Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gwlad Regional Select 22 Llanelli Warriors 29 (Match 154)

What a cracking 6 Nations the Warriors have had this season, and what a cracking day in Cardiff. It certainly helped ease the pain of losing to Ireland.

Played on nice and early on the 6 nations Super Satuday as well as the Warriors game there was the Italy v France and e**land v Scotland matches to keep people occupied on the Cathedral Road pub crawl on