Rugby Reports 12th January 2019

Neyland impressively defeand defend against Cardigan


Neyland impressively defend against Cardigan

Neyland and Cardigan grapple for possession


Feature Match:


Division Three (West) A:


All Blacks battle back in the second half


Neyland 34 - Cardigan 24

A strong second-half revival saw Neyland claw their way back from a 5-17 deficit to complete a bonus-point win over a strong Cardigan side which did miss the guidance of skipper John Lumb at full back and coach Colin Davies at No 8.

The All Blacks were also without several key players, including skipper George Williams, and their win was all the more praiseworthy as they played for the final 50 minutes with only 14 players after young scrum half George Evans might have considered himself a little unlucky to be red-carded for a tip-tackle.

The All Blacks made a good start but Henry Macbeth’s early run after good work by Evans, Dillen McGiffen, Tom Hughes and Alex Codd was ended by a knock on, whilst Cardigan signalled their intent at the top end with a powerful forward drive before the Neyland back row snuffed it out.

McGiffen breaks the deadlock before Cardigan strike back

Neyland and Cardigan grapple for possessionMcGiffen finally broke the deadlock as he weaved his way through for a quality unconverted try – only for Cardigan to take the lead from another forward thrust rounded off by flanker Tom Taylor which outside half Emyr Harries did well to convert.

The Teifisiders added another ten points before the interval through a Harries’ penalty and his conversion of a try by left-winger Rhodri Davies – and at this stage the visitors looked like gaining revenge for their 25-20 home defeat by The All Blacks.

But whatever home coaches Graham Richards and Steve Evans said at half time it certainly worked because they were quickly into their stride to establish a 27-17 advantage with two tries by outstanding flanker Iestyn Evans and another from centre Tom Hughes, whilst McGiffen chipped in with two conversions and a penalty.

Cardigan grabbed a second score for Taylor, converted by Harries to reduce the home lead to three points but Neyland had the final word when lock Nathan Banner showed what he can contribute in only his fourth match as he sliced through to the posts from half way and McGiffen added the extras to round off an entertaining match that was well refereed by Gareth Symmons (Swansea).

Before the match there was a minute’s silence for the late Gareth Bryant, a Neyland RFC stalwart for many years.

Neyland: Patrick Bellerby: Henry McBeth; Tom Hughes; Alex Codd; Delme Bateman: Dillen McGaffin; George Evans: Craig Power; Gavin Campbell; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Mark James; Nathan Benner: Iestyn Evans; Owain Evans; Ben Williams. Replacements: Richard Joes; Jack Harries; Sam Cataki; Jack Richards; Mark Riley.

Cardigan: Tom Dunn: Kieran Hurley; Llyr Jones; Sion Hughes; Rhodri Davies: Emyr harries; Gwern Phillips: Will Brice; Luke palmer-Davies; Ben Hughes: Dean Harries; Dyfed Symmons: Tom Taylor; Bedwyr Davies; Osian Rees. Replacements: Will Delaney; Toby Neilson; Tristan Lewis; Sam Trevor; Evan Williams.

Clean lineout ball for the All Blacks

Clean lineout ball for the All Blacks




Otters battle hard for vital victory


Bedlinog 11 - Narberth 19

Nick Gale - man of the match for NarberthNarberth completed a hard-fought double over Bedlinog as they followed up their easy 57-28 home win with this success over a strong opposition that led 11-3 at the interval; but The Otters could feel satisfied with that scoreline because they had second use of the strong wind blowing down The Rec.

Small wonder then that Narberth coach Sean Gale was satisfied with a win over another side featuring in the top four.

“We defended well in the first half,” he said, “although we missed chances to score tries through over-eagerness and dropped passes, but I knew that we could use the elements to pen them back, which is what we did.

“Our pack did well and in Tom Kaijaks Dan Jacobs and Tom Slater we had a solid platform, with Tom Powell, Andrew Cooke and Richard Rees all tackling like demons.”

