Friday, 28 March 2014


With only six games remaining in the RaboDirect PRO12, the Dragons are targeting an all important victory away from home against Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile on Saturday 29th March, KO 16:00 (3pm local time).

The men of Gwent currently sit in 9th place in the RaboDirect PRO12 tournament and currently sit eight points behind the Scarlets and four points in front of Cardiff Blues. The region has only won one away game this season which was against Glasgow Warriors in November.

Dan Evans retains his place at fullback and is joined in the back three by Welsh internationals Tom Prydie and Will Harries who also retain their places. The centre pairing is all change as it gets a facelift with Pat Leach and Ashley Smith, as Ross Wardle is left out of selection and Jack Dixon is moved to the bench. Fly half Jason Tovey remains in at number ten and Richie Rees also retains his place as scrum half.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones names a new front row consisting of prop Phil Price, Wales U20s hooker Elliot Dee and newcomer Duncan Bell. Skipper Andrew Coombs keeps his place in the second row but is joined by young gun Matthew Screech, as Rob Sidoli sits this game out. The back row sees one change with the addition of British and Irish lion Taulupe Faletau, who makes his first start for the Newport Gwent Dragons after returning from international duty. The number 8 joins flankers Lewis Evans and Nic Cudd who both keep their places from last weekend.

There have been seven changes made to the replacements as Sam Parry, Bruce Douglas, Nathan Buck, Cory Hill, Jevon Groves, Jack Dixon and Hallam Amos all join Wayne Evans.

Newport Gwent Dragons team to face Zebre

Dan Evans, Tom Prydie, Pat Leach, Ashley Smith, Will Harries, Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Duncan Bell, Andrew Coombs (c), Matthew Screech, Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.


Sam Parry, Bruce Douglas, Nathan Buck, Cory Hill, Jevon Groves, Wayne Evans, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos.

Scarlets homecoming for international stars

Scarlets are bolstered both up front and in the backs ahead of this Sunday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Connacht at Parc y Scarlets with a number of the region's international stars back on home soil.
With only five fixtures remaining in the regular RaboDirect PRO12 season, and four of the five home ties for the Scarlets, the West Wales region will be targeting a victory in the crucial clash against Connacht on Mother's Day.
Scarlets have won the last four encounters against Connacht and have won the last three matches at Parc y Scarlets whilst Connacht haven't won away from home against the West Walians since October 2004 at Stradey Park. Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby said: "What's advantageous to us is that we're playing four of our five remaining games at home and it's in our hands to make the top six. We should be confident in the ability that we have here that we've got what it takes to achieve that."
Returning international Ken Owens, Rhodri Jones and Jake Ball add weight up front whilst Rhys Priestland, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies, who'll captain the side in Rob McCusker's absence, all bring in experience to the backline.
Easterby said that the return of the international players will boost the region as they head into the final stages of the PRO12 season, saying: "Despite coping reasonably well during the Six Nations campaign the quality the boys bring to the table now is important. This week is about putting in the performance and we've had a little more time together to prepare and for the players to get back into their patterns."
"The likes of Rhys and Jon have a lot of responsibility in terms of performance, they'll be able to lead us through the last five games; there are plenty of positives still to come!”
Having narrowly missed out on a losing bonus point against Glasgow last weekend Scarlets' hopes of reaching the top four play-off spot have slipped further from grasp, Easterby said: "We were all disappointed and frustrated after last weekend's performance, based on the games we have remaining it's going to be pretty difficult for us to target that top four spot. Having said that it now makes the remaining five games really important; we can't afford to look passed finishing in the top 6.”
On fronting up against Irish province Connacht, Easterby went on to say: "They've won four games on the bounce which has seen them move up into seventh place and trail us by only four points. Their scrum and line-out drive has been really effective and our discipline has got to be spot on against them on Sunday."
"They've started to find their feet under Pat Lam and they have a really effective set piece, driving line-out and scrum, they're well equipped pretty much right across the park.”
Scarlets team v Connacht, Sunday 30th March kick-off 2.05pm at Parc y Scarlets:
15 Liam Williams, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Jonathan Davies ©, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Phil John, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Rhodri Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Johan Snyman, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 John Barclay, 8 Sione Timani
Replacements: Emyr Phillips, Rob Evans, Jacobie Adriaanse, Richard Kelly, Lewis Rawlins, Rhodri Williams, Aled Thomas, Gareth Maule

