Rugby Reports 11th January 2020

Tregaron RFC 

Photo: Tregaron RFC 


Feature Match: 


Division Three (West) A:


Wasps miss out as Tregaron hold on at the finish


Llangwm 3 Tregaron 7

There was no shortage of effort at Pill Parks as Llangwm and Tregaron conspired to produce a match that was full of commitment and no little skill before the Ceredigion side held on to complete the double, having won 48-19 earlier in the season.

The heavy conditions made handling a greasy ball no easy task in the strong wind blowing down the pitch, but although there were inevitably handling errors aplenty both teams ran the ball at every opportunity as referee Cath Pritchard (South Gower) deserves a mention for trying to keep play fluid whilst making sure she had tight control despite the fact that her performance was being assessed.

Tregaron use the slope to set their platform

Playing down the slope and with the wind at their backs there was early pressure from Tregaron via the likes of Dorian Pugh, Stephen Roberts, Rhys Ebenezer and skipper Simon Rattrey but there was some terrific cover play by the home back row of Ian Griffiths, James Lewis and skipper Gethin Thomas, with their backs also playing a part with the cover tackling of Lewis Murphy, Carwyn Morgan and Yale Grice, who relieved one elongated period of pressure with charge upfield, supported by  Jason Mock, Ieuan Power and the rest of the home pack, with scrum half Ollie Davies snapping at their heels.

But a Tregaron try eventually came after outside half Huw Bonner had missed two penalties for Tregaron, the first perhaps optimistically long in the conditions but the other from the 22 after referee Pritchard showed she wouldn’t tolerate bad language on the pitch with a lecture before she reversed a Llangwm penalty! No 8 Steve Roberts ploughed over the whitewash and on this occasion Bonner added the extra points.

Referee Cath Pritchard gets the scrum set

Similar story in second session

It was a similar story after the interval as Llangwm held the edge territorially but could only muster a well-judged penalty from his only kicking by Toby Hayman chance as Tregaron’s defence held its discipline.

The Wasps had winger Joe Lewin sent off for what the referee deemed a spear tackle but The Wasps kept plugging away until the final whistle – and at least had a deserved bonus point to show for all their efforts!

Llangwm: Carwyn Morgan: Dan Thomas; Yale Grice, Lewis Murphy. Joe Lewis: Luke Hayman; Ollie Davies: Ieuan Power; Phil Llewellyn; Gethin Thomas: Dave Reynolds; Jason Mock: James Lewis; Ian Griffiths; Gethin Thomas. Replacements: Gavin Jones; Dan Morgan; Rhys Thomas; Iestyn Griffiths; Luke Davies.

Tregaron: Ieuan Wyn Rees: Chris Wilkins; Aled Jones; Rhys Jones; Ban McInally: Huw Bonner; Nathan Lloyd: Rhys Ebenezer; Martin Lloyd; Dorian Pugh: Dewi Jones; Sion Jones: Sion Rattrey; Dan Thomas; Stephen Roberts. Replacements: Dan Rees; Gethin Jones; Rowan Edwards; Albert Wolseley.

Tregaron on the charge

Photo: Referee Cath Pritchard gets the scrum set
Photo: Tregaron on the charge



Championship Division:


Tight tussle as teams share six points


Trebanos 3 Narberth 3

 Jonathan Rogers - kicked Narberths penaltyThe small but hardy band of Narberth supporters who made the journey up the Swansea Valley to watch their team take on Trebanos came home trying to recall if The Otters had ever previously battled their way through a 3-all draw since the National Leagues began in 1990.

But a quick chat from this correspondent with club historian Ken Mathias confirmed that the sharing of six measly points had happened on at least three other occasions, including a sharing of the spoils in this way against former top club Tredegar and old rivals Whitland!

To be fair to both sides on a very heavy pitch it was the strong wind blowing down the pitch that hampered The Otters’ attempts to play their usual expansive game – but they must have been pleased to reach half time with just a three-point deficit from a penalty by Martin Brunton, who had hit the woodwork from 20 yards and right in front of the posts just a short while before.

Coach Sean Gale must have been well pleased at that stage because his son Nick was out through injury and flankers Steff Phillips and Dewi Williams had to play at second row in the absence of the regular incumbents.

But Trebanos played much better against the elements and limited The Otters’ scoring chances to a single successful penalty by Jonathan Rogers – and so the game ended in a low-scoring stalemate which left The Otters still in seventh spot whilst Trebanos are now 12th out of the 14 competing teams in this very tough section.

