Monday, February 27, 2006

Penybanc 17 Llanelli Warriors 39 (Match 117)

Edited review from the Star

Programme cover: Colin Talcon presenting Penybanc Captain Adrian Pugh with the Warriors 7s trophy (2004/05 season)

A very enjoyable day at Penybanc, well at least until the Ireland - Wales match and even then Billo and Gwil had the compensation of bagging both 1st (Mark Jones) and last (Peter Stringer) scorers to net themselves £30. The Warriors game was better though. Another good squad turn out although Killer and Big Al were still injured from the Gladiators match.
John Horwood became the 'most capped' Warrior on his 109th apperance, Meredith Pugh finally got to play for Penybanc and scored for both sides, Tarw got a hatrick in a 19 point haul, Roger got stuck ino some rucks and Mauls, Jason's throwing in was excellent, Tony went well with ball in hand, Oag went for a spin, Gwilym managed to pay back a few debuts from last time, Dobbin managed to send off Anthony his son.
After the game Chris kept buying beer despite running out of money and had to be rescued by local women (and later we rescued them from him!). The whole bus popped into Cefneithin to drop him off and 'treated' the locals to a couple of hakas and the usual 'yellow submarine' before we were allowed home. Good day all round then!
Match report

The Warriors another fine performance to triumph in Penybanc. With both sides coming off the back of tense victories it was a chance to relax and play some rugby. This resulted in an exhibition nature to the game with the result secondary.
The Llanelli side are in fine form at the moment with their systems working well whilst Penybanc used the opportunity to experiment with selection.
This meant that the Warriors were the more cohesive side and started stronger. Prop Colin Talcon, wing Meredith Pugh and No8 Simon Jenkins all scored from well rehearsed moves. Jenkins was proving a real handful for the Penybanc defence and added another try in a fine display of explosive running.
Penybanc were also enjoying the occasion and scored a neat try when Christian Hughes broke clear and scored near the posts. Both the Harris and Tench brothers were doing well for the home side and Mathew Ladd was at the heart of most of their good work.
Both sides played expansive rugby and with the conditions perfect there was plenty of skill on show. Shortly before the half Penybanc clawed back another try when David Morris twisted his way through.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first. The Warriors extended their lead with breakaway tries from Dean Gilasbey and Andrew John but Penybanc were unlucky on a number of occasions. The Warriors seemed to be getting the bounce of the ball and a couple of referee decisions also helped their cause. Meredith Pugh swapped sides to appear for his home village and had an immediate impact bustling over for a try which was converted by Richard Evans.
Justin Bennett went close a couple of times for the Warriors whilst Craig Oag whirled around the field. The final score though, went to Simon Jenkins who claimed a hatrick after been held up once. He also banged over two conversions to complete a man of the match performance. The team were indebted to line out specialist John Horwood who was setting a new appearance record for the club in his 109th game. His work in the set piece complemented his second row partner Roger Thomas who was a major force in the loose. It was their work that laid the foundations for the victory and the Warriors will be a hard team to beat whilst they play so effectively.

Llanelli Warriors: Mathew Jones, Meredith Pugh (Tony Whittaker), Lee Rowlands (Craig Oag), Andrew John, Richard Evans (Alan Taylor), Jonathan Jones, Dean Gilasbey, Colin Talcon (Chris Bonar), Jason Jenkins, David Edwards (Justin Bennett), John Horwood, Roger Thomas (Cpt), Chris Spriggs, Simon Jenkins, Gwilym Lewis (Mike James)

