Rugby Reports - 2nd March 2024

Roy Osborn ploughs through for The Otters (Myrddin Dennis)


Championship Division (West):


Otters’ massive scrum superiority pays dividends


Narberth 47 - Ammanford 10

Narberth continued on their way to the title with a convincing victory over an Ammanford side which showed great spirit in the loose, shared the lineouts but were totally  hammered in the scrum and were often jerked back ten metres or more as The Otter pack ruled the roost – and the end product was that The Otters scored ten tries to their opponent’ one in a game that was played on a heavy pitch and made ball retention something of a lottery.
Indeed, Narberth’s first two scores came from penalty tries because of their domination in this important area in such abject conditions – the first after only four minutes and the second seven minutes later when the scrum started on 15 metres and ended up in a total heap and the referee standing between the posts to signal seven points for The Otters.
It is to Ammanford’s credit that they were totally committed in loose play as young flanker Jed Anthony, the smallest player on the pitch, was totally involved alongside Harry McBride, Harvey Jones, Callan Davies and Ollie Close as their pressure was rewarded with a penalty in the Otters’ 22 which No 10 Ryan Williams slotted home.
With lots of handling errors, play was punctuated by referee Elfyn Morris Roberts’ whistle and there was no further scoring until near half time as good play up front by Lewis Davies, Tom Clarke, Guto Davies, Alex Williams and Roy Norman, and especially from Tom Slater and Rhys Williams in the tackling stakes, saw centre Aled Rees gain the touchdown before No 10 Jonathan Rogers added the extra points to give The Otters a 21-3 interval lead.
The Otters also made a good start to the second half as No 8 Roy Osborn scored as reward for his work-rate at No 8, with Rogers launching a very difficult conversion wide out on the right.
But Ammanford deservedly scored a consolation try after a period of pressure led to flanker Dominic  Jones went over almost unchallenged at the posts for No 10 Williams to convert.
But any hopes of a comeback were quickly quashed as Narberth used their scrum power again on half way and halves Alex Williams and Rogers put winger Dean James in the clear from a clever inside pass by the outside half and he finished off from fully 40 metres – although Rogers blotted his place-kicking book as he stubbed the easiest conversion of the day wide of the left upright!
He soon made amends, however as another immaculate kick to the corner allowed outstanding skipper Tom Powell to cross for a try which Rogers effortlessly goaled from wide out.
Aled Rees was chosen man of the match but he sadly sustained a nasty ankle injury which caused the referee to sensibly call a halt a few minutes early – and the award was accepted by skipper Powell because Rees was conveyed to hospital – and now The Otters gear up for the next challenge to their 100% record as they travel to 10th-placed Ystalyfera this Saturday.
Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Dean James; Aled Rees; Hedd Nicholas; Geraint Llewellyn: Jon Rogers; Alex Williams: Lewis Davies; Tom Clarke; Tom Slater: Rhys Williams; Alex Jenkins; Guto Davies; Tom Powell (Capt); Roy Osborn. Replacements: Kyle Hamer; Brad Davies; Lewys Gibby; Will Blackburn; Sam Davies.

Dean James scores a cracking try for Narberth (Myrddyn Dennis)

Preseli Men pounce for bonus-point win


Crymych 29 - Tata Steel 10

Iestyn Wood - back with a try for CrymychCrymych returned to winning ways with a deserved win over bottom club Tata Steel that included a bonus point and the double since they had beaten The Steelmen 26-20 in the previous match between the teams.
It was a good performance in difficult conditions and The Preseli Men led 14-7 at half time as good handling in the conditions saw winger Tomos Phillips and flanker Iestyn Wood score tries which were both converted by full back Adam Phillips.
Tata showed their commitment, despite their lowly position, by responding very close to the break after good work by No 8 David Griffiths and outside half Cam Bamford saw full back Jake Skeels cross the whitewash before also slotting the conversion.
Skeels also landed two penalties after the interval but Crymych stayed focussed for Tomos Phillips to be put away for his second try, this time unconverted.