All smiles as Rees returns for Blues

Inspirational hooker Matthew Rees makes his eagerly-anticipated return to rugby as Cardiff Blues face Ulster Rugby in the RaboDirect PRO12 at the Arms Park on Saturday evening (kick-off 6.30pm).

Rees – affectionately known across the rugby world as Smiler - has been out of action since October having taking an enforced period away from the sport to receive medical treatment.

But after being given the all-clear to return to full training last month, the former Wales' international is set for his first appearance in over five months after being named among the replacements to face high-flying Ulster.

Blues make a total of seven changes to the starting line-up that lost to Ospreys as they hunt a winning finale on home soil this season.

Samoa international centre Isaia Tuifua is called up to join forces with Cory Allen in midfield while Chris Czekaj is named on the wing. Harry Robinson misses the game after picking up an ankle injury against Ospreys.

Scrum half Lewis Jones is handed a starting spot and will combine with Gareth Davies at half back.

Hooker Kristian Dacey and lock Lou Reed, who makes his 100th appearances in the PRO12, are the new faces in the front five.

The final change to the starting line-up sees Macauley Cook named at blindside flanker. Cook will join forces with Josh Navidi and Robin Copeland, who makes his 50th appearance for Blues, in the back row.

Rees, Thomas Davies and James Down are among those given a call-up to the replacements bench.

Coach Dale McIntosh said: "We were not happy with the manner of last week's performance and we need to make sure we react in the right way. We have to do justice to the jersey, show how much last week hurt and perform in our final home game at the Arms Park."

"We need to be mentally prepared and ready. We say goodbye to the Arms Park for another season and we do not want to end on a sour note."

"Every game is massive to me, you put in a huge effort and the best performance you possible can. But as our last game at the Arms Park we want to put in a big display for our fans."

"Having Matthew (Rees) back is a huge inspiration to us all,” he added. "I am sure he will get a fantastic reception and he is a humble lad who will deal with it and get on with it. But I know how keen he is to get back out on the field and get that Blues jersey on his back.”

Tickets remain on sale NOW to watch Blues tackle Ulster at the Arms Park. Call the Ticket Office on 02920 302030 or click on to buy online.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Isaia Tuifua, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones; 1 Gethin Jenkins (c), 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 4 Lou Reed, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Macauley Cook, 7 Josh Navidi, 8 Robin Copeland

Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Gavin Evans

Scorpions looking to bounce back

South Wales Scorpions’ coach Mike Grady will wait until Saturday before naming his side for the visit of Hemel Stags this Sunday at Maesteg RFC (kick-off 3pm).

The Scorpions have a handful of injury worries so are waiting until the last possible moment to see who is fit to play.

Grady’s side will be desperate to bounce back from last week’s defeat at York City Knights, but Hemel are unlikely to roll over.

“Last Sunday was very disappointing,” Grady said. “York are a quality side so we knew we would be up from it from the off but to get beat in the way we did was not acceptable. We trained following day, looked at DVD and had a good talk about it and I expect a reaction from them this week. Now we draw a line under that and move on.

“Hemel presents again another tough challenge. Saying that I'm a firm believer in concentrating on what we do and not the opposition. We did play them two weeks ago in the Cup and have an idea of what to expect, but if we play to our strengths and maintain our effort and commitment the results won't be far away.”
“The lads have had the toughest week in training they have ever had after last week so we will be ready for the stern test from Hemel on Sunday.”

