Thursday, September 07, 2006

Swansea Gladiators 26 Llanelli Warriors 12 (match 123)

OK season 12 finally underway and as is traditional we lost! New Captain Jason Jenkins did his bit with a fine stirring speech before hand but it wasn't enough. As ever for the 1st game it took a while to get a team but credit due to Damien and Dog for turning up at short notice, Sheep for playing whilst ill and Billo who got lost on the moors but still made kick off. it made up for the loss of Jumpin' John Horwood & Chris 'Water boy' Bonar (Turkey and Tinsel weekend in Paigton) Lee Barber (working), Lee Rowlands (errrr) and Andrew John, James Howelles and Mike Esney (?) the review covers most points except Tony's world class strop and after match pwdi. We almost wish Louie had come!

Season 12 begins...

1st photo of the new season : as the excitment mounts!!..?

(L>R) Dog, Deano, Damien and Rich listen in

Tony laughs as Rich tries to chew his pre-match toffee

New Dock corner could hear, see or speak no rugby

Er: Billo, Big Al and Campo

Jason 2 guns 1st Captains speech

Warriors awesome lineout...oh damn the game hasn't started yet!

Dog & Al tickle Jonny Killer

The Gladiators (above) and the Warriors (below) oberve a minutes silence in memory of Dai Spriggs and also the game was played on 11/11

Action underway: blydi hell looks like f**tball

1st scrum of the new season?

Gwil looks like he has a spring in his step

Killer takes good line out ball

Warriors kick off

I think thats Fotos with the ball

Well I'm not going to look at him...

Dean gets ready to launch another attack

Does anyone know where the ball is?

Different photo: same question

some general milling about

Ref about to warn Lulu to cool down after he's been hit from behind (possibly)

Captain Jas almost getting his hands dirty at a ruck

Meredith not impressed as Killer marks him out of 10

Rugby athlete Dai Posh has a well deserved sit down

(it's hard work eating 3 curry n chips mun!)

Birthday boy drink up
Gladiators speech

Gwilym: 'Well, I've only just got out the shower...'

You had to be there: a classic speech from Jason

Jason hands over the Dai Spriggs Memorial Plaque

Gladiators Legend Adrian Willaims with his Man of the Match trophy

Simon Tarw gets all hands on hips because Adrian had his photo taken 1st

Ed Willaims doesn't know what all the fuss was about anyway

Match report:
It was a sombre occasion being the 1st game since Dai Spriggs passed away and played on his birthday. It was also memorial Sunday. Maybe that was while, generally speaking the game was played in a better spirit than usual. Jason gave a memorable speech after the match and all in all it was a good day.

After a series of cancellations, the Llanelli Warriors finally kicked off their 12th season away to the Swansea Gladiators. It was a poignant return to action for the Warriors; the first match they had had since their full back Dai Spriggs passed away in the summer and played on his birthday. With the match also played on Memorial Sunday a very solemn minutes silence was dutifully observed.
The match itself was a very enjoyable affair, with almost none of the unnecessary niggle that has marred recent encounters. The rivalry was still evident however with some fierce rucking and big hits from two committed teams.
The Gladiators had the advantage of a squad large in both size and numbers. They had also already played a number of games so it was no surprise that they appeared the more cohesive unit. They exerted almost all the early pressure and although each score had to be earned they scored at regular intervals. By half time Mathews, Cochlyn and Scott Mills had crossed for tries with Mike Gemmine and Scott adding conversions.
The second half continued in the same vein but the Warriors did begin to gel. They defence was tighter and their attacks more effective. The Gladiators scored a fourth try through James Evans which Mike Cochlyn improved but the Warriors began to threaten. Whilst the Gladiators forwards continued to have the upper hand, the Warriors looked dangerous everytime they worked clean ball. The game may have been beyond them but they refused to throw in the towel and fine tries were carved out for Rob Roberts and Jonathan Jones, the latter improved by Jonathan Kerr. There could have been more with Mathew Jones coming the closest. The Gladiators were unquestionably good value for their win but the way they finished the match will give the Warriors plenty of heart for the return match later this season.
At the suggestion of the Gladiators the new Challenge Shield will be renamed the David Spriggs memorial Shield and played for at the start of each eason. Man of the match awards for the 1st such game were Adrian Williams (Gladiators) and Simon Jenkins (Warriors).

Warriors: Mathew Jones, Tony Whittaker, James Davies, Jonathan Jones, Rich Evans (Meredith Pugh), Damien Deans (Rob Roberts), Dean Gilasbey, Andrew Dog, Jason Jenkins (cpt), Colin Talcon (Dai Edwards), Jon Kerr, Alun Stephens, Chris Spriggs, Simon Jenkins, Gwilym Lewis
Tries: Rob Roberts, Jonathan Jones
Conversion: Jon Kerr
Man of the Match: Simon Jenkins
read the report on the web again (Cliciwch) and the Gladiators put in this small preview (Cliciwch)