Rugby Reports 2nd February 2019

Nathan Gully Williams scores near the posts for Mariners 

Nathan 'Gully' Williams scores near the posts for Mariners


Featured Match:


Division Three (West) A:


Mariners make it a derby double


Milford Haven 31 - Neyland 5

It was a powerful performance that made for a one sided derby - as Milford Haven simply had too much for a Neyland side that never truly imposed themselves on their arch rivals.

But then they were never allowed to. The Milford scrum, so pivotal when the sides met at The Athletic Club in October, was again dominant and their set piece play laid the foundations for a 12-0 half time lead with tries for prop Zac France-Miller and flanker Ryan Mansell.

And yet they offered more than attritional rugby. The third Milford try after the break saw skipper Jamie Lewis go over from a length of the field move, and after hooker Mark Mathias pulled a score back for Neyland, it was player coach Nathan Williams and No 10 Efan Morgan who rounded off the win with further tries.

The result extends The Mariners’ advantage at the top of the table to 11 points over the second placed All Blacks but given the latter have played two more games in reality it is now only Aberaeron who can seriously challenge. They lie 17 points off Milford but with two games in hand - plus a meeting in Mid Wales between the two sides to come.

Milford lay the foundations:

The game’s first scrum yielded a Milford penalty, and it set the tone for the remainder of the half. The Mariners also carried hard in midfield early on with France-Miler and flanker Ben Groves especially making inroads and soon they had the game’s first try.

Captain Lewis opted for a scrum instead of a simple three points, and when Neyland transgressed, he did the same again.

Another penalty followed but this time No 9 Dan McClelland went quickly, and after a series of carries it was France-Miller who drove over from close range and McClelland added the extras.

Neyland’s first moment of threat inadvertently came from a Milford attack as Steve Martin cut into the 22 but when his pass to Garin Gardner hit the deck, and Patrick Bellerby hacked twice downfield to eventually set up a close range lineout, but it came to nothing.

And then the home side crossed again from another set piece, a 15 metre lineout drive rounded off by Mansell as Milford maintained their intensity - and another burst from France-Miller was halted by a Iestyn Evans tackle before the All Blacks managed a crucial turnover.

But with ball in hand they were under pressure and No 8 Ben Williams had a torrid time at the back of a retreating scrum – although right on half time they gave a reminder of their threat with ball in hand.

No 10 Dillon McGaffin picked up a loose ball and dummied his way up to the 22 before linking with Alex Codd, but he knocked on as he tried himself to off load under pressure.

Killer blow:

If Milford’s first two tries came from structured rugby, their third after the break was anything but.

A big hit in defence from France-Miller caused a turnover and it was Groves who then carried hard upfield before linking with centre Dan Jenkins, and he made further ground and slipped an inside pass for Martin to gather one handed and then put Lewis away on a run to the right corner – and the winger duly beat the cover defence to score.

To top it off, McClelland converted brilliantly from the touchline.

The scrum half was then wide with a 40 metre penalty and the tide did then turn slightly as Mansell was forced off with what looked like ankle ligament damage, and France-Miller saw yellow for killing the ball.

Mark James was also sin-binned for Neyland after an off the ball skirmish but the visitors rallied, and some prolonged pressure brought about a deserved score as replacement hooker Mark Mathias went over from five metres.

That gave Neyland hope but it was short lived as with 15 minutes left Williams secured his side the bonus point try, barging over under the posts after Groves had been hauled down just short of the line. And although McClelland shanked the simple conversion against the bar the contest appeared over.

To their credit, Neyland didn’t cave in and it took a last ditch tackle from Lewis to deny replacement winger Henry McBeth, before a Bellerby break out wide was halted by a big hit from Martin.

But The Mariners finished in the ascendancy and from a lineout it was outside half Morgan who ghosted through a tired defence for the fifth and final try - and this time McClelland did add the simple extras to round off Milford’s 13th straight league win of the season.

Nathan Williams (Milford head coach): “It was part of the plan to target the set piece and they probably knew what we would bring. It was the same approach we used in Neyland earlier in the season and it worked so we thought why try and fix something that isn’t broken?