As the conditions got worse so ball retention became harder but The Preseli Men grabbed that vital fourth try very close to the end as prop Alfie Fecci-Evans, who had played well alongside Lee Griffiths, Luke Griffiths-Dawes and the Freebury brothers in the close exchanges, scored and Adam Phillips added the extra points with his final kick of the afternoon.
Crymych: Adam Phillips: Tomos Lewis; Tomos Phillips; Laurence Headlam; Ianto Davies: Ifan Davies; Tristan Jones: Luke Griffiths-Dawes; Lee Griffiths; Alfie Fecci-Evans: Luke Freebury; Matthew Freebury: Iestyn Wood; Carwyn Rees; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Aled Hughes; Dafydd Gibby; Osian Davies; Sion Wilson; Dafydd Phillips.

Division One (West:


Battling Borderers just miss out on a  bonus point


Kidwelly 29 - Whitland 21

Oli Bujega - try scorer for WhitlandWhitland played some very positive rugby against a Kidwelly team boasting ten wins from 14 starts and claimed three tries, all converted by full back Geraint Jones – but must have been disappointed to miss out on a second win of a hard season but fell agonisingly short of a deserved bonus point as the final margin of defeat was eight points.
Kidwelly had already won 25-7 at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn and on this occasion they managed four tries from Shaun Pearce (2), Ioan Dillon and George Elks, with Declan Smith converting three of them, alongside a penalty.
A measure of The Borderers’ part in a hard-fought game was the fact they were level 7-7 at the interval  as influential outside half Jonathan Thomas scored and their second-half tries came from talented youngsters Oli Bujega and Deian Davies.
Whitland: Geraint Jones: Oli Bujega; Gino Setaro; Trystan Rees; Rhys Nicholas: Jonathan Thomas; Luke Marsh: Dylan Kelly; Jamie Goldsworthy Trystan Bowen: Raff Williams; Benji Kirk (Capt): Lewis Tingey; Cian Evans; Zac France-Miller. Replacements: Marc Jones; Dan Bennett; Sam Clarke; Deian Davies; Dom Davies.

Division Two (West):


Seasiders snatch victory via late Lloyd penalty


Tenby United 13 - Milford Haven 10

Lloyd Thomas - vital three points for Tenby UnitedMatches between Tenby United and Milford Haven are traditionally hard-fought and this first game between then this season was a real battle where both  teams had their chances on a very heavy Heywood Lane but with only three minutes left they were locked on ten points apiece – but then Milford indiscipline earned The Seasiders a kickable penalty and experienced centre Lloyd Thomas was entrusted with the chance in very muddy conditions and he kept his nerve to send the ball between the posts for the all-important three points that gave his side their 12th win in 15 starts and left The Mariners with a losing bonus point to end a game which was packed with incident.
The Seasiders’ only score in a tight first half was a penalty try and The Mariners responded with a try for skipper Zac davies as Tenby made a hash of a lineout take and he nipped in between an intended tap-down and ploughed his way over the line for full back James Williams to convert.
Young outside half Harry Rossiter landed a Tenby penalty and Williams responded for The Mariners as neither team gave an inch but with a share of the spoils seeming to be a growing reality it was the home side who had the final word with Lloyd Thomas their hero of the hour – and both teams already looking forward to the return fixture on the final day of the league season at The Obs!
Tenby United: Gwion Jones: Jack Gooding; Brad Cramb; Lloyd Thomas; Luke Hartland: Harry Rossiter; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Tom Barrass; Luke Dedman (Capt): Howel Baker; Jack Brown; Dan Colley. Replacements: Kyle Rossiter; Liam Pugh; Jake Roberts; Cam Broadhurst; Geraint Powell; Will Allen.
Milford Haven: James Williams: Jamie Lewis; Efan Morgan; Dan Jenkins; Robbie Jones: Ollie Rothero; Dan McClelland: Ben Jenkins; Luke Ryan; Aaron Mayne: Zac Davies (Capt); Jay Goodall: Ieuan Davies; Jack Morgan; Dewi Williams. Replacements: Dai Sweeny; Ben Groves; Ryan Mansell; Lee Riley; James Trueman.

