Wednesday, 27 November 2013

BUCS Women's Rugby: Swansea Uni 0-20 Cardiff Met 2nds

Cardiff Met 2nds secured safe passage through to the second round of the BUCS Trophy with a comfortable 20-0 victory over Welsh rivals Swansea at Sketty Lane.

Cardiff Met’s Amberley Ruck was the star of the show as the scrum-half bagged four well-taken tries in an inspirational performance.

Swansea were unable to string more than a few phases together all match and spent the majority of the game on the back foot, as the visitors controlled the territory and possession.

The match started in a scrappy fashion with handling errors preventing either side from building any momentum.

However, the capital side looked the more threatening, and their first incisive attack saw full-back Chelsea Chamberlain cutting the line to good effect, making 20 yards into the opposition 22 before being scragged by her opposite number, Megan Griffiths.

Met recycled the ball well, with Swansea forced to repel several surges, but their resolve was broken when Ruck spotted a gap at the breakdown to dart over for her first of the afternoon.

The hosts were restricted to lone attacks by fly-half Peita McAllister and centre Robyn Lock, who individually made good headway, but each time lacked the support necessary to keep the move alive.

The capital side ended the first half very much on the front foot, but Swansea managed to hold out any further breaches before the break, with flanker Emily Roberts and back row Chante Lee instrumental in keeping the visitors at bay.

The second half carried on where the first left off with Met once again on top, and they didn’t have to wait long before they were celebrating their second try.

A solid five metre scrum provided the platform with Ruck showing great pace to get on the outside of the Green and Whites’ defence and cross.

It was all Met now, with centre Marie Griffiths and winger Cath Salter both making ground.

However, the third try once again showcased the individual ability of Ruck, as she spied space behind the Swansea line and chipped over the static host defence to re-gather neatly and claim her hat-trick.

Swansea attempted to get something out of the match with Lock and McAllister continuing to provide the attacking threat, but a mistake in midfield saw Met’s Griffiths seize the ball in her own 22 and set out on a length-of-the-field run. The centre was caught agonisingly short of the line by Lock, but Ruck was on hand to collect a neat offload and complete her tally.

The Green and Whites finished the stronger side but they were unable to claim a consolation score.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Division One East Round Up - 23rd November

Merthyr were in sensational form at home to Glamorgan Wanderers yesterday afternoon running in nine tries from all over the pitch to win 59-6.

Coach Lee Jarvis had a run out for the Ironmen and had a great game at outside half pulling the strings in the backline and putting his centres and wingers through gaps with ease.

Iwan Williams and Chris Davies both scored twice for Merthyr along with scrum half Martin Luckwell, Owain Morgan, Matthew Trowbridge, Cameron Gardener and replacement Ollie Smyth as they extended their lead at the top of Division One East.

Heol-Y-Cyw kept up the pressure on leaders Merthyr and were also impressive against a lacklustre Rumney side eventually prevailing 35-18.

The Cockerels scored five tries thanks to a double from Chris Howe, Matthew Pound and Paul Songhurst going over as well as a try, two penalties and two conversions from fly-half Mike Huckridge.

Rumney’s tries came from Loren Quick as well as two penalties and a conversion from outside-half Danny Clark.

Ystrad Rhondda also maintained their pursuit on top spot with a hard fought Rhondda derby win over Treorchy by 27-17.

Winger Gerwyn Davies scored both tries for Ystrad with outside-half Rhys Truelove having a decent day from the tee landing five penalties and a conversion.

Full-back Gary Wilkes scored all of his side’s points for Penallta in their tight 13-3 victory over Rhydyfelin at Ystrad Fawr.

His try conversion and two penalties was enough to see off last season’s Swalec Plate runners-up.

Two James Spears tries and a Kurt Clabby effort was enough for Nelson to see of Gilfach Goch 19-7 at The Parc.

The Unicorns were good value for their win and probably should have scored a few more tries but blew a number of solid opportunities.

Bottom side Bedlinog were unlucky in their attempts at fighting off relegation as they valiantly went down 21-14 away at Ynysybwl.

Division One West Round Up - 23rd November

Glynneath won the battle at the top of Division One West against Waunarlwydd triumphing 30-25 and extending their lead over their rivals in the process.

Despite former Tata Steel coach Rob Hill in charge of the Black and Whites for the first time, they could not end Glynneath’s unbeaten record in One West despite leading 20-3 at half time

Jordan Griffiths, Kier Burrows and James Parry all scored for the table toppers in a superb second half comeback.

Jack O’Riley once again boosted his growing profile by finishing with an individual tally of 15-points thanks to three penalties and three conversions.

Bottom side Ammanford lost for the eighth time this season, this time at the hands of Loughor by 34-17.

Loughor scored five tries in an entertaining fixture with Ryan Hopkins, Dan George, Morgan Bryant, Rhys Corcoran and skipper Jonathan Phillips all touching down.

Cwmllynfell were clinical in their six try defeat of Kenfig Hill by 34-21.

