Rugby Reports 14th October 2019

James Trueman chips ahead for The Mariners

PHOTO: James Trueman chips ahead for The Mariners


Feature Match:


Division Two (West)


Seagulls win cracking local derby against The Mariners


Fishguard 30 - Milford Haven 20


Venue: The Moors

Man of the Match:  Mark Jones

This Pembrokeshire derby between Fishguard & Goodwick and Milford Haven lived up to its expectations before The Seagulls eased home as their greater experience told – leaving The Mariners rightly disappointed that they just missed out on would have been a deserved a bonus point as a last-gasp penalty went wide of the upright.

The home side certainly had the better of the opening exchanges and after Mark Jones had landed a good early penalty with his trusty left boot they had chances as Simon James was hauled down inches short and James Griffiths only just missed out from a quickly-taken tapped penalty.

Mariners defend well and then show their scoring prowess

The Mariners defended really well as Sam Dolling, Dai Sweeny, Mike Cockburn, Dai Round and the rest tackled like demons – and then they swung play against the wind to enjoy a pressure period of almost 25 minutes where James Trueman slotted a wide penalty via the upright and quick hands from Steve Martin, Dan Birch and Dan Jenkins sent Dolling racing away and supplying the scoring pass for flanker Ryan Mansell, with Trueman added the extras from wide out.

Seagulls battle back – either side of half time

But they relaxed almost from the kick-off allowing Simon Davies, Chris Shousha and Scott Richies to set up a close-range try for prop Ryan McVeigh which Mark Jones did well to convert –but right on half time The Seagulls lost James Griffiths for ten minutes for a high tackle which sparked a few bits of pushing and shoving amongst the packs which was well dealt with by referee Adam Bowdler (Aberaeron).

But despite being down to 14 men Fishguard opened the second-half scoring with another Jones penalty but Milford responded with a classic three-quarter move from which Steve Martin showed his class with an unconverted corner try after just missing out on another, thanks to a terrific corner tackle by James Griffiths after Jamie Lewis and Lee Riley had set up the move.

Fortunes ebb and flow

By this time the rugby was being played at a furious pace and after James had slotted another Seagull penalty he converted a try by skipper Shousha to put his team 23-15 in front but back came The Mariners with a splendid unconverted try from centre Dan Jenkins.

Chasing a three-point deficit the visitors were in with a real chance but The Seagulls penned them back with some good ball retention when second row Ben John scored a try which Jones again converted.

Milford had one final chance of at least the consolation of a bonus point from the final kick of the game but Trueman was narrowly wide and so The Seagulls celebrated their second success from two starts – but both teams deserve every credit for their part in an entertaining tussle for a big crowd to enjoy in almost perfect weather conditions.

Nathan Jenkins: Fishguard Coach: “I thought we were good value for victory on the back of our second half performance but we allowed Milford too much possession when we had the wind in the first half and they showed what a good side they are and well worth their place in this tough section. We need to show a little more sharpness and certainly improve our ball retention.”

Nathan Williams (Milford Haven Coach): We are disappointed to lose because we certainly had our chances against this experienced Fishguard side and this is part of a sharp learning curve where we mustn’t be overawed by anyone we play. But we’ll be back out training in midweek to work on some details and certainly showed we belong in Division Two on merit.”

Fishguard & Goodwick: Robbie Jones: Rhys Evans; Geraint Jones; James Griffiths; Ed Bendall: Mark Jones; Dan Evans: Ryan McVeigh; Gavin Walsh; Andrew Morrillo: Luke Freebury; Ben John: Scott Richies; Chris Shousha (Capt); Simon James. Replacements: Will Delaney; Iwan Lewis; Mark George; Gwilym Evans; Thomas George.

Milford Haven: Jamie Lewis: Lee Riley; Dan Jenkins; Dan Birch (Capt); Steve Martin: James Trueman: Dan McClelland: Adam Rees; Luke Ryan; Mike Cockburn:  David Round; Brandon Cooper: Ryan Mansell; Dai Sweeny; Sam Dolling. Replacements: Nathan Williams; Zac Davies; George Evans. Harry Wheeler; Zac France-Miller.



Welsh National Cup First Round:


Otters bow out at Eugene Cross Park


Ebbw Vale 38 - Narberth 17

Narberth made their expected exit from the Welsh National Cup competition but played their part in an entertaining match where they trailed early on but never allowed the Welsh Premiership side to take total control.

The Otters found themselves 13 points adrift thanks to Vale tries from full back Dan Haymond and winger Paul King, plus a Haymond penalty.

But then good work by the Otter pack set up the platform for a try by winger Josh Davies which full back Nick Gale converted before his well-struck penalty reduced the deficit to just three points.

