barrass; Charlie Patching: Jack Brown; Jack Broadhurst; Dan Colley (Capt). Replacements: Rob Clark; Max Badham; Jack Gooding; Archie T-Williams; Luke Hartland; James Morgan; Frankie Boyd.

Division Three Cup:

Leonard kicks take Teifisiders through

Newtown 10 - Cardigan 18

Shaun Leonard - kicked six penalties for CardiganCardigan made the long journey to Newton for the only game in the second round alongside 31 byes after the WRU clearly mathematically miscalculated the initial draw and as a result so many clubs were without a league fixture on Saturday!
So The Teifisiders enter the third round after beating a home side that had won 36-10 at Bangor in the previous round but were unable to match Cardigan’s self-discipline and conceded six penalties which were punished in full by in-form full back Shaun Leonard as he slotted all of them between the uprights.
If Leonard was the points’ hero, then it was Cardigan’s pack which was the platform for their battle plan in the conditions, with Will Brice, Luke Palmer-Jones and Llyr Jones as a solid front row; real effort from locks Sion Phillips and Dean Harries, plus back rowers Kester Adams, Aaron Tomkinson and especially Tom Taylor in the ball-winning stakes.
Behind them the other Llyr Jones and Jac Davies called the shots with skipper Emyr Harries, playing well in the centre alongside Marcus Castle – and Leonard’s two penalties meant they trailed by 6-10 at half time as Newton scored a try by No 8 Andrew Eggerton converted by scrum half Oscar Beddoe, who also kicked a penalty.
The second half was equally as hard-fought but The Teifisiders maintained a tight grip up front and four kicks on target by Leonard saw them deservedly enter the third-round draw.
Cardigan: Shaun Leonard: John Lumb; Marcus Castle; Emyr Harries (Capt); Jack Taylor: Jac Davies; Llyr Jones: Will Brice; Luke Palmer-Jones; Llyr Jones: Sion Phillips; Dean Harries: Kester Adams; Aaron Tomkinson; Tom Taylor. Replacements: Rhodri Parry Jones; Nathan Bowen; Geraint Williams; Iwan John; Kieran Greenland. Travelling Reserves: Jackson Tucker-Lynch; Deian Davies; Alun Jenkins.

Haverfordwest go on the attack. Picture by William John

Division Three (West):

Blues too strong in second half

St Davids 6 - Haverfordwest 31

Matches between St Davids and Haverfordwest have often been hard-fought and this rearranged league tussle was no exception as The Saints were only 6-12 down at half time but then The Blues greater know-how paid off and they added another 19 points without response in the second period.
Saints’ winger Bob Froy kicked two penalties in the first period as scrum half Owain Swain, played well alongside forwards Nathan Foster, Tommy Reynolds and Rhys Price – but The Blues were awarded a penalty try and added a second score when Jon Mason, outstanding in the back row in partnership with Mikey Griffiths and Dylan Williamson, crossed to round off a period of forward pressure inevitably involving Jamie Zambas and Terry Lovell.
The second half saw The Saints to continue to battle hard but ran out of steam a little in the final quarter - and Haverfordwest claimed a try and conversion from full back Owain Roberts, who also converted a second try for Mason after Liam Brown, Ben Llewellyn and Jack Clancy had been involved.
The final try by winger Johnny White went unconverted but it mattered little because this score earned The Blues a bonus point and a deserved win but give The Saints credit for their part in an absorbing clash of styles enjoyed by the hardy bands of supporters who braved the awful weather conditions.
St Davids: Harvey Godkin: Luke Bamford; Harvey Lavin; George Raymond; Bob Froy: Aaron Foster; Owain Swain: Ethan Griffiths; Rhys Price; Ryan John: Charlie Lavin; Iestyn Owen: Brad John; Nathan Foster; Tommy Reynolds. Replacements (from): Adam Williams; Ben Lloyd; Dan Murphy; Aled Davies; Jack Delaney; Zac Morgan; Mike Gurney.
Haverfordwest:  Owain Roberts: Jake Evans; Jack Evans (Capt); Iestyn Arnold; Johnny White: Mikey Jones; Liam Eaton: Ben Llewellyn; Jamie Zambas; Terry Lovell: Jack Clancy; Liam Brown: Dylan Williamson; Mikey Griffiths; Jonathan Mason. Replacements: Dan Berry; Paul Thomas; Matt Phillips; Lee Summons; Archie Thomas.

Have the Blues scored? Picture by William John