Alex Wilkins, Trystan Lewis, Nathan Ace, Dan Jones and a brace from Scott Gibson helped the Blues move into third place in the table behind Glynneath and Waunarlwydd.

Llangennech recorded only their third win of the season and in some fashion by hammering Crymych 42-14 at the Park Rugby Ground.

A penalty try added to efforts from Rhys Davies, Jon Roberts and a double from Tom Barnes helped them to a comfortable victory.

In the remaining fixtures, Whitland saw off Builth Wells 30-26 and Kidwelly beat Carmarthen Athletic 39-13.

Swalec Championship Round Up - 23rd November

Leaders Ebbw Vale picked up yet another bonus-point victory in their 43-3 hammering of Beddau at Mount Pleasant Park and extended their lead at the top of the Swalec Championship in the process.

The Steelmen scored seven tries in another comfortable afternoon with powerful No.8 Spencer Gibson, Jordan Howells and influential skipper Damien Hudd all scoring twice along with David James.

Jason Strange’s men remain unbeaten in the league and remain on course for their long awaited Premiership promotion in a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

Second placed Narberth had four penalties from Ianto Griffiths to thank for their close 12-10 victory away at Tata Steel.

The Saints scored the solitary try of the game with Corey Armstrong crossing and had a chance to claim the spoils with Simon Evans having a penalty with the last kick of the game but he saw his effort sail just wide of the posts to leave the Otters as the victors.

Bridgend Athletic won consecutive games for the first time this season after overcoming RGC 1404 21-13 at home.

Rhys Ward-Jones and Michael Powell scored the Athletic’s only tries whilst Steven Lewis kicked 11-points including a spectacular drop goal to lift them into 8th position.

Bonymaen secured a vital surprise away win at Llanharan coming out on top 22-13.

Joe Millen was the visitor’s hero as he scores in the 79th minute to give his side only their second win of the season.

John Hindman and Rhys Leonard also scored for Bonymaen while Llanharan’s tries came from Morgan Williams, Will Singer and Jonathan Lewis.

Their win came in vein though as Blackwood who are directly above them also ground out a much needed win away at Tondu by 17-13.

A penalty try and scores from Matthew McGovern and Owain Williams was enough for Blackwood in response a single Matthew Phillips try and eight points from Matt Murphy for the Waterwheelers.

Newbridge also claimed something of a surprise win beating Cardiff Met by the narrowest of margins 10-9.

Steffan Moore scored the only try of the game while Kieron Meek added the extras from the boot.

Bargoed continued their recent run of victories with a bonus point 25-13 win at Pontypool as Luke Smalley, James Pizey and Geraint Edmonds all went over.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Swalec Championship Weekend Predictions

With Wales half way through their Autumn internationals and preparing to take on Tonga in what is undoubtedly going to be a bruising encounter this evening, the Swalec Championship gets underway once again with a full fixture list tomorrow.

Cardiff Met take part in their first fixture in five weeks when they travel to Newbridge and will hope to catch up with some of the teams above them in the table.

Meanwhile, Duane Goodfield has replaced the departed Geraint Lewis as Ebbw Vale’s new forwards coach so an interesting prospect is at hand when his former side host his new one this weekend.

Beddau v Ebbw Vale

Despite Duane Goodfield’s departure to Eugene Cross Park, it is understood that as a mark of respect to his previous club he will not be part of Ebbw Vale’s coaching staff in the day of the game. With or without his help in the short period, Ebbw Vale will more than likely still have more than enough to claim another victory and probably another winning bonus-point against the Green and Golds. Beddau were extremely unlucky last time out against RGC 1404, conceding a late try to go down 10-9 so will be full of confidence but the Steelmen will just be too strong.

Verdict – Ebbw Vale by 24 points.

Bridgend Athletic v RGC 1404

The home side will take plenty of positives from a much needed win in their previous fixture when they comprehensively beat hapless Bonymaen 24-0. With other teams around them losing last time out, Athletic will feel a bit more relaxed that they have pulled a bit further away from the dreaded drop zone. RGC 1404 were close to adding another home defeat to their record in their opening season in the Swalec Championship before some late heroics earned them the spoils over Beddau. As the Parc Eirias outfit travel better, I think their terrific start will continue with another win.

Verdict – RGC 1404 by 9 points.

Llanharan v Bonymaen

Llanharan were given a pasting by Bargoed when they last ran out to compete on November 2nd and will more than likely have been disappointed in the long wait before they could make things right. Bonymaen have continued to struggle and were poor in their 24-0 home defeat by Bridgend Athletic a few weeks ago. This is probably a game the Dairymen will be pleased to have after their last performance so will be chomping at the bit to make things right.

Verdict – Llanharan by 28 points.