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths, Elliot Dawe, Josh Davies, Jake Jenkins, Dafydd Pritchard, Jonathan Rogers, Lewys Gibby, Dan Jacobs, Rhodri Owens, Tom Slater, Steff Phillips, Dewi Williams, Rich Rees (capt), Tom Powell, Roy Osborn. Replacements: Dan Smith, Bradley Davies, Joe Hutchings, Llew Jones, Rhys Lane.

Photo - Jonathan Rogers - kicked Narberth's penalty


Division One (West):


Gorseinon gain revenge against off-key Preseli Men


Gorseinon 27 Crymych 11

With just four minutes to go Crymych were just 13-10 down in Gorseinon, only for the home side to grab two late tries.

The Preseli Men led 11-10 at the break, their try coming from scrum half Dafydd Phillips after No 8 Richard Sharpe-Williams picked up from a scrum 40 metres out and linked with Jon Hill, who in turn put the No 9 away to score.

Outside half Ifan Phillips also kicked two penalties but the Swansea side kept in it thanks to a try from centre Nicky Jenkins and a conversion and penalty from Liam Popham.

Popham nailed another penalty in the second half and then with the game still in the balance, scored from an interception and added the extras to seal the win.

And there was still time for a third Gorseinon try when flanker Kyran Craig touched down and Popham again converted, and despite great individual displays from Hill and the front row of Ryan Rees, Ifan James and Carwyn Rees Crymych were left wondering what might have been.

Dan Colley breaks for Pembroke

Scarlets still suffering at this level


Llanelli Wanderers 32 Pembroke 12

Dan Colley - try for Pembroke  centreWith just 15 minutes to go Pembroke looked to be hanging on for a crucial win in Llanelli Wanderers before the home side scuppered their hopes with three late tries.

The Scarlets were 5-0 down within 60 seconds as home winger Leon Randall crossed but with a strong wind behind them, fought back when returning full back Dan Colley cut into the line to score from 20 metres out.

Wanderers’ full back Lewis Jones kicked two penalties to make it 11-5 but the visitors had the half time lead when winger Geraint Powell went over and No 10 Kyren Gray converted.

The Scarlets then withstood huge pressure for much of the second half before Joe Chiffi eventually broke their resolve with a try that Jones converted, and then a pivotal few minutes followed where the away side were held up over the line and then wasted a chance from a five metre scrum.

The Wanderers went back up the field and Chiffi’s centre partner Rhydian Morgan crossed to seal the win and Jones added the extras, as he did when outside half Callum Harries also ghosted over late on.

“We defended really well second half and we didn’t deserve that scoreline,” said Pembroke forwards coach Kyle Davies.

“Against the wind we couldn’t get hold of the ball and eventually it told.”

Pembroke: Dan Colley, Luke Hartland, Shaun Dalling, Lewis Davies, Geraint Powell, Kyren Gray, Andrew Davies, Lloyd Davies, Shane Gwyther, Johnny Palmer, Scott Powell, Will Edwards, Alex Thomas, Dom Colman, Rhodri Walters. Replacements: Jamie Kaijaks, Yori Roberts, Seamus Wiseman, Barrie Alderman-John

Photo - Dan Colley - try for Pembroke  centre


Marc Jones looks to move the ball for Whitland

Photo: Marc Jones looks to move the ball for Whitland


Classy Sutton pounces for try hat-trick but The Borderers sill miss out


Whitland 22 Llangennech 27

The game defied the conditions at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn as Whitland and Llangennech produced an intense contest that yielded eight tries.

But in the end a try hat trick from full back Ashley Sutton wasn’t enough for The Borderers, with Llangennech crossing five times themselves to keep their hopes of a top two finish in track.

This was despite things kicking off in swirling winds and driving rain, and it was the home side who seemed hell bent on bouncing back from a late loss in Newcastle Emlyn the week before as they applied the early pressure.

A penalty which would normally have been a shot at goal for Nico Setaro led to the opening try. The No 10 opted for a quick tap in the adverse weather and a strong drive from prop Aaron Mayne laid the platform for Whitland to go wide – and full back Sutton executed a chip and chase to  perfection before diving on the loose ball to score.

