Rugby Reports 4th January 2020



Pritchard powers Otters to bonus-point win


Narberth 38 Tata Steel 0

Daf Pritchard - three tries for NarberthNarberth gained their expected win over bottom club Tata Steel as they ran in five tries to also collect a bonus point, whilst coach Sean Gale will also be pleased that The Otters kept a clean scoresheet throughout.

They had already won 28-15 early in the campaign so completed the double over a club which has regularly featured in the top half of the table for a number of seasons but has fallen on unhappy times as they found themselves 21-0 adrift after only 15 minutes but then showed their durability to prevent any further first half scores.

But with winger Dafydd Pritchard leading the way for The Otters with a try hat-trick there was no way back as Narberth remained in control until the final whistle.

Powell powers through to set the platform

Narberth took the lead after five minutes when livewire flanker Tom Powell broke through and winger Nick Gale added the extra points.

Then Pritchard raced into the corner after 11 minutes and Gale did really well to add the conversion from wide out – and Pritchard added his second score four minutes later when he rounded off a move to score at the posts to give Gale his simplest two points of the afternoon.

Gale also notched a penalty soon after the interval and after a relatively quiet period where Pritchard adds his third try - and Jones claims his first five-pointer

The Otters were unable to convert pressure into points they grabbed two more tries in the closing stages – the first coming in the 75th minute to secure the bonus point when Pritchard  pounced for a third time and replacement kicker Jonathan Rogers converted.

Talented youngster Llewelyn Jones helped create the necessary space and the son of former Narberth flanker Rhodri Jones claimed his first try at this level to round off the try count before Rogers converted to complete a satisfactory afternoon for Sean Gale’s squad.

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


Photo: Daf Pritchard - three tries for Narberth


Division One (West):


Promotion candidates too street-wise for Preseli Men


Felinfoel 28 Crymych 13

Crymych couldn’t build on their great win over Yr Hendy as they left themselves too much to do in the second half against Felinfoel.

The Foel, chasing promotion, had to dig deep at Parc Lloyd Thomas in September to win 13-6, but this time around they were in control by half time as they led 21-3 thanks to tries from No 10 Aled Roberts, and centres John George and Kyle Simmonite.

Roberts converted all three scores while an Ifan Phillips penalty provided Crymych’s only response.

They improved second half though, especially up front where No 8 Osian Davies, skipper Rhys ‘Beaky’ Davies and Matthew Freebury all stood out.

Indeed, it was Freebury who crossed over after some good phase play by the forwards - and front rower Carywn Rees also grabbed an unconverted try after a blindside break and off load by scrum half Dafydd Phillips.

But the home side sealed their bonus point via another try from Simmonite which Roberts again goaled, leaving Crymych second bottom and still with much to do between now and May to survive.

“We weren’t clinical enough today,” admitted team manager Iwan James.

“We made unforced errors and too many balls went down.”


Emlyn just hang on to 100% record


Newcastle Emlyn 13 Whitland 10

Ryan Morgan - try for WhitlandA superb effort from Whitland saw The Borderers come within minutes of ending Newcastle Emlyn’s 100% record in Division One West – only for a late Shaun Leonard penalty to settle matters and make it 10 wins from 10 for the hosts.

With the scores locked at 10-10 in the 73rd minute, Whitland second row Raff Williams was harshly yellow-carded for going off his feet and Leonard took full advantage to claim the decisive three points.

The Borderers overcame the loss of No 8 Jack Mason to a groin injury early on to dominate the first 10 minutes, and they took the lead when flanker Ryan Morgan went over in the corner and No 10 Nico Setaro landed the conversion.

A Leonard penalty reduced the deficit before half time and then it was the same player who went over in the second half before converting to put his side 10-7 ahead.

Setaro responded with three points of his own to set up a tense final quarter, and it looked anybody’s game before Emlyn broke out of defence and forced the penalty from which Leonard won it.

Whitland still had time to come back but were unable to get the field position they needed, leaving head coach Gareth Bennett with mixed emotions.