Stags coach Troy Perkins said: “The Scorpions have had a heavy loss and will be looking to put things right, but it’s only a couple of weeks since we played them so we’ve got some idea of what to expect.

“They’re a young team that’s full of enthusiasm, and we only put them to the sword in the last 20 minutes.

"We’ve got to start better, make sure we build on last week’s performance against Gateshead, and continue climbing up the table.”

Perkins could name an unchanged team after reporting no new injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s fixture.

Admission to South Wales Scorpions v Hemel Stags is just £8 for adults, £6 concessions, £5 for students, high school children for £2 and children aged 11 and under for £1. Please go to for more details and to buy advance tickets.

Ponty away to Aberavon in first leg of league double header

With the race to a top place finish in the Principality Premiership now turning into its home straight, current leaders Pontypridd will seek to maintain form and momentum with an away trip to Aberavon on Saturday 29th March, the match kicking off at 2:30pm.

The two clubs will meet each other twice within the short space of four days as the re-arranged return league tie will be played the following Tuesday evening 1st of April. Yet another encounter is in the offing in the SWALEC Cup semi final round on Saturday 12th April.

Under a new coaching team of Jason Hyatt and Barry Maddocks Aberavon have enjoyed a recent resurgence to pull clear of the relegation zone, currently placed tenth in the Premiership table.

Pontypridd come into the game on a high following a 55pts to 15 demolition of Llanelli in the cup quarter final the previous weekend. Four changes are made to the starting line up from that game, with Owen Williams in on the wing, Chris Phillips at prop, Tom Hetherington at hooker and Owen Sheppeard at blind side flanker. Hooker Liam Belcher returns from Wales under 18 duty to take a place on the bench.

Away with Wales Sevens in Hong Kong are winger Alex Webber and scrum half Tom Williams, whilst winger Lewis Williams has been given leave of absence to get married and has taken prop James Howe with him.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Aberystwyth host Bangor in West Wales RL Varsity on Saturday

Aberystwyth University host their Bangor counterparts this Saturday at Blaendolau Playing Fields for the annual West Wales Rugby League Varsity fixture between the two sides (kick-off noon).

Last year, in the first meeting between Wales’ oldest two universities, Aberystwyth dominated in every department on the field winning 64-8.

Aberystwyth will be the favourites coming into the match with a fine run of games on their home ground beating all but one side that have travelled to Blaendolau this season, with their biggest win being the season opener playing hosts to Bristol, where they won 32-10.

In contrast, Bangor have only won once this season, running out 44-16 winners against Lancaster University, and have lost all their games on the road this season.

Aberystwyth are also carrying momentum coming into the game grinding out a hard fought win against Exeter, scoring in the dying seconds of the match to win 32-30.

Dan Teeling, committee member of Aberystwyth University Rugby League, said: “We’re all looking forward to the second West Wales Varsity this Saturday and are pleased to be hosting what is now an annual fixture.

“We’ve suffered a few injuries this season but will have many of these players back for Saturday including the likes of top points scorer Lewis Donnelly.

“All said, this match should provide spectators with full on 80 minute excitement. We’re hoping that we can put in another strong home performance and take home another big win over our rivals. But Bangor will be fired up for this game too and will be looking to beat us on our own ground.”

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Fardre march on in Plate

Two East’s Llantwtit Fardre once again upset the form guide as they bagged a place in the semi-finals of the Swalec Plate, dispatching first division outfit Llangennech 31-21.

Heading into the encounter against One West’s Llangennech, Fardre had previously seen off holders Heol y Cyw and One East outfit Glamorgan Wanderers.

After taking a while to get into the match Fardre soon acclimatised, with fly-half Jason Pocock once again the catalyst for the win as the player/coach amassed 16 points from the tee, while Adam Harcourt, Elliot Davies and Scott Burrows all crossed for the visitors.