Seagulls miss out but gain a deserved point


Loughor 20 Fishguard & Goodwick 14

Dan Evans - scored only try for FishguardLoughor are still in the promotion race after this hard-fought victory over Fishguard and Goodwick where The Seagulls pushed them all the way before missing out on the double as they had already won by 16-14 at home when the teams won earlier in the campaign – but receiving a losing bonus point for being within seven points of the opposition.
Fishguard played well in a combative first half to lead 9-7 as skipper James Griffiths landed three penalties against a try for Loughor by Joe Burder, converted by Ryan Davies – with the Seagulls’ youngsters like Jac Delaney, Cai Llewellyn; Rhys and Will Lewis catching the eye as vice-captain Sion Colella started on the bench because he was feeling a little off-colour.
Winger Dan Evans scored The Seagulls’ try after the interval but Loughor added their second try from Rhys Davies, who completed a good individual performance with two penalties to take his team home!
Fishguard & Goodwick: Creegan Foot: Dan Evans; Dylan Scott; James Griffiths (Capt); Dan Cleary: Jake Jenkins; Max Jones: Will Delaney; Liam Wilkes; Iwan McVeigh: Ben John; Cai Llewellyn: Rhys Lewis; Will Lewis; Jac Delaney. Replacements: Osian Rowe; Matt Driver; Sion Colella; Jack Phillips; Joe Dunn.

Division Three (West) A:


Cardis go top as other contenders are without matches


Cardigan 25 - Pembroke 5

Alun Jenkins - good try for CardiganWith Aberaeron, Haverfordwest and Laugharne all without matches, Cardigan took their chance to go top of the table with a comfortable victory over Pembroke in increasingly heavy conditions.
This was the first time these old rivals had met this campaign and it was The Teifisiders who were quicker to react to the elements as they established a 13-0 advantage as full back Alun Jenkins sped over for a try after some good handling in the build-up, which experienced No 10 Shaun Leonard converted as well as two penalties which The Scarlets conceded under pressure.
But just before the interval, Pembroke showed they are no slouches as skipper Lloyd Davies, Jamie Brayford, and the back row of Evan Phillips, Rhydian Eynon and Rhodri Walters were involved before second row Will Edwards scored a try for his support work alongside Dai Beynon, Dan Gosnold.
But The Cardis raised the tempo after the interval with tries by winger Iwan John and replacement wing John Lumb, who showed his elusive qualities as he sped 35 metres to the try line after selling three dummies en route.
Llyr Jones added a conversion as Tom Taylor, Luke Palmer-Davies and Dean Harries were as involved as usual in a good all-round display by the home side; their only disappointment being the fact that they didn’t manage to secure a bonus point.
Cardigan: Alun Jenkins: Iwan John; Marcus Castle; Emyr Harries (Capt); Jack Taylor: Shaun Leonard; Llyr Jones: Will Brice; Luke Palmer-Davies; Ben Hughes: Kester Adams; Dean Harries: Aaron Tomkinson; Jackson Tucker Lynch; Tom Taylor. Replacements: Daniel Cope; Sion Phillips; Jac Davies; Kieran Greenland; John Lumb.
Pembroke:  Zach Evans: Simon Stanford; Rhys Johns; Rhys Marchant; Barry Alderman-John: Luke Alderwick; Jarred Sharratt: Lloyd Davies (Capt); Dan Gosnold; Jamie Brayford: Will Edwards; Dai Beynon: Evan Phillips; Rhydian Eynon; Rhodri Walters. Replacements: Paul Muller; L Steward.

