Rugby Reports 16th February 2019

Good defence from the Blues


Good defence from the Blues


Feature Match:


Division Three (West) A


Skipper Mikey seals Blues’ last-gasp success


Neyland 8 - Haverfordwest 9 

Haverfordwest skipper Mikey Jones was the toast of his Haverfordwest colleagues as their outside half took a pass from halfback partner Lee Summons to drop a last-ditch goal that took the verdict away from Neyland in a typically hard-fought derby.

The Blues had already won 23-12 at Pembroke Road and it seemed as if the All Blacks would gain revenge here in a match watched by Geraint John, the WRU head of community rugby and Gordon Eynon, the District H representative on the WRU – and both enjoyed a hard-fought contest where this 11th victory from 16 starts pushed The Blues into second spot and at the same time relegated the homesters into fourth position behind Aberaeron.

Neyland made an excellent start with a handling move up the slope that contained 17 phases before they gave away a penalty awarded by referee Ben Foley – and Blues full back Craig Barnett rewarded his team’s defensive effort by slamming over a 45-metre penalty.

Frenetic patterns of play but few points

Play was frenetic throughout the period but the only other points came from a second Barnett penalty, with both teams having try-scoring chances but losing them from a mix of over-eagerness and the taking of wrong options.

The All Blacks finally opened their account after good work up front on his debut by Chad Monk alongside Mark Mathias, Iestyn and Owain Evans, Ben Williams and Mark James, ably assisted by Jack Harries, Luke Griffiths-Dawes.

Then ageless scrum half Mark Riley showed what he still has to offer following a series of phases from which he spun out of a tackle and dived over the whitewash for an unconverted try.

At that stage it seemed as if a narrow home win was on the cards but with time running out the Blues’ pack gained key position so that Jones was able to stand in the pocket and launch his dropped goal through the posts and allow his team to win by the skin of their teeth!

Neyland: Patrick Bellerby: Henery McBeth; George Williams; Alex Codd; Delme Bateman: Dillon McGaffin; Mark Riley: Chas Monk; Mark Mathias; Jack Harries: Mark James; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Iestyn Evans; Owain Evans; Ben Williams. Replacements: Craig Power, Tom Hughes; Jack Richards; Sam Cataki; Andrew Slark.

Haverfordwest: Craig Barnett, Josh Atherton, Liam Manwaring, Dan Richards, Liam Eaton, Mike Jones, Lee Summons, Ashley George, Matthew Clayton, Dean Wilcox, Karl Busch, Paul Thomas, Jack Clancy, Steve Thomas, Matt Phillips. Replacements: Jon Donlon, Gethin Thomas, Bram Beecroft, Ryan Neilson, Ben Llewellyn.

Neyland look to break through midfield

Neyland look to break through midfield




Narberth ‘win ugly’ to complete Trebanos double


Narberth 10 - Trebanos 8

Nick Gale - vital penalty for NarberthNarberth coach Sean Gale admitted after this tense narrow win over Trebanos that he was pleased with the result but not satisfied with the performance and it just about summed up a game where The Otters had to overcome a series of unusual events to complete the double over a durable outfit after winning away by 28-23.

They lost centre Kieron Jones before the start but had a ready replacement in Jack Price – and were happy to lead 10-3 just after the interval and with use of the strong wind at the Lewis Lloyd Ground.

But then influential skipper Alex Jenkins had to go off ill and Jack Price was yellow-carded, leaving The Otters with only 13 players for the last ten minutes as they had run out of subs and were defending a 10-8 advantage.

It was a creditable defensive job done in view of the fact that when Price returned he had to switch from centre to No 8; replacement scrum half Rhys Lane played flanker and Kieran Jones was forced to come on and limp about as best he could!

Otters happy at half time

Narberth defended well for the first 35 minutes as Trebanos showed why they are in the top half of the table with a share of territory and possession, eventually taking the lead with a penalty from Tom Dew.

But The Otters’ pack power saw them awarded a penalty try before the break when Trebanos were adjudged to have illegally collapsed a scrum five – and after the interval Nick Gale continued his superb kicking form with a 45-metre penalty.

