Rugby Reports - 6th January 2024


Championship Division (West):


Otters on the attack (Myrddin Dennis)


Seven-try Otters maintain winning streak


Dunvant 18 - Narberth 48

Otters man of the match Roy OsbornNarberth maintained their outstanding form this season with a seven-try victory at Dunvant that earned them their 12th success on the trot and a double over their fourth-placed opponents, having already beaten them by 26-8 at The Lewis Lloyd Ground.
Liam Gadd’s team are intent on playing attacking rugby and on this occasion, they led 17-8 at the interval and ran away with things afterwards as their forwards, with Roy Osborn, skipper Tom Powell, Will Blackburn and Alex Jenkins to the fore, won excellent possession that allowed Jon Rogers and Lewys Gibby at half back to control play.
The Otters were soon 14-0 up as classy centre Ilan Phillips marked his return with the first try as The Otters showed their handling skills and was soon followed by prop Sean Janes from close range, both converted by Rogers.
Dunvant showed why they were fourth as they battled back with an unconverted try from hooker Brian Hughes before a Rogers’ penalty put Narberth 12 points ahead at half time.
The Otters also made a good start to the second half as skipper Powell’s efforts were rewarded with a try, converted by Rogers, before winger Dean James showed his predatory skills with an unconverted try – only for the homesters to respond with an unconverted try from scrum half Adam Williams-Parry.

At this stage Dunvant were clearly intent on trying to salvage at least a bonus point or even two as Joe Parker also scored but The Otters squashed that hope as they had players of the quality of Ricky Guest, scrum half Alex Williams and winger Rhys Harries, who all scored excellent tries as a result of good ball-winning and quick hands, plus conversions by Rogers and Ianto Griffiths to complete another sterling display of quality rugby that has seen them look so good this campaign.
Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Dean James; Ilan Phillips; Hedd Nicholas; Aled Rees: Jonathan Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Bradley Davies; Kyle Hamer; Sean Janes: Will Blackburn; Alex Jenkins: Josh Hamer; Tom Powell (Capt); Roy Osborn. Replacements: Ricky Guest; George Rossiter; Richard Rees; Alex Williams; Rhys Harries.

Narberth try scorers (Steve Thomas)

Slow start costs Preseli Men dear


Crymych 13 - Bonymaen 22

Crymych try scorer Ianto DaviesCrymych edged home by a single point at Bonymaen earlier in the campaign but the visitors to Parc Lloyd Thomas gained revenge as a slow start caused the Preseli Men problems and although they were in contention for much of the second half a late Bonymaen penalty not only denied them the chance of a possible winning score but also cost them a losing bonus point!
Centre Cameron Setter and No 8 Rhys Leonard were amongst the Bonymaen try scorers, with scrum half Gareth Andrews adding their other try alongside a conversion and a penalty for the influential Setter, with hooker and skipper Andrew Pritchard also getting amongst the points with a conversion.
For The Preseli Men there was no shortage of effort by the back row of Osian Davies, Llyr Davies and captain Carwyn Phillips, Matthew and Luke Freebury as they claimed tries from pacy winger Ianto Davies and centre Tomos Phillips as full back Adam Phillips also landed a penalty but on the day Crymych fell just short and will be looking for a better start in their next match as they remain fifth in the section table.
Crymych: Adam Phillips: Ianto Davies; Tomos Phillips; Laurence Headlam; Tomos Lewis: Eilir George; Dafydd Phillips: Aled Hughes; Lee Griffiths; Will Couch: Matthew Freebury; Luke Freebury: Osian Davies; Llyr Davies; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Carwyn Rees; Luke Griffiths-Dawes; Trystan Griffiths; Ifan Phillips; Tristan Jones.