Rhiwbina's Dan Murphy in action against Nant Conwy
Meanwhile fellow Two East outfit Rhiwbina are also just one win away from a day out at the Millennium Stadium as they Squirrels saw off 2012 runners up Nant Conwy at Caedelyn, running out 36-19 winners, scoring six tries in the process.

The North Walians made life difficult for the Squirrels at times and continued to attack until the final whistle, but the formidable Rhiwbina pack, with Dan Murphy putting in an outstanding performance, were just too strong for the visitors.

The hosts opened the scoring with a Louis Millar try but Nant soon cancelled that score out with a touchdown by Emrys Evans.

The Squirrels remained on top before the break with Gareth Clwyd-Jones and Chris Fido both crossing the whitewash.

After the break, the outstanding Gareth McCarthy continued to terrorise the Nant defence, setting up hooker Jamie DeAbreu's touchdown.

Fido then bagged for his second of the afternoon following great work by the pack with Murphy again leading the way.

The visitors did try and mount a comeback when Euros Jones went beneath the posts, but Rhiwbina made sure of victory when they shunted back the Nant pack from a 5 metre scrum and the referee was forced to award the Squirrels a penalty try, converted by McCarthy.

With the home faithful already toasting their team’s success, it was Nant that had the final say with Carwyn Roberts grabbing a late consolation.

However, there was no such upset at Glynneath where the One West leaders overcame Maesteg Quins 19-13 in a titanic battle.

In the day’s other quarter-final clash, Two West’s Amman United were unable to field a side in their match-up against Merthyr, handing the Ironmen a walkover.

In the Swalec Bowl, Four South East’s Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd’s dreams of completing a League and Cup double are still on, after the Cardiff outfit progressed to the last four of the competition thanks to a 35-18 home win over Nantymoel.

Gareth Williams’ troops produced a strong second half display to shake off their league rivals ‘Moel, crossing four times in all through Sam Rogers, Richard Read, Deian Thomas and Amlyn Griffiths.

Meanwhile, fellow Four South East outfit Llantwit Major also clinched a place in the final four with a 30-21 home success over Pyle.

The boot of Ryan Evans once again proved pivotal as the fly-half claimed 20 of his side’s points from the tee, while wings Marcus Pearce and Rhys Belmont crossed the whitewash.

There is to be no fairytale for Six South East’s Hartridge after the lowest league side that was left in the competition went down 30-15 to Four East’s Old Illtydians.

Finally, Llandudno made certain of a North Wales representative in the last four of the Swalec Bowl by beating Division Five South West visitors Ystradgynlais 24-10.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Wales RL name under 18 train-on squad and South Wales under 19 squad

A total of 16 players from last season’s successful South Wales under 16 Scholarship side have been selected for the new South Wales Scorpions under 19 and Wales under 18 train-on squads.

They are part of a 34-man Wales under 18 line-up and a 28-man Scorpions squad, both of which were selected following trials at Taff’s Well recently where over 50 potential players attended.

No less than 27 of these players will be in both squads with Bridgend College’s Cameron O’Sullivan the only potential Scorpions player ineligible for the Wales under 18 side.

Eleven of the players are in the WRL’s AASE Academy based at Maesteg School with one of them, Maesteg local Gethyn Lloyd, in his first season playing Rugby League.

The Wales under 18s side will take on Scotland under 18s, England Community Lions and England Academy in the autumn with the selectors knowing that there will be the opportunity for more Super League players to join up.

They will train once a month with the first session on Saturday 26th April at Taff’s Well RFC from 9.30am to 12 noon.

In a role reversal to the South Wales Scorpions, Paul Emanuelli will coach the side with Mike Grady assisting him.

Emanuelli said: “I'm really excited to be given the opportunity to work with the next crop of talented Welsh youngsters.   

“The trial was full of talented boys and to narrow the squad down to what we have done, was very difficult with some good players missing out. 

“Now that we've selected the group, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some training and really getting to know the boys personally to help them develop as individuals and a team.”

