Rugby Reports 19th October 2019

Minutes silence for Johnny James by Llangwm RFCMinutes silence for Johnny James


Featured Matches:


Division Three (West) A:


Wasps win local derby verdict


Neyland 29 - Llangwm 23

A local derby signified by full blooded commitment – and fair to say Johnny James would have loved every minute of it.

Other than the result that is, as Neyland took the win over Llangwm after a late try from flanker Owain Evans that capped a game, and indeed a week, that showcased the better side of local rugby.

The death of the former hooker James sparked mass tributes and condolences from rugby clubs around Pembrokeshire, and before kick-off both sets of players and a large crowd paid their respects with a minute of silence.

The build-up was made even more poignant by the fact that this week four-year-old Eliza Scriven, the granddaughter of Llangwm committee member Richard, had gone through a life- changing operation following a monumental fundraising effort from the family and local community.

“I can’t thank everybody enough for their support and this week has shown how strong the Pembrokeshire rugby and sporting family can be,” said Scriven before kick-off.

“As soon as I walked in the club today people were coming up to me to ask how Eliza was and say how sorry they were about Johnny.”

A scrappy start

Indeed, James would have no doubt have thrived in a scrappy opening period.

Luke Hayman, playing opposite brother Toby at No 10, landed an early penalty from out wide for Llangwm but, balls went loose and both sides struggled to get their lineout functioning - before Neyland fashioned the first real spell of pressure.

Two times skipper George Williams opted against taking three points from close range penalties as the hosts banged away on the line and although a thumping hit from away centre Louis Murphy seemed to thwart things – he was called offside and duly yellow carded.

And eventually the try came when a run-around move in midfield saw winger Ben Goodridge dive over in the corner to make it 5-3.

All Blacks in the ascendancy

Another Luke Hayman penalty edged The Wasps back in front but from the kick off, the visitors turned over possession and paid the price as another Neyland attack resulted in prop Luke Griffiths-Dawes getting an unconverted try.

Murphy returned to the field only for centre Yale Grice to then also get sin-binned and again, the All Blacks took advantage with No 8 Ben Williams going over to make it 15-6 at half time.

See-saw second half

The pendulum swung early in the second half though as away scrum half Joseph Kiff executed a kick and chase to score, and another five pointer duly followed when Murphy broke from 40 metres out and managed to hand off three would be tacklers to make it 15-16.

Back came Neyland as returning centre Tom Hughes side stepped through a gap in midfield to go under the posts, Hayman converting – but The Wasps went a point ahead again when the other Hayman picked up from a close range ruck for a try he goaled himself.

It stayed that way until five minutes from time, until a series of Neyland mauls and forward drives culminates in Iestyn Evans showing neat hands to set up younger brother Owain to score – and Toby Hayman converted to round off a pulsating derby.

A derby perhaps, best summed up by Neyland team manager Peter Davies.

“This was a great advert for grassroots rugby,” he said.

“Both sides gave everything and it was a game that went back and for.”

Neyland: Adam Cawley, Henry McBeth, Tom Hughes, George Williams, Ben Goodridge, Toby Hayman, Jack Richards, Luke Griffiths-Dawes, Jack Harries, Chad Monk, Steve Hamer, Mark James, Iestyn Evans, Owain Evans, Ben Williams. Replacements: Mark Riley, Steve Evans, Craig Power, Richard Banner, Sam Hadley.

Llangwm: Jamie Lewis, Daniel Morgan, Yale Grice, Louis Murphy, Ewan Griffiths, Luke Hayman, Jo Kiff, Will Scriven, Phil Llewellyn, Ieuan Power, Dave Reynolds, Steven Rees, Jamie Lewis, Ian Griffiths, Jason Mock. Replacements: James Griffiths, Spencer Rourke, Matthew Lewis, Gethin Thomas, Gavin Jones.

Referee: Steffan Anderson.

Good defence from the All Blacks

Haverfordwest and St Clears observe a minutes silence


Saints’ fight back after slow start against The Blues


Haverfordwest 22 - St Clears 22

Haverfordwest and St Clears shared the spoils at Merlins Bridge after The Blues took an early 12-0 lead but failed to maintain their momentum and it was only a late Craig Barnett penalty that saw them draw level after The Saints deservedly led 22-19.