Division One (West);


Borderers just miss out but play really well


Burry Port 27 - Whitland 25

Zac France-Miller - 100 games for Whitland and captain for the dayA last-gasp penalty from Will Thomas gained Burry Port victory against a Whitland side which had battled hard to come back from a 17-3 deficit and with time almost up were ahead by 25-24 after such a great effort against the second-placed side in the section.
Burry Port had won 39-10 at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn and looked as if they might go close to that scoreline but The Borderers provided ample proof of how much they have improved as Zac France-Miller celebrated his 100th match in the green and white jersey with the captaincy and certainly led by example alongside the outstanding Cian Evans and Dan Bennett in a pack which fought so hard as Raff Williams also showed typical spirit alongside new recruit Lewis Tingay.
The Burry Port points came from tries by Lewis Ellar (2), Jac Davies and Will Thomas, who also landed two conversions alongside that all-important late three-pointer.
For The Borderers, Geraint Jones landed a penalty in the first half and a second after the interval as he also converted two of their tries scored by Dom Davies and the elusive Gino Setaro (2) – and although they will inevitably be massively disappointed by the nature of their defeat, they again showed that Whitland’s squad can do well at this level if they continue to make progress like this.
Whitland: Geraint Jones: Dom Davies; Gino Setaro; Liam Price; Rhys Nicholas: Jonathan Thomas; Trystan Rees:  Trystan Bowen; Richie Waters; Ceiron Evans: Raff Williams; Lewis Tingay: Dan Bennett; Cian Evans; Zac France-Miller. Replacements: Mikey Ryan; Benji Kirk; Chris Marks; Sam Clarke; Luke Marsh.

Division Two (West):

St Clears full back Daf Walters grabs a cracking try. Picture Gordon Thomas


Seagulls shot down by speedy Saints


Fishguard & Goodwick 8 - St Clears 34

Tom Mason - outstanding for St ClearsSt Clears confirmed their right to be considered as promotion contenders as they gained this deserved bonus-point win over a Fishguard and Goodwick team that was unable to gain a solid base after being 20-3 adrift at the break and could have few complaints about conceding the double to The Saints, who had already won the home fixture by 17-0.
Dan Griffiths opened The Saints’ account with a well-struck penalty and he was soon on target again with the conversion of an excellent try by full back Daf Walters before The Seagulls finally broke back with a penalty from skipper James Griffiths.
But The Saints maintained their momentum as The Seagulls struggled to find theirs – and No 8 Will Icke scored their second try, again converted by Dan Griffiths before he also notched his second penalty just before the oranges.
It says a great deal about Fishguard’s resilience that they played much better after the break and James Griffiths powered over for a try to give his side hope – but with talented young back-rower Tom Mount catching the eye in the lineout and the loose the Saints struck twice with some excellent handling from deep positions that included centre Jac Howells and No 10 Liam Rogers it was Mount who finished things off and Dan Griffiths added the extra points.

More quick hands resulted in a bonus-point try by winger Jon Gostling, inevitably converted by Dan Griffiths as they made it an 11th win in 13 starts and remain firmly in top spot as their reward.
Fishguard & Goodwick: Creegan Foot: Dan Evans; James Reynolds; James Griffiths (Capt); Dylan Scott: Jake Jenkins; Max Jones: Will Delaney; Liam Wilkes; Iwan McVeigh: Cai Llewellyn; Bryn Thomas: Will Lewis; Sion Colella; Jac Delaney. Replacements: Matt Driver; Kial Keene; Ed Rathbone; Jack Phillips; Joe Dunn.
St Clears: Daf Walters: Jon Gostling; Jac Howells; Dan Griffiths; Liam Rogers: Sion Evans; Dafydd Evans: Gary Barnes; Dan Evans; Alun Davies: Brandon Davies; Tomos Williams: Jack Green; Thomas Mason; Will Icke. Replacements: Dan Hughes; Dorian Harries; Jayden Leefe; Alfie Montgomery-Rice; Sam Iles.

