Rugby Reports 18th January 2020

Fishguard drive forward


PHOTO: Fishguard drive forward


Featured Match:


Division Two (West)


Seagulls just miss out against section leaders


Fishguard & Goodwick 22 Burry Port 31

It was an epic 80 minutes that was laced with incident and intensity – but that will be of no consolation to Fishguard.

After being 22-21 up against unbeaten league leaders Bury Port with just 10 minutes to go, The Seagulls ultimately ended up with nothing. It meant a third defeat on the bounce which leaves them lying tenth and while the division remains ultra-tight, head coach Nathan Jenkins and co will know they can ill-afford to waste winning positions from now on in.

Storming start:

Bury Port arrived at The Moors on the back of 13 consecutive league wins and yet they were rocked back by a fast start from the home side.

Strong breaks from centre Sion Rowlands and full back Robbie Jones laid the platform for No 8 Chris Shousha to pick up and drive over with Nico Setaro, on permit from Whitland, converting.

Setaro then added a penalty but back came The Blacks and from a concerted lineout drive, flanker Richard Parker touched down and full back Lee Evans converted.

And the tide turned further when from a set scrum move, No 9 Luke Ruddall popped the pass that sent centre Declan Knox under the posts and Evans again did the honours.

Further pressure followed from the away side as Fishguard second row Ben John was yellow carded and they seemed to have added to their lead when Ruddall went over from a rolling maul but was adjudged to have been held up.

And they wasted the five-metre scrum that followed as Parker was penalised for dissent and also sin-binned, which allowed The Seagulls to clear their lines and then go on the attack themselves.

Firstly a grubber kick from Setaro was hacked on by winger Dafydd Ridgeway, but with the line at his mercy he was unable to gather the bouncing ball - although just before half time Fishguard were back in front regardless.

Twice they went to the corner from close range penalties and second time around they crossed the line before hooker Gavin Walsh emerged under a pile of bodies with the ball. Setaro nailed the wide angled conversions.

Paying the penalty:

The second half was equally back and fore, and also marred by a string of decisions against both sides as the contest intensified.

Fishguard threatened first with breaks from deep by flanker Simon James and winger Rhys Evans, but the attacks came to nothing and such was the nature of the game, The Seagulls were soon back defending their own posts.

And after a series of strong carries from the Bury Port pack it was second row Carl Rees who took a short pass of No 10 Steff Gear and crashed over, with Evans adding the extras.

That put the away side 21-17 up but they were hit by another yellow card when prop Sean Janes went in dangerously high on Shousha. Again Setaro kicked for the corner, and again it was Walsh who hit his man at the lineout before joining the driving maul, that also saw the Fishguard backs pile in, to score his second try by the corner flag.

Crucially though, Setaro’s conversion came back off the post.

The frenetic action continues as a clean break in midfield from centre James Griffiths prompted further Fishguard pressure but after he linked with Shousha, the ball went to ground in midfield. Ruddall responded by breaking back down field for Bury Port but after the visitors thought they had earned an attacking penalty – the decision was reversed after a flashpoint that saw home forward Luke Freebury and away centre Andy Francis both yellow carded.

A mix up between Ridgeway and his full back Jones though presented Bury Port with another platform, and although Fishguard did well to repel a series of drives towards the line they were eventually pinged in front of their own posts – and Evans made no mistake with the three-pointer to make it 24-22.

The Seagulls tried to respond and again Griffiths burst through in midfield but his chip ahead was covered by Evans, and then more indiscipline cost the home side as they spent the dying moments defending in their own 22.

On three occasions The Blacks opted for a scrum from a penalty as they looked to seal the bonus point try, and from the final play of the game they duly got it when replacement centre Wayne Evans burst over under the posts.

That made it 29-22 and to lick salt into the wounds, Evans added the extras to ensure Fishguard finished without even a losing bonus point.

Trying times ahead:

Fishguard remain in the bottom three and as we know with Two (West), geography will decide whether two or three drop down at the end of the season. Yesterday would have frustrated them – they lived with the top side in the league and it was a game they could have won. But that counts for little when you’re fighting in the bottom half and they now need a result in Nantgaredig this coming Saturday or the three-week break for the Six Nations will be a very uncomfortable one.