Newbridge v Cardiff Met

October 19th, five weeks ago exactly was the last time Cardiff Met took to the field for a Swalec Championship encounter. That 22-6 win against Blackwood will seem like an eternity to Chris Davey and his troops so will be looking forward to getting back out onto the paddock. Newbridge lost by the most slender of margins away at Narberth last time so will again be encouraged that they can compete with the teams higher up in the league. With the weather having been fairly decent and unlikely to be a mud bath at The Welfare Ground, I think it will suit Cardiff Met more than their hosts and they will come out on top.

Verdict – Cardiff Met by 8 points.

Pontypool v Bargoed

This has the potential to be the game of the weekend. Bargoed’s superb 32-13 trouncing of Llanharan took a few by surprise but it is unlikely to have shocked their own coaches and players who knew that once their shocking injury crisis had calmed down they would start marching right back up the table. Pontypool were successful against Blackwood last time out and have been vastly improved during this campaign. But with Bargoed starting to click I think they will have too much for their hosts at Pooler Park tomorrow.

Verdict – Bargoed by 5 points.

Tata Steel v Narberth

The Saints would have imagined they would have been higher than their current mid table position suggests at this time in the season as they possess a monster pack with some real skill out wide. But their pack has been found out at times during many of their games thus far and when up against the likes of RGC 1404 and Ebbw Vale, they have come off second best. The recent break may have helped Tata Steel as they have had time to regroup and readjust as to what can make them successful in this division. Narberth currently sit in second place behind the runaways leaders Ebbw Vale and will hope that at the end of this game they will stretch their unbeaten run to seven games which I think they will, just.

Verdict – Narberth by 3 points.

Tondu v Blackwood

Blackwood sit one place above bottom side Bonymaen with Tondu one place above them so this game is absolutely crucial in avoiding a relegation dogfight. Blackwood have made some changes to their coaching set up so will be hoping for a fresh start with a win against Tondu. Even though the Waterwheelers have only won two matches so far this season, they have earned many plaudits for their attitude when losing and have been closer in some games than the score line has suggested. This is a very tough one to call but after all things considered, I think Blackwood will nick it.

Verdict – Blackwood by 2 points.

Principality Premiership Weekend Predictions

With all the off the field antics and political manoeuvrings going on in the International and European rugby sphere dominating the national headlines, the distraction of a full program of Welsh Premiership rugby is a welcome return for the grassroots scene in Wales.
The clash of the day sees defending champions and current second placed Pontypridd entertaining Llanelli, while the Swansea v Bedwas clash at St Helens may have long term ramifications for either one of these sides if they do not start notching up wins.
Cardiff v Aberavon (1.30 ko)
The Blue and Blacks have really had an excellent start to the season and currently sit fourth, having won five of their seven matches so far. Martyn Fowler’s troops ran out easy winners when the sides met at the Talbot Athletic Ground earlier in the season and will start as clear favourites tomorrow.
The Wizards have had a change at the helm with Jason Hyatt taking over the reins, and the Port Talbot side will be aiming to build on their win over Ospreylian rivals Bridgend last week.
I can’t really see anything other than a home win here but I think Aberavon may just come away with a bonus point for their efforts.
Verdict-Cardiff by 7 points
Bridgend v Llandovery
Alarm bells must surely be ringing in the Ravens camp having played a couple of extra games than the sides immediately around them, and, if they don’t start winning soon, the odds of them avoiding the drop will not be in their favour.
In the reverse fixture, the Drovers were far too strong at Church Bank and I think they should claim the double over Ben Rose’s outfit tomorrow; however, I do not expect it will be as one-sided as their clash earlier in the year.
Verdict-Llandovery by 14 points
Cross Keys v Neath
The Keys have only lost once at home this season and that was against Pontypridd. A good win here could propel them up the table with a game in hand on the teams sitting above them.
Winless Neath have had a less than stellar season so far unaided by problems on and off the field, and I can’t see it getting any better for them tomorrow.
In my opinion, the Pandy Park side will be too strong up front for their visitors and I predict a straightforward win for the hosts.
Verdict-Cross Keys by 10 points 
Newport v Carmarthen Quins
An interesting statistic as a backdrop to tomorrow’s match is the fact that the Black and Ambers have never lost to Carmarthen at Rodney Parade.
In my opinion, however, Newport will need more than history on their side tomorrow if they are to derail Carmarthen’s imperious start, and I think Steff Thomas’ troops should claim their eighth win of the season.
Verdict-Carmarthen Quins by 12 points
Pontypridd v Llanelli
Pontypridd have failed to reach the fluent heights of last season yet, but, ominously for the rest of the pack, they are level on points on the summit and have yet to lose. However, they haven’t been starting matches well this season and have needed a number of late shows to save the day. Without one main Head Coach overseeing proceedings at Sardis Road, it will be interesting to see how their season progresses; they clearly have an extremely strong squad, but have yet to gel, and Dale McIntosh’s departure may still leave a lingering effect on the Valley Commandos.
Llanelli have had a reasonable start, currently sitting just off the pace, but if Ponty make another stuttering start tomorrow could an upset be on the cards?
I think Ponty should come through tomorrow’s test but the defending champions are by no means as convincing as they were last season.
Verdict-Pontypridd by 7 points
Swansea v Bedwas
Despite so much of the season still left to play, it is not too early to look at matches and see the larger ramifications of a loss. Both these sides will be desperate to notch up a win and help ease their very real relegation worries. Swansea, who ended last season bottom, have undoubtedly improved from last term but have only claimed one win so far, and that was against current basement boys Neath.
Bedwas on the other hand were always going to struggle to replicate the form that nearly took them to the play-offs last season. Having said that, I think, come April, the Bridge Field outfit will be out of harm’s way and Steve Law will be targeting tomorrow’s encounter as a chance to make headway up the league, with teams around them all playing sides above them in the table.

