Rugby Reports 10th November 2018

Craig Barnett scored 23 points for the Blues

Man of the match Craig Barnett scored 23 points for the Blues


Feature Match:


Division Three (West) A:


Barnett benefits from Blues pack power


Haverfordwest 23 - Neyland 12

23 points by influential centre Craig Barnett helped Haverfordwest gain a comfortable home win over Neyland in a top three clash where his forwards laid the foundation with set-piece domination and he claimed all their points with two converted tries and three penalties.

The Blues were 16-0 ahead at the break and if it wasn't for some brave All Black defensive work alongside some sloppy home handling they could have been even further in front.

A measure of Haverfordwest’s start can be gauged from the fact that after skipper Mikey Jones kicked deep they camped in the Neyland 22 for the first ten minutes as Lee Summons, Rhys Baker, Gareth Owen, Liam Manwaring and Barnett threatened - and a superb try-saving tackle from All Black full back Tom Hughes was a feature of their determination.

Blues scores had to come

But scores were bound to follow and after great work by Adam Clark, Carl Bush, Matty Phillips and Cole Barry a clever diagonal kick by skipper Jones bounced perfectly for left winger Ben Alba to beat his marker and make good ground before finding Barnett inside - and a clever making of ground over the line to make the conversion easier.

It says much for the young visitors that the work rate of Ben Williams, Owain and Iestyn Evans meant Neyland prevented The Blues from adding any other tries and  with limited possession they showed what a danger the All Blacks' backs posed as Hughes, Patrick Bellerby, Alec Codd and Henry Macbeth were eager to run the ball as halves George Evans and skipper George Williams tried to make the best of limited possession.

More points for ‘Barney’

Barnett landed three good penalty kicks to make it 16-0 at half time and it was a similar story after the interval - until The All Blacks finally gained a platform to attack and grabbed an unconverted try by prop Luke Griffiths-Dawes after a series of phases.

Their hopes of a fight-back were ruined, however, as Barnett sliced through for a second converted try and, try as they might, Neyland were struggling to break the tweezer grip exerted by the home pack until they managed the try of the match late on after a terrific break by second row Nathan Banner, where he beat several would-be tacklers before finding replacement hooker Craig Power lurking with intent on his outside - and George Evans added the extra points.

It was reward for Neyland's determination to stay in the game but in the final analysis they lost their second match in succession and The Blues were good value for victory.


Steve Barnett (Haverfordwest coach): "If I'm honest I feel we should have turned our pressure into far more points but Neyland have some talented young players and on the whole we contained them and stuck to our game plan."

Peter Davies: (Neyland team manager): "We didn't play well enough and that's that. We are a young side and we will learn from such matches because we have a great team spirit and commitment from such a young team. It was summed up by Sam Katakai, who started on the wing but played really well later on as prop!"

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker: Liam Manwaring; Craig Barnett; Gareth Owens; Ben Alba: Mikey Jones (Capt); Lee Summons: Rhodri Harries; Matthew Clayton; Terry Lovell: Karl Busch; Adam Clark: Cole Barry; Matty Phillips; Ashley George. Replacements: Jamie Zambas; Tom Carrington; Dan Richards; Liam Eaton.

Neyland: Tom Hughes:  Sam Katakai; Alex Codd; Patrick Bellerby; Henry Macbeth: George Williams (Capt); George Evans: Ben James; Gavin Campbell; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Mark James; Nathan Banner: Iestyn Evans; Owain Evans; Ben Williams, Replacements: Mark Riley; Craig Power: Andrew Slark; Jack Harries.

Referee:  D Anthony Jones.

Neyland fullback Tom Hughes brilliant try-saving tackle on Blues winger Liam Manwaring

Neyland fullback Tom Hughes' brilliant try-saving tackle on Blues' winger Liam Manwaring




Otters lose top-four clash


Ystrad Rhondda 20 - Narberth 13

Ianto Griffiths - late penalty earned Narberth a vital bonus point at Ystrad RhonddaNarberth lost for the second time this campaign as they went down to defeat against a very strong Ystrad Rhondda side at a Gelli Galed Park ground that is very much a fortress since few teams go there and come away with much to show for their efforts.