“We’ve earnt respect this season but having won every league game it’s now like a cup final for teams when they play us. So we know we have to keep upping our own performance.

“It’s been an outstanding run but we have to keep it going. The mentality of the boys is good; there is a real fear of losing there.”

Graham Richards (Neyland coach): “Make no bones about it they’re a good side.

“They came at us with fire in their bellies and controlled the ball really well – and they are a better side when Nathan (Williams) is on the field helping dictate things.

“We came back into it second half but we had to defend hard early on and there were some tired players out there by the end. Obviously they had a strong scrum and that proved so important.”

Milford Haven: Steve Martin, Jamie Lewis (capt), Dan Jenkins, Dan Birch, Garin Gardner, Efan Morgan, Dan McClelland, Zac France-Miller, Luke Ryan, Nathan Williams, David Round, Dewi Williams, Ben Groves, Ryan Mansell, Mark Wonnacott. Replacements: Ben Jenkins, Sam Dolling, Dean McSparron, James Trueman, Brandon Cooper.

Neyland: Patrick Bellerby, George Williams (capt), Jack Partridge, Alex Codd, Tom Hughes, Dillon McGaffin, Jack Richards, Craig Power, Gavin Campbell, Sam Cataki, Nathan Banner, Mark James, Owain Evans, Iestyn Evans, Ben Williams. Replacements: Chris Busby, Delme Bateman, Henry McBeth, Mark Mathias, Luke Griffiths-Dawes.

Mariners spread the ball wide

Ryan Mansell spots a gap for the Mariners


Division One West:


Big win for Borderers


Whitland 27 - Llangennech 12

Marc Jones - try for Whitland hookerWhitland’s surge up the table continued as they outplayed Llangennech to clock a third straight league win.

 The Borderers came out firing and led when No 8 Scott Buirds, again a candidate for man of the match with a stand-out display, alongside outstanding prop Aaron Mayne, carried powerfully over from close range and Nico Setaro converted.

Moments later it seemed like Gareth Bennett and Dan Mason’s team had struck again when winger Sean Coles gathered a Setaro chip to dive over – only to be dubiously called back for a foot in touch.

But the pressure continued and twice the visitors were forced into conceding penalties within range of Setaro, and the No 10 duly took both of them to make it 13-0.

Setaro himself then had a try ruled out despite appearing to ‘ground’ the ball against the bottom of the post, but it mattered little as before half time hooker and skipper Marc Jones exploited a gap in the Llangennech defence to score, Setaro again converting.

Llangennech grabbed a lifeline after the break when flanker Sam Meloth touched down but then it was flanker Ryan Morgan who made the game safe for The Borderers, breaking a tackle in midfield and going under the posts for Setaro to add the extras again.

Richard Thomas did score a second try for the visitors late on and No 9 Gareth Davies drop kicked over the conversion, but it was too little to late to stop Whitland’s winning run continuing.

“They were third in the table coming here so we are chuffed with that,” admitted Mason.

“Although in the end we were disappointed not to get a bonus point – especially given we had two tries ruled out.”

 Whitland: James Stephenson, Dan Evans, Liam Price, Josh Thomas, Sean Coles, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones (capt), Jimmy Buirds, Raff Williams, Courtney Bowman, Ryan Morgan, Danny Evans, Scott Buirds. Replacements: Ben Kirk, Jack Mason, Gino Setaro, Jamie Thomas, Gethin Lewis.

Marc Jones - try for Whitland hooker


Seasiders have nothing to show for lots of effort


Tenby United 17 - Aberystwyth 25

It was 10-10 at half time at Heywood Lane before Aberystwyth turned in a strong second half display to leave Tenby United still waiting for that elusive first league win.

Aber went 5-0 up early through winger Ian Ellis, but The Seasiders hit back in style as centre Moritz Neumann burst through several tackles to score from long range and Lloyd Thomas converted.