As for Bury Port, Division Two is the league where people say anyone can beat anyone. That makes a winning run of 14 consecutive games pretty remarkable.

They still have plenty of work to do but they have the mentality, and the know how under pressure, to be promoted as champions.

Fishguard and Goodwick: Robbie Jones, Rhys Evans, Sion Rowlands, James Griffiths, Dafydd Ridgeway, Nico Setaro, Andrew Williams, Will Delaney, Gavin Walsh, Andrew Morillo, Richard Hunter, Ben John, Simon James, Scott Riches, Chris Shousha (capt). Replacements: Liam Wilkes, Adam Bowen, Luke Freebury, Dan Evans, Thomas George.

Burry Port kick a penalty

Photo: Burry Port kick a penalty


Championship League:


Otters disappoint with inept home display


Narberth 11 Ystrad Rhondda 23

Rhodri Owens - scored Narberths only tryThere was disappointment for Narberth’s supporters at The Lewis Lloyd Ground as The Otters were beaten by Ystrad Rhondda, who gained revenge for defeat by 6-16 when the teams met earlier in the season.

“We were poor today,” said a Narberth spokesman and we could have no complaints because Ystrad bossed us up front, particularly in the linesout, where we conceded possession at vital times.”

The writing was on The Otters’ wall as early as the seventh minute when Ystrad set up a successful forward drive to the line and second row Liam Morris powered over the whitewash for outside half Rhys Truelove to add the extra points.

Truelove added a penalty within three minutes before The Otters had a Ianto Griffiths’ penalty to open their account midway through the half and he also found the target again on 28 minutes – before Truelove slotted two more penalties so the visitors were 16-6 to the good at the interval.

The second half followed a similar pattern as Rhodri Owen finally claimed an unconverted try for Narberth but Ystrad added their second try via Mason Roderick which Truelove goaled and there was to be no further scoring so that The Otters lost their sixth game to slip down to slip down to seventh place, whilst Ystrad Rhondda are just two places below them after their fifth win from 14 starts.

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


Photo: Rhodri Owens - scored Narberth's only try


Division One (West):


Injuries cost Preseli Men dear


Crymych 11 Aberystwyth 17

 Tomos Phillips - try for Crymych As expected, it was tight and physical at Crymych as the Preseli Men were narrowly beaten by Aberystwyth.

The home side endured terrible luck in the first half with hooker Carwyn Rees going off 10 minutes in, meaning No 9 Dafydd Phillips had to throw into the lineout.

Not long after, outside half Ifan Phillips, who had kicked a penalty to put his side 3-0 up, was forced off only for his replacement, veteran Gareth Davies, to also have to leave the field with injury.

The delays meant there was almost an hour between kick off and half time but Crymych stayed in the contest as they trailed 7-3 at the interval, winger Ian Ellis getting the Aberystwyth try and Steff Rees converting.

Aber’s other winger, Adam Cavell, also crossed in the second half and Rees again landed the extras as well as a penalty.

The home side kept within bonus point range though as No 9 Phillips rounded off some good handling to score in the corner and full back and namesake Adam also landed three points.

But the result keeps Crymych second bottom of the table and facing a real fight to survive, with Randall Williams’ team now heading into a crucial derby in Whitland next Saturday.

Crymych: Adam Phillips, Gethin Gibby, Tomos Phillips, Carwyn Phillips, Ilan Phillips, Ifan Phillips, Dafydd Phillips, Steffan Harries, Carwyn Rees, Ryan Rees, Dafydd Walters, Matthew Freebury, Rhys Davies, Jon Hill, Richard Sharp-Williams. Replacements: Ifan James, Rhys Richards, Llywelyn Rees, Gareth Davies, Laurence Headlam.

Photo: Photo: Tomos Phillips - try for Crymych 


Hartland hat-trick inspires rejuvenated Scarlets


Pembroke 27 Gowerton 13

Luke Hartlands three tries helped Pembroke back to winning waysA hat trick of tries from winger Luke Hartland powered Pembroke to a much-needed bonus point win over Gowerton.

Centre Dan Colley also crossed twice as The Scarlets notched only their second league win of the season with a performance that will give them fresh hope in their battle to stay in Division One (West).