Setaro added the tricky conversion and the home side continued to try and place with tempo, perhaps to their own cost when second row Courtney Bowman was pinged for holding on the floor as The Borderers tried to attack from deep.

Llangennech outside half Taylor Phillips was short with the resultant 35 metre penalty but just moments later the visitors struck as hooker Callum Jenkins rounded off a slick move by delivering a pop pass for second row Dan Moyle to score in the corner.

Phillips was again off target with the conversion before Whitland again showed their intentions to attack as a quick lineout in their own 22 eventually released winger Jonathan Thomas down the right – but his chip ahead was covered by away full back Tom Barnes.

But the second Whitland try soon came and again it was Sutton who did the damage, taking a pass off centre James Stephenson and jinking through a gap 20 metres out before beating Barnes to score

That made it 12-5 but Llangennech were level by half time with a super solo effort from scrum half Gareth George. He broke from a lineout on half way and showed real pace before kicking ahead and winning the race to the touch down. Phillips converted.

The second half then belonged to the visitors. Sustained pressure led to a try for hooker Jenkins and although Setaro responded with a penalty – the home side suffered two hammer blows when Stephenson was yellow carded for handling the ball on the floor and then skipper and hooker Marc Jones also went for going too high in the contact.

Llangennech took full advantage, with Moyle getting his second try before some slick backline play led to Tom Davies going over in the corner.

All three tries went unconverted but at 27-15, the Llanelli side looked home and dry, metaphorically at least.

There was a further twist to come though as Sutton waltzed over again late on and Setaro converted – but while the score sealed a bonus point for The Borderers it came too late to affect the outcome.

Whitland: Ashley Sutton, Jonathan Thomas, Alex Codd, James Stephenson, Ollie Hughes, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones, Tomos Evans, Raff Williams, Ben Kirk, Courtney Bowman, James Lewis, James Thomas. Replacements: Iwan Lewis, Matt Done, Tom Finucane, Dai Ebsworth, Geraint Jones.

Llangennech: Tom Barnes, Tom Davies, Rhys Davies, Richard Thomas, Harrison Button, Taylor Phillips, Gareth George, Drew Jones, Callum Jenkins, Brandon Lee, Jordan Price, Dan Moyle, James Cartwright, Shaun Edwards (capt), Jordan Saunders. Replacements: Matthew Bowen, Ryan Davies, Rhys Webb, Chris Doran, Ieuan Thomas.

Referee: Dewi Phillips (Aberystwyth).


Division Two (West):


Seagulls struggle to gain any fluidity


Mumbles 41 Fishguard & Goodwick 18

Gavin Walsh - try for Fishguard front rowerAt half time in this match between Mumbles and Fishguard & Goodwick the visitors were in with a shout as they trailed by 15-8 but in the second period they conceded too many soft tries and paid the inevitable price.

Mark Jones gave The Seagulls an early lead with a penalty and added a second near half time after home flanker Sam Cook scored a try and full back Chris Morgan notched a penalty – and they were awarded a penalty try for a scrum offence.

But after half time there were further Mumbles tries from winger Joe Rimmell and Andrew Evans, the latter converted by Morgan, before Seagulls’ hooker Gavin Walsh claimed a close range try converted by Jones.

Morgan then intervened for Mumbles, however, as he sped over for a converted try and also added the extra points to Harry Davies’s try.

Seagulls’ skipper Chris Shousha charged through for a second Fishguard try but it was too late to influence the final result as Mumbles claimed the double, having previously edged home at The Moors.

Fishguard: Mark Jones, Dafydd Ridgeway, Rhys Evans, Sion Rowlands, Robbie Jones, James Griffiths, Andrew Williams, Will Delaney, Gavin Walsh, Adam Bowen, Simon James, Ben John, Luke Freebury, Scott Riches, Chris Shousha (capt). Replacements: Liam Wilkes, Ryan Foot, Ryan McVeigh, Dan Evans, Richie Hunter.

Photo - Gavin Walsh - try for Fishguard front rower


Seasiders play well to gain revenge


Tenby United 18 Pontyberem 16

Matthew Morgan - scored a vital try for TenbyFor the first time since 2017, Tenby United recorded back to back league wins as two late penalties from Lloyd Thomas gave them a win over Pontyberem.

The Seasiders played against a strong wind in the first half yet still led 12-6 at the break, but then failed to use the elements themselves in the second half as they trailed 16-12 before Thomas stepped up.

