Monday, November 27, 2006

Pontyberem 12 Llanelli Warriors 12 (Match 125)

Quiz question: who the hells playing. (Perhaps it was just as well Tracey only took one photo)
l>r (I think):Colin, Gwilym, Andrew, Killer, James, Deano, Wayne, Bloc, Neil, Tony) Also Billo playing for Bont (behind the ref with red sleeves).

The Warriors reached another milestone with their 125th match when they travelled to Pontyberem on Dec 27th. Various hang overs, family commitments and the weather probaly helped decimate the Warriors squad although at least most experienced player John Horwood (New dental work) and Captain Jason Jenkins (Bad knee/tired/going out afterwards) turned up to watch, as did much of New Dock Stars helping Chris to celebrate his birthday (although their support didn't actually extend to watching the match itself). Thankfully James Dew and Alex made debuts whilst Wayne Rodgers made a rare apperance. The Warriors total of 17 players was certainly better than the hosts who eventually managed to get 13 meaning those who subbed for the Warriors played for Pontyberem.

Christmas spirit was obviously in the air as the match was well natured (well one ickle incident) and neither Killer or Weredyatakher had a strop or pwdi. Louie was also in good spirits parading his new 'Leg end of Stradey' shirt. Stand in skipper Colin Talcon and Jason Jenkins chose birthday boy Chris Spriggs as man of the match despite Killer having a fine all round game. many thanks to Tracey for driving the bus and Alun for sorting out the Pontyberem team.

Match Report

For their 125th match the Warriors travelled to Pontyberem for their annual Christmas match and for the second year running it was a draw. The teams were once again evenly matched and only a point has now separated the side in their last 3 seasons.
Both sides had a slightly unfamiliar look. The Warriors gave debuts to James Dew and Alex Howells and were missing several regulars. Pontyberem mainly used their 2nd team alongside some youngsters and a couple of first teamers looking for match practise after injury.
The Warriors got off to a dream start with good quick ball. Wayne Rodgers found himself in space on the 22 and used his strength and speed to power over. Tony Whittaker added the conversion.
The game settled to an engaging affair with the ball given plenty of air. Pontyberem looked to run at almost every opportunity whilst the Warriors mixed their game more with Jon Kerr providing excellent lineout ball throughout the game. The Warriors defence looked a bit fragmented on several occasions and Pontyberem put the ball through the hands to score mid way through the half and drew the scores level.
For Pontyberem Justin Lloyd ran things affectively from fly half whilst Richard Evans and Tony Whittaker had a great battle on the wing. The Warriors backs looked sharp on occasion but their recent lack of matches was evident in some spurred chances. Lock Jon Kerr showed them how it was done with a surging run up the middle and flanker Chris Spriggs was named man of the match for his battling performance.
Pontyberem went into the lead with a second try and probably should have added to that but the Warriors stayed in the hunt with stand in skipper Colin Talcon keeping them going. They finished the game strongly and eventually scrum half Dean Gilasbey just managed to squeeze in at the corner. From as far out as he could be Kerr narrowly missed the conversion which would have snatched the game. Both sides seemed satisfied with a draw and will be able to draw plenty of positives whilst looking forward to next season’s fixture.

Llanelli Warriors: Rob Roberts, Alex Rodgers, Neil Parker (Mathew Jones), Andrew John, Tony Whittaker (Richard Evans), Jonathan Jones, Dean Gilasbey, Colin Talcon (Cpt), James Dew, Jason Bennett, Jon Kerr, Lee Rowlands, Chris Spriggs, Gwilym Lewis, Wayne Rodgers.

Tries: Wayne Rodgers, Dean Gilasbey

Conversion: Tony Whittaker

Man of the Match: Chris Spriggs

Monday, November 13, 2006

Llanelli Warriors 0 Dyfed Steel 7 (Match 124)

Prog cover: Andrew John in full flight
(Andrew missed the game waiting for a fridge to be delivered)
Captain's dance...sori, I mean speech
Having a sit down on the job
Mike James re aquainting himself with John
Beautiful formation there boys but what about some rugby!
Dobbin points Gwilym to where the ball should go
Steel scrum half tries to beat the ball (and probaly managed it)
End of the game and Killers still stropping!
Steel give ref dirty looks despite him gifting them the game
Meredith 'Tigger' Pugh
Roger Murphy complete with bad fingers (good band) and Mam
Bloc smiles as he reflects on crippiling Lulu
Richard Evans trying to get ahead

The Warriors lost their ground record in a scrappy game at Stradey Park (since Llanelli Hospital 2004/05) and failed to score for the 1st time 2000/01 (Llanelli Hospital again). It means back to back defeats for the 1st time since they lost to the Gladiators and the Past XV in December 04.
Thats not to say it wasn't a positive day with some decent rugby, a huge crowd, lots of money raised, 100 programmes sold and a good after-match in the Cambrian. A BIG thank you to Llanelli Wanderers RFC who at the very last minute let us borrow their changing rooms: Diolch Bois.

Match report

In a scrappy game at waterlogged Stradey Park, Dyfed Steel inflicted the Warriors 1st home defeat in over a season.
The wet ground conditions favoured the heavier Steel pack and try as the Warriors might they couldn’t match that one breach of defence.
The Warriors suffered an early blow when a collision saw prop Jason Bennet leave the field and stand in scrum half Gwilym Lewis effectively playing the rest of the game on one leg.
With former Llanelli back rower Mike Lloyd leading the way the Steel pack ground their way around the field, slowly but effectively. It was Jonathan Davies who grabbed the crucial score with Gareth Williams adding the extra points. It turned out to be crucial.
The game was an absorbing battle, even in the mud as both sides tried desperately to get further scores. The Warriors line out when well with John Horwood, the club’s only remaining ‘original’ leading the way. Prop Dai Edwards showed some neat touches on the ball and the Pegler Brothers; Andrew and Richard had impressive debuts. In defence Simon Jenkins and Jon Kerr put in the hits which limited the Steel attack whilst Richard Evans was the pick of the Dyfed players.
John Kerr (Dyfed Steel) and his son Jonathan (Warriors) both missed with penalties. As time slipped away the Warriors tried to open up the game and ran from anywhere keeping the large crowd entertained. The Dyfed Steel pack’s stranglehold upfront meant that they could generate no quick ball and their attacks seemed to be on the back foot. They kept going right to the whistle but eventually Steel hacked the ball into touch to seal a historic win.

Llanelli Warriors: Andrew Pegler, Tony Whitaker, Neil Parker (Lee Rowlands), Alan Stephens, Richard Evans (Meredith Pugh), Jonathan Jones, Gwilym Lewis, Colin Talcon (David Edwards), Jason Jenkins (Cpt), Jason Bennet (Mike James), John Horwood, Jon Kerr, Chris Spriggs, Simon Jenkins, Richard Pegler.

Man of the Match: Colin Talcon
(Dyfed Steel Man of the Match: Big Dick, which I hope is R. Evans???)
Dyfed Steel site: Cliciwch