Verdict-Bedwas by 5 points

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

BUCS Rugby: Swansea Uni Women 10-21 Bath Uni Women

Bath produced some gritty defence to dispatch Swansea and complete the double over their BUCS Western 1A rivals at a windswept Sketty Lane.

The visitors had no real right to win the match having been starved for possession and territory for the majority of the game, but clinical play in the opposition 22 ensured they won the battle on the scoreboard.

Two late tries Bath claimed in the first half was ultimately the difference between the two sides, with the hosts never recovering from the blow.

Bath’s fly-half Harriet Waller was the standout player for the English university side, notching up 11 of her side’s points through a try and six points from the tee.

In the first minute, a huge hit by Swansea back row Chante Lee set the tone for this brutal encounter that was dominated by the forwards, as conditions were unconducive for an expansive game.

Swansea started brightly but failed to make any of their attacking endeavours pay, with prop Amy Boyd gaining good yardage around the fringes, while scrum-half Rhian Perry injected much-needed impetus into Swansea’s attack.

And Perry nearly provided a crucial breakthrough for the hosts when, on the half hour mark, a quick tap penalty saw her evade multiple defenders, only for a great tackle from Bath full-back Chloe Dunbreck to deny her the whitewash.

For all of the Green and Whites’ domination they could not find the killer pass, while the opposition back line showed flashes of danger, with Dunbreck and centre Aly Stroud gaining ground with ball in hand.

With Swansea not making the most of their chances, the first opportunity Bath created they converted.

A Swansea lineout in their own 22 was lost with Llinos Honeybun sweeping the ball wide and, after several phases of play, Dunbreck showed great pace to get on the outside of the defence and dab down. Waller added the extras.

With halftime nearing, an aimless hack through from Bath caused chaos in the Swansea defence; Swansea full-back Meg Griffiths managed to gather the ball but the hosts had insufficient numbers at the breakdown, and Bath bagged a turnover that saw Honeybun race away to cross the whitewash. Waller slotted over the conversion for a halftime 14-0 lead.

The start of the second half saw Swansea determined to reduce their arrears, playing at a higher tempo that eventually paid dividends when Perry burrowed over after a quick tap penalty.

However, failure to regain the restart gifted Bath good field position and the English visitors took full advantage.

Waller received the ball in the opposition 22 and the Swansea defence was caught in two minds: centre Katie Jones rushed up while her team mates remained static, and, when Waller stepped the onrushing Jones, she proceeded through the large gap and crossed unopposed.

Flanker Emily Roberts and prop Boyd led by example as they refused to let their side’s heads drop.
Perry, having been at the heart of every Swansea attack, was once again involved in a second score. The scrum-half made headway with a quick tap penalty, with the ball eventually popping up for Jones to touchdown.

The final quarter of the match was a one-sided affair with Swansea very much on the front foot, but, Bath’s defence showed great grit and determination to hold their hosts out.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Allen Signs New Deal at Blues

Cardiff Blues are delighted to announce that rising star Cory Allen has pledged his future to the region after this week signing a new long-term deal.
Allen has put pen to paper on a three-year contract that will extend his stay at the Arms Park until at least 2017.

The 20-year-old is rated as one of the most exciting young talents in Welsh rugby and will make his full debut for Wales against Argentina this Saturday at the Millennium Stadium.
The Cardiff-born centre made his Blues debut against Newcastle Falcons in the LV=Cup in October 2011 at the age of eighteen.

Allen, who has represented Wales at Under-18s, Under-20s and Sevens, has since made a total of ten appearances for Blues. He scored his first try for the region this season away at Leinster.

Allen said: "I'm a Cardiff boy and love playing my rugby here so I'm pleased to be able to sign a new three-year deal and commit my future to the Blues.

"I've enjoyed being part of the first team set- up this season and trying to take every opportunity that I have been given.

"This season has got better and better for me. From getting my first start against Edinburgh to beating Toulon and now my involvement with Wales. It's been surreal how quickly everything has happened but you have to take your chances when they come.

"I'm still very young and know I have a lot to learn. But Phil (Davies) and the coaching team at Blues have backed me and I know this is the best environment for me to get better and keep improving my game.