An early three points from Dom Sauro gave the visitors the lead before Ben James, who was outstanding in the second row alongside Tom Barrass, rounded off some good interplay with a diagonal 30 metre run to the corner.

Sauro kicked another penalty but back came Tenby again when scrum half Matthew Morgan, who also shone for the home side, sniped from 22 metres out and went under the posts for Thomas to convert.

That gave them a six point lead at the break but early in the second half The Bont took the lead with two quick unconverted tries.

First centre Mike Sauro, the older brother of Dom, went over before winger Gwion Phillips scored from a Crossfield kick.

But in the final 10 minutes Tenby dominated and twice got the field position they needed before being awarded penalties – and on each occasion Thomas kept his nerve in the swirling gales.

“Neither side used the wind properly,” said Tenby head coach Jonathan Evans.

“But to get successive wins is big for us. And fair play to Lloyd those were difficult kicks late on.”

Tenby United: Joe Owen, Jack Gooding, Yannic Parker, Adam Quill, Oakley Milton, Lloyd Thomas, Matthew Morgan, Geoff Martin, Dan Allen, Ethan Morgan, Tom Barrass, Ben James, Luke Dedman (capt), Harry Bolton, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Wyndham Williams, Jack Brown, Jack Tucker, Rob Luly, Mike Davis.

Photo - Matthew Morgan - scored a vital try for Tenby


Mariners make hard work of a tough contest


Tycroes 23 Milford Haven 5

Sam Dolling - yet another try for The MarinersTycroes definitely used the conditions better than Milford Haven did as they racked up a 23-0 half time lead – leaving The Mariners too much to do.

The home side had the wind at their backs first half and scored three tries through scrum half Aled James (2) and second row John James. Full back Aled Rees-Jones also kicked a conversion and two penalties.

Milford lost debutant flanker Kyle Hamer to injury after the break but did give themselves a glimmer when from a rolling maul, No 8 Sam Dolling touched down.

The try went unconverted and The Mariners then wasted a series of further chances, and despite a standout display from flanker Zac Davies ultimately went home with nothing to show for a lot of effort.

Milford Haven: Steve Martin, Lee Riley, Dan Jenkins, Dan Birch, Jimmy Thomas, James Trueman, Danny McClelland, Mike Cockburn, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees, Chris Hall, Andrew Ling, Zac Davies, Kyle Hamer, Sam Dolling. Replacements: Dai Sweeney, Dylan Evans, Ben Jenkins, Dean McSparron, Jay Goodall.


Photo - Sam Dolling - yet another try for The Mariners


Division Three (West) A:


Laugharne gain revenge in exciting promotion race


Laugharne 20 Haverfordwest 14

Jamie Zambas - try for Haverfordwest propThere were three penalty tries awarded by the match official in this battle between two of the promotion contenders, two to Laugharne and the other to Haverfordwest before the home side gained revenge for their 27-0 loss when the teams met at Merlins Bridge.

The first was awarded to the homesters as early as the first two minutes when The Blues were adjudged to have collapsed a scrum and gifted Laugharne the only seven points of a tight first-half as Mikey Jones was unable to open Haverfordwest’s account when he missed a fairly straight-forward penalty.

Matthew Tate showed Jones how to do it after the interval as he slotted two penalty kicks on target but Haverfordwest hauled themselves back into contention with a close-range try from front-rower Jamie Zambass which Jones goaled.

But Laugharne were awarded a second penalty try to restore their advantage and although Haverfordwest were also awarded a seven-pointer for the third scrum offence of the game it was Laugharne who held on well to move into fourth place, just a point adrift of their opposition but with two games in hand as reward for this terrific effort.

Photo - Jamie Zambas - try for Haverfordwest prop


All Blacks play really well against section front runners


Neyland 10 Lampeter Town 19

Chris Morgan - outstanding for NeylandNeyland showed how much they have improved this season as they went down at home to high-flying Lampeter Town but only by nine points after they had lost by 50 points when the teams last met in Lampeter.

Their management team of Graham Richards, Steve Evans and Peter Davies has worked manfully to overcome huge hurdles and this match showed the team’s commitment as they were 19 points adrift at the half-way stage but prevented any more points being conceded and scored two excellent tries as a bonus.

With the advantage of the slope and wind, Lampeter grabbed an early try from                             No 8 Dafydd Jones, who also added a second after centre Rhys Jones had sliced through to the line – and their namesake Osian landed two out of the three conversions, the first one particularly worthy of a mention.

