Scarlet stalwart Morgan passes and Watson's Words

Eddie, Ivor and Morgan Lewis

We pay our tribute here to a great Pembroke RFC stalwart in Morgan Lewis, who sadly passed away this week and in his latest column, Fraser Watson looks at the career of Dominic Day, the KO Cup, Laugharne on the road, and nonsense at Pill Parks.....

Morgan Lewis sadly passed away this week and he will be sorely missed at Crickmarren as a great servant on and off the pitch.

He was the youngest of three brothers who represented The Scarlets into their forties with his late brother Ivor as a try-scoring winger and Eddie as a strong-running outside half, centre or winger who represented Wales in a Junior Union international where they beat Belgium.

All three represented Pembrokeshire in inter-county competitions and the Lewis trio also captained Pembroke at some time.

Morgan also played until he was well past 40 and then served the club as secretary for five years, had three stints as a chairman which totalled ten years and sat on the committee for a long time.

Popularly known as ‘Morgie’ he was a tough cookie as a hooker who never gave an inch on the pitch but no-one enjoyed a post-match pint or two than he did with his opposite number afterwards.

Not content with that, he was a regular with Pembrokeshire and was a member of the county team which won the Welsh Counties Cup against Monmouthshire at Neyland in 1971. In all he played almost 40 times for Pembrokeshire and loved every minute of it.

He was later a selector when Pembrokeshire beat Japan and was chairman of the County when they entertained the American Eagles.

On a personal note I always found him to be very approachable after matches, where he was happy to share his great knowledge of the game, and visits to Crickmarren won’t be quite the same because he was another genuine character we could ill-afford to lose.

Rest in peace Morgie.

Dominic DayCalling it a Day:

His career stats boast 92 games for the Scarlets, 110 for Bath, trophies at Saracens, and stints in both Australia and Japan. Oh yeah, plus three Welsh caps and a Rugby World Cup appearance.

And yet when Pembroke RFC product Dominic Day announced his rugby retirement last week, it was in-keeping with much of his professional career. Understated.

Followers of Premiership rugby in England will testify to Day’s consistency at the top levels of British and European club rugby. But despite the often erratic nature of the Welsh lineout this past decade, such reliability seemingly wasn’t enough for Mr Gatland.

Prior to his sudden selection for the 2015 Webb Ellis tournament, Day had been overlooked by Wales for much of his prime. And was then overlooked thereafter.

Whatever the reasoning, it was our loss as much as his.

He was also ever-ready to speak to James Southon and I on ‘The Friday Night Sports Show’, never refusing to answer anything and able to show his modesty and terrific sense of humour.

Above all Dominic Day was always a fantastic ambassador for Pembrokeshire and Wales.

We’ll miss you big feller!

Knock yourselves out:

In November 2013, I was part of a Whitland squad that drew lower league Tenby in the Pembrokeshire KO Cup. We made multiple changes, were complacent, and deservedly lost.

In November 2019, Whitland drew lower league Tenby in the KO Cup. They made multiple changes, were probably complacent, and deservedly lost.

Now before I go any further, let’s not discredit The Seasiders. They too were missing players but stood up to be counted and won at a venue where they conceded 67 points last April. That’s some turnaround.

But it was a strange approach by The Borderers. The KO Cup has its detractors but for many teams, it represents their best chance of silverware and the final is always a memorable night for the victors. Whitland themselves know that only too well from last season.

Incidentally, back in 2013 it was Tenby who went on to lift the trophy after further wins over Crymych and then Aberystwyth. They’ll hope history continues to repeat itself.

Laugharne coach Gary PriceCracking the Bowl:

From one cup story to another, full credit to Laugharne for going all out in their midweek jaunt to Abertillery in the last round of the Bowl.

That is another competition where it bewilders me as to why more of the stronger sides don’t take it seriously. The end reward is a game at the Principality Stadium and win or lose, those involved will never forget it.

The Cocklemen turned up all guns blazing to beat Whitehead and won away in Wrexham before that. This Saturday they are again on the road with a tie in Tumble, with the winners going into the last 16.

Too many capable teams see the Bowl has a hindrance and would sooner give walkovers and whinge about the WRU then head up the motorway on a freezing November night. Of course, giving it 100% doesn’t guarantee you’ll reach the hallowed turf, but it will at least give you a chance.

Ask Fishguard, Pembroke, or any other previous Bowl finalists if they think the sacrifices are worth it.



Wide open down west:

When Division Three West A was first formed, it inevitably all began a bit imbalanced. As a result, the title race has rarely delved beyond a two horse one.

This season however, it looks more like a WWE style Battle Royal.

Two points separates first and sixth, and every side has lost at least once. Leaders Lampeter have actually lost twice – while St Clears, Pembroke Dock, Laugharne, Haverfordwest and Aberaeron are all a win away from overtaking them.

It is all far healthier than a couple of teams knowing that 75% of their fixtures are won by kick off. This season, to win promotion it’s going to take consistency, frequent tough tests, and no shortage of mettle.

And that’s how it should be for any side with ambitions to be champions.

Pill Parks plagued by prats:

Were this not down in writing, I would be using a different word to prats. Maybe it's just one prat.

We all like to insinuate that sporting clubs are penalised by being based in Pembrokeshire. Less funds, lack of facilities, unfit surfaces and all the rest of it.

And then you hear that the Llangwm RFC pitch has been deliberately wrecked by some dimwit driver and you wonder if maybe we’re our own worst enemies.

Like any other local surface Pill Parks isn’t perfect. But not only does it give the club a chance to train and play rugby games, it takes on an integral community role for those who come down to watch a match on any given Saturday.

Whoever took the time to try and ruin it will hopefully be identified and punished. But while we may not live in this kind of age nowadays, I’d sooner see said culprit pinned to the ground on the halfway line before the Llangwm pack duly started rucking practice.

That really would be a joy ride.