"I genuinely feel it is an exciting time to be involved with Blues. Our backline is very young and I have grown up with many of the lads. The longer we play together the better we will get and we all want to be competing for silverware in the future.”

Allen will make his full Wales debut on Saturday against Argentina and admitted he was relishing his chance to play on the biggest stage.

"I can't wait,” he said. "It's every young boys dream to pull on the red jersey and play at the Millennium Stadium. All I can picture is singing the anthem and what it will mean and feel like.

"I was there last week for the South Africa game and I was pretty nervous then just watching. But it's all about taking opportunities and I want to take mine.

"It's been great to be part of the Wales set-up these last few weeks and I know all my team-mates will be supporting and backing me come kick-off against Argentina. It will be a special day.”

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Coleg Gwent 28-38 Coleg Y Cymoedd

Coleg-Y-Cymoedd continued their unbeaten streak in the WRU Wednesday League but were given arguably their toughest test so far in a bruising encounter with Coleg Gwent.

Both sides worked tirelessly throughout with some monstrous hits being made and some scintillating running rugby on show that was well beyond their years highlighting the quality of the WRU Wednesday Under 18 League.

The hosts were clearly fired up for the game and started the better showing real intensity around in all aspects of play.

They took the lead early on after a number of well worked forward drives put them well into the Coleg-Y-Cymoedd 22.

The ball was eventually passed to fly-half Scott Turner who drew two defenders before offloading to the excellent tight-head Keagan Bale who ran in under the posts unopposed with Turner converting to give his side a 7-0 lead.

But it seemed as though it was a case of when not if Coleg-Y-Cymoedd would get themselves on the scoreboard and sure enough their first try came in the 17th minute when a quick tap penalty was taken by scrum-half Carl Lewis who found No.9 Hemi Barnes to burrow over the try line from close range to make the score 7-5.

Coleg-Y-Cymoedd then began to dominate proceedings with fly-half Jared Evans, who recently made his Pontypridd debut against Bridgend, showing his class and putting his strong centres into gaps with ease.

They took the lead shortly after when a huge driving maul was stopped by the Coleg Gwent pack just before the line but scrum-half Lewis burrowed through to give his side the lead.

Another dominating maul from another line-out was turned into a try for Coleg-Y-Cymoedd when tenacious tight-head Kieron Assaratti was on hand to fall on the ball after the pack had made it over the line.

The visitors were just too sharp for Coleg Gwent at this point as their superior skill level gave them the advantage.

But Gwent got themselves right back into the match after a break from second-row Gareth Allan and an absolutely sublime looping long range pass of his left hand that any international outside-half would have been proud of to centre Chad Ward who scored his side’s second try which Turner converted to leave Coleg Gwent 14-19 down at the end of a breathless first half.

Coleg-Y-Cymoedd tried to extinguish any hopes of a Gwent come back early in the second period after the class fly-half Evans chipped through and dived onto his own kick to score his side’s fourth try and ensure the bonus point.

With their opponents leading 24-14, Coleg Gwent once again showed tremendous character to claw their way back into the match when their imposing No.8 and Captain Harrison Keddie barged over from close range after some patient build-up work.

Turner converted his third kick of the afternoon to leave his team trailing by three points at 21-24.

The game continued to be played at a breakneck speed with some ferocious tackling by both teams, Gwent prop Bale continuing a fine afternoon with one huge hit in particular.

But two tries in five minutes from Harri Millard and Tyler Morgan ended the game as a contest as Coleg-Y-Cymoedd now led 38-21 going into the final 10 minutes.

But Coleg Gwent continued to apply pressure on their opponents and ensured they would go home with a bonus-point when strong-running winger Lloyd Lewis showed great determination to dive over after being tackled but not held close to the line.

The score remained at 38-28 to Coleg-Y-Cymoedd but credit must go to both teams after a hugely entertaining fixture that was a marvellous advert for College rugby.

Keagan Bale, Harrison Keddie and Gareth Allen all worked vigorously for the home side whilst Coleg-Y-Cymoedd’s Jarod Evans could have a very bright future if he continued this great form as could Kieron Assaratti and Hemi Barnes.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Welsh Cup Second Round Northern Section Round Up

In the Northern Section of the Welsh Cup Second Round, Conwy Borough produced a fantastic second half performance at home to knock out Flint Town 3-2.

Chris Herbert’s side went in at the break trailing 2-0 but a Mike Jukes header and a double from Ellis Healing ensured a remarkable turnaround.

The hosts also had defender Teddy Whelan sent off for two yellow cards but still managed to pull through.

Bodedern Athletic were the big winners in the North as they slammed Tywyn Bryncrug 5-1 at home

Goals from Ryan Taylor, Chris Evans, James Burgess, Iwan Jones and an own goal from a Tywyn Bryncrug defender gave Boded a ticket to round three in a comfortable afternoon’s work.

Rhydymwyn also ran out easy winners as they disposed of a lacklustre FC Nomads side 4-1.