Otters trail at the break but use the elements afterwards

Rhys Walker landed penalties for Bedlinog after 11 and 30 minutes, with an unconverted try by hooker Ieuan Morris sandwiched in between – but The Otters hit back after 33 minutes with a Nick Gale penalty as Jack Price and Kieron Jones blotted out the dangerous Bedlinog midfielders.

Jonathan Rogers and Ianto Griffiths made sure that Narberth pinned their opponents back with some well-placed kicking in the second half and he reduced the deficit with a well-struck dropped goal after good work by skipper Alex Jenkins and Ryan Bean amongst others.

Then The Otters took the lead for the first time when Nick Gale made a quality break out of defence and with play spread wide it was scrum half Rhys Lane who scored in the corner and Gale landed a superb conversion.

Man of the match Nick Gale then landed two more penalties to deny Bedlinog a single bonus point and coach Gale was also pleased that in a solid performance he was also able to give valuable game time to all his replacements as another positive point from this tough tussle.

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Nick Gale; Kieran Jones; Jack Price; Will Lewis: Jonathan Rogers; Rhys Lane: Tom Kaijaks; Rhodri Owens; Tom Slater: Ryan Bean; Alex Jenkins (Capt): Andrew Cooke; Tom Powell; Richard Rees. Replacements: Dan Jacobs; Harry Phillips; Steffan Phillips; Matthew Morgan; Gethin Gibby.


Nick Gale - man of the match for Narberth


Division One (West):


Preseli Men’s fine run ends against league leaders


Felinfoel 39 - Crymych 13

Tomos Phillips - scored Crymychs only tryCrymych’s good form came to an end thanks to a clinical display from league leaders Felinfoel, who had previously won by a narrower margin at Parc Lloyd Thomas.

The Preseli Men left themselves too much to do as they trailed 24-6 at the break, despite two penalties from composed young centre Harri Williams.

They did at least cross the whitewash thereafter as full back Tomos Phillips cut over for a try that Williams converted – but Michael King’s team had too much power with seven scores of their own.

Hooker Joe Poole, winger Josh Edwards, prop Chris Rumbellow, scrum half Daf Daniel, replacement full back Elliott Dawe, and flankers Jordan Evans and Stuart Taylor all touched down. No 10 Jonny George and full back Aled Roberts both added conversions.

Tomos Phillips - scored Crymych's only try


Borderers just miss out as Hendy claim a narrow double


Yr Hendy 14 - Whitland 12 

Nico Setaro - again scored all Whitlands pointsYr Hendy claimed a narrow double over Whitland as they followed up a 19-18 victory at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn with this even closer result at Maes Gwili.

As in their most recent match at Crymych there was no shortage of effort from Gareth Bennett’s Boys but they were made to pay for not taking their chances of scoring tries and had to be content with a bonus point as scant reward.

In the final analysis, though, it was an agonizing defeat for Whitland as a last gasp penalty from Rhydian Morris denied The Borderers what would have been a superb away win.

The visitors were leading 12-11 in the dying seconds when home outside half Morris was off target with a drop goal, only for the referee to then signal a penalty for what he perceived as offside in midfield.

Morris duly nailed the match-winning three points.

Huge disappointment for Borderers

It settled a colossal battle in which Whitland had led 6-0 early on thanks to two penalties from No 10 Nico Setaro, but Yr Hendy responded before the break with an unconverted try from winger Dyfan Williams.

The second half swung back and fore as Setaro landed a third penalty before later being sin binned for dissent, and Morris responded in kind with two more three-pointers to put Yr Hendy 11-9 ahead.

Whitland flanker Ryan Morgan also saw yellow for a scuffle and Phillip Wassell and Lee Thomas were sent to the bin for Yr Hendy – but then came that dramatic finale as Setaro’s long range penalty seemingly sealed it for The Borderers.

But there was one cruel twist left and backs coach Dan Mason, who singled out Liam Price for praise after switching from the wing to the centre, admitted it was a ‘gut-wrenching’ result.