The latter also added a penalty but Aber, who arrived seeking a first away win all season, added a second unconverted score from full back Llyr Thomas.

And the away side took control after the break with three more tries, with veteran second row and captain Arwel Lloyd crashing over before centres Dylan Evans and Matthew Hughes both exploited a tiring midfield defence to score tries.

At least Tenby, for whom Shane Rossiter impressed in his first start at scrum half, had the final word though as from a close range lineout the ball went wide and replacement Billy Truman gave the scoring pass to winger Jack Tucker.

And it was significant debut for Truman, as he became the fourth generation of his family to play for the club after Les Truman (1947-1957), Michael Truman (1964-1983) and Neil Truman (1985-2005).

Tenby United: Aaron James, Ashley Murdoch, Ben Pugh, Moritz Neumann, Jack Tucker, Lloyd Thomas, Shane Rossiter, Ethan Morgan, Dan Allen, Rob Luly, Huw Evans, Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman (capt), Mike Davis, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Rob Clark, Jack Davies, Wyndham Williams, Charlie Patching, Billy Truman.

Moritz Neumann scores Tenbys first try

Moritz Neumann scores Tenby's first try
Picture by Susan McKehon


Preseli Men succumb to the weather

Crymych P-P Gowerton

**Match postponed because of ground conditions



Otters called off against Quins

Maesteg Quins P-P Narberth

** Match postponed because of ground conditions

Pembroke on the charge

Pembroke on the charge
Picture by Daf Palmer


Division Two (West):


Scarlets go second after superb first-half display


Pembroke 31 - Tycroes 19

Pembroke deservedly secured second spot in the section table as they leap-frogged over Tycroes to stand just a single point behind front runners Penclawdd and send out a clarion call which tells the rest that the ‘Scarlet Runners’ are in tip-top form.

And this victory against a team they had beaten 44-28 in Tycroes was all the more worthy as they started play without four regular squad second rows and had to use Gareth Miller (who does so much yeoman work for the seconds alongside back rowers Jordan Gwilliam and Billy Wood, who is equally at home in the centre.

Seamus 'Moose' Wiseman had to switch to loose head prop so that Rhys Mainwaring could hook, with Johnny Palmer again doing a great job on the tight head side.

The back row of Alex Thomas, Rhodri Waters and Sam Smith put in a huge shift and as a result The Scarlets made a cracking start to lead 24-0 at the interval.

Tycroes utilised their powerful pack, boosted by some experienced replacements, to try and haul their way back in but Geraint Lewis's man shut the door that became marginally opened, to create the double.

Jack jolts Tycroes early on

Jack Parkinson continued his fine form since returning to Crickmarren as the young centre combined with Sean Dalling to score and then co-centre Dan Colley rounded off a move instigated by half backs Tom Lewis and Toby Smith before the latter landed the conversion.

Lewis was also involved in creating space for Dalling to score in the left corner and again Toby Smith was on target, although he missed with the bonus-point conversion after more quick hands sent in-form winger Fraser James for try No 4.

Tycroes come-back attempt in vain

Tycroes showed their pack power with a try for second row John James which scrum half Aled Rees-Jones converted - but James claimed his second Scarlets' score with a try under the posts when he followed up a clever Parkinson kick ahead which produced a good bounce before Toby Smith added the simple extras.

To be fair to the visitors they never gave up trying and scored two more tries from winger Darrell John and No 8 Steff Jones, one converted by Rees-Jones- but from then on the Scarlet defence stood firm and their reward was a full five points whilst Tycroes went home with nowt to show for their part in an absorbing and entertaining clash.

Geraint Lewis (Pembroke coach):

"This was a very big performance by us because we couldn’t afford to lose in a match that was virtually worth double points.

"It was even better because we had key players out injured but those who came in showed our overall squad strength and commitment against a very good team who also knew the importance of the result - and our support was as good as ever at Crickmarren.