Conor Kendrick, Gary McConell, Chris Guy and Richard Griffiths all scored for the home side whilst Mark Ellis got a consolation goal for the Nomads.

Holywell Town are into the third round after a 3-0 home defeat of Penycae in awful conditions at Halkyn Road.

Sam Jones and Graham Boylan both struck for Holywell as well as a Penycae own goal from Tim Manuel.

Llanidloes Town knocked out Llandudno 2-0 thanks to goals from Tom Evans and a penalty from striker Will Thomas.

Chris Gethin bagged a brace for Llanfair United to beat Guilsfield 2-1 and Nick Wood, Scott Quigley and Steve Blenkinsop all scored for Cefn Druids in their 3-1 defeat Barmouth & Dyffryn United.

In the remaining ties, Buckley Town beat Rhayader Town 1-0, Caernarvon Town lost 2-1 to Portnmadog Town and Caersws beat Nefyn United 3-1.


Sully Sports produced the shock of the day in the Welsh Cup as they ran out deserved 1-0 winners over Welsh League Division One side Ton Pentre.

The South Wales Senior League Division Two outfit were superb throughout as they never let their opponents settle at any time during the game.

Striker Daniel Lawlor struck just before the hour mark to give his side the shock win and send them through to the next round.

The Bulldogs will be the first to admit that it was not their day and performed nowhere near the level they are capable of as they were beaten by the better side.

Monmouth Town steamrolled their way into the third round with a 7-1 thrashing of Treharris Athletic Western.

Striker Elliot Ford tormented the Treharris all afternoon with his pace, movement and directness and was rewarded for his troubles by helping himself to a sublime hat-trick.

Elliot Evans scored twice for The Kingfishers as well as a Rob Laurie strike and a Matty Selleck own goal.

Jason Bertorelli and Kieran Lewis both scored for Cambrian and Clydach to knock Pontardawe Town packing.

A brace from Gareth Jones was not enough for Briton Ferry Llansawel as they were knocked out by Aberdare Town losing 3-2.

In the remaining game of the Southern Section, Jason Thorne scored in the 89th minute for Chepstow Town to break Goytre United’s hearts and end the match 1-0.

The remaining four fixtures were postponed due to the weather.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Swansea land first blow on road to Varsity

Swansea University clinched their maiden win in the BUCS Premier South A with a 28-0, clinical victory over Welsh Varsity rivals Cardiff at a wet and windy Sketty Lane.

The hosts went into the match on the back of four defeats, including a heavy home loss two weeks earlier to league leaders Hartpury, but completely overpowered their visitors with a one sided second half showing.
The Green and Whites' defence was what ultimately won them the match- their tackling was ferocious and their line speed in the blitz defence left the Cardiff backs with nowhere to turn.
Excellent physicality by the Swansea forwards at the breakdown saw the Red and Blacks muscled out of proceedings, with the back row unit of Ollie Young, Jack Perkins and Adam Scanlon a constant thorn in the visitors' side.
After a difficult start to the season, Head Coach Richard Lancaster was delighted with his side’s first win of the campaign.
“We really billed this as a must win game. After the loss to Hartpury, we really targeted our defence and that was a huge positive for us today. We won the match in the first half - they really hammered our line but our defence stood firm, and that set us up for the win."
Cardiff were playing with the strong wind at their backs in the opening half but were unable to utilise it to their advantage, and although they huffed and puffed in attack, were unable to break down the solid host defence and trailed 5-0 at the interval.
Like all matches between the two teams, the opening exchanges were of a ferocious offering but, coupled with the atrocious weather conditions, the match failed to ignite.
Martyn Fowler’s side had most of the early territory and possession and had the first chance at points, with fly-half Dan Brownlee hitting the upright with one penalty before dragging another wide.
Swansea gradually grew into the match and used their forward dominance to good effect, with referee Jamie Morgan repeatedly pinging the visitors at the breakdown. And they opened the scoring after a sustained period of pressure in their opponents' 22, a Swansea scrum ten metres from the line providing the platform for the attack.
No 8 Scanlon picked up the base and made inroads towards the whitewash. The ball was then quickly recycled and, after a few more phases, it was shipped wide where lock Josh Walker bulldozed his way over. Fly-half Jack Shields missed the difficult extras.
The remainder of the half saw Cardiff having the majority of the territory and possession but the visitors were simply unable to manufacture a way through, with Perkins scavenging well at the breakdown while locks Walker and Jon Barley were a constant nuisance at ruck time.
The second half started in scrappy style with neither side able to gain the upper hand, despite perhaps the Cardiff backs looking to counter attack more with the ball in hand with the wind in their faces. Full back Ben White cut the line well on a number of occasions as Brownlee looked to open play up.
Meanwhile, the Red and Blacks' most dangerous player in attack was scrum-half John Preddy, whose quick tap penalties and sniping around the fringes had the Swansea defence scrambling on numerous occasions.
With the conditions not conducive to running rugby, this first bit of real class in the back line came just before the hour mark from the home side with Swansea full back Elliot Jones finishing off a well executed move.
Quick ball off the top of the line-out saw Shields find replacement Andrew Claypole with an inside ball to cut the line beautifully, before popping the ball to Jones to touchdown. Shields also slotted the easy conversion for a 12-0 lead.
From that point on, Cardiff were always chasing the game and their indiscipline began to tell when three quick-fire penalties saw the visitors leak nine points via the boot of Shields, with the Red and Blacks' Jack Wilson also earning a yellow card in that time.
By this time, the vocal student support was in fine voice as the home fans urged their side to finish the clash in style, and Lancaster’s men didn’t disappoint.
Shields, on half way, spotted space in behind the Cardiff back three and chipped through, the ball bouncing kindly for Claypole who gathered well before being scragged.
The ball was quickly recycled with Jones stopped metres from bagging his second, but Young was there to pick up and drive over for a much deserved score. And the icing on the cake came with the last kick of the game, as Shields fired over the conversion.
Swansea travel to Cyncoed next Wednesday when they clash with Cardiff Met in another Welsh derby encounter, while Cardiff host Exeter on November 20.