But if the league leaders thought they were home and dry in the awful conditions when inspirational scrum half sped down the left touchline, evading would-be tacklers before gaining a deserved touch-down as reward for his overall play in cahoots with the front row of Luke Griffiths-Dawes, Craig Bennett and Jack Harries – and with the back row of Ben Williams, Owain and Iestyn Evans as ball winners alongside Mark James and Simon Philips.

Replacement forward Sam Katakai also made a significant contribution as he also ploughed over for an unconverted try – and although The All Blacks didn’t receive even a single bonus point in defeat they showed that they are getting back on track after their disappointing start.

Photo - Chris Morgan - outstanding for Neyland


Saints struggle to hold powerhouse centres


St Davids 12 Pembroke Dock Harlequins 57

The midfield partnership of Jack Price and Josh Thomas wreaked havoc for Pembroke Dock Harlequins as they picked up a bonus point win at St Davids.

The pair scored five tries between them, with Thomas grabbing three and Price two as the visitors crossed nine times in total.

Centre Jake Griffiths (2), flanker Hywel Baker and replacement full back Kieran Machin also touched down, while outside half Tyler Castle landed six conversions.

But after trailing 31-0 just before half time The Saints did show some resolve as No 8 and player/coach Gethin Bateman picked up from a scrum and ploughed over, and then early in the second half a series of penalties led to flanker Rhys Price also scoring.

No 10 Rhys Morgan was also outstanding in defence for The Saints but it was The Quins who went home with a second bonus point win in as many weeks.


Photo - Josh Thomas - try hat-trick for The Quins


Carmarthenshire Saints still in contention


St Clears 26 Llanybydder 14

St Clears played well to beat a tough Llanybydder side to keep their second spot in the table with their ninth win alongside a draw and three defeats, They had won narrowly by 28-25 in Llanybydder and now travel to play at Cardigan this coming Saturday hoping to keep pressure on leaders Lampeter Town.


WRU National Bowl - Quarter Final


Great win takes Aberaeron into an historic semi-final spot


Baglan 8 Aberaeron 17

It is every players dream to tread the hallowed turf of the Millennium Stadium and for Aberaeron that dream is still alive. Despite a raft of injuries they booked their place in the semi-finals with a controlled and comfortable victory in an intriguing encounter against Division Three (West Central A) side Baglan.

Encouraged by a considerable and vociferous following it is testimony to the squad’s strength in depth and the youth development through coach John James that the enforced absentees were hardly missed, such was the seamless transition, especially in the backline.

Aber start well

A perfect start was a bonus as the visitors were first off the mark as early as the fifth minute, with a strong scrummage paving the way for centre Tom Slinger to juggle the ball before crashing through the defence, much to the surprise of the hosts.

The Aberaeron scrum was dominant with the front row of Danton, Wozencraft and in particular Ceri Dorian Davies always to the fore and the pressure soon paid off, giving Rhodri Jenkins the opening penalty success. Baglan offered little in the opening quarter, lacking in vision and direction and with Aberaeron also dominating the lineouts with captain Sion Evans regularly finding Richard Francis and Tudur Jenkins there was little to fear.

Baglan battle back . . .

A couple of unenforced errors however gave the hosts the fillip they required and they enjoyed a purple patch leading up to the break. A series of rolling mauls released the backs and they created an overlap for wing Daniel Thomas to cross the line. Minutes later they further reduced the deficit with a penalty by Dan Blethyn to leave Aberaeron a mere three  points ahead leading into the second half after looking to be well in control.

. . . Before Aber show their class

Important therefore for Aberaeron to regroup going into the second period and with coach Justin Lloyd adding to the encouragement they quickly rediscovered their first half resolve and could easily have added to their try count. Centre Morgan Llewelyn and wing Steffan Jones, both youth developments, created openings all to no avail and a  mixture of stout defence and missed opportunities  failed to produce the results and it was left to the reliable Jenkins boot to keep the scoreboard ticking with a further two well-struck penalties to give the required breathing space. A red card for Baglan also helped the Aber cause and with no further scores there was considerable jubilation at the final whistle with the well-deserved success. 

A semi-final on a neutral ground now beckons in March with the carrot of a trip to the capital, but its back to league duties on Saturday with an away fixture at Haverfordwest.