The South Wales under 19s side played in an under 20s league last year and five players from that squad retain their place in this year’s line-up. This year, they are set to play a 10-match season in the new Championship South league starting in May with their matches acting as curtain raisers to Scorpions first team matches.

Seven of the current South Wales Scorpions first team squad, all of whom are aged 19 and under, will also be eligible to join this squad if not selected for the first team in any particular week.

They will take on similar outfits from Gloucestershire All Golds, London Skolars, Oxford, Hemel Stags and Coventry Bears.

Their coach will be Jon Ellis and he will be assisted by Harrison Elliott. Ellis said: “After what was a very positive and talent filled trials, I am looking forward to working with such an enthusiastic bunch of players.

“There was a clear good standard of Rugby League running through the trials with a lot of players showing how far they've come since playing for the 16s last year.

“I know for a fact that some of these players will attract the eyes of Super League clubs through the season.”

The players will train at Maesteg School every Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm-9pm.

All players will also be in contention for Wales’ Commonwealth Games rugby league squad.

Both train-on squads: Ed Howley, Alex King, Marcus Webb (all Bridgend College / South Wales U16 Academy 2013), Joseph Symons (Brynteg Comprehensive / South Wales U20 Academy 2013), Rhys Davies, Rhys Finney (both Coleg Gwent / South Wales U20 Academy 2013), James Taylor (Gower College / South Gower Rebels), Gethyn Lloyd (Maesteg School RL Academy), Rhys Brownsell, Harry Boots, Regan Grace, Morgan Jefferies, Ben Jones, Shane Lee, Dan Maiden, Liam Maule, Jordan Thomas, Zak Williams (all Maesteg School RL Academy / South Wales U16 Academy 2013), Paul Edwards (Neath Port Talbot College / Valley Cougars), Jack Marshall (St. David’s College / (South Wales U20 Academy 2013), Calvin Wellington (St Joseph’s School, Port Talbot / South Wales U16 Academy 2013), Josh Batcup, Shaun Edwards, Kallum Evans (all Ysgol Y Strade), Curtis Davies, Connor Davies (Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera / South Wales U16 Academy 2013), Jo Festa (South Wales U20 Academy 2013).
South Wales under 19 squad only: Cameron O’Sullivan (Bridgend College).    
Wales under 18 squad only: Dylan Rowley (Alun School / Flintshire Falcons), Kyle Moore (Bradford Bulls), Connor Farrer (Coleg Y Cymoedd / South Wales Scorpions), Josh Williams (The Crypt School, Gloucester / Gloucestershire All Golds), Matthew Davies (North Wales Crusaders), Morgan Knowles (St Helens), Rhys Fitzgerald (University of South Wales / South Wales Scorpions).

One West Review: Crymych shock Kidwelly

Crymych pulled off the shock of the day in One West as the strugglers recorded just their fourth win of the season, seeing off second place Kidwelly 21-13 at Parc Lloyd Thomas.
The hosts outscored their high-flying rivals two tries to one thanks to a Gavin Thomas score and a penalty try, while scrum-half Rhys Davies notched up eleven points from the tee.
For the Black and Ambers it was a disappointing day, as they failed to close the 16 points gap at the summit to leaders Glynneath.
Meanwhile, Kenfig Hill ran riot at home against Ammanford, bagging 43 unanswered second half points to claim a 69-15 triumph.
The Mules helped themselves to eleven tries in all with braces from Aaron Grabham, Ray Evans, Karl Davies and Mike Kennedy.
Elsewhere, Lee Glanville’s hat-trick helped Whitland to a 31-5 home success over Cwmllynfell, while Waunarlwydd edged past Carmarthen Athletic 20-16.
At the top of One North, Pwllheli slipped behind Bala in the title race as Pwll could only manage a 17-6 victory at Bethesda, while Bala bagged maximum points in a 26-5 home win over Bro Ffestiniog.
Elsewhere, at the other end of the table COBRA claimed just their sixth win of the season as they leapfrogged rivals Dolgellau with a 10-3 showing.
In the day’s other match Ruthin went down at Caernarfon 18-14.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Swalec Leagues Weekend Review

Ebbw Vale warmed up for their Swalec Cup home quarter-final against Premiership side Llandovery with a 52-12 demolition of Blackwood in the Championship.