But then Alex Jenkins was yellow-carded and The Steelmen added another unconverted try by Sam Ireland as Haymond’s conversion attempt bounced off the upright – and took the scoreline to 25-0 at the interval when David Rubusniak crossed the whitewash and Haymond added the extras.

Lance Randall opened the second-half scoring for Ebbw Vale and Haymond again converted before Josh Baker replied for Narberth – but hopes of a late come-back ended when Dan Hill raced over for The Steelmen and Haymond converted.

At least Narberth had the final word when centre Joe Hutchings scored and Nick Gale converted and although they went down to defeat The Otters showed their mettle against such an experienced team.

Narberth: Nick Gale; Josh Davies; Joe Hutchins; Jake Jenkins; Yannic Parker: Ianto Griffiths; Lewys Gibby; Bradley Davies: Dan Smith; Tom Slater: Jake Baker; Alex Jenkins (capt)): Dewi Williams; Harry Phillips; Roy Osborne: Replacements: Kyle Hamer; Dan Jacobs; Rhodri Owens; Tom Powell; Richard Rees; Jonathan Rogers; Alex Codd; Rhys Lane.

Rhodri Owen - try for Narberth

PHOTO: Rhodri Owens - try for Narberth


Division One:

Tom Harding Jones grabbed a first half brace for Pembroke

 PHOTO: Tom Harding-Jones grabbed a first half brace for Pembroke

Borderers bag victory over Scarlets in dramatic finish


Pembroke 24 - Whitland 25

Whitland held on for a dramatic victory over Pembroke at a sun-kissed Crickmarren.

The Borderers were leading 25-19 on the stroke of full-time, but the visitors lost possession in the Pembroke half and the Scarlets mounted one last counter attack which saw replacement flanker Jordan Evans crash over in the right-hand corner.

With the Scarlets trailing by a point fly half Toby Smith needed to kick the conversion, but his effort was wide and short, and straight afterwards the final whistle signalled a win for Gareth Bennett’s Borderers by the narrowest of margins.

Scarlets start well but Borderers battle back

The Scarlets got off to a bright start as Tom Harding-Jones jinked his way over for the opening try which Smith converted before missing a penalty from 30 metres soon after.

However, the dis-jointed Borderers had their line broken again as Harding-Jones squeezed over in the corner. Smith missed the extras but the home side were in command at 12-0.

The visitors got back in the game when they were awarded a penalty try by referee Gareth Jablonski, who deemed the Scarlets’ pack had deliberately taken down a maul on their own try line.

On the stroke of half time The Borderers levelled matters 12-12 as an intelligent crossfield kick from Nico Setaro was gathered by winger Jack Howells who grounded in the corner for an unconverted score.

Fortunes ebb and flow

After the break the Borderers had the use of the slope, and Setaro kicked a 30-metre penalty as the Scarlets scrum was penalised to nudge his side 15-12 ahead.

But Geraint Lewis’ team hit back immediately to take a 19-15 lead as replacement winger Shaun Dalling dived in for unconverted try in the right-hand corner.

With the very next attack, The Borderers regained a 20-19 lead following a lineout and drive and skipper Marc Jones crashed over for an unconverted score.

Five minutes from full time a clever chip upfield from Nico Setaro led to his cousin Gino winning the crucial footrace for the touchdown.

That made it 25-19 as the Scarlets had just one more throw of the dice as Evans grabbed a last gasp try which went unconverted and Whitland just edged victory when on another day it quite easily could have gone Pembroke’s way.

Pembroke: Luke Hartland, Tom Harding-Jones, Fraser James, Dan Colley, Barrie Alderman-John, Toby Smith, Tom Lewis, Lloyd Davies, Shane Gwyther, Jonny Palmer, Scott Powell (capt), Bill Kinnear, Rhodri Walters, Alex Thomas, Jordan Gwilliam. Replacements: Jamie Brayford, Dan Gosnold, Jack Smyth, Jordan Evans, Shaun Dalling.

Whitland: James Stephenson, Jac Howells, Gino Setaro, Josh Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Nico Setaro, Josh Thomas (2), Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones (capt), Tom Finucane, Courtney Bowman, Ben Kirk, Jamie Thomas, Ryan Morgan, Scott Buirds. Replacements: Gethin Lewis, Michael Ryan, James Lewis, Raff Williams, Danny Evans.

Referee: Gareth Jablonski, Aberdare.

Gino Setaro grabs a try for Whitland

PHOTO: Gino Setaro grabs a try for Whitland


Disappointing result for Preseli Men


Yr Hendy 24 - Crymych 3

Randall Williams - disappointing day for his Crymych teamĀ It was a day of missed opportunities for Crymych as they failed to turn pressure into points and paid the price at Yr Hendy. 