Whitland: James Stephenson: Scott Candler; Liam Price; Josh Thomas; Geraint Jones: Nico Setaro; Adam Davies: Aaron Mayne; Marc Jones (Capt); Jimmy Buirds: Raff Williams; Dai Ebsworth: Ben Kirk; Danny Evans; James Thomas. Replacements: Tomos Evans; Courtney Bowman; Jack Mason; Ryan Morgan; Jamie Thomas.

Nico Setaro - again scored all Whitland's points


Seasiders still struggle to pick up first success


Gowerton 32 - Tenby United 0

Tenby’s young side were unable to match the intensity of Gowerton as The Seasiders fell to a 12th straight league defeat, one of which was a narrower 26-14 loss to these opponents at Heywood Lane.

They were well led by Roy Osborn with regular skipper Luke Dedman away skiing, but were unable to take their chances and Gowerton took full advantage.

A penalty try, as well as scores for Gwyn Davies, Steve Charles, Bleddyn James and Jonny Rees sealed the win, with No 10 Josh Hamer adding a penalty and conversion for the team known as ‘The Starch’ and still very much in the race for the top three.

Tenby United: Jack Tucker, Connor Ennis, Shane Rossiter, Moritz Neumann, Mark Hamilton, Lloyd Thomas, Ben Pugh, Ethan Morgan, Dan Allan, Rob Luly, Charlie Patching, Tom Barrass, Jack Broadhurst, Mike Davies, Roy Osborn (capt). Replacements: Rob Clarke, Jack Davies, Rob Tuttle, Dan Thomas, Danny Wainwright.

Tenby United: Jack Tucker; Connor Ennis; Shane Rossiter; Mauritz Neumann; Mark Hamilton: Lloyd Thomas; Ben Pugh: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Charlie Patching; Tom Barrass: Jack Broadhurst; Mike Davies; Roy Osborn (Capt). Replacements: Rob Clarke; Jack Davies; Rob Tuttle; Dan Thomas; Danny Wainwright.


Division Two (West):


Scarlets enjoy ample revenge at The Park


Burry Port 30 - Pembroke 60

Barry Alderman-John - in try-scoring form for PembrokeBurry Port had inflicted Pembroke’s first defeat at Crickmarren, leaving coach Geraint Lewis seething at a match they should have won – but he wore a big smile after this return fixture because although The Scarlets conceded 30 points they scored double that total to stay very much in contention at the top of the table.

“Alright, we conceded tries from or determination to attack,” admitted Lewis “but to score eight quality tries from our back division shows how strong a squad we have now that Jack Parkinson has rejoined us as well.

Alderman-John on form

Leading the way for Pembroke was pacy winger Barry Alderman-John, who was released by full back Luke Hartland to score an early try which Toby Smith converted after Burry Port had scored an early Kevin Thomas penalty and then grabbed a try by Tom Davies converted by Thomas.

Luke Hartland then sped clear for an outstanding Scarlets’ score that Toby Smith again goaled but Burry Port remained in contention as Jordan Thomas crossed for an unconverted try and there was also another penalty from Thomas before The Scarlets led 24-18 at the break thanks to a Fraser James’ solo try alongside the conversion and a penalty from Toby Smith.

Scarlets strong in second half

Burry Port also added two second-half tries to Davies and Gary Edwards, one converted by Thomas – but The Scarlets moved up a gear as they ran in more tries.

Hartland cut through for his second try and others came from Fraser James, Barry Alderman-John (2) and Jack Parkinson, on as a replacement, with Toby Smith landing all the conversions except the last one, but playing in top form again to help Pembroke win – and now they face table-toppers Penclawdd at Crickmarren next Saturday!

Pembroke:  Luke Hartland: Barry Alderman-John; Dan Colley; Fraser James; Sean Dalling (Jack Parkinson): Toby Smith; Tom Lewis:  Rhys Mainwaring (Seamus Wiseman); Johnny Palmer; Cyle Weatherall (Jordan Gwilliam); Will Edwards (Scott Powell): Jack Smythe (Alex Thomas); Rhodri Walters; Sam Smith.:


Barry Alderman-John - in try-scoring form for Pembroke

 Fishguard try scorers (L to R) Thomas George, Liam Wilkes, Chris Shousha, Simon James, Kial Keane

Fishguard try scorers (L to R) Thomas George, Liam Wilkes, Chris Shousha, Simon James, Kial Keane


Seagulls start better – and finish well too!