Quins look sharp in attack (William John)


Quins win tense local derby at Bierspool


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 11 - Neyland 5

Pembroke Dock Harlequins gained revenge for a heavy 36-10 defeat when these teams met at The Athletic Ground as The All Blacks battled all the way but missed key chances – so had to settle for a losing point as The Quins picked up their fifth win of the campaign but are still two places below their opponents.
In the final analysis, both teams deserved a medal for completing the game as heavy rain turned the pitch into a bit of a mud bath and there were inevitably errors aplenty as The Quins led 8-0 at half time and went 11 points ahead before Josh Watts scored his first try for Neyland in the closing moments to secure their hard-fought-for bonus point.
Yet Neyland had the better of things in the opening quarter as skipper Owain Evans, Ben Williams, Andrew Slark and fellow veteran Delme Bateman, called in at short notice caught the eye but then The Quins opened the scoring when full back Ben Hathaway landed a penalty and then pacy winger Owain Turner rounded off a good handling moves with a corner try.
Craig Barnett used his wealth of experience at outside half for The Quins and a second Hathaway penalty increased their tally after the break – and although The All Blacks had their share of possession they were unable to turn pressure into points until Watts squeezed home for their late score!
Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Ben Hathaway: Owain Turner; Gethin Bradney; Aaron James; Tom Donovan:  Craig Barnett; Morgan Rogers: Dan McLeod; George Bellmaine (Capt); Andrew Edwards: Taylor Rees; Dan Wilkes: Lewis Hunter; Jordan Palmer; Harry Owen. Replacements:  Alfie Ball; Rhys Davies; Callum Jones; Jack Roberts; Jack Fielding.
Neyland: Fletcher Picton: Liam Rees; Matthew Coles; Jordan Allen-Wright; Josh Watts: Alex Codd; Owen Hamer: Mark James; Alex Swales; Ben James: Andrew Slark; Lewis Hallett: Dan Hart; Owain Evans (Capt); Ben Williams. Replacements: Kieran Cookson; Joel Thomas; Callum O-Riorden.

Neyland on the charge (William John)

Saints complete comfortable double


St Davids 32 - Llanybydder 7

Ben Joyce - nominated as outstanding by Jack DudleySt Davids completed a deserved double over basement battlers Llanybydder as they ran in six tries to one by their gritty opponents and this followed a 52-12 victory when the tams met earlier in the season.
But the weather was very different then and so The Saints did well to gain such a margin of victory in abject conditions before the referee and both teams agreed to slightly cut short their torment by the wind and rain with the game well and truly won.
The Saints’ pack provided the platform for a 17-7 interval lead as the back row of George Raymond, Jack Jones and Nathan Foster were excellent ball winners – and it was skipper Foster who opened their account with a close-range try.
Llanybydder fought back in a series of strong surges and eventually took the lead with a penalty try but St Davids were back ahead after 27 minutes when Aaron Foster decided to emulate his brother Nathan as he skipped through for a try which Jack Jones converted – and almost on half time The Saints added a third score when George Raymond ploughed through.
The second half became more of a battle against the elements but with centre Ben Joyce posing a threat through the middle and the likes of Morgan davies and Bob Froy always looking to warm their hands there were soon tries by full back Harvey Godkin, whose defence was excellent, Raymond again for his tireless support play, and centre Will Savage.
St Davids:  Harvey Godkin: Morgan Davies; Ben Joyce; Will Savage; Bob Froy: Aaron Foster; Zac Morgan: Ethan Griffiths; Adam Williams; Ben Lloyd: Aled Davies; Iestyn Owen: Jack Jones; Nathan Foster (Capt); George Raymond. Replacements: Ryan John; James Goldsmith;  Mark Gurney; Scott Candler; Morgan Griffiths.

St Davids try scorers Aaron Foster and his brother Nathan Foster who is the captain