"There is still an amazing amount to play for and if we can maintain our momentum there is still a huge prize to play for,"

Pembroke:  Luke Hartland (Tom Harding-Jones) : Sean Dalling; Dan Colley (Dan Colley); Jack Parkinson; Fraser James: Toby Smith; Tom Lewis: Johnny Palmer; Rhys Manwaring (Dom Colman); Seamus Wiseman: Jordan Gwilliam; Gareth Miller (Billy Wood): Alex Thomas; Rhodri Waters ( Jack Smyth); Sam Smith.


Geraint Grabs last-gasp Seagulls victory


Lewis Davies - opened scoring for FishguardSt Clears 18 - Fishguard & Goodwick 20

Geraint Jones was the man of the moment for Fishguard and Goodwick as the talented youngster from Whitland landed a simple penalty from the last kick of their tight tussle at St Clears where they trailed 18-17 with time running out.

But then in a desperate last charge into the home 22 centre Jake Jenkins was high-tackled and Jones sent the ball sailing between the uprights from the final touch of an absorbing clash.

To be fair to The Saints they were desperately disappointed but remain in the bottom two as The Seagulls are in seventh spot with seven wins from 16 starts.

Seagulls start well

For once Fishguard made an encouraging start as they opened the scoring with a try by prop Lewis Davies from a close-range drive – but The Saints quickly responded as full back Andrew Phillips kicked a penalty and then went over the whitewash for a try which he also converted.

The Rhodri Jones crossed on the blind side for St Clears to open up a 15-5 lead but Fishguard reduced the deficit when full back Robbie Jones combined with winger Luke Marshall for the latter to score a try.

As fortunes ebbed and flowed The Seagulls regained the led when Jake Jenkins scored a try converted by Geraint Jones but again St Clears responded with a well-struck penalty from James Davies with only five minutes left.

It set up that dramatic finale where Fishguard had the final say – but the travelling Seagulls’ supporters must have had their fingernails chewed down to the quick by then!

Fishguard and Goodwick: Robbie Jones: Ed Bendall; Jake Jenkins; Sion Rowland; Luke Marshall: Geraint Jones; Andrew Williams: Gavin Walsh; Liam Wilkes; Ryan McVeigh: Ben John; Gwilym Evans: Scott Richies; Lewis Day; Chris Shousha (Capt). Replacements:  Jordan James; Simon James; Luke Freebury; Mark George; Steffan Harries.

Lewis Davies - opened scoring for Fishguard


Division Three (West) A:


Blues graft their way to win over Mid Wales travellers


Haverfordwest 29 - Tregaron 3

Having already won by 33-0 at Tregaron earlier in the season Haverfordwest might have expected a comfortable home win but although they eventually ran in five tries to nil at Pembroke Road they were made to graft by the Mid Wales’ side as skipper Sean Rattrey, Dan Thomas, Steve Roberts and Dorian Pugh showed real grit up front for the visitors.

The Blues were still without some key players but tried to run the ball throughout but any chance of gaining real momentum were halted by taking wrong options and a string of penalties awarded throughout as they often fell foul of referee Emyr Thomas.

Haverfordwest started out with promising runs from centres Gareth John and Dan Richards, ably assisted by full back Craig Barnett but their early tries fell to the forwards as busy flanker Ashley George opened their account where Barnett landed the extra points and co-flanker Matty Phillips added the second from a forward surge.

Terry Lovell also looked to have barged his way over but was unlucky to have the try disallowed as the ref ruled it had been held up by Llyr Ebenezer and Rhydian Jones.

Visitors battle hard but The Blues stay in control

Tregaron’s yeoman tackling, led by Simon Jones and Rowan Edwards, saw them move upfield and outside half Ieuan Wyn Rees landed a penalty before The Blues added two further tries by No 8 Gareth ‘Savage’ Phillips and Barnett, a quality score from his own 22 – and they also had the final word after Barnett ghosted past several would-be tacklers and found second row Karl Busch at this elbow on a run to the posts before Barnett landed the extra points in a bonus-point success.