St Clears counter attack. Picture Gordon Thomas


Mariners shock third-placed Loughor


Milford Haven 32 - Loughor 28


Ben Jenkins - winning try for The MarinersMilford Haven showed their true capability with a last-gasp try from Ben Jenkins, converted by James Trueman, that saw them beating third-placed Loughor, their second big scalp in recent matches after previously disposing of another promotion hopeful in Lampeter.
The Mariners had shown their willingness to battle hard as the teams were locked at 10-all at half time, with veteran full back Lee Riley claiming their try and Truman landed the conversion and a penalty – as Loughor responded with a try from full back Oscar Scott alongside the conversion and penalty from scrum half Ryan Davies.
In the third quarter Loughor cut loose with further tries from No 8 Johnny Donaldson, Ryan Davies and Dylan Hughes alongside a Davies penalty but The Mariners, with skipper Zac Davies to the fore alongside Ben Groves, Ryan Mansell and Aaron Mayne, refused to give up and their efforts were rewarded with tries from Jimmy Buirds and Trueman, who also kicked another conversion and penalty to keep the home side in touch.
And then, with time almost up The Mariners raised their efforts for one last surge and prop Jenkins became the hero of the hour as he ploughed over the line and Truman converted to put the icing on the Milford cake as they gained ample revenge for a 47-15 defeat when the teams met in Loughor earlier in the season.
Milford Haven: Lee Riley: James Trueman; Dan Jenkins; Aaron Harries; Ieuan Davies: Ollie Rothero; Dan McClelland: Ben Jenkins; Aaron Mayne; Jimmy Buirds: Ethan Aldred; Jay Goodall: Ben Groves; Zac Davies; Ryan Mansell. Replacements: Dai Sweeny; Chris Jenkins; Dean McSparron; Efan Morgan; Ryan Williams.

Dan Colley - two more tries for the Seasiders

Seasiders complete a deserved double


Tycroes 13 - Tenby United 23

Jake Roberts - man of the match for TenbyTenby United’s win at Tycroes keeps them in fourth place in the table but with four games in hand over the other top clubs; as this eighth win in nine matches showed their ability to battle hard against a team firmly pinned in the relegation battle but who traditionally are never easy to beat at home.
They had beaten Tycroes by 29-6 at Heywood Lane and were always ahead in this return tussle after Harry Rossiter’s early penalty, other than when home No 9 Cian Trevelyan levelled matters with three points of his own.
Their first try came from Dan Colley after a close-range charge off the back of a scrum and Rossiter added the extras from in front of the posts. Before slotting a second penalty to make it 13-3 to The Seasiders at half time.
The second half was equally competitive as Tenby held the edge but were always having to quell any home comeback after Tycroes had served notice with a try from Trevelyan from a quicky-taken penalty which he also converted to narrow the gap to only three points.
The Tenby pack dug deep via the likes of Ethan Morgan, Dan Allen, Rob Lully, Tom Barrass and skipper Luke Dedman to reassert themselves and it was Colley who again struck to maintain his amazing try count this season after Rossiter had launched a high ball with a penalty advantage still in force, which man of the match Jake Roberts pouched and fed the lurking Colley before Rossiter converted.
But The Seasiders conceded a penalty from the kick-off which Trevelyan landed but good work by the lively Will James, who posed a threat wide out, Laim Pugh and some of the Seasiders’ replacements earned them a penalty which Rossiter slotted to give them a cushion of ten points – and it was a hard-fought but deserved win for Tenby United.
Tenby United: Gwion Jones: Will James; Jack Gooding; Luke Waygood; Luke Hartland: Harry Rossiter; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Tom Barrass; Luke Dedman (Capt): Liam Pugh; Dan Colley; Jake Roberts. Replacements: James Morgan; Jack Brown; Jack Broadhurst; Geraint Powell; Brad Cramb; Joe Poole.

Division Three (West) A:


Jon Mason try for Haverfordwest (Mike Halligan)


Blues maul basement battlers


Haverfordwest 50 - Llanybydder 0

Haverfordwest were far too strong up front for a Llanybydder side still seeking a first win after 10 defeats in a row but although The Blues played well enough to run up a half century of points the visitors deserved every credit for battling away until the final whistle from referee Dan Jenkins (Pentregat), who suffered a calf injury in his warm up but bravely battled on and did a good job in the circumstances.
The writing was on the wall from the visitors from the very first scrum as Dan Berry, Jamie Zambas, Terry Lovell and co jerked them back almost ten yards – but to their credit they never sought uncontested scrums and so Blues’ half backs Ioan Hawkridge-Jones and Liam Eaton had tons of ball at their disposal as their side led 26-0 at half time – but Llanybydder had some periods of pressure where experienced No 8 Josh Rees, John Evans, Steff Thomas and Rhys Jones worked hard but were held up in the right corner by solid Blues’ defence orchestrated by full back Archie Thomas.