And yet it was the Swansea side who struck first as flanker Luke Davies touched down to put them 5-0 up but just moments after Hartland had his first score, finishing well by the corner flag.

Josh Hamer then rounded off some heavy pressure with a penalty for Gowerton and then Pembroke lost scrum half Andrew Davies, who has been back helping out since the New Year, to a hamstring injury.

It meant No 8 Rhodri Walters was forced into duty at No 9, but it paid instant dividends as he pounced from a scrum and his 40 metre charge created the overlap from which Hartland scores his second unconverted try.

Leading 10-8, Pembroke then really upped the ante in the second half and from a rolling maul involving back and forwards, it was centre Colley who touched down and Toby Smith converted from the touchline.

Back came Gowerton through a second try from Davies but the home side weren’t to be denied, and a cross field kick from Smith set up Hartland for his try treble.

It went unconverted, as did Colley’s second score when he again got himself into a maul and got the grounding, to leave home coaches Geraint Lewis and Kyle Davies delighted.

“It’s the best squad we’ve had out for a while and in the second half especially we really came out firing,” said Davies.

Pembroke: Dan Colley, Luke Hartland, Tom Harding-Jones, Kyren Gray, Geraint Powell, Toby Smith, Andrew Davies, Lloyd Davies, Seamus Wiseman, Johnny Palmer, Scott Powell, Dom Colman, Will Edwards, Alex Thomas, Rhodri Walters. Replacements: Jamie Kaijaks, Cyle Wetherall, Shane Gwyther, Jack Smythe, Shaun Dalling.

Photo: Photo: Luke Hartland's three tries helped Pembroke back to winning ways

Borderers’ game called off

Yr Hendy P Whitland P

** Match postponed – ground unfit for play


Division Two (West):


Smashing success for Seasiders


Loughor 10 Tenby United 20

Andrew Cooke - helped Tenby win againA try brace from man of the match Will Swales helped Tenby United to a third straight league win whilst Andrew Cooke also crossed as the in-form Seasiders moved fifth in the table. 

In fact it was centre Cooke who opened the scoring when he took a pop-pass off scrum half Matthew Morgan and charged under the posts, taking two defenders with him, and Lloyd Thomas converted.

Loughor levelled though when from a driving lineout flanker Tom Davies grabbed a try and the home side’s other Tom Davies, at No 10, converted.

But outside half Thomas kicked a penalty to make it 10-7 and then Swales got in on the act when prop Rob Luly peeled off a lineout and offloaded to the flanker to score.

The conversion went wide though and Loughor closed the deficit on the stroke of half time via a Davies penalty.

Tenby were dominant in the second half though and Swales got his second try after a strong break in midfield set the platform for a series of close range scrums from the away pack, and Swales made sure he finished what he started by burying over from close range.

Again the home side kept in touch through a second try from forward Davies to make it 22-15, but with time running out Thomas landed a simple penalty from in front of the posts to put his side two scores ahead.

It proved enough and now Jonathan Evans’ side will eye the chance to move into the top four on Saturday in their home game with Pontarddulais.

Tenby United: Joe Owen, Jack Gooding, Yannic Parker, Andrew Cooke, Adam Quill, Lloyd Thomas, Matthew Morgan, Geoff Martin, Dan Allen, Rob Luly, Tom Barrass, Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman (capt), Jack Brown, Will Swales, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Ethan Morgan, Jim Brace, Harry Bolton, Mike Davis, Oakley Milton.

Photo: Andrew Cooke - helped Tenby win again


All square at The Obs as Mariners just miss out


Milford Haven 20 Mumbles 20

Dan Jenkins - in try-scoring form for Milford HavenThere was a dramatic finish at The Obs and one which left Milford Haven cursing the official in charge as The Mariners played out an exciting draw with Mumbles.

The home side led 20-15 after a late Dan Jenkins try, but then replacement prop Aaron Mayne was harshly penalised and from the penalty that followed, away full back Tom Price went over out wide for an unconverted try that levelled matters.

Milford led 15-10 at half time as centre Jenkins opened the try scoring and No 8 Sam Dolling also charged over. No 10 Steve Martin added the first conversion, then missed the second from in front of the posts, only to nail a penalty from 40 metres moments later.