Star Man-Jack Perkins.

Swansea: Tries: J Walker 15, E Jones 57, O Young 80+2; Cons: J Shields 58, 80+3; Pens: Shields 63, 66, 77.


Chloe set for senior role

Wrexham teenager Chloe Williams is ready to step up to a senior role in Welsh ladies amateur golf, with a busy winter preparing to challenge for a Curtis Cup place next year.

Chloe Williams celebrates her perfect six out of six record as Wales win the Ladies Home Internationals.
Having won the Golf Union of Wales Girls Order of Merit in her last year, as well as a commanding six out of six victories as Wales won the Ladies Home Internationals, Williams is heading to Florida this winter to build on her summer performances.

Along with Welsh Amateur champion Becky Harries, Williams is now one of the senior players in the Wales international teams following the decision of Curtis Cup and Junior Ryder Cup star Amy Boulden to turn professional.

I was delighted to win the Girls Order of Merit as it was the last year I qualify, it was one of the things I had set out to win even though I missed some of the events because of Ladies commitments,” admitted Williams - who is coached by her father Paul, the North Wales regional coach for the Golf Union of Wales.

My Dad and I mapped out a four year plan when I was 16, which we are now half way through with the aim of turning professional in two years time, and winning the Girls title was part of that plan.

With Amy turning professional then Becky and I know we have to take on more of a senior role to help the players coming up through the junior squads into the national set up, which is a big jump for them.

We had a recent Wales squad week in Portugal and Ben Waterhouse (the Golf Union of Wales director of performance) sat the two of us down to explain the importance of the contribution we could make.

I have been in their shoes, I was 12 when I first went to warm weather training, so I know what those players will be going through as they come up through the ranks.”

Williams has had a strong year, starting as a medallist in the Australian Youth Olympics winning team gold and individual bronze.

Winning the Ladies Home Internationals this year was one of the highlights, especially as I won six matches out of six, and that is something the Curtis Cup selectors will have definitely noticed,” she said.

I would love to play in the Curtis Cup next year, expecially as it will be out in America and we will be defending the Cup.

I was involved in the trials last year and it was cool to be included in them, but I knew I would not get in the team that time round.

It was nice to see what you have to do and that is good experience for this time round when I feel I can be in the team.

I am going to Florida in January to start my season early, which helps a lot, while over the next two years as an amateur I have a lot of target events I would like to win such as the Welsh Amateur and the British Ladies title.”

Waterhouse added, “It was a good year for Chloe, particularly at the Youth Olympics and in the Home Internationals, capped by winning the Girls Order of Merit.

She has plenty to build on with clear targets for next year. Going to Florida in January and competing there will be a crucial first step.”

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Wales skipper wants to finish World Cup on a high

Wales captain Craig Kopczak has said that his side want to finish their Rugby League World Cup 2013 campaign with a win when they take on Cook Islands at The Gnoll in Neath this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

Both sides are now unable to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament but Kopczak says that won’t phase either side as there is pride at stake.

“We want to win,” Kopczak said. “And I’m sure Cook Islands will be feeling the same too. We want to finish this competition on a high, go out there with a clear intention to finish with a win and finish second in the group.

“I do encourage those who haven’t got tickets yet to buy now and come down and watch us play. We play some really good Rugby League and we want to show the South Wales public what we can do. Cook Islands are in the same position as us now so I think we see a game full of skills that will show the public how good Rugby League can be.

“Last week was a really tough physical game. It was an arm wrestle until half-time but a few things didn’t go our way in the second half so we’ve got to put all of that right for the Cook Islands game.

“I was pleased by the way that we stuck in there at the end of last week’s game, we just need to show that for the entire 80 minutes this week.”