The win sees the Steelmen move 30 points clear at the summit and needing just a handful of wins to return to the Premiership.

Jason Strange’s troops ran in eight tries in all with Lewis Young, Gordon Howells, David James, Luke Davies, Polu Uhi, Ronny Kynes, Dan Haymond and John Lavender all crossing the whitewash. Iain Smerdon converted six of the tries.

For Blackwood, who are battling against relegation, David Ford and Nathan Gittins crossed for tries, one of which was converted by James Doubley.

With the Championship title essentially a foregone conclusion the Steelmen will look to upset the apple cart when they host the Drovers, who sit third in the Premiership.

At the other end of the table Beddau moved off the bottom when they romped to a 39-7 bonus point triumph over fellow strugglers Tondu.

Tries for Beddau came from David Francis, Dewi Shorrock, Jack James, Matthew Marley and Cobi Flowers. Rhys Morgan converted four of the touchdowns and landed two penalties.

Elsewhere, in Sunday’s encounter Bargoed turned the form book on its head to blow away Narberth 35-13 at Bargoed Park.

In One West, Glynneath moved a step closer to the claiming the crown when they ran out 38-6 winners at Kenfig Hill.

They were awarded two penalty tries while Rhodri Cole was at the double and Ryan Cole and Shaun Pennat also crossed with Jack O'Reilly kicking four conversions.

Meanwhile, Whitland and Loughor fought out a 12-12 draw in a match between two teams struggling to find their best form.

Dunvant increased their lead in Two West when they won 17-7 at Aberavon Quins.

Jordan Jackson, Danny Davies and Adam Williams crossed for Dunvant tries with Aled Lewis adding the extras to one.

Rhiwbina's scrum-half Harry Trelawney in action against Llanishen

In Two East, leaders Rhiwbina are now nine points ahead of title rivals Llantrisant after sweeping to a 35-17 bonus point victory over Llanishen.

Llanishen opened the scoring with a corner try by wing Tilan Mafi, but the hosts struck back with two penalties by Gareth McCarthy.

Rhiwbina finished the first half stronger, taking a 16-5 lead into the interval thanks to a try from wing Louis Millar and five further points from the boot of McCarthy.

After the break the Squirrels extended their advantage thanks to a converted penalty try, but Llanishen fought back strongly with Phil Thomas bagging a quick-fire double for the visitors

The powerful Rhiwbina scrum then forced Llanishen to concede a penalty try, converted by McCarthy, but Llanishen fought back strongly and Phil Thomas crossed for a brace of tries, one of which he converted.

However, the hosts regrouped and bagged two late touchdowns from Grant Fitzgerald and Alex Kerr to wrap up the points.

Pontyberem are six points adrift at the foot of Three West after losing 38-16 at Llanybydder, while Pontypool United gave a splendid display to defeat Brynmawr 29-13 in Three East.

Oakdale Captain David Fortune grabbed a try brace but his side still lost 19-15 at home to Abertysswg, while Briton Ferry bagged a bonus point 26-15 victory over  Pontardawe Four South-West.