The Preseli Men matched the home side for possession in territory but not in terms of finishing power, and trailed 12-3 half time as full back Adam Phillips landed what turned out to be their only points with a penalty.

The visitors were still in it second half and up front captain Rhys Davies led by example while centre Carwyn Phillips was also impressive in midfield, but it was the home side who notched a bonus point win courtesy of tries from prop Dyfan Williams, winger Tom Havard, and second rows Lee Thomas and Richard Kinnear.

Rhydian Morris landed two conversions to cap a frustrating day for Crymych.

PHOTO: Randall Williams - disappointing day for his Crymych team 


Division Two (West):


Seasiders just miss out again


Tenby United 17 - Kidwelly 22

There was anguish for Tenby United as they led Kidwelly 17-14 with just 10 minutes to go - only for the visitors to rack up eight late points and steal the win.

Kidwelly were 7-0 up just two minutes in with a try from Dafydd Phillips that James Owens converted, but soon after a powerful close range scrum from the home pack yielded a penalty try to level matters.

An Archie Snook try put Kidwelly back in front but it was The Seasiders who finished the half the stronger, full back Joe Owen rounding off some good handling to go over before Jim Brace rounded off some good work by Max Brindley to also score, giving Tenby a 17-14 lead at half time.

It stayed that way until the 70 minute when Owens landed a crucial three points to bring things level, and then with just two minutes left it was Arwel Rees who won the day with a late try for Kidwelly.

“It’s disappointing, it’s a young squad but we need to start getting wins,” said head coach Jonathan Evans.

The fixture is reversed next week when the two sides meet again in the WRU Plate.

Tenby United: Joe Owen, Jack Gooding, Ben Pugh, Lloyd Thomas, Jack Tucker, Harry Rossiter, Dan Thomas, Ethan Morgan, Dan Allan, Rob Luly, Huw Evans, Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman (capt), Luke Hansford, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Jack Brown, Jim Brace, Max Brindley, Harry Bolton, Connor Ennis.


Division Three (West) A:


Blues good value for local derby success


Haverfordwest 38 - Llangwm 3

 Terry Lovell - man of the match for HaverfordwestMatches between these old rivals are always hard and this one was no exception as Haverfordwest were restricted to a 10-3 interval lead by Llangwm but added another 28 points after the oranges as they quelled The Wasps fire.

Full back Rhys Baker and centre Belekinasigi crossed for unconverted tries, with a Luke Hayman penalty sandwiched neatly in between after a pressure period for the visitors saw their pack go well.

Scrum half Elgar Roberts added a third which Craig Barnett converted and it was Barnett who played a major role late on with two tries before replacement winger Jack Evans rounded off the 6-0 try count, all four converted by Barnett.

Prop Terry Lovell was adjudged man of the match and flanker Mattie Phillips also caught the eye, whilst Jon Mason came on as a replacement as another Blues’ bonus.

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker; Jake Evans; Ben Belekinasigi; Gareth Owens; Dane Pindare: Craig Barnett; Elgan Roberts: Terry Lovell; Jamie Zambas; Tom Carrington: Jack Clancy; Karl Busch: Gareth John; Mattie Phillips; Andrew George. Replacements: Jon Mason; Steve Thomas; Mikey Jones; Josh Atherton; Jack Evans.

PHOTO: Terry Lovell - man of the match for Haverfordwest

Quins put Neyland under pressure

PHOTO: Quins put Neyland under pressure


Quins win well against gritty Blacks


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 53 - Neyland 23

A big day for Pembroke Dock Harlequins didn’t disappoint as they ran in nine tries against Neyland and have now started the 2019/20 season with back to back wins.

Club sponsors and guests were present to help form a large crowd at Bierspool, although it was only in the second half they cut loose against a Neyland side that turned around at half time still bang in the contest at 15-11 down.

It was the home side who struck first when centre Jordan Asparassa broke through on half-way and had the pace to arc his run down the left wing and score in the corner.

That went unconverted and then as soon as Neyland got ball in hand they too threatened, and soon they were back at 5-5 after great link play between skipper George Evans, Luke Griffiths-Dawes, and No 8 Iestyn Evans set up winger Henry McBeth to dive over in the corner.

Price features for The Quins

Further pressure followed as home centre Price was yellow carded for stopping a quick penalty, and soon after Hayman landed a 25 metre penalty to put his side in front.

But still with 14 men The Quins re-took the lead from a scrum 10 metres out No 9 Elliot Lewis sharply broke blind and made the corner.

The third try did came when Jack Price, similarly to how midfield partner Asparassa had done earlier, burst through in midfield and went over out wide - although the visitors responded and after hooker Marcus Phillips also went to the bin for The Quins for infringing by his own posts, Hayman kicked the penalty which meant just a four point deficit at the break.

