Rugby Reports 9th February 2019

Good defence from the Otters

Good defence from the Otters

Championship Division:


Seven-try Otters show their class

Narberth 41 - Rhydyfelin 0

Narberth completed a deserved double over a robust Rhydyfelin side at The Lewis Lloyd Ground after earlier winning in the earlier fixture by 36-13 at the Hawthorn Leisure Centre Ground.

This win was all the more praiseworthy since The Otters were without several experienced players and had to resist the physical approach of opponents who had four yellow cards issued by diminutive referee Steffan Edwards (Abercrave), who had a good game as he also issued a yellow card to home flanker Tom Powell for a deliberate knock on.

It was Powell who opened the scoring in the first minute after Ianto Griffiths, Yannic Parker and Lewys Gibby initiated a move up the right flank and after Jake Jenkins was hauled down short up popped Powell in the right corner to grab an unconverted try.

Narberth chasing the loose ball at a lineout

Visitors hold the upper hand but fail to score

But Rhydyfelin showed they were up for a physical confrontation as they held the upper hand territorially for almost 30 minutes and should have scored a couple of close-range tries as Sam Studley, Lewis James and Scott Pritchard featured.

But there was great cover from Tom Kaijaks, skipper Alex Jenkins, Roy Osborn, Ritchie Rees and Dewi Williams and once they had broken the series of attacks Narberth returned to the attack as Bradley Davies, Rhodri Owens, Kieron Jones and Jack Price featured before Powell popped up again to crash over the line near enough for Griffiths to convert.

Jake Jenkins added try No 3 before the interval from further forward pressure which set the platform – and Rhydyfelin were beginning to show their willingness to mix it as referee Steff Edwards, who had a really good game with his quiet control, unfortunately missed use of the boot on the blind side of a ruck.

Gibby strikes from 30 metres out – and Price showed how to turn pressure into points

Talented young scrum half Lewys Gibby, who came in for some rough stuff that saw a yellow card issued, had his own back with a sniping run from 30 metres out that enabled Griffiths to add the simple extras – and Jack Price showed his ability to cut holes in defences as he sped clear with the aid of a sharp dummy before Griffiths found the target with the conversion

Gibby added a second as he was fed by Rees and broke a tackle to score and just before the final whistle Nick Gale came on as replacement (since he was running in the Llanelli Half Marathon the next day) to win the race for a kick and chase in the left corner.

Deserved win – and third spot as reward

Victory moved Narberth into third place, just a point behind Ystrad Rhondda but with a game in hand.

Small wonder that coach Sean Gale was pleased afterwards:

“I was delighted that we kept our shape and self-discipline because our opponents tried some tough tactics once it became clear we had the beating of them if we played rugby.

“We were able to give a run out to some players who have not featured regularly and they all played well and fitted in to our game patterns.”

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Jack Price; Kieran Jones; Jake Jenkins; Yannic Parker: Jonathan Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Bradley Davies; Rhodri Owens; Tom Kaijaks: Alex Jenkins (Capt); Roy Osborn: Dewi Williams; Tom Powell; Richie Rees. Replacements: Kyle Hamer; Dan Jacobs; Ryan Rees; Nick Gale; Will Lewis.

Rhydyfelin: Chris Tottle: Lewis Jones; Chad Davies; Luke Waygood; Gavin Close: Ross Lucas (Capt); Macauley Griffiths: Dale Green; Scott Pritchard; Chris Phillips: Marc Jones; Josh Hawkins: Sam Studley; Sam Studley; Lewis James. Replacements: Johnson Chandegire; Callum Jones; Kevin Briggs; Jack Healy.

Excellent tackling from the Otters

Narberth chasing the loose ball
Excellent tackling from the Otters


Division One West:


Bang on Borderers!

Gorseinon 20 - Whitland 44

Gino Setaro - two tries for the Whitland wingerIt was another impressive display from Whitland as they ran in seven tries to outclass hosts Gorseinon last night and complete the double since they had already won 27-20 at home.

Doubts had surfaced during the week about whether the game would go on, given the inclement weather forecast, but it turned out to be a dry evening for rugby and The Borderers took full advantage as their expansive play yielded a fourth straight league win.

But things didn’t start well though as flanker Declan Norman touched down for the home side and Jack Gronow converted.

But then The Borderers upped the ante and it was Gino Setaro, on his return to the starting XV, who went over out wide and cousin Nico converted.

And as the visitors continued to spread play wide it was then the turn of the other winger, Dan Evans, to get on the try sheet to put his side 12-7 up.

Gronow landed three points for Gorseinon but moments before the break Setaro got his second after the centre pairing of Josh Thomas and Liam Price had utilised an overlap out wide.

Borderers’ seven points clear at the break

Nico Setaro kicked three points early in the second half to make it 20-10 but The Gors kept themselves in it when a driving lineout resulted in a second try for Norman that went unconverted.

But again The Borderers were able to go up a gear and prop Jimmy Buirds, a candidate for man of the match on the night, took a crash ball to score from close range and although Nico Setaro couldn’t land the extras – the No 10 then rounded off a flowing attack by going under the posts. This time he did convert and at 32-15, the contest appeared over.