Second-placed Mumbles kept in touch with five pointers from No 8 Lewis Buckley and flanker Sam Cooke, and then drew level after the break with a try from prop Dan Rice.

Then came that frantic finale where Jenkins had seemingly won it with a try three minutes from time only for Price to strike back for the Swansea side, and then Milford were left relieved that for the fourth successive time Mumbles No 10 Harry Davies was unable to convert.

“It was very frustrating,” admitted Milford head coach Nathan ‘Gully’ Williams.

“Our boys did enough to win that but the referee gave too much against this. We didn’t get the rub of the green but never mind, we will go again next week.”

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


Photo: Photo: Dan Jenkins - two more tries for Milford Haven

Blues on the charge

Photo: Blues on the charge


Division Three (West) A:


Blues edge home after delayed start


Haverfordwest 23 Aberaeron 21

Haverfordwest and Aberaeron showed why they are two of the top teams in Division Three (West) before a late penalty by home skipper Mikey Jones saw his team take the verdict that took them into third spot in the table.

The game was help up for almost 40 minutes, almost from the kick off, when Aberaeron second row Richard Francis was injured after an accidental head injury

But when play resumed there was no shortage of action as Morgan Llewellyn scored a good try for Aber which was converted by Rhydian Jenkins alongside two penalties.

At the other end Blues’ skipper Matty Phillips crossed for an unconverted try and talented young winger Jack Evans sped through for a try alongside a Jones conversion.

Evans also crossed the whitewash in the second half and Jones duly converted but back came Aber with a penalty for Jenkins and try for centre Tom Slinger which nudged them ahead by 21-20 but with just minutes remaining a concerted attack by The Blues saw them awarded a penalty and skipper Jones held his nerve to settle issue and move into third place in the table.

Aberaeron’s promotion hopes of finally evaporated after a string of injuries so they can now concentrate on their match against Fairwater, the Cardiff-based outfit,  in the semi-final of the WRU National Bowl, which will be held on a neutral ground still to be arranged.

*Francis will be sidelined for three weeks as a precautionary measure but was soon back with his team mates for the long journey home and we wish him well!

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker, Unaia Balekinasiga, Jake Evans, Mike Jones, Jack Evans, Elgan Roberts, Lee Summons, Terry Lovell, Jamie Zambass, Tom Carrington, Will Blackburn, Lewis Tingay, Jack Clancy, Matty Phillips (capt), Liam Brown. Replacements: Ashley George, Jonny White, Geraint Sargent, Gareth John, Richard Little.

Winger Jack Evans grabbed two tries

Photo: Winger Jack Evans grabbed two tries


Bright start helps Laugharne stay in contention


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 10 Laugharne 20

Tom Jameson - interception try for Laugharne Laugharne confirmed their serious claim for silverware this campaign as they came away from Bierspool with a win over a strong Pembroke Dock Harlequins’ side that started just a place below but will look back on a slack start to the tussle where they conceded 20 points without response to a rampant Laugharne side.

The writing was already on the wall as visiting place kicker Matthew Tate notched two penalties in the first eight minutes and then added the extra points to an opportunist try by centre Tom Jameson, who intercepted a loose pass and sped 40 metres for a gift score.

Worse was to follow for The Quins as Laugharne No 8 Mikey Williams made a good break and off-loaded at the perfect time to send outside half under the posts for Tate to again add the extra points.

At this stage Tomas Rees, Nick Drewett and Carl Smith were playing well but it says something for the Quins’ resilience that they kept battling on and were rewarded when classy centre Jack Price sliced through for an unconverted try.

The Quins also played well in the second period but Laugharne defended well to restrict The Quins to a solitary score –and again it was Price who finished things off with an unconverted score.

So the home side didn’t even muster a losing bonus point whilst Laugharne will be pleased to claim their ninth win alongside a draw and lone defeat – and their fourth place belies the fact that they have games in hand over the front three and are now this web-sites strong tip for the promotion spot!


Photo: Tom Jameson - interception try for Laugharne 


Thomas try seals Saints’ success


Cardigan 13 St Clears 17

Cardigan played some of their best rugby of the season but in the final analysis had to settle for a losing point after leading 13-10 at half time – but conceding the only score of an equally-tight second half to a determined Saints’ side.