After a minute’s silence for the late Llangwm hooker Johnny James, who tragically died so young and was held in huge respect across Pembrokeshire, Haverfordwest started with a bang as scrum half Elgan Roberts was put into space by Barnett and Unaia Balekinisaga to run around to the posts for Barnett to convert.

Elgan Roberts scores the first  try

After eight minutes the home side ran in their second score, this time unconverted, as a period of pressure allowed full back Rhys Baker to smash his way over the whitewash.

The Blues lost influential skipper Mattie Phillips but still managed a third try before the break as Balekinisaga showed his finishing skills with a try goaled by Barnett.

But The Saints showed they were ready to battle hard for a win and were rewarded with tries by full back Owain Davies and outside half Rhodri Jones and after the interval took the lead when powerful centre Shane Morgan crossed the whitewash twice, one converted by Dan Griffiths, to snatch the lead.

It set up a tense finale where Bennett landed his vital penalty to tie things up – but it was The Saints who would have finished the happier since they also picked up a bonus point for scoring four tries!
Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker, Unaia Balekinasiga, Craig Barnett, Gareth Owens, Jack Evans, Mike Jones, Elgan Roberts, Jonathan Clout, Jamie Zambass, Rhodri Harries, Jack Clancy, Karl Busch, J Evans, Matty Phillips (capt), Ashley George. Replacements: Gareth John, Ashley James, Jamie Barnett, Josh Atherton, Matthew Clayton.

St Clears: Owain Davies: Jason King; Shane Morgan; Dan Griffiths; Jonathan Gosling: Rhodri Jones; Rhodri Evans: Andrew Howells; Dan Hughes; Gareth Jones (Capt): Rhys Strawbridge; Geraint Harries: Llifon Davies; Ryan Jeremaias; Tomos Rees. Replacements: Dafydd Page; Gary Barnes; Paul Brown; Tom Windsor; James Davies.

St Clears win good lineout ball



Otters take students apart


Lewys Gibby - three tries for Narberth No 9Narberth 52 - Cardiff Met 5

Narberth produced a terrific all-round display that saw them easily beat a Cardiff Met side that was two places above them in the table but had no answer to the greater pace and power of Sean Gale’s squad, which ran in eight quality tries whilst conceding only one second half score.

Full back Nick Gale and second row Roy Osborne claimed the Otters’ first-half tries and although Gale for once missed both conversions made amends with two well-struck penalties.

Matches between these old rivals have been traditionally high-scoring and it looked as if this fixture would follow a similar pattern as the students started out looking sharp but encountered an outstanding Narberth defence before The Otters seized control and used half backs Lewys Gibby and Ianto Griffiths to control long periods of play.

Having drawn the students’ sting by the interval Narberth played some excellent rugby thereafter and Gibby capped a splendid scrum-half performance with a hat-trick of tries as reward for his support play.

Others came from winger Josh Davies, centre Jake Jenkins and Elliott Dawe, who came on replacement for winger Dafydd Pritchard, whilst Gale added another six conversions for a personal haul of 17 points.

It was reward for a performance where everyone gave 100% and small wonder that coach Gale had a big smile on his face after watching The Otters show what they can do at this high-quality level.

Narberth: Nick Gale, Dafydd Pritchard, Joe Hutchings, Jake Jenkins, Josh Davies, Ianto Griffiths, Lewys Gibby, Bradley Davies, Rhodri Owens, Tom Kaijaks, Roy Osborn, Alex Jenkins (capt), Dewi Williams, Tom Powell, Steff Phillips. Replacements: Kyle Hamer, Dan Jacobs, Rich Rees, Jonathan Rogers, Rhys Lane.

 PHOTO: Lewys Gibby - three tries for Narberth No 9


Division One (West):


Setaro Boys put Borderers on the right road


Gino Setaro - vital try for Whitland centreCrymych 13 - Whitland 19

As always it was tight between Crymych and Whitland – but away No 10 Nico Setaro inspired the Borderers with 14 points to secure a tense win.

The player-coach kicked two first half penalties to edge his team into a 6-5 half time lead, with flanker Richard Sharp-Williams going over for a try for the home side.

The second period continued to be tight as both sides had tries, second row Ryan Bean scoring for Crymych while winger Gino Setaro marked his return with a try for The Borderers.