One-side start to second half

But the start of the second half was one sided, and two early tries essentially ended the contest.

First No 10 Kieran Machin, whose influence grew as time went on, dummied his way through and set up a try for prop Liam Smith to seal the bonus point.

Another break and inside pass from Machin saw Burley again hauled down just short – but from the pressure that followed it was winger Jordan Kokolin who crossed out wide and finally, Hathaway landed a conversion to make it 27-11.

With the Neyland defence  tiring, Asparassa wriggled free from two tackles to go under the posts for Hathaway to again add the extras and then seven more points came in almost cruel fashion - McBeth bursting into the Dock 22 only for the ball to go loose and be gathered by Price, who raced 80 metres to score at the other end.

All Blacks show true grit

Rather than fade away Neyland fought back though, and notched a second try when from a driving lineout flanker Owain Evans touched down – only for replacement Dan Manning to immediately respond by scoring from an overlap for The Quins.

The All Blacks then raised hopes of a late bonus point with a third try as another replacement in Craig Power buried over from close range, Hayman adding two points, but it was The Quins who had the final word when Hathaway himself crossed for a try he then converted.

Final whistle quotes

“Neyland really made it hard for us in the first half an hour and fair play to them they kept pushing to the end,” said Quins coach Machin.

“But overall I’m pleased. It was part of the game plan to try and run it and take quick penalties and we scored some good tries.”

Neyland team manager Peter Davies was also positive: “We had some new boys coming in, and some old boys who returned, and this gives us something to build on.”

Pembroke Dock: Ben Hathaway, Jordan Kokolin, Jordan Asparassa, Jack Price, Josh Brown, Kieran Machin, Elliot Lewis, Liam Smith, Marcus Phillips, Jack Davies, Ben Gibby, Danny Mcleod, Martin Culley, Harry Owen, Ollie Parsons. Replacements: Hywel Baker, Dan Manning, Dai Moseley, Bronzac Burley, Dan Goodridge.

Neyland: Mark Riley, Josh Hamer, George Williams, Ben Williams, Henry McBeth, Toby Hayman, Jack Richards, Chad Monk, Jack Harries, Eugene Grice, Mark James, Luke Griffiths-Dawes, Steve Hamer, Owen Evans, Iestyn Evans. Replacements: Richard Banner, Craig Power, Steven Roberts, Mark Hamer, Steve Evans, Josh Hamer.

Jordan Asparassa - try brace for Quins centre

PHOTO: Jordan Asparassa - try brace for Quins centre


Cardigan fitness tells in second half


Cardigan 43 - St Davids 8

Aaron Tomkinson - two tries for CardiganWith the score 3-3 after 39 minutes, St Davids would have felt they had a real chance at Cardigan but The Teifisiders went on to dominate after that and secure a bonus point win.

Home No 10 Llyr Jones and Rhys Morgan exchanged penalties in that first half but while the Saints had flanker Rhys Prince in the sin bin, The Teifisiders had tries either side of half time and eventually crossed six times.

Centre Aaron Tomkinson grabbed two of them with further scores from No 8 Tom Taylor, scrum half Matthew Roebuck, and wingers Gwern Phillips and Llion Williams – while Jones nailed five conversions.

Centre Dylan Walsh got the St Davids try and while there were again positive signs in the first half, especially in the scrum, Gethin Bateman’s side have to start putting 80 minute displays together.

PHOTO: Aaron Tomkinson - two tries for Cardigan


Laugharnies show their worth in second half


St Clears 9 - Laugharne 38

Laugharne claimed a deserved win over a strong St Clears outfit in this local derby watched by a big crowd as they led 17-9 at the half way mark, kept the lid on the strong Saints’ back division in the second period and added another three converted tries for good measure.

Dan Griffiths was the only Saints’ scorer with three penalties but in the same time The Laugharnees claimed good tries from winger Gareth Spiers, scrum half Adam Davies, one converted by Steffan Davies.

As the Laugharne pack got on to there was a second try apiece from Spiers and Adam Davies alongside one from replacement scrum half Jack Flanagan, all three converted by Steffan Davies to help his side to a second success in as many outings!


Dafydd drives Aber to solid home win


Aberaeron 34 - Llanybydder 7

Aberaeron showed that they had recovered from their narrow defeat at Laugharne the previous week as they entertained a Lampeter team playing its first match of the campaign and inevitably showing some ring rustiness.

Aberaeron led by 10-0 at half time and leading their attack was centre Dafydd Llewellyn, playing for the first time this campaign and crossing the whitewash three times, with others scored by powerful winger Tom Slinger, who ploughed three several tackles en route to the line, and centre Dyfrig Dafis.

John Evans claimed the only Llanybydder try whilst Rhodri Thomas contributed three conversions and a penalty towards Aberaeron’s deserved victory.