St Clears had won 53-0 at home to The Teifisiders but this was always going to be different as centre Rhun Phillips scored a Cardigan try which ace kicker Llyr Jones converted to go with two penalties.

At the other end, The Saints were awarded a penalty try and outside half Dan Griffiths notched a penalty to set up a tense second period.

There was plenty of action at both ends after the oranges but defences held firm, other than the vital moment when second row Rhodri Thomas crossed for The Saints and Griffiths added the extras to give his side a tenth win and a tight hold on second place in the section table.

Cardigan: Llyr Jones, Ceryth Griffiths, Rhun Phillips, Aaron Tomkinson, Oliver Leeming, Iwan John, Danny Bradshaw, William Brice, Callum Plowright, Ben Hughes, Kester Adams, Dyfed Symmons, Sion Phillips, Osian Rees, Tom Taylor. Replacements: Andrew Fletcher, Sean Owen, Gruffydd Lewis, Gwyndaf Owen James, Jordan Philips, Gwion Morgan, Mike Richards.


Wasps wilt as leaders score 50+ points


Lampeter Town 52 Llangwm 0

Llangwm were determined to fulfil their fixture away in Lampeter and travelled with a depleted side, and after a tight opening the home side cut loose to remain top of the table.

Ewan Bowden starred for the home side with four tries, and after a scoreless 20 minutes it was the full back who broke the deadlock with two quick tries that No 10 Osian Jones converted.

Winger Carwyn Lewis also crossed in the first half and Jones again added the extras to make it 21-0 at the break.

Lampeter skipper and second row Daryl Davies opened the second half scoring before Bowden got his try hat trick, and it got tougher for The Wasps as No 8 Gethin Thomas and coach Bruce Evans, out of retirement (again) to fill in at No 9, both came off injured.

Evans however, did then return to the fold to get Llangwm back up to 15 players before No 8 Rob Morgan scored for Lampeter, and after Bowden got his fourth it was No 10 Davies who rounded things off with a try.

The latter also added three second half conversions as the home side again underlined their intentions to win promotion and the title.

Llangwm: Ethan Griffiths, Dan Ridge, Yale Grice, James Lewis, Dan Morgan, Louis Murphy, Bruce Evans, Ieuan Power, Phil Llewellyn, Gavin Jones, Jason Mock, Dave Reynolds, James Lewis (2), Ian Griffiths, Gethin Thomas.


All Blacks miss out in Mid Wales


Llanybydder 19 Neyland 7

George Williams - good try for Neyland skipperIt was another improved display from Neyland but in the end, the Pembrokeshire All Blacks would have been disappointed to come away from Llanybydder with nothing after leading early in the second half.

They had some early injury blows as second row Simon Phillips was forced off only for his replacement, Andrew Slark, to also pick up a knock.

But they only trailed 5-0 half time after home winger Luc Evans crossed but then early in the second half the visitors struck in style. Full back Rhys Bradney fielded a kick in his own 22 and released No 10 George Williams, who duly finished superbly from deep.

Bradney converted to put Neyland ahead but crucially, they then wasted another attacking platform straight after and paid the price as Evans went over for a second score, and then his namesake John in the second row also grabbed a try.

Steff Richards added two conversions meaning Neyland went home with nothing despite a lot of effort.

“We are getting there and making progress every week,” said team manager Peter Davies.

“The pack especially really played well today.”


Photo: Photo: George Williams - good try for Neyland skipper


Tregaron too strong despite St Davids battling display


Tregaron 24 St Davids 0

St Davids player coach Gethin Bateman was left lamenting unforced errors and wrong options as his side went down to defeat in Tregaron.

The Saints had pushed the Mid Wales side hard at home earlier in the season before losing 22-12, and only trailed 5-0 at the break time around as home No 10 Huw Bonner claimed an unconverted try.

Tregaron added three more tries after the break though as centre Rhydian Jones went over and Bonner converted, and then after St Davids had No 10 Stephen Smith sin binned it was home full back Ieuan Wyn Rhys who got the third try.

And they completed the bonus point win when scrum half Nathan Lloyd sniped over for a try that Bonner goaled and The Saints, for whom No 8 Jamie Gollings was outstanding before having to go off with injury, still await a first league success of the campaign.