Fishguard and Goodwick 34 - Tumble 14

There were fireworks in the first 20 minutes from Fishguard and Goodwick as they shirked off their ‘slow starters’ tag to gain a bonus point win over bottom side Tumble.

Within three minutes The Seagulls were ahead when a long pass from No 10 Kial Keane set up centre Thomas George to score out wide, before player coach Simon James touched down from No 8 following a big effort from his pack at a five-metre scrum.

It was another set piece that led to the third try as young hooker Liam Wilkes rounded off another forward drive with a try and although all three conversions drifted wide from Keane – soon the home side were celebrating a bonus point with just 18 minutes on the clock.

And again a close range scrum was the platform, and James pounced for a carbon copy of his first try. Scrum half Alun George took over the kicking duties and duly converted.

Switch off causes concern . . .

But then the home side switched off and after full back Robbie Jones gambled by trying to run out from his own line, Tumble won turnover ball and hooker Rhys Lewis burrowed over a try centre Steff Price converted.

And early in the second half Tumble got right back in it after home prop Ryan McVeigh was sin binned, and second row Nathan Willard went over by the posts. Price again added the extras to make it 22-14.

. . . But Seagulls soon storm back

But any fears of a fightback from the visitors were pushed aside as Keane threw a dummy before scoring out wide and then club captain Chris Shousha, who started on the bench as head coach Nathan Jenkins opted to rotate his squad, scored from a close range ruck.

George converted and although The Seagulls were questionably denied a sixth try when winger Ed Bendall was adjudged to have knocked on over the line, it was a welcome five points.

“The first 20 minutes was great but then I think we got complacent,” said Jenkins afterwards.

“But five points was what we wanted from this so I have to be happy.”

Fishguard and Goodwick: Robbie Jones, Ed Bendall, Thomas George, Sion Rowlands, Rhys Evans, Kial Keane, Alun George, Ryan McVeigh, Liam Wilkes, Andrew Morillo, Gwilym Evans, Ben John, Luke Freebury (capt), Lewis Davies, Simon James. Replacements:  Adam Bowen, Jordan James, Steff Lewis, Chris Shousha, Daniel Evans.

Fishguards Robbie Jones is caught bt Tumbles cover defence.
Fishguard's Robbie Jones is caught bt Tumble's cover defence.
Picture by Andrew Butle


Division Three (West) A:


Mariners stay clear of the pack with another excellent win


Laugharne 21 - Milford Haven 27

Laugharne pushed section leaders Milford Haven all the way at Wooford Park but in the final analysis Nathan Williams’s team had experience where it counted to allow them to battle back after conceding an early try to home winger Gareth Spiers.

The Mariners were good value for a 12-5 interval lead and although centre Tom Jameson added a second try for The Laugharnees in the second half they were unable to cut down the quality possession which young half backs Dan McClelland and Efan Morgan put to good use.

Daniel does the job for The Mariners

Front rower France-Miller marked his return to the Milford Haven colours with a try brace as reward for his powerful performance and others came from flankers Ryan Mansell and Dewi Williams alongside a score from Martin.

James Trueman had converted all 17 tries the previous week but could only muster a single two-pointer her – but it mattered little because his side were assured of a bonus point and are top of the table with three matches still in hand.

But it was Laugharne who made the better start with a try from winger Gareth Spiers before James Trueman was off target with a penalty for The Mariners.

Visitors show real strength

The visitors soon battled back though with No 8 Dewi Williams going over before France-Miller got his first with a typically powerful finish. Trueman added a conversion to make it 12-5 at the break.

That became 17-5 just after half time with a super 40 metre finish from away flanker Ryan Mansell - but back came Laugharne with a try from centre Tom Jameson and penalty from full back Steff Davies.

The pendulum continued to swing as full back Steve Martin finished clinically to make it 22-16 but then The Cocklemen set up a thrilling finish with a try from Gary Jones.