And so it proved as No 8 Jack Mason came off the bench to score from a Setaro pass, the latter again adding the two points, before flanker Ryan Morgan got try number seven for Whitland when he caught lineout ball and then strolled over unopposed with the home pack caught unawares.

Coach Bennett delighted by vital victory

Gorseinon did get a third try through second row Nicky Southgate, but it didn’t take the gloss off a terrific night for Whitland in a game that was superbly officiated by 22-year-old Andrew Moule.

“It was a great win,” said Whitland coach Gareth Bennett.

“The boys are now reaching the potential we know they are capable of. There were some great tries scored under the lights and the referee let the game flow. “But the best part was our discipline.”

Next Saturday Whitland, now up to fifth in the table, go to Aberystwyth.

Whitland: James Stephenson, Gino Setaro, Liam Price, Josh Thomas, Dan Evans, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones, Jimmy Buirds, Raf Williams, Courtney Bowman, James Thomas, Ryan Morgan, Scott Buirds. Replacements: Gethin Lewis, Michael Ryan, Ben Kirk, Jack Mason, Jonathan Thomas.

Gino Setaro - two tries for the Whitland winger

Division Three (West) A:

Mid Walians on top despite Wasps’ efforts

Aberaeron 55 - Llangwm 0

Aberaeron took another step up the table with a comprehensive win over a gritty Llangwm team which never gave up trying but after trailing 17-0 at half time conceded another six scores after the break.

It helped Aberaeron move into fourth place in the table but with plenty of games in hand over Haverfordwest and Neyland, the teams above them, but still a little way adrift of leaders Milford Haven.

Llangwm were able to make the long journey with three replacements and able to have contested scrums thanks to their experienced front row of Gavin Jones, skipper Gethin Thomas and Declan Cole – but with regular wingers Daniel Morgan and Spencer Rourke bravely battling along in the second row, which inevitably added a little pressure to the covering ability of Rhys Thomas and both James Lewis in the back row.

George Morgan, Matthew Lewis and Dan Ridge never gave up in the covering stakes whilst halves Ian Griffiths and Luke Hayman were always looking to utilise any ball they were given, regularly trying to call Joe Lewin and Lewis Murphy into play.

James Griffiths and Kieran Barclay came off the bench to help but a try brace apiece from  flanker Gethin Dafis and full back Ollie Sawyer, plus others by winger Dyfrig Dafis, No 8 Tudur Jenkins, full back Morgan Llewellyn and winger Rhodri Thomas, five of them converted by Rhydian Johns took Aberaeron to victory, with the home supporters’ loudest cheer reserved for Owen Wozencroft  as he came on at prop and scored from his very first touch!

Milford Haven P - P Llanybydder

*Match postponed – Llanybydder unable to raise a team to travel*

Muddy marvels Cardiff Harlequins and St Davids after the match

Muddy marvels Cardiff Harlequins and St Davids after the match

Friendly rugby:

Cardiff Harlequins 21 - St Davids 28

With no league game scheduled, St Davids travelled to Cardiff for their annual friendly with a Cardiff Harlequins XV and came away with a much-needed win.

It what turned into a real dogfight, the visitors held on in a tense finale after the two sides had produced seven tries, despite a deteriorating surface.

The Saints took the lead when prop Dan Murphy forced his way over from close range and outside half Matty McLeod converted, only for the Harlequins to hit back immediately as winger Paul Maksimovic went over from a blind side move off a scrum. No 10 Keiron Dymond added the extras from the touchline.

And the home side led when Maksimovic struck again, this time with an arcing 40 metre run to the posts and Dymond landed the simple extras.

Saints snatch lead back in first-half final moments

But in the final moments of the half the Saints turned the tide again as first winger Emyr Wile came into the line and side stepped his way over and then No 8 Andrew Groves, one of the stand out performers, burst through in midfield and evaded the cover defence with on a 30 metres run.

McLeod converted both as St Davids led 21-14 at the break.

That became 28-14 after half time as Murphy again powered over from five metres for his second score, McLeod again doing the honours.

Visitors hold on in ‘nervy’ finale

But with 20 minutes to go and the away side out of replacements and beginning to tire, the Harlequins set up a nervy finish as prop Dave Downs managed to ground the ball at the bottom of the post and Dymond converted.

And there was heavy late pressure with St Davids hooker and man of the match Rhys Price winning a crucial turnover on his own line in the dying seconds, helping secure a morale- boosting win for the Division Three (West) A team and their acting coach Fraser Watson, who took on the role in the unavoidable absence of regular encumbent Anthony ‘Ianto’ Davies.

St Davids: Luke Brooks, Emyr Wile, Gabe York, Dylan Davies, James Atherton, Matty McLeod, Harvey Godkin, Will Davies, Rhys O Price, Dan Murphy, Rhys ‘Loshin’ Price (capt), Chris Jenkins, Adam ‘Cwmboi’ Williams, Tommy Reynolds, Andrew Groves. Replacements: George Raymond, Adam Williams.