“I have to praise the whole side today because it was a big defensive display and the front row in particular was outstanding as we dominated the scrum.

“I think a draw would have been a fair result but they got the late penalty and then we tried too hard to chase the game.”

Photo: Ryan Morgan - try for Whitland


Scarlets lose their basement battle


Pembroke 12 Penclawdd 32

There were signs of improvement from Pembroke in their defeat against Penclawdd but ultimately it was a seventh straight league loss for the Scarlets.

They do have games in hand on most sides above them but now face two huge clashes in the next two weeks against teams in the bottom four – first a trip to Llanelli Wanderers and then a home game with Gowerton.

They started well but No 10 Kyren Gray, deputising with Toby Smith unavailable, was wide with a penalty and then centre James Davies was also off- target with an attempt.

Penclawdd then took an 8-0 lead through a try from second row Will Guaneri and an Iwan Jones’ penalty, although the Scarlets responded with an unconverted try from No 8 Alex Thomas following a close range scrum and a strong burst by centre Tom Harding-Jones.

The home side shot themselves in the foot before half time though as an intercepted pop-pass from second row Dom Colman led to a try for Penclawdd prop Luke Snell before a loose ball in midfield saw Guaneri add his second. Twice Jones converted to make it 22-5 at half time.

Another Harding-Jones run led to Pembroke points after the break as he was high tackled in the corner, meaning a penalty try, but Snell went over again for Penclawdd and Jones added the extras as well as a penalty.

Scarlets forwards coach Kyle Davies was upbeat about the improvements though, with young hooker Shane Gwyther again standing out and the likes of Toby Smith and Dan Colley set to return next week.

“It was a lot better than the game in Whitland,” he said.

“We’ve had a long injury list but hopefully boys will start to come back now.”

Pembroke: Luke Hartland, Shaun Dalling, Tom Harding-Jones, Lewis Davies, Geraint Powell, Tobi Smith, Iori Roberts, Lloyd Davies, Shane Gwyther, Johnny Palmer, Dom Colman, Scott Powell (capt), Will Edwards, Alex Thomas, Rhodri Walters. Replacements: Jack Smythe, Barry Alderman-John, Kyren Grey, Seamus Wiseman.

Will Edwards takes a big tackle for Pembroke 

Photo: Will Edwards takes a big tackle for Pembroke 


Division Two (West):


Victory snatched from Seagulls – but they pouch two bonus points


Fishguard & Goodwick 24 Tycroes 25

Rhys Evans - try for Fishguard and GoodwickFishguard & Goodwick’s coaching staff and players will look back on this one-point defeat by Tycroes at The Moors as a match they not only could, and should have won after they had led 24-14 but then gifted a Tycroes outfit who were fourth in the table a soft try and two late penalties.

It must also have disappointed them that they outscored their opponents by four tries to three, having already shared 72 points when the teams drew in Tycroes – their only consolation being the fact that they still claimed two bonus points despite defeat, one for scoring four tries and the other for being within seven points of the opposition at the final whistle.

The Seagulls made a bright start as winger Dafydd Ridgeway chased his own kick ahead and claimed an opportunist try which full back Mark Jones converted.

Fortunes ebb and flow

But Dan Thomas scored a try for the visitors which Aled Jones converted – only for Fishguard to reclaim the initiative when good handling put Rhys Evans in at the corner and No 15 Jones did well to add the extras.

An exciting tussle saw fortunes ebb and flow as Tycroes again drew level thanks to a try by second row John Jones which his namesake Aled converted but The Seagulls led 19-14 at the oranges as their pack drove well and skipper Chris Shousha peeled away on the blind side and raced to the line.

Jones missed the conversion but The Seagulls mage a good start to the second half as scrum half Andrew Williams scored a cracking try wide out – but then the home side conceded somewhat soft try to Tycroes’s Matthew Lemon.

Loss of focus late on cost The Seagulls dearly

As a result The Seagulls seemed to lose their rhythm and confidence and an Aled Jones’ penalty hauled Tycroes to within two points – and in the closing stages he landed another penalty from in front of the posts before the visitors held on for the final four minutes to claim victory from the jaws of defeat.