Finally, No. 8 Jason Jones scored four tries for Tredegar Ironsides 33-14 Six East home win over Hollybush.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Swalec Championship Weekend Review

Fighting for their Swalec Championship survival, Blackwood boosted their chances of avoiding the drop with a gritty performance to see off Cardiff Met 19-11 at Glan Yr Afon.
Blackwood started the day bottom of the pile but a spirited showing in muddy conditions saw them outscore the Students three tries to one. Gareth Williams crossed in the opening half, with no 8 David Brake and a penalty try added after the interval, while Anthony John converted two.
Club Official Lyn Hall is hopeful Saturday’s win will prove to be the turning point in their season.
“After the heavy defeat the week before to Narberth, a few harsh words were dished out and the players reacted positively with a great performance against Met on Saturday.”
“We are just off the bottom now and hoping that win will be the catalyst for us to kick on.”
The Glan Yr Afon outfit have two games in hand over their relegation rivals and, with games against Beddau and Bonymaen to come, Hall believes they will still avoid the drop.
“Obviously, one of our games in hand is against Ebbw Vale on Friday night which will be very tough for the lads, but like our rivals we have games we are targeting as must-win against the clubs around us.”
Blackwood’s visitors on Friday night, Ebbw Vale, continue to blow away all opposition as they stretched their lead at the summit to 25 points, thrashing Tondu 59-6 at Pandy Park.
The Steelmen helped themselves to nine tries in this one-sided encounter- Luke Davies and Cameron Regan bagging braces for the visitors.
Meanwhile, second placed RGC 1404 were made to work hard for their 22-15 win at Newbridge.
The North Walians crossed three times through Richard Hopkins, Tallis Karaitiania and Ollie Cracknell as Chris Horsman’s troops notched up their 12th win of the season.
Elsewhere, Tata Steel moved up to third in the standings as they heaped more woe on struggling Bonymaen with a 48-15 drubbing at their Margam base.
Jordan Creelock bagged a try-treble while Simon Evans, Iwan Edwards, Ceri Jones and Lloyd Rogers also went over.
Pontypool claimed their first win since the end of December as they battled past high-flying Narberth 31-16 at Pontypool Park.
Clayton Gullis notched up 16 of his side's points from the tee, while Josh Hurley, Luke Dyckhoff and Mike Burke touched down.
The Otters' points all came before the break with a try from Jon Morgan and 11 points from the boot of Ianto Griffiths.
Bridgend Athletic recorded the double over Bargoed as the Newbridge Field outfit ran out 20-12 winners. Lindsay McCausland and Ben Howe went over for Athletic, while Steve Lewis added the extras to both and also fired over two penalties.
Finally, Llanharan inflicted Beddau’s fourteenth defeat of the season with a 17-10 away success. 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Swalec Leagues Weekend Review

Title contenders Ystrad Rhondda and Heol y Cyw cut Merthyr’s advantage at the summit of One East to seven points, after they recorded victories over Bedlinog and Gilfach Goch respectively.

With the Ironmen not in action, it was the perfect opportunity for the chasing pack to close the gap and exert some pressure on the pacemakers.

Last season’s runners up Ystrad needed a late Rhys Truelove penalty to seal their most slender of successes, 17-16 against the basement boys. Truelove fired home four penalties while Matthew Jezkalic touched down for the visitors.

The Cockerels meanwhile had no such problems at Gilfach Goch as they claimed the full points on offer with tries from Chris Howe, Rhys Thomas, Kyle Lowry and Ryan Griffiths. They now sit level on points with Ystrad, just seven points behind leaders Merthyr.

At the top of One West, Glynneath stretched their lead to eleven points as they overcame a determined Carmarthen Athletic side 16-10.

The pacemakers outscored their rivals two tries to one with touchdowns from Jordan Griffiths and Ben Jones, while Josh Jones and Jack O’Reilly added a penalty apiece.

Kenfig Hill moved up to third thanks to a seven try 44-3 drubbing of hosts Llangennech.

The Mules’ Mike Kennedy was the star of the show with four tries, while Chris Tossell, Steven Gillet and Aaron Grabham also went over.

In the day’s other scheduled fixture, the match between high-fliers Kidwelly and Loughor was postponed. 

Joe Casella on the attack for Rhiwbina at Abercynon

Rhiwbina maintained their advantage at the top of Two East as they dished out a 73-0 drubbing to Abercynon.