Crucially though, the conversion was off target and with time running out, France-Miller went over for his second try and although Trueman was again wide on an off day with boot for him, it was The Mariners who prevailed ahead of another huge match for them at home to Aberaeron next Saturday.

Laugharne meanwhile, at least had a bonus point as consolation for a third loss in nine starts.

 “We came here with a strong game plan against a useful side and we did well to stick to it,” said a delighted coach Williams, “and this is a very big win for us because Laugharne are a useful side.”

Milford Haven: Steve Martin: Jamie Lewis (Capt); Dan Jenkins; Dan Birch; James Trueman: Efan Morgan; Dan McClelland: Zac France-Miller; Luke Ryan; Nathan Williams: Chris Hall; Dewi Williams: Ben Groves; Ryan Mansell; Mark Wonnacott. Replacements: Ben Jenkins; David Round; Brandon Cooper; Craig Thomas; Lee Riley.

 Action from Laugharne as Milford Haven gained a slender bonus-point win

PHOTO: Action from Laugharne as Milford Haven gained a slender bonus-point win
Picture by Kelly Sophie Pearce


Quins suffer badly at OJ Park


Llanybydder 85 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 0

For the second week in succession Pembroke Dock Harlequins endured an 80+-point hammering whilst not managing to score themselves as Llanybydder followed up an earlier 48-24 win at Bierspool with this 13-try success.

These are black days for the Black and Whites as coaches Neil Machin and Ian Osbourne battle manfully to keep their side going under severe pressure – and at least they had the highlight of seeing Ben Gibby playing really well in the lineout battle. There is also a rumour that some of the players who left before the start of the campaign are thinking about returning to Bierspool, which would be welcome news, as it is also worth mentioning that The Quins deserve every credit for fulfilling a long-distance fixture.

For the record, Llanybydder had tries from Ross Holder, Richard Davies (2), Bleddyn Jones (2), Carwyn James, Rhys Morris, John Evans, Carwyn Blayney, Dion Howells (2), Liam Fitzgerald and Llyr James, with 10 conversions from Llyr Tobias.


Blues backs run riot


Craig Barnett - scored a try brace for the BluesSt Davids 10 - Haverfordwest 64

It was another glut of tries for Haverfordwest as they backed up their 88 points in Pembroke Dock last week with another 64 here – although it was at least an improved display from St Davids after their nightmare in Milford last week.

The Blues led 38-5 at the break after crossing four times and added six more thereafter, with wingers Ryan Neilson (2) and Josh Atherton (2) showing their sharp finishing alongside full back Rhys Baker (2), flanker Steve Thomas, No 8 Matty Phillips, second row Karl Busch and centre Liam Manwaring. Craig Barnett landed seven conversions.

But The Saints at least crossed twice themselves, with Josh Hicks playing on permit from Llangwm and capping a good display with a try, while replacement flanker Andrew Groves also went over.

Craig Barnett kicked seven conversions for the Blues


Welsh National Bowl – Round Five:


Aberaeron good value for a last-eight appearance


Aberaeron 29 - Usk 15

Aberaeron find themselves in the quarter finals of the WRU National Bowl competition after an excellent home win over an Usk side that play in Division Three (East) A and were full of confidence after beating Deri by 22-16 the previous weekend.

Small wonder then that club spokesman Parry Evans was delighted as he told us,

“We were on the back foot for the first 30 minutes and although we trailed to a penalty from Josh Guy we actually came back to lead 12-3 as we defended well and could see their big pack was tiring with tries from scrum half Gareth James and second row Gethin Hughes, one converted by Rhodri Jenkins.”

The second half saw the Gwent side continue to battle with tries from Andrew Reggington and Guy but Aberaeron kept cool and were rewarded with further tries by strong-running centre Tom Slinger and Dan Lewis, plus a conversion and penalty by Jenkins.

So now Aberaeron have to wait for the draw for the quarter finals in the hope of another home tie and in the knowledge that they are just two games away from an appearance at The Principality Stadium.