The Otters will be disappointed to have lost but coach Sean Gale and his players can take a measure of satisfaction because they did claim a bonus point for being within seven points of Ystrad.

The homesters had strength aplenty up front from Mason Roderick, Jarred Llewellyn and skipper Nathan Hughes, whilst  half backs Corey Shephard and Jack Foulkes were adept at bringing their backs into play - and they took an early lead with a try claimed by Ryan Howells which Shephard converted.

Back came The Otters with a penalty try for a scrummaging offence before Shephard added a penalty for Ystrad to go into a 10-7 lead at half time.

Narberth No 10 Ianto Griffiths levelled matters with a penalty but Ystrad regained the initiative when winger Carl Williams scored a try and Shephard converted, as well as adding a penalty.

The Otters claimed the final score of a tight game when Griffiths slotted a late penalty but, try as they might, they were unable to add further scores as Adam and Ryan Lewis defended well for the winners to leave Narberth with the disappointment of defeat.


Ianto Griffiths - late penalty earned Narberth a vital bonus point at Ystrad Rhondda


Division One (West):

Preseli Men pocket a vital victory at Parc Lloyd Thomas


Crymych 20 - Dunvant 18

Crymych claimed their second win of the season with a spirited performance against sixth-placed Dunvant that saw them trailing 7-15 going in to the final stages but battled their way back as replacement forwards Aled Harries, Jason Nicholls, Llew Rees, and Gethin Davies all made significant contributions to a home comeback.

Yet The Preseli Men had made the sharper start as Steffan Harries, Lee Griffiths and Ryan Rees laid the ground work and allowed the back row of Sion Colella, Guto and Osian Davies to set up pressure from which Colella rounded off with a try that centre Ifan Phillips converted.

But Dunvant fought back with a penalty from Dan White and were then awarded a penalty try for The Preseli Men collapsing a close-range scrum- and grabbed a second try from scrum half Ben Ley soon after the restart to really put pressure on Crymych.

The Preseli Men showed they were up for the challenge, however and a second Colella try that was goaled by Phillips before the centre’s penalty put Crymych ahead - only for White's second penalty to put the visitors back in front after some good work by skipper Adam Gregory and Jamie Nicholas.

But another Phillips' three-points proved to be the decisive score as Crymych's defence held firm until the welcome final whistle saw them home and moved them up to ninth place in the section table.

Quote: Randall Williams (Crymych coach):

"We knew that this would be a tough tussle but we were fully focussed on victory and our plans eventually paid off, which was great because the whole squad was involved. Now we must build on this to achieve our full potential."


Borderers back to winning ways


Whitland 25 - Aberystwyth 22

Marc Jones - led Whitland to victory with a tryWhitland returned to winning ways with a narrow, but deserved win over old rivals Aberystwyth at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn as they fought back from a 6-15 deficit at the interval to claim a needed victory that moved them up into seventh place in the table.

These two clubs have been adversaries since the old days of the Pembrokeshire League, when they were traditionally amongst the four top teams and this was a hard-fought tussle as all The Borderers could muster before the oranges were two penalties from Nico Setaro.

Aber two tries by winger Dylan Evans and another by scrum half Gruff Thomas in their final tally, with two conversions and a penalty by outside half Steff Rees to keep them in with a real chance of success.

But The Borderers raised the tempo after the interval with good performances from Dai Ebsworth alongside the back row of Danny, James Thomas and especially Jack Mason, with Josh Thomas solid in the centre in cahoots with Rhys Sivorney, Liam Price and Josh Watson.

Adam Davies and Setaro controlled matters at half back and deserved tries came from skipper Marc Jones, prop Aaron Mayne and young back rower Benjamin Kirk, two of them converted by Setaro.

So the plaudits went to Whitland but Aberystwyth made the long journey home with a losing bonus and safe in the knowledge that once they catch up the three games they are behind  the rest of the teams they will soon rise up from their tenth spot in the table.