Any hopes of winning comfortably soon disappeared as circumstances saw the visitors scenting blood when they scored a try by Rhodri Williams – but Dew was unable to convert and after a nerve-jangling last ten minutes Narberth were able to celebrate their 14th win from 17 starts.

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths, Will Lewis, Jack Price, Jake Jenkins, Nick Gale, Jonathan Rogers, Lewys Gibby, Daniel Jacobs, Rhodri Owens, Tom Slater, Tom Kaijaks, Alex Jenkins (capt), Dewi Williams, Tom Powell, Rich Rees. Replacements: Kyle Hamer, Bradley Davies, Harry Phillips, Rhys Lane, Kieron Jones.


Nick Gale - vital penalty for Narberth


Division One (West):


Borderers beaten in Mid Wales


Aberystwyth 28 - Whitland 20

Whitland’s four match winning run was ended by Aberystwyth in a contest where fortunes ebbed and flowed before the home side gained revenge for a 25-22 defeat when the teams previously met.

Backs coach Dan Mason admitted the visitors “didn’t get off the bus” as they trailed 12-0 early on to tries from centre Steff Rees (which he converted) and winger Carwyn Evans.

But then The Borderers woke up somewhat and despite a yellow card to flanker Ryan Morgan, prop Aaron Mayne rounded off a series of ‘pick and go’s’ with a try that Nico Setaro converted. It was Setaro’s chip kick which then set up a try for winger Scott Candler and again the No 10 added the extras to make it 14-12.

But it was Aber who took a one point lead at the break through as Rees landed a penalty and then immediately after half time centre Mathew Hughes extended their advantage with an unconverted try.

Back came Whitland again though as Setaro kicked two penalties to tie things up at 20-20, but with time running out a series of Aber scrums led to Dylan Evans going over. Whitland were then denied a losing bonus point from a surprise source late on, Aber flanker Tom Evans landing a drop goal while his side were playing a penalty advantage.

Whitland: Dan Evans, Scott Candler, Liam Price, Josh Thomas, Geraint Jones, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones, Jimmy Buirds, Dai Ebsworth, James Thomas, Scott Buirds, Ryan Morgan, Jack Mason. Replacements: Gethin Lewis, Michael Ryan, Courtney Bowman, James Lewis, Scott Lloyd.


Aaron Mayne - good try for Whitland prop


Crymych’s good run ends in Dunvant


Dunvant 31 - Crymych 12

Gethin Gibby - another try for CrymychCrymych suffered an off -day in Dunvant as basic errors cost them dearly.

Trailing 7-0 at half time to a penalty try, The Preseli Men found themselves 19-0 down shortly after half time as first home No 10 Richard Lewis went over in corner before a break by centre Mark Williams led to a try for Adam Williams-Parry. The winger converted his own score.

Crymych had chances of their own but failed to take them until centre Gethin Gibby cut through to score, but frustratingly that was swiftly cancelled out when Williams-Parry grabbed his second after gathering a cross-field kick.

Flanker Sion Colella gave Crymych renewed hope with a try Ifan Phillips converted but the home side had the final word as replacement Ollie Beck went over and Williams-Parry converted.

“We weren’t at the same standard as we have been recently,” admitted Adrian Howells.

Crymych: Nick Bevan, Tomos Lewis, Gethin Gibby, Gareth Davies, Laurence Headlam, Harri Williams, Dafydd Phillips, Rhys Richards, Aled Harries, Ryan Rees, Dion Gibby, Matthew Freebury, Osian Phillips, Sion Colella, Guto Davies.

Gethin Gibby - another try for Crymych


Seasiders start well before league leaders fight back


Tenby 6 - Felinfoel 24 

It looked like a long day was in store for Tenby United against Felinfoel but the Seasiders turned in a committed display and were leading until the 55 minute mark.

Two penalties from No 10 Lloyd Thomas to one from opposite number Aled Roberts meant a slender 6-3 advantage at the break for the Seasiders.