This matches photographer: Dion Mitchell-Lewis

Juice waits for ball
Spriggs, Tarw and Mike poised in the back row
Bloc points the way
Forming up, up front
Another solid Warriors scrum (note Richard and Meredith in Penybanc colours)
Tiger tamers: (left to right) Justin 'Bloc' bennett, Jason '2 guns' Jenkins, Lee 'The mole' Rowlands, Alan taylor, Andrew 'Green' john, Mathre 'Billo' Jones, Chris 'Y Cysgod' Bonar, Gwilym 'Lulu' Lewis, Richard 'Hapus' Evans, Jonathan 'Juice' Jones, Meredith 'Tiger' Pugh, Chris 'Crisp' Spriggs, Craig 'The worm' Oag, Simon 'Tarw' Jenkins, Roger 'Murphy' Thomas, Dean Gilasbey, lewis 'Louie' Jones, Jumpin' John Horwood and Tony Whittaker
Gwil makes the bar
Penybanc tiger: stuffed
man of the match: Simon Jenkins
Pugh the turncoat at the bar
Gwil makes Bonnar put on his thinking cap
Chris looks to take a bite out of Gwil in revenge
Billo looks on in disgust
Roger handing demands to Chairman Dai: is he taing him to 'The Red Zone'
Craig and Mike watch to see how Dai takes it
This weeks classic Roger Murphy Photo
Dai Posh suffers the Welsh game
Colin lends a comforting arm
Louie: Smokin'
and drinking: no wonder he's smiling

Monday, February 20, 2006

Swansea Gladiators 5 Llanelli Warriors 7 (match 116)

"I'm on the top of the world, looking down on creation..."

Bit in the Star

The South Wales Guardian suddenly takes over as the Warriors favorite paper (you can read it again HERE on the Guardian's own site if you want)

A fantastic result for the Warriors, just the 2nd time the club have won the Challenge Shield away from home. The Gladiators were looking to win the Shield for a record 5th consecutive time but in a very tight game the Warriors managed to scrape the win. With wins over the Swansea Gladiators, Saracens Brave Herts and South Auckland Kiwis within 7 games the Wariors can justifiably claim to be (probaly) the best Challenge rugby team in the world.

Match report:

The Llanelli Warriors are feeling on top of the world this week after narrowly beating the Swansea Gladiators in a tense Challenge Shield match. The integrated side that includes players with learning difficulties has now, in the space of 7 games beaten the only similar sides in New Zealand, England and Wales. With the New Zealand side having beaten opposition from Australia and Japan the Llanelli team can claim to be the best ‘Challenge rugby’ side in the world.
The game against the nearest and oldest rivals was also the hardest. A tough rugby match with no quarter asked or given the Warriors managed to foil the Gladiators quest for a record 5th consecutive victory. Both sides were hampered by the glue pot pitch which was only just deemed playable and it would be very interesting to see the sides do battle on a faster surface. The Gladiators dominated most of the 1st half with the Warriors line under fairly constant threat. Both sides lost key forwards in Victor Rekar (Swansea) and Jonathan Kerr (Llanelli) as it became a war of attrition. With the mud acting as an extra defender for both sides and two committed defences it was no surprise that at half time the score was still nil – nil.
The teams cancelled each other out at scrum and line out but the home side continued to hold the upper hand. Eventually they put together a sweeping move which fly half Anthony Evans finished off out wide. The conversion was narrowly missed and everyone knew it could be crucial. The score was the spark the Warriors needed and they upped their game. The roles were now reversed with the Swansea side holding out in their own 22. Simon Jenkins narrowly missed two penalties but from the second, wings Taylor and Jones pressured the opposition into a mistake, Alan Stephens intercepted a pass on the line and promptly scored. Jenkins made light of the pressure to land the conversion and the Warriors were in front with 15 minutes to go.
The Gladiators then proceeded to throw everything at the Warriors and it took a supreme team defensive effort to keep them out. Roger Thomas again led from the front and Simon Jenkins put in a number of key hits as everyone did their bit. They managed to frustrate the Gladiators and were helped when their captain Ryan Bath was carded shortly before the end. Despite some excellent rugby from the Gladiators the Llanelli team were able to hold on for just their 2nd away victory in the series.
Reflecting on the match afterwards both teams were able to find plenty of positives with almost 60 players turning out between the two sides and some excellent rugby played. The Gladiators seem to have unearthed another fine winger in Jonathan Dark whilst the Warriors’ Jason Bennett had a good debut. David Edwards was chosen as the man of the match for his impressive running. With the concept of Challenge rugby finally beginning to catch on worldwide it is satisfying to see it so healthy in its Welsh birthplace.