Marc Jones - led Whitland to victory with a try


Seasiders struggle against league leaders


Felinfoel 41 - Tenby United 3

Lloyd Thomas picked up Tenbys only score at FelinfoelTenby United's young team found it hard going against an experienced Felinfoel that sits comfortably atop the section table, the Seasiders only points coming from a penalty by outside half Lloyd Thomas.

But coaches Gareth Thomas and Ossie Boswell knew at the start of this campaign in a difficult section that they needed time to knit together some talented but inexperienced young players - and so it is proving as they had No 8 Jack Broadhurst leading the way alongside hooker Tom Barrass, scrum half Ben Pugh and centre Aaron James, to name but a few.

Felinfoel were 15-3 ahead at half time and their tries came from Aled Roberts (2), Elliott Dawe (2), Kurt Morris (2) and James Woods, with three conversions from No 10 Roberts to round off the scoring.

Quote: Ossie Boswell (Tenby’s forwards' coach):

"We had no complaints from this defeat because we were well beaten by a very strong side which had loads of experience in the right places but Gareth and I know that we must be patient because as our boys grow in confidence then losses like this will gradually get less."


Lloyd Thomas picked up Tenby's only score at Felinfoel

Toby Smith looks to attack for Pembroke

Toby Smith looks to attack for Pembroke
Pictures by Dafydd Palmer


Division Two (West):


Smith shines for Scarlets in a convincing win


Pembroke 32 - Pontarddulais 13

A splendid all-round performance by talented centre Toby Smith helped Pembroke comfortably account for Pontarddulais at Crickmarren, starting steady after a slowish start following a recent lay-off.

Smith grabbed two tries, three conversions and two penalties, as well as directing operations alongside skipper Scott Powell, back after a spell out injured.

It was Smith who gave The Scarlets the lead with a nice try' created by Rhys Cadogan, and conversion - and a penalty after The Bont' had responded with a penalty from outside half Aled Stone.

Smith's co-centre Fraser James claimed a good try after a series of speedy rucks and Smith was again on target with a wide-angled conversion to take them into a 20-3 half time lead.

Smith also opened the second half scoring with a penalty but missed the conversion of a try grabbed by skipper Powell from just three metres out, although he was claiming it was 25 metres by the end of the evening!

Perhaps The Scarlets eased their foot off the pedal because they gifted The Bont an interception try by Stone and another five points from Gareth Williams.

But it was Pembroke who had the final word when Smith rounded off a multi-phase attack to cross at the posts and inevitably added the extra points for a thoroughly deserved bonus point win.

Quote: Geraint Lewis (Pembroke coach): We inevitably looked a little ring-rusty at the start but soon got into our patterns of play and although Toby played a starring role he would agree that this was all about a squad performance, from full back Luke Hartland to the front row of Johnny Palmer, 'Moose' Wiseman and Jamie Kaijaks, plus our replacements."

Pembroke crash over for a try

Pembroke crash over for a try



Seagulls suffer against The Athletic


Carmarthen Athletic 36 - Fishguard & Goodwick 7

Ryan McVeigh - claimed Fishguards only tryAfter victory in their previous match, Fishguard & Goodwick came back to earth with a bump as they trailed the Athletic by 22-0 ahead at half time and the homesters were always in control to claim a bonus-point success as The Seagulls had nothing to show for their contribution.

There was also a concern for The Seagulls about talented young full back Robbie Jones, who was injured in a collision with an opponent and sustained a nasty dead leg - but by then they were out of contention as The Athletic had made a good start against slow-starting opponents with a Carl Williams' penalty and a try from prop James Newnian which Williams converted.

They added another seven points from a try by centre Tom Gravel which Williams goaled before second row Carwyn Webb capitalised on a catalogue of Seagulls' errors to cross the whitewash for an unconverted try

Fishguard made a brighter start to the second half when prop Ryan McVeigh rounded off a good period on the attack and No 10 Geraint Jones converted - but their hardy band of supporters' hopes of a come-back were soon on the back-burner when Gravel sliced through for his second try and Williams again added the extras.

The Athletic also scored the final points when outstanding prop Newnian ploughed over and Williams converted to round off a disappointing day for Fishguard and Goodwick with another low-key performance on the road!

Ryan McVeigh - claimed Fishguard's only try