The Squirrels helped themselves to eleven tries in all in this one-sided showing- Brett Chatwin, Chris Fido, Alex Kerr and Joe Casella were all at the double while Dave Smith, Sion Summers and Dan Murphy also went over.

Elsewhere, Llantwit Fardre moved up to fifth with a 33-11 win at Fleur de Lys. Jason Pocock was the stand-out performer for Fardre as the fly-half notched up 18 points from the tee.

Cefn Coed's Jason Price in action against Penygraig.

 In worrying news for Tredegar supporters it was a second week in a row the Gwent side were unable to field a team.

Moving west Trebanos clinched a 40-19 win over Amman United in Two West. Matthew Edwards starred for Banws as the wing bagged 20 of his team’s points, including a brace.

Four West’s Lampeter were the biggest winners of the day as they racked up a century in their 106-0 win over Milford Haven.

Lampeter crossed for 17 tries as they ran rampant, Paul Jones bagged four of them while there were hat-tricks for Gary Davies, Gary Jones and Brynmor Jones.

Centre Daniel Davies crossed twice for Cefn Coed in their win over Penygraig

After losing out to Penygraig at the start of the Five South Central campaign Cefn Coed  were too strong for their visitors, as they ran out convincing 53-13 winners at home.

The hosts helped themselves to seven tries in all through Daniel Davies (2), Matthew Rolls, Jason Price, Ryan Sullivan, Liam Elliott and a penalty try, while Steve James added 18 points from the tee. 

 In Five South East Caerau Ely notched up their twelfth win of the season with a 61-6 drubbing over Sully Sports

Finally, Menai Bridge kept alive their Three North promotion prospects with a 55-5 demolition of Welshpool.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Division One West Weekend Review

Glynneath maintained their seven point advantage at the summit of One West after they racked up their 12th win in 13 starts with a 25-10 home triumph over Kenfig Hill.

The hosts bagged the maximum points thanks to touchdowns from Ashley Morgan, Craig Moses, Ben Jones and Shaun Tennant, while Rhodri Cole added the extras to one and a penalty.

Kidwelly's Jason Smith was outstanding in attack  for the hosts.

High-fliers Kidwelly kept the pressure on the leaders with a 56-11 win over Llangennech at Parc Stephens.

The Black and Ambers helped themselves to nine tries in all in a strong second half showing, while the visitors' indiscipline cost them heavily with them having to play the final quarter with just 13 men.

Wing Luke Marshall bagged a brace for the Black and Ambers

Winger Jake Randall was a hat-trick hero for the hosts while Luke Marshall on the opposite flank bagged a brace. Stuart Morris, Richard Pearce and Andrew Francis also got on the score sheet as they notched up their tenth success of the season.

Llangennech found it hard to breakdown a dogged Kidwelly defence

Meanwhile, Waunarlwydd’s title aspirations received a hammer blow after the third placed side lost out at home to Whitland 13-8.

The Borderers crossed early on through Jack Mason and never surrendered their lead, with James Stephenson adding the extras and two penalties to pick up a hard-fought win.

Waun’s solitary try came through fly half Josh Hammett with Lee Evans slotting the conversion, but despite dominating both territory and possession they failed to breakdown the visitors' determined defence.

Jack Wilson notched up 15 points from the tee as Carmarthen Athletic claimed their seventh win of the season with a 30-17 win at Ammanford.

Athletic outscored their rivals three tries to two with touchdowns from Rhys Evans, Steff Phillips and Joel James.

Elsewhere, Cwmllynfell cantered to a 28-17 win over strugglers Crymych. The Blues crossed four times through Gareth Drewson (2), Matt Steinman and Aled Williams.
In the day’s other fixture, Builth Wells leapfrogged rivals Loughor in the table thanks to a 27-13 victory for the Bulls. Ben Duggan (2), Luke Offa, Pete Owen and Mike Powell all getting on the score sheet for the hosts.