Cousin Nico converted that and he and Phillips added a penalty each, although the former missed other attempts at goal as Whitland led 16-13 in the closing stages.

And with No 8 Scott Buirds standing out they managed to fashion possession in the final moments, and it was Setaro who rounded off the win with a neat drop goal from the final play.

Whitland: James Stephenson, Gino Setaro, Alex Codd, Josh Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Nico Setaro, Josh Thomas (2), Aaron Mayne, Gethin Lewis, Courtney Bowman, Raff Williams, Ryan Morgan, Jamie Lewis, Scott Buirds. Replacements: I Lewis, Tom Finucane, Olly Hughes, Jack Mason Jamie Thomas.


PHOTO: Gino Setaro - vital try for Whitland centre


Pembroke pay for long injury list


Felinfoel 31 - Pembroke 11

Pembroke travelled to section leaders Felinfoel with something of a makeshift side and paid the inevitable price as they went down 31-11 after leading by 6-5 at the break.

But then the loss of loose-head prop Jamie Brayford with a nastily cut mouth and young hooker Shane Gwyther with a damaged shoulder put further pressure on coach Geraint Lewis’s squad and Felinfoel ran in four more tries after Dafydd Daniels had given the homesters an early lead before Toby Smith landed two penalties for The Scarlets.

Daniels, who looked a decent player, added his second try alongside others from Connor Ford and Carl Edwards, whilst No 10 Jonathan George slotted four conversions and a penalty.

Although disappointed by the margin of defeat, there were plus signs for The travelling Scarlet faithful, not least the debut at full back of Kyren Gray, who claimed a quality try converted by Toby Smith, with Geraint Powell returning to wing action after a long period out injured and Dom Colman completing his first full match of the campaign.

“Overall I was happy that we didn’t give in against a very good side, “coach Lewis told us, “and I was also pleased with the play of Jordan Evans and Billy Kinnear amongst other good performances up front.”



Division Two (West):


Mariners just miss out in table-topping clash


Sam Dolling - another two tries for Milford back rowerMilford Haven 13 - Burry Port 17

Milford’s 100% home record was ended by Burry Port, who reaped the rewards for dominating the opening stages as they made it five league wins from five.

The Llanelli side went 5-0 up early on as Rhys Williams went over – but The Mariners responded as James Trueman landed a penalty.

But the Llanelli side extended their lead with two further tries, Theo Barnes-Watson going over and then the same player converted a try from Richard Parker.

But Milford got back in it before the break following a yellow card for the away side, and from a close range scrum No 8 Sam Dolling picked up and powered over.

That made it 17-8 at the break and Dolling crossed again in the second half, but Milford were thwarted by some determined Burry Port defence as the visitors held on.

Milford Haven: Steve Martin, Lee Riley, Dan Jenkins, Dan Birch (capt), James Trueman, George Evans, Danny McClelland, Zac France-Miller, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees, Nathan Banner, Chris Hall, Zac Davies, Ryan Mansell, Sam Dolling. Replacements: Dylan Evans, Nathan Williams, Ben Kirk, Gareth Cheshire, Jay Goodall.


PHOTO: Sam Dolling - another two tries for Milford back rower


Seasiders fall short against ‘The Bont’


Pontarddulais 19 - Tenby United 13

Tenby failed to build on their great display against Loughor last week as they turned in a poor first half display at Pontarddulais.

The Seasiders were 14-0 down in 20 minutes at Pontyberem as Dean Courtney scored two tries both converted by George Mbofama -and it was only from the final play of the half that the away side mustered something through a Harry Rossiter penalty.

The visitors made three changes in the pack in an attempt to turn the tide and Rossiter landed three more points early in the second period, Craig Davies went over again for The Bont.

Tenby were on top in the scrums though, and it was from this platform that No 8 Andrew Cooke got them back into it with a try Rossiter goaled – but despite late pressure handling errors cost The Seasiders as the home side held on.

“We were poor from start to finish,” admitted coach Jonathan Evans. “We were way off it and the best side won.”

Tenby United: Max Brindley, Jack Gooding, Ben Pugh, Lloyd Thomas, Jack Tucker, Harry Rossiter, Matthew Morgan, Rob Clarke, Jim Brace, Ethan Morgan, Huw Evans, Luke Dedman (capt), Jack Brown, Luke Hansford, Andrew Cooke. Replacements: Rob Luly, Dan Allen, Jack Broadhurst, Tom Barrass, Matt Davies.