Fishguard & Goodwick: Mark Jones, Liam Wilkes, Rhys Evans, Sion Rowlands, Dafydd Ridgeway, James Griffiths, Andrew Williams, Will Delaney, Gavin Walsh, L Davies, Gwilym Evans, Ben John, Luke Freebury, Scott Riches, Chris Shousha (capt). Replacements:  Simon James, Ryan McVeigh, Andrew Morillo, Dan Evans, Jordan James.


Photo: Rhys Evans - try for Fishguard & Goodwick


First away win of season for Mighty Mariners


Kidwelly 17 Milford Haven 34

Dan McClelland - helped Milford to first away win with a good tryIt was a landmark win for Milford Haven as they not only completed the double over Kidwelly but in doing so, claimed their first away win since being promoted to Division Two (West).

And The Mariners were good value for the victory, digging deep after trailing 17-12 in the early stages of the second half.

They led 12-10 half time after tries from two of their best performers in flanker Zac Davies and winger James Williams, while No 10 James Trueman added a conversion.

For Kidwelly, Matthew Davies grabbed a try while James Owens kicked a conversion and a penalty.

The Ambers then took the lead after the break as Ryan Jenkins crossed and Owens again added the extras.

But it was Milford who dominated the final quarter as No 8 Sam Dolling made frequent inroads with ball in hand and the returning Dai Sweeney made an impact up front off the bench, and they scored three more tries through centre Dan Jenkins, scrum half Dan McClelland, and replacement winger Lee Riley.

Trueman added one more conversion and Steve Martin, who was also outstanding in the final stages after switching from 15 to 10, also landed one as well as kicking a difficult penalty.

The win takes Milford eighth ahead of a tough run of fixtures, with their next three games against each of the current top three.

“It was a very good win and just we needed,” said head coach Nathan ‘Gully’ Williams.

“The boys were outstanding in patches. Still have things to work on but it’s another step forward.”

Milford Haven: Steve Martin, James Williams, Dan Jenkins, Dan Birch, Jimmy Thomas, James Trueman, Danny McClelland, Mike Cockburn, Dylan Evans, Adam Rees, Chris Hall, Jay Goodall, Dai Sweeney, Zac Davies, Sam Dolling. Replacements: Nathan Williams, Dean McSparron, Lee Riley, Ben Jenkins.


Photo: Dan McClelland - helped Milford to first away win with a good try


Great away win for Seasiders


Carmarthen Athletic 7 Tenby United 13

Yannic Parker - vital try for Tenby UnitedA try from Yannic Parker and eight vital points from the boot of Matty Morgan gave Tenby a great win against Carmarthen Athletic.

The Seasiders trailed early on but controlled matters for much of the afternoon, with head coach Jonathan Evans saying afterwards: “We did over 80 minutes what we have done in glimpses all season.”

This was despite conceding an early try when home No 10 Tom Gravell sniped over and centre Liam price converted, but the response was emphatic as Tenby flanker Andrew Cooke broke through and off-loaded to winger Parker to score.

Outside half Morgan, playing his first game back after an injury lay off, converted and then five minutes before half time added a penalty.

The visitors enjoyed a lot of territory after half time as returning prop Geoff Martin and young full back Joe Owen both stood out, as did scrum half Ben Pugh who was playing his last game before a period travelling in New Zealand.

All The Seasiders had for their dominance was a second Morgan penalty but it was enough for an important win.

“We are a young side who has had a lot of narrow defeats, but we have got a bit of belief now,” said Evans.

“We had to juggle the side today but no one let us down.”

Photo: Yannic Parker - vital try for Tenby United

Haverfordwest RFC

Photo: Haverfordwest RFC


Division Three (West) A:


Saints suffer as Blues run in 11 tries


Haverfordwest 69 St Davids 0

Haverfordwest warmed up for their crunch clash in Laugharne next week with 11 tries against St Davids in a win that took The Blues back up to second in the table.