Llanelli Warriors: Lee Rowlands (Rob Roberts), Mathew Jones, Andrew John, Neil Parker (Alun Stephens), Tony Whittaker (Alan Taylor), Jonathan Jones, Dean Gilasbey, Mike James (Jason Bennett), Jason Jenkins (David Edwards), Richard Evans (Meredith Pugh), Roger Thomas (Cpt), Jonathan Kerr (John Horwood), Paul Jayseabee (Chris Spriggs), Simon Jenkins, Gwilym Lewis

Warriors scorers: Try: Alan Stephens, Conversion: Simon Jenkins
Gladiators: Try: Anthony Evans

Debut: Jason Bennett
John Horwood's 108th match; equalling Dai Newson's apperance record.

Try THIS for another view of the game which I think must have appeared in the Evening Post

A cold winters day the Warriors were able to field a 22 man squad but were still short of the Gladiators numbers ( a great sign for Challenge rugby). The Swansea Uplands pitch was the worst seen since the Warriors other away victory in Waunarlwydd and certainly curtailed both sides ambitions for running rugby. the game was as ... er ... competative as usual with a couple of frayed tempers and luckily was well reffereed. The two teams were well matched and most agreed afterwards it had been an excellent game of hard rugby. Roger suprised everyone with his choice of David Edwards as man of the match 'for his running' with Simon Jenkins, Roger himself, John Horwood and others all having their moments. Top marks to all involved in the lineout where for once the Gladiators weren't able to dominate. Dai Ed may have won the man of the match, but it seemed to affect him as he then lost his top, wallet (twice), bag and mobile phone at various points and was too tired for the team photo!

The Warriors were slightly fortunate to get an interception try right on the line but can also point to two missed penalties in justifying their win. At the end of the day there was little between the two teams but the Warriors came through.

Pictures from Murphy, Sheep, Nusiance and Lulu:

Jumpin' wins good lineout ball despite pressure

Parker relaxes while the forwards do the work

Gwilym feels the squeese

Rob takes it on for the Gladiators

Jon Kerr and Gary Coombe battle for the ball

Ouch! Jon Kerr's bad finger

Victorious Warriors: (left to right) John Horwood, Justin Bennett, Alan Taylor, Mathew Jones, Mike James, Dean Gilasbey, Neil Parker, Simon Jenkins, Andrew John, Paul Davies, Rob Roberts, Gwilym Lewis, Jonathan Jones, Roger Thomas (Cpt), Lewis Jones, Meredith Pugh, Chris Spriggs, Richard Evans, Lee Rowlands, Alan Stephens, Jason Jenkins, Tony Whittaker

Gladiators (Kyle Davies): still smiling

"And he should have tackled like this..."

They weren't too worried: they're off to ireland next week

Deano & Bloc recovering

"She's MY girlfriend"

Rob Sheep: wooly

Leon Jones: next time your going down like THIS!

Rob drowning sorrows

Tony caught telling the ref where he went wrong

This weeks classic Roger Murphy photo

neil Parker overjoyed at his 1st Challenge Shield win

Curry & chips for Al: can't go wrong!

Rich hapus smiling!!!

Taylor and Pugh both claimed they'd pulled

Raffle was a fix (Michael Gemine with his eye on the prize)

Newson: curry & chips #7

and that concludes another match report

er...or it did until these photos recently came to light:

Spidersheep helps Louie pu Gwil's coat on

scrum ball for Deano

If only Roger and Andrew got stuck into the game like that

Dai Ed wandered lonley as a cloud