The Moors too wet for Seagulls to play


Fishguard & Goodwick P-P Nantgaredig

**Match postponed because of the state of the pitch.

Fishguard & Goodwick: Geraint Jones, Dafydd Ridgeway, Rhys Evans, James Griffiths, Ed Bendall, Mark Jones. Andrew Williams, Ryan McVeigh, Gavin Walsh, Andrew Morrillo, Richie Hunter, Gwilym Evans, Ben John, Chris Shousha (capt), Mark George. Replacements: Liam Wilkes, Luke Freebury, Will Delaney, Dan Evans, Simon James.



Division Three (West) A:


Quins’ indiscipline cost them dearly


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 5 - Aberaeron 12

This eagerly anticipated clash between two in-form sides proved to be a bit of a stamp squib as the visitors didn’t manage a try but had two penalties in each half from ace kicker Rhodri Jenkins and all the Quins could must in response was a late unconverted try by talented centre Jack Price.

The home coaches admitted after that they were stumped as to why their side lost the penalty count by 15-2 in the first half but lose it they did and although scrumhalf Gethin Bradney went close on one occasion it was Aberaeron who led 6-0 as Jenkins found his target twice.

It was a similar story in the second half as Jenkins twice slotted kicks between the posts and his forwards maintained their discipline – and although Price scored his unconverted try it was a case of too little too late as the Quins lost their first league match after four wins but still stay just ahead of the chasing pack!

“It was a tough game but the boys dug deep,” said Aberaeron assistant coach Aled Davies.

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Ben Hathaway: Aaron Tewetts; Jack Price; carl Scott; Josh Brown: Kieran Machin; Gethin Bradney: Liam Smith; Mark van Rhun; Jack Davies: Paul Busby; Sam James: Hywel Baker; Ollie Parsons;  Aaron Boswell. Replacements: Dan Manning; Jordan Palmer; Martin Gully; Dao Moseley




Saints slammed as Lampeter reach three figures


Lampeter 104 - St Davids 0

St Davids went to Mid Wales decimated by player unavailability and were only able to field 14 players in their hammering at Lampeter.

As always with the Saints, there was no thought of calling the game off but they paid an inevitable price as the home side scored 16 tries, winger Carywn Lewis running in four of them.

Gareth Griffiths also benefitted from inevitable overlaps to score three times, with further tries from Owain Jones, Glyn Jones, Tomos Rhys, Ryan Holmes, Emyr Richards Aled Bowen, Ifan John, Guto Jones, and Daryl Davies.

Osian Jones slotted 12 conversions to complete a difficult day for the away side.



Llan too strong for Teifisiders


Llanybydder 39 - Cardigan 14

Llanybydder proved too strong where it counted most against visiting Cardigan and after leading 18-7 at half time went on to ease through by 39-14 to secure their first league success of the campaign - and maximum bonus points.

Steff Richards certainly made his mark in the first period as the home No 10 sliced through for a try to go with a conversion and two penalties and flanker Dion Howells added Llan’s second try as The Teifisiders responded with a try and conversion from outside half Llyr Jones.

Cardigan added a try from right winger Rhodri Davies, again converted by Llyr Jones, after the oranges but Llan added another three tries, all converted by Richards, from No 8 Ricky Davies, Dion Howells again, and centre Llyr Jones.


Three hat-tricks as Laugharne overwhelm Tregaron


Tom Jameson - 30 points in big Laugharne victoryTregaron 5 - Laugharne 85

Laugharne continued their excellent form as they followed their narrow away win in North Wales in the WRU Bowl competition with this thumping success against Tregaron, who could only must an unconverted try by Rowan Edwards as The Laugharnees ran in 14 tries.

Leading the way on the Laugharne try sheet were winger Will Ebsworth, flanker Mikey Williams and centre Tom Jameson, all of whom crossed the whitewash three ties, whilst loose-head prop Rhys Thomas added another two tries.

Others came from Richie Waters, Rhodri Rees and Carl Smith, with Jameson amassing a 30-point haul thanks to another 15 points from his trusty boot – and this victory announced to the other teams involved in promotion that they are very much interested too!

PHOTO: Tom Jameson - 30 points in big Laugharne victory