They had to endure a frustrating first quarter where the away pack kept possession well while Steve Barnett’s side were guilty of trying to play too much in heavy conditions, but after The Saints failed to clear their lines home second row Rhydian Watkins got things going with a powerful run to the line.

Second row partner Karl Busch got the second score after a break from centre Craig Barnett and then left winger Steve Thomas finished well in the corner for the third.

The home side sealed the bonus point before the break via skipper Matty Phillips and then a powerful scrum shove led to No 9 Lee Summons also touching down.

His half back partner Mike Jones added three conversions to make it 31-0 half time.

Thomas opened the second half scoring as The Blues began to go wide at every opportunity and Barnett, second row Liam Brown, dynamic young centre Jack Evans, and Phillips again added more tries – with Barnett adding three conversions having taken over the kicking duties.

For The Saints player coach Gethin Bateman and No 8 Anthony ‘Ianto’ Davies, still going strong at 51, were outstanding as they fought to the final whistle but despite some close range lineouts the visitors failed to get a late consolation score.

The Blues had the final word when centre Evans rounded off a long range attack for his second try and Barnett converted to round off a 69-0 win.

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker, Callum John, Craig Barnett, Jack Evans,  Steve Thomas; Mike Jones, Lee Summons; Ben Llewellyn, Jamie Zambas, Tom Carrington: Karl Busch, Rhydian Watkins, Geraint Sargent, Matty Phillips (capt), Liam Brown. Replacements: Graham Jenkins, Paul Thomas, Jack Clancy, Gareth John, Archie Thomas.

St Davids: Luke Brooks, Paul Clayton, Lee Phillips, Rhys Meredith-Barrett, Fraser Watson, Owain Beynon, Stephen Smith, Will Davies, Mikey Matthews, Dan Murphy, Dan Jenkins, Alex Richmond, Gethin Bateman, Rhys Price, Gethin Bateman. Replacements: Jack Crimlis, Steve Griffiths, Ashley Shearer

St Davids RFC
Photo: St Davids RFC

Quins centre Josh Thomas on the crash

Photo: Quins centre Josh Thomas on the crash

Quins too strong for Wasps at Bierspool


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 43 Llangwm 0

Pembroke Dock Harlequins completed the double over Llangwm at Bierspool as they ran in seven tries without a response from a gritty Wasps’ side which never gave up the battle but failed to make use of a few chances from close range from a mixture of over-eagerness and taking of wrong options.

The Quins had Jack Price and Josh Thomas forming a powerful midfield pairing and there was no shortage of effort up front as they set the platform for tries by wingers Gareth Bradney and Aaron Treweeks, followed by a nice solo effort by outside half Kieran Machin which Ben Hathaway converted.

Luke Hayman attempted a long-range Llangwm penalty but the outside half was off target.

In the second period there were two tries by Jordan Asparassa and others from Josh Thomas and a first-ever try by hooker Nick Drewett, one converted by Hathaway and the other two both goaled by Tyler Castle, although there was a little collusion over who should be credited with them after outstanding skipper Jack Price had crossed the goal line on a couple of occasions before generously handing the ball over to others!

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Ben Hathaway: Gareth Bradney; Jack Price (Capt); Josh Thomas; Aaron Treweeks: Kieran Machin; Jake Griffiths: John Davies; Nick Drewett; Dai Moseley: Connor Kolmel; Martin Culley: Huw Baker; Harry Owen; Ollie Parsons. Replacements: Tyler Castle; Jordan Asparassa; Phil Hughes.

Llangwm: Dan Thomas: Dan Morgan; Yale Grice; Lewis Murphy; Jack Ridge: Luke Hayman; Ollie Davies: Gethin Thomas (Capt); Phil Llewelyn; Ieuan Power: Dai Reynolds; Jason Mock: James Lewis; Ryan Thomas; Ian Griffiths. Replacements: C Morgan; John O’Boyle; Steve Rees; Josh Lewis.