And it stayed that way until 15 minutes into the second period but eventually the Felinfoel pack ground the home side down, and a penalty try put them ahead.

Two driving mauls then produced further tries for hooker Rhys Evans and replacement James Woods and Roberts converted both of them as the leaders continued their push towards the title.

 “We can’t fault the club one bit,” said assistant coach Jonathan Evans. “We spoke beforehand about putting in a performance for the full 80 minutes and the boys did that.”

And it was still a good day for the home club. The squad were missing eight young players who had appeared in recent games as they represented the youth team in the WRU Bowl quarter final in Llanishen, a game the Young Seasiders won 17-16.

Tenby United: Jack Tucker, Connor Ennis, Shane Rossiter, Moritz Neumann, Jordan Asparassa, Lloyd Thomas, Dan Thomas, Huw Evans, Dan Allen, Ethan Morgan, Charlie Patching, Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman (capt), Mike Davis, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Jack Davies, Nicky Guymer, Rob Tuttle, Ashley Murdoch, Gwilym Owens.

Tenby full back Jack Tucker breaks

Tenby full back Jack Tucker breaks
Picture by Susan McKehon


Division Two (West):


Scarlets go top on points difference


Pontarddulais 0 - Pembroke 36 

Scott PowellPembroke moved to the top of the section table ahead of Penclawdd by dint of the bonus point they gained in this outstanding win at Pontarddulais where they not only ran in five tries but stopped The Bont from creating a single score.

All The Scarlets’ 36 points came in a first half they dominated, despite the absence of several key players and as coach Geraint Lewis said afterwards,

“Such a smashing success over the sixth-placed side in the league is a tribute to the strength of our squad and although we might have taken our foot off the pedal after half time and had a number of close decisions go against us, we know that this is a vital victory.”

Toby features in Scarlets’ points surge

Toby Smith served notice of Pembroke’s intent with an early penalty and then skipper Scott Powell grabbed their opening try from a driving line out.

Then centre Jack Parkinson burst over the whitewash from 35 metres for Toby Smith to add the extras before brother Sam ended another impressive forward surge for Toby to again convert.

Young winger Tom Harding-Jones sped 45 metres down the right flank to secure a bonus point, with Toby Smith converting from wide out and Toby himself fed off a terrific pass by half back partner Tom Lewis to add No 5 and a fourth conversion.

The Scarlets might have added further points after the break but even when both touch judges signalled a penalty attempt was good it was over-ruled by the match official – but in the final analysis it mattered little because The Scarlets’ splendid winning run continues!

Pembroke: Luke Hartland: Billy Wood; Dan Colley (James Davies); Jack Parkinson; Tom Harding Jones: Toby Smith; Tom Lewis: Lloyd Davies (Dom Colman); Seamus Wiseman; Johnny Palmer: Will Edwards; Scott Powell (Capt) (Jordan Gwilliam): Richard Walters; Jack Smythe (Alex Thomas); Sam Smith.

Scott Powell - Pembroke captain scored team's first try


Seagulls miss out against bogey opponents


Fishguard & Goodwick 0 - Carmarthen Athletic 14

Over the years Carmarthen Athletic have proved to be Fishguard and Goodwick’s bogey side and this latest match at The Moors was no exception as The Seagulls gifted the opposition an early seven points, failed to turn a strong territorial advantage into points and conceded a second converted score after the oranges.

It gave the visitors the double since they had easily accounted for Fishguard by 36-7 earlier in the campaign – and although their respective league positions saw the home side as slight favourites they made a bad start following a loose drop out 25 going straight into the arms of Athletic centre Tom Gravell, who sped up the touchline after a deceptive dummy, adding insult to injury as he also landed the extra points.

Scott Riches caught the eye for The Seagulls with some strong carries in cahoots with Simon James and skipper Chris Shousha as the entire pack worked hard but it was not be for Nathan Jenkins’ team, although they still sit in eighth place in the table, ten points ahead of Carmarthen Athletic, who have three games in hand.