Jamie Zambas scores The Blues first try (Mike Halligan)

Hooker Jamie Zambas claimed the first home score from a forward drive and after a frustrating period where they played everything at 100mph they gradually settled, cut out so many errors and had further scored by No 8 Jon Mason (but skipper Karl Busch had to leave the field after being heavily involved in the build-up), winger Scott Candler and Busch’s replacement Jack Clancy, earning them the bonus point, and three of them converted by Archie Thomas.
Prop Terry Lovell opened the second half scoring and second row Adam Clake ploughed over from close range, both hugely deserved for the scorers’ terrific work rate.
Others followed from Scott Candler, after good work by Matt Phillips, Dan Berry, Paul Dungey and Liam Brown; Clancy again and finally centre Iestyn Arnold after playing well in partnership with Jake Evans, as  Archie Thomas ended up with five conversions to set the seal on a good individual performance.

Blues spread play wide (William John)

Haverfordwest: Archie Thomas: Scott Candler; Jake Evans; Iestyn Arnold; Lee Summons: Liam Eaton; Ioan Hawkridge-Jones: Dan Berry; Jamie Zambas; Terry Lovell: Karl Busch (Capt); Adam Clarke: Dylan Williamson; Matthew Phillips; Jonathan Mason. Replacements: Rhydian Williams; Paul Dungey; Mikey Griffiths; Liam Brown; Mike Jones.

Karl Busch leads this Blues charge (William John)

Aber ease home to stay in contention


St Davids 10 - Aberaeron 35

Aberaeron negotiated a potential banana skin game at St Davids by running in five tries to move top of the Division Three West A, writes Fraser Watson.
The Saints began 2024 on the back of four straight league wins, but it was the Seagulls who were more clinical in the blustery conditions.
Indeed, the visitors started stronger as winger Mathew Harries was denied by the cover defence in the corner - but the first score came moments later.
After a driving line-out yielded a penalty, No 10 Steffan Rees kicked to the corner and the Saints infringed again - with referee Richard Thomas justifiably signalling a penalty try and issuing a yellow card to home prop Ethan Griffiths.
But the hosts responded, and after Ben Joyce was wide with a penalty attempt, skipper and flanker Nathan Foster broke from 30 metres out and powered through three tackles for a superb score out wide.
It went unconverted and at 5-7 after 33 minutes, critically, Aberaeron finished the half strongly. They opted to run a close-range penalty which resulted in flanked Hefin Evans going under the posts before full back Morgan Llewellyn hacked on a loose ball to score - both tries converted by No 12 Rhodri Jenkins.
The hosts gave themselves hope early in the second half as hooker Rhys Price touched down in the corner from a maul before Foster again broke free only to be hauled down short. But it was then the Mid-Wales side took control again.
Hooker Sion Evans crashed over for the bonus point try and then his replacement, Bruce Gaskell, rounded off some neat interplay to cross over himself and Jenkins completed his perfect kicking record by adding the extras to both.
Aberaeron coach Ryan Williams told Pembrokeshire Sport: “I’m delighted with that performance.
“We were worried about today, we know St Davids have been far better this season, and especially after Christmas with us not playing and not having trained much. The two tries before half-time were a killer for them. That 21-5 gap gave us the chance to really push on in the second half.”
St Davids: Fred Dorn, Harvey Godkin, Ben Joyce, Harvey Lavin, Luke Bamford, Morgan Griffiths, Zak Morgan, Ethan Griffiths, Rhys Price, Adam Williams, Iestyn Owen, Aled Davies, Tom Clarke, Nathan Foster, George Raymond. Replacements: Ben Lloyd, Ian Kavanagh, Aaron Foster, Will Savage, Owen Swain.
Aberaeron: Morgan Llewellyn, Dyfrig Dafis, Oliver Sawyer, Rhodri Jenkins, Mathew Harries, Stefan Rees, Dan Lintin, Rhys Jones, Sion Evans, Ceri Davies, Richard Francis-Jones, Llyr Davies, Hefin Williams, Gethin Dafis, William James. Replacements: Bruce Gaskell, Kavi Black, Bleddyn Thomas, Osian Davies.
Referee: Richard Thomas.

Rhodri Jenkins and Bruce Gaskell - played really well for Aberaeron at St Davids