Quins and Wasps packs go head to head

PHOTO: Quins and Wasps' packs go head to head


Saints gain revenge in second low-scoring clash


St Clears 12 Aberaeron 6

Rhodri Evans - helped keep St CLears at the top of the tableFor the second time this season promotion contenders St Clears and Aberaeron fought out a low-scoring affair that was hard and uncompromising but showed the strength there now is in the top half of Division Three (West) A.

Aberaeron had won 12-7 at home against The Saints in September and there was every indication that this would follow the same trend before the home side gained revenge in similar fashion and scored the only two tries in doing so.

A measure of how tight the first half was came as Aberaeron led by 3-0 thanks to a Rhodri Jenkins penalty – and he added a second three-pointer in the second period after The Saints had snatched the lead with a try by No 8 Rhodri Evans, which No 10 Dan Griffiths goaled.

At 7-6 to The Saints it was obvious that the next score would be vital and it fell to the homesters when Dan Gosling crossed the whitewash and although it went unconverted it mattered little because their defence held firm to keep them in third place’ level with Haverfordwest but having played a game more, and with Lampeter four points ahead after playing the same number of matches.

Photo: Rhodri Evans - helped keep St CLears at the top of the table


All Blacks suffer in closing stages


Tregaron 24 Neyland 15

Henry McBeth - length of the field try  for NeylandWith nine minutes remaining Neyland were good value for a 15-12 lead but in a dramatic finale they felt unlucky to have two players yellow carded and just missed out on claims for two tries – and so had to make the long journey home with no points to show for such a lot of effort and their total commitment!

Dynamic scrum half Chris Morgan gave The All Blacks a good start after a strong forward surge allowed him to brush aside two tacklers to score an unconverted try – but Tregaron responded with a try by flanker Dai Thomas to level matters at half time.

Neyland also made a good start to the second period as speedy young winger Henry McBeth raced almost the length of the field for a try which skipper George Williams set up and Toby Hayman converted.

But again Tregaron fought back through Huw Bonner for a try he also converted.

The All Blacks pack, with old timers like Mark James and especially Chris Busby leading the way, ably assisted by Simon Phillips, Owain and Iestyn Evans, kept battling away and a Hayman penalty nudged them into a 15-12 lead with a penalty.

But then the wheels came off as decisions went against them and tries by tight head prop Geraint Richards and full back Ieuan Rees, one converted by Bonner saw Tregaron gain revenge since they had already lost 29-20 at The Athletic Ground.

Neyland: Rhys Bradney:  Henry McBeth; George Williams (capt); Jordan Allen-Wright; Sam Katakai: Toby Hayman; Chris Morgan: Gary Power; Craig Bennett; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Mark James; Chris Busby: Simon Phillips; Owain Evans; Iestyn Evans. Replacements: Steve Hamer; Ben Williams; James Smith; Ieuan Hadley; Sam Hadley;


Photo: Henry McBeth - length of the field try  for Neyland


Lampeter stay top with strong away performance


Llanybydder 13 Lampeter Town 23

Lampeter Town stayed top after a hard-fought victory at Llanybydder and in doing so completed the double after winning 16-15 in the previous match between the two teams.


WRU National Bowl – Last 16 Match


Laugharne take a Tumble in WRU Bowl


Tumble 48 Laugharne 23

Laugharne’s hopes of a place in the last eight of the National Bowl were ruined at Tumble as the powerful home pack helped set up a clear cut victory as the home side led 23-13 at half time and kept their foot on the pedal thereafter.

This match at Parc Mynydd Mawr was postponed at an earlier date because no referee turned up but Tumble grabbed six tries through Rhys Lewis, Mike Edwards, Steffan Price (2), Darren Williams and Steve Hewitt, who pouched a personal haul of 23 points as he also chipped in with three conversions and four penalties.

Laugharne’s points came from tries by Mark Tate, Richie Waters and Carl Smith and although The Laugharnees were understandably disappointed they can now focus on winning the league title as one of the favourites to take the silverware in Division Three (West) A.