Fishguard: Robbie Jones, Luke Marshall, Thomas George, Sion Rowlands, Ed Bendall, Andrew Williams, Alun George, Ryan McVeigh, Liam Wilkes, Gavin Walsh, Gwilym Evans, Simon James, Scott Riches, Luke Freebury, Chris Shousha. Replacements: Neil Perkins, Ben John, Jordan James, Richie Hunter, Rhys Evans.



Division Three (West) A:


Aberaeron closing in on top two


Aberaeron 17 - Laugharne 5

Aberaeron’s defeat of Laugharne in this battle between two of the top four teams in the section saw the home side move powerfully into second spot and applying pressure on front runners Milford Haven, who lost at Llanybydder.

Aberaeron opened the scoring with a try from Owen Williams, which Rhodri Jones converted; as he did when scrum half Dafydd Llewellyn also crossed the line.

Laugharne, for whom Ritchie Waters, Rhys Thomas and Dan Harries played well, fought back with an unconverted try after good work from Lee Thomas – but it was to be their only score as they failed to benefit from other half chances as Aberaeron covered well.

Lee Jones added a vital third try for Aberaeron to set the seal on a solid team performance – and a race that at one time looked done and dusted is now back in action with Aberaeron very much in contention!


Cardis too strong despite Josh’s effort


Josh Hicks - Try of the day for LlangwmCardigan 33 - Llangwm 5

Llangwm’s powerful No 8 Josh Hicks produced the highlight of the match at Cardigan as he blasted his way from deep inside his own 22 to the Cardigan try line, with several hand-offs and a little side-step thrown in for good measure.

But it was never going to be enough as The Teifisiders claimed five tries of their own through winger Rhydian Jenkins (2), centres Emyr Harries and skipper Marcus Castle, plus No 8 Tom Taylor. Harries also chipped in with four out of the five conversions and were good value for victory against a Wasps’ side which continues to build a terrific rapport.

Josh Hicks - Try of the day for Llangwm


Llan take away Mariners’ 100% record


Dan Birch - try in defeat for Milford HavenLlanybydder 17 - Milford Haven 12

After 13 straight wins, Milford Haven were brought back down to earth with defeat at Llanybydder.

It means their advantage at the top over their most likely challengers, third placed Aberaeron, is down to nine points and the Mid-Wales side have a game in hand.

They struggled to get going in Carmarthenshire despite leading 12-10 early in the second half, with tries for centres Dan Birch and Dan McClelland with one converted by another Dan, scrum half McClelland.

But Bydder had tries from Carwyn Balyney and Llyr James, with Arwel Thomas landing two conversions and a penalty as they notched their best result of the season.

Dan Birch - try in defeat for Milford Haven


Tregaron take the honours in basement battle


Tregaron 38 - St Davids 17

It was a frustrating day for St Davids as they trailed just 21-17 early in the second half at Tregaron, but then failed to make use of the strong wind behind them and produced an error- strewn last 30 minutes.

The Saints had taken the lead early on when No 8 George Raymond picked up at a scrum to score and No 10 Matty Mcleod converted, whilst flanker Andrew Groves also had a first half try as he forced his way over in the corner.

Tregaron did take a 21-12 lead into the break but were turning around into a strong breeze, and it was away prop Dan Murphy who touched down after a close range lineout to bring the Saints back into it.

But despite a standout display from hooker Rhys Price the visitors lost their way late on, and the home side sealed a bonus point win with tries from prop Dorian Pugh (2), No 8 Steve Roberts, flanker Dai Thomas, centre Ieuan Wyn Rees and winger Llyr Ebenezer as Huw Bonner also landed four conversions.

St Davids: Luke Brooks, James Atherton, Gabe York, Rhys Morgan, Mark Wilson, Matty Mcleod, Harvey Godkin, Will Davies, Rhys Price, Dan Murphy, Rhys Price, Chris Jenkins, Daniel Jenkins, Andrew Groves, George Raymond. Replacements: Ben Evans, Anthony Davies, Adam Williams, Dan Ridge, Kenna Evans.