Kopczak says that the team were delighted with the 8,000 plus crowd at Wrexham last Sunday who didn’t stop cheering Wales on, and he hopes for a similar atmosphere in Neath this Sunday.

“It was really good how the crowd in Wrexham stuck by us and created a good atmosphere,” he said. “They were cheering us on and shouting ‘Wales’ the whole time. Hopefully we’ll have the same kind of atmosphere in Neath this Sunday.”

The main stand is sold out for Wales v Cook Islands at The Gnoll in Neath this Sunday but there are limited tickets available for the Family Stand and for the terracing. Go to to buy. Prices are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Walker handed debut against Springboks

Eli Walker will make his Wales debut on Saturday when they take on South Africa at the Millennium Stadium.

With British and Irish Lion Alex Cuthbert sidelined with an ankle injury, the Ospreys winger has been given the nod in the left-wing position.

Some had predicted that Liam Williams would be selected due to the large Scarlets influence in the backline with Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies lining up in the centres and Rhys Priestland being given the number 10 jersey over Dan Bigger.

But Walker will make his first appearance for his country against the Springboks and will be hoping to make a similar impression as the other Wales winger on Saturday George North, who made his debut three years ago against the same opposition and announced himself onto the international stage by scoring twice in a magnificent performance.

Bradley Davies has been selected in the second row alongside Alun Wyn Jones to give a physical presence against the likely aggressive South African second row pairing of Flip van der Merwe and Eben Etzabeth.

Dan Lydiate will also make his first appearance in a Wales jersey since the summer of 2012 in a familiar back-row with Toby Faletau and captain Sam Warburton.

The match against South Africa is the first of four autumn games at the Millennium Stadium and head coach Warren Gatland knows it is going to be a huge encounter on Saturday.

"We always say we like to test ourselves against the best and Saturday is going to be just that with a huge game against South Africa first up,” said Gatland.

"The Springboks arrive in the UK off the back of their impressive Rugby Championship campaign and we know that we need to start well on Saturday.

"We go into the series as Six Nations Champions but we are looking forward to testing ourselves against the southern hemisphere sides and showing what we are can do.

"Since we have been together, competition in the squad has been good and it is great to have both Rhys [Priestland] and Dan [Lydiate] back available for us.

"Eli [Walker] has impressed for his Region and whilst with us and it's a great opportunity for him to make his mark in a very experienced side.”

Wales Team to play South Africa:
15. Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues)
14. George North (Northampton Saints)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
12. Scott Williams (Scarlets)
11. Eli Walker (Ospreys)
10. Rhys Priestland (Scarlets)
9. Mike Phillips (Unattached)
1. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues)
2. Richard Hibbard (Ospreys)
3. Adam Jones (Ospreys)
4. Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
6. Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro)
7. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain)
8. Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons)


16. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
17. Paul James (Bath Rugby)
18. Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues)
19. Luke Charteris (Perpignan)
20. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
21. Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues)
22. James Hook (Perpignan)
23. Liam Williams (Scarlets)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

One West Review: Glynneath move six points clear

Undefeated pacesetters Glynneath opened up a six point advantage over their rivals at the top of One West thanks to a bonus point 27-20 win over league strugglers Ammanford.

 Despite the weather conditions, both sides endeavoured to play some expansive rugby with classy fly-half Jack O’Riley once again starring for the leader as he bagged 12 of his side's points through a try and seven points from the tee, while Ashley Morgan, David Jones and Ryan Curtis also crossed the whitewash.

Ammanford remain rooted to the bottom following the seventh loss of their campaign, but did come away with a losing bonus point thanks to tries from Cerith Evans and Marco Dallaballe, while Rhydian Morris slotted two penalties and both conversions.

At the other end of the table, Loughor bagged only their third win of the campaign when they saw off fellow strugglers Llangennech with a 22-0 triumph.

The Blues showed all the attacking endeavour as they defied the conditions to cross four times through Nick O’Kelly, Morgan Bryant, Dan Howells and Peter Smiriglia.

Meanwhile, Carmarthen Athletic leapt to second in the table courtesy of a narrow 8-6, hard-fought home success over last season’s runners up Cwmllynfell.

In awful conditions, Owain Herbert crossed for the only try of the game for Athletic with Mike Sauro firing over the crucial penalty.

Tristan Lewis kicked all of Cwmllynfell’s points as they slipped down to fifth in the league following their third loss.

In a tight contest at Croft Goch, it was the hosts Kenfig Hill that came out on top as they edged past Waunarlwydd 7-0 in a match heavily hampered by the wet and wild conditions.

Mark Fitzgerald went over for the game's solitary and decisive try, with Mikey Giles adding the extras for the Mules as they moved up to fourth in the table.

Elsewhere, Whitland clinched only their third victory in eight starts as they dispatched Kidwelly 13-5. The Borderers outscored their rivals two tries to one with touchdowns from Jack Mason and Keiran White.

Finally, in the day’s other scheduled fixture, the match between Crymych and Builth Wells was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.