Haverfordwest: Craig Barnett: Rhys Baker; Gareth John; Dan Richards; Steve Thomas: Mike Jones (Capt); Lee Summons: Rhodri Harries; Matthew Clayton; Terry Lovell: Karl Busch; Jack Clancy: Ashley George; Matty Phillips; Gareth Philips. Replacements: Paul Thomas; Ben Llewellyn; Gethin Thomas; Josh Hamer.

Matty Phillips crashes over for a try for Haverfordwest

Matty Phillips crashes over for a try for Haverfordwest


Llanybydder too strong for The Wasps at Pill Parks


Llangwm 7 - Llanybydder 34

Josh Hicks claimed his usual try for Llangwm but although the powerful No 8 was joined by his team mates in battling for the full 80 minutes at Pill Parks they couldn’t prevent Llanybydder from running in six tries as they used their powerful pack to good effect alongside some strong running backs.

The Wasps found themselves 17 points adrift at the interval and although Hicks grabbed a quality try after judging his angle right to receive the scoring pass from Luke Hayman (who also converted) they were never really in with a chance of clawing their way back, despite the efforts of both James Lewis’s  Dan Hughes, Dan Breeze and Jason Mock.

For Llanybydder, there was a brace of tries from No 8 Rickie Davies, the skipper ploughing over the line twice alongside prop Zac Lowther, second row John Evans, full back Ross Hayden and centre Bleddyn Jones.

Outside half Llyr Jones chipped in with two conversions before Llanybydder made the long journey home with a full five points and an improving sixth place in the section table, having won eight of their 13 matches.

Llangwm: Iwan Griffiths: Dan Morgan; Yale Grice; Dan Thomas; George Griffiths: Luke Hayman; Ollie Davies: Dan Breeze; Dan Hughes; Will Scriven: Jason Mock; Gavin Jones:  James Lewis; James Lewis; Josh Hicks. Replacements: James Griffiths; Ian Griffiths; Den Chesmer; Ieuan Power; Steve Rees.

Dan Morgan kicks ahead for Llangwm

Dan Morgan kicks ahead for Llangwm


James leads Laugharnees to Bierspool success


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 0 - Laugharne 38

Tom Jameson - 23 points for LaugharneLaugharne showed they are serious contenders for the runners-up spot in the table as they easily accounted for a gritty Pembroke Dock Harlequins at Bierspool to record their ninth victory alongside three losses and have games in hand over Haverfordwest and Neyland above them

On this occasion they scored 19 points in each half but also demonstrated their defensive qualities by keeping a blank scoresheet that will gave pleased captain Carl Smith, who also claimed one of their dozen tries.

But it was centre Tom Jameson who scored the bulk of their points with a try hat-trick alongside four conversions for a personal haul of 23 points as he proved the focal point of their range of attacks.

Other tries came from ubiquitous No 8 Mikey Williams (2) and flanker Lee Thomas as  Tomos Rees, Rhys Thomas, Owain Thomas and Jack Flanagan also played significant roles in the Laugharnees’ win.


Tom Jameson - 23 points for Laugharne


Saints struggle against 12-try Aberaeron


St Davids 0 - Aberaeron 76

Aberaeron scored in the opening minute of their game at St Davids and didn’t look back from there – racking up 12 tries in total for a big bonus point win.

No 10 Rhodri Jenkins was the star with three of them to go with eight conversions, for a haul of 31 points.

Other tries went to Dyfrig Dafis, namesake Gethin, Gareth Jones, Llyr Davies, Matthew Roberts, Rhodri Thomas, and Aaron Lewis to complete another difficult day for the Saints, who did at least go well in the scrum as their front row of Ben Evans, Rhys Price and Dan Murphy impressed as a unit.

St Davids:  Luke Brooks, James Atherton, Mark Wilson, Rhys Morgan, Dan Ridge, Mathew Bennett, Harvey Godkin, Ben Evans, Rhys Price, Dan Murphy, Daniel Jenkins, Rhys Loshin Price, Noel Lyons, Josh Strangward, Anthony Davies. Replacements: Zak Morgan, Tanapon Phumkhonsan, Adam Williams, Will Davies, Kenna Evans.