Monday, November 21, 2005

Llanelli Warriors 24 Swansea School of Health Science 7 (match 112)

cliche headline courtesy of Llanelli Star
it is in there

Whales win ball on ground, Twls suspects foul play

Line outs poised for ariel duel

Colin ecstatic with win straight after game

and in changing rooms (not sure about Jason though)

Warriors legend Dai Newson (left) picks Big Al (right) as man of the match, five pound note just out of shot

Alan Taylor chuffed to bits his mate has been honoured

Juice: well you can't expect me to win it, Gwil was passing to me

what's wrong with my passes (would you like to come back to mine)

Roger Murphy joins Whales

The return of the groupies - I mean Warriorettes

Not even fit enough to play pool!

School of Health Science XV University of Wales Swansea
(or Whales A - much easier)
A good result for the Warriors with 2 tries in each half, if only Killer could kick as well as Tony. Dai Newson turned up to keep an eye the team and the new look back row responded well. Not that Dai could nominate any of them for Man of the match of course and in the end he and Skipper Roger named Alun Stephens. That was fair enough after his strong display. Gareth McKibbon showed more improvment and Colin Talcon got stuck in as usual, Taylors ankle tap on a much bigger opponent and Killer losing a boot and squealing like a girl in a tackle were probaly the highlights. Like the Classics game, it was played in an excellent spirit and very enjoyable. The return to the Cambrian worked pretty well as well so all in all a good day.
Match report

The Warriors marked their 5th match at Stradey with an impressive win over the ‘Whales’ of Swansea School of Health Science. The crisp winter afternoon made for perfect conditions and the two sides put together enough good rugby for everyone to enjoy themselves.
The Warriors had an advantage as the Whales team hadn’t played this season and it showed in a very cohesive opening spell.
After some promising early forays bock busting center Alun Stephens burst through a couple of tackles to crash over, Tony Whittaker converted and the Warriors were good value for a 7 point lead.
There were a number of good performances throughout the team. The new look back row of Paul Davies, Kevin Procter and Lee Rowlands tended to win the collision area while lock John Horwood imposed himself at the line out. Round the field Roger Thomas had a big game, leading his side from the front and putting in some big hits. The backline also worked well with Tony Whittaker and Meredith Pugh making a potent strike force out wide.
The Warriors extended their lead through Gareth Walters, a deserved reward for some excellent running throughout the game. Whittaker again added the conversion.
The strength of the side was evident at half time when they were able to make quality substitutions. Jonathan Kerr took over from where John Horwood had left off up front and Alan Taylor had a good game on the wing. The Swansea side began to improve though and put together some good phases which suggests they will be a force to be reckoned with in the rematch. The Warriors wee lucky to get the next score but Andrew John finished off a break away try to cap a fine performance.
The Whales team didn’t get despondent and with a vast improvement at the lineout were able to make constant in roads into Llanelli territory. Taylor led some much needed defensive work for the Warriors but a score was bound to come. Their scrum half David Lloyd scored a cracking individual effort with a neat chip and chase to give the scoreboard a more representative look. The Warriors however were not in the mood to let this one slip and they scored with the final move of the game, Lee Rowlands streaking down to the corner.
It rounded off a good day for the Llanelli team and they appear to have in place a side which can continue the expansive style of the club throughout the season.
Their next match will be on Dec 4th when they take on a team of members of the Scarletfever web site.
Warriors: Gareth Walters, Meredith Pugh (Alan Taylor), Andrew John, Alun Stephens, Tony Whittaker (Richard Evans), Jonathan Jones, Gwilym Lewis, Gareth McKibbon, Jason Jenkins, Colin Talcon, John Horwood (Jonathan Kerr), Roger Thomas, Lee Rowlands, Kevin Procter, Paul Davies.

Gwilym Lewis made his 100th apperance, Roger Thomas and Jon Jones their 50th.
It was the club's 50th match at Stradey
get the Whales perspective (and some more photos) HERE, see it featured in their newsletter HERE see the review on the net by HERE

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Burry Port Classics 17 Llanelli Warriors 12 (match 111)

Review (or at least most of it) as it appeared in the Star, read the undeited version below...
Injured Billo makes case to be included in team asap by taking worst rugby photos ever.
1st team talk of new season (same old rubbish spouted mind)

Dai Spriggs: yeah, yeah, whatever!

and we're off

Hmm...very artistic Billo-now what is it!

The Warriors' line out was transparent

Obviously the athletes here were too quick for the camera

Nearest Billo could get to a team photo
see if you can spot: Gareth Walters (?), Mike James, Alun Stephens, Paul JCB, Jason Jenkins, Gareth McKibbon, Lee Rowlands, James Howells, Kevin Twls, Colin Talcon, Gary James, Lee Barber, John Horwood, Dean Gilasbey, Tony Whittaker, Andrew John, Dai Spriggs, Meredith Pugh, Roger Thomas, Gwilym Lewis, Richard Evans, Chris Spriggs plus mascot

Jason takes over photography duties: Colin Campese and Pugh

Adrian Payne tries to remeber where his rugby career went.

Richard Hapus mulls over his near miss

Blydi hell, are we famous now!

Jumpin' John: at least someone reads the programme.

Gis a kiss: James Howells puckers up

Relax - I'll look after you

...and thats why I should have been man of the match...

Dai Spriggs is over joyed another season has started

Louie on the pull

'hapus' and 'whered-yatake'er' look for photographic evidence that Gary Shed is the Burry Port legend he claims (and look and look and look...)

Warriors and the meat raffle: everyones a winner

Alun Stephens (and friend)

Pugh moving (almost)

Sammy Rees:...and then I butted him like this...

Returning legend: Gareth McKibbon

Opposing Directors of Rugby: Lulu and Shed

Benson: All Smiles

Mike James: possibly about to embark on another late night 'training session'

Joe Malta; in his favored rugby position

Classic photo for the Classics team programme

A late start to the Warriors 11th season but not quite a winning one. With conditions excellent for swimming rugby it was something of a suprise to have two full teams with 25 odd (very odd) Warriors turing out. There was plenty of banter amongst the teams with the Classics borrowing Mike James, Alun Stephens, Gary James, Gareth McKibbon, James Howells and Tony Whittaker over the course of the match. The Classics already featured former Warriors; Mark Bryant and Wyn 'Sammy' Rees who were part of the 'Originals'. Simon Jenkins suffered a broken cheekbone whilst James Howells had an excellent match for the Classics. After the game Jason Jenkins took over photography duties from Billo to produce the results shown here.

Burry Port Classics 17 Llanelli Warriors 12

The Warriors finally kicked off their season at Burry Port RFC against the newly formed ‘Classics’ XV. The Warriors enthusiasm obviously hadn’t been dampened by the enforced lay off and they had an excellent turn out despite the unfamiliar Friday night kick off. They were even able to lend the Classics some players which coupled to a number of former Warriors already in their ranks led to a friendly but fiercely contested game.
The Llanelli team started strongly with new Captain Roger Thomas and 2nd row veteran John Horwood a calming influence. Both sides played with plenty of ambition and lots of width in attack. The Warriors in particular wove some intricate patterns amongst the backs and this helped them prise open the home defence. With the forwards supplying a constant quality ball, good hands along the backline allowed Lee Rowlands to hit a gap at pace and he stormed all the way to the line. The formula was repeated a few minutes later with Roger Thomas this time on hand to finish Rowland’s break . Dai Spriggs improved and the Warriors were good value for their lead at this stage.
The Classics were showing plenty of enthusiasm with Mike James and John Pugh benefiting from the previous night training session. Alun Stephens was enjoying himself playing against his usual team mates and bedazzling them with his distribution. He eventually helped make their opening score for former Warrior Mark Bryant.
The Classics finished the 1st half and started the 2nd very strongly. Gary James marshalled his troops to good effect from 9 whilst Joe Grech brought all his experience to bear up front. The got another try this time through Neil Bathgate but the Warriors were able to hold their slender lead as the 2nd half reached the half way stage.
Although the Warriors reacted well to the Classics 2nd score circumstances went against them at this point. No 8 Simon Jenkins, who had been having a storming match after stepping into the boots of retired Warrior legend Dai Newson, went off after colliding with another former Warrior, Wyn Rees. The supply of loose ball Jenkins had been providing dried up and they lost a little ‘go forward’ as well. Coupled to this was prop Gareth McKibbon being called into the Burry Port ranks. After an excellent 1st half for the Warriors, he stiffened up the home scrum and played his part in their eventual victory.
The winning score was a cruel blow for the Warriors. They managed to disrupt a Classics lineout but the ball went loose and Paul Davies (another loaned Warrior) snaffled it up and crossed near the posts. Neil Bathgate found his range for the conversion and the Warriors found themselves 5 points behind.
Redoubling their efforts they spent the last quarter of the game firmly on the attack. The forwards went close and wing Richard Evans was bundled into touch just short. There were claims for a penalty try when debutant full back Gareth Walters was hauled down chasing a kick and in the final move of the night wing Tony Whittaker squeezed in at the corner only for the ref spot a slight knock on.

Both teams should take plenty of credit from the game and the Warriors should have a successful season judging from their performance. The rematch in Stradey later in the season is bound to be another cracking affair.
Llanelli Warriors: Dai Spriggs (Gareth Walters), Meredith Pugh (Richard Evans), Lee Rowlands (Andrew John), Jonathan Jones, James Howells (Tony Whittaker), Dean Gilasbey, Lee Barber, Gareth McKibbon (Colin Talcon), Jason Jenkins, Chris Spriggs, John Horwood, Roger Thomas (Cpt), Paul Davies (Kevin Procter), Simon Jenkins, Gwilym Lewis

South Aukland Kiwis 20 Llanelli Warriors 26 (match 101)

The final match and having won two there was enough pressure without it being also dubbed 'The test match'. A great day and so good to see people the other side of the world doing the same things. The Warriors were very impressed by the Kiwis who had less 'able bodied' players and almost sneaked a win when the Warriors relaxed. A large crowd and tv coverage also added to the occasion and the Warriors were overjoyed at coming through their New Zealand tour unbeaten.
The Black clad South Auckland Kiwis await their Welsh rivals
Here come our brave heroes
ready to face the haka
The kiwis' haka
an early line out
chasing through
close up of Jumpin' and Lulu
feeding back to Shed
Blacks ball
Rich Hapus on the wing
Black attack
all over the teams congratulate each other
the Warriors clap of the kiwi side
well earned rest for the photos
note Richard and Andrew still limping
Auckland Marist Clubhouse: scene of the Warriors greatest triumph since Waunarlywdd?
made to sing again
The kiwis give a song or two
all photos courtesy of Rob Holmes of Betws RFC who had come along with Steve Big, Emyr Tim, Big Jim and Cellan to support the Warriors.

report as it appeared in the Llanelli Star

South Auckland Kiwis 20 Llanelli Warriors 26

Having won their two matches some sides might have been tempted to relax. However having been told all tour that this was ‘the test match’ there was no chance of the Warriors doing that. The match was a rare meeting between integrated sides and the home team, having registered wins against a Japanese and Australian team were full of confidence. With the only representative side from Wales to have triumphed in New Zealand being a Scott Quinnell inspired Schools side the size of the task was obvious. The stacks were further raised when the Kiwis, dressed in all black performed a haka to the red clad Warriors.
Darren Davies was handed his first start on tour and Alun Stephens moved to the back row with the Warriors’ kiwis preferring to start on the bench. The large Kiwi side a strong Polynesian influence dominated early possession and pounded the Warriors defence. Tackling had to be of the highest order and there were a number of early injuries for the Warriors to contend with as the going got extremely tough. The Warriors tactics of kicking, to break the game down to a free flowing pattern which suited them
The Warriors were forced to run from anywhere and the 1st score came against the run of play. Alun Stephens thumped the ball up field, Gwilym Lewis re gathered and sent Lee Rowlands in for the games opening score. A second followed soon after, a sweeping move made enough room for Rob Roberts, back in his more accustomed role of full back to cross in the corner. After this the Warriors grew in confidence and they were able to dictate much of play. However a shrewd move from the front of the lineout made enough room for the scrum half to scamper through a gap and score from the half way line. Half time arrived with the Warriors hanging on to a 12-5 advantage.
Welsh voices from both Ponyates and Betws struggled to be heard among the partisan home crowd which included two film crews but the Llanelli team gave them plenty to cheer. Despite having been enjoying the full delights of touring for two weeks the Warriors looked the fitter side after the break and were able to dominate the 3rd quarter of the match. Lee Rowlands ran in a second score, Jon Kerr was able to capitalise on good approach work from Alun Stephens and also added another conversion.
The final stages of the match however, saw a strong comeback by the Kiwis. Snatching possession back from a restart they rumbled up to and over the Warriors line. The score galvanised the team and at times it looked like they had more like 20 players on the field. The Warriors however continued to be hit by injuries and were forced to empty the bench as they struggled to maintain their grip on the game. The Kiwis, with their tails up redoubled their efforts and scored two more quick tries. It was backs to the wall time for the Welsh team with Dai Newson and Richard Evans putting in some brave defence. This allowed the Warriors time to gather themselves and they slowed the match down to regain their own momentum. Ian Marshall was worked over for a try which finally ended New Zealand resistance and a Welsh win was secured when Tony Whittaker slotted the conversion.
The mutual respect from the sides was very evident after the game with the Warriors gaining many plaudits for their rugby. The tour was a magnificent way for No 8 Dai Newson to end his career. Fired up on the field and emotional afterwards he rolled back the years to produce a man of the match display the equal of any in his 9 years at the club, during which time he did not miss a game.
The club could not have foreseen the wonderful success this tour was both off and on the field. The conducted themselves immaculately and gathered praise from many quarters doing themselves and Llanelli proud.
Warriors XV: Rob Roberts, Richard Evans (Reke Sak), Lee Rowlands (Rhys Sak), Andrew John (Ian Marshall), Tony Whittaker, Dean Gilasbey, Gary James, Darren Davies (Colin Talcon), Jason Jenkins, Dai Edwards (Captain) (Bernard Gittings), John Horwood, Jon Kerr, Alun Stephens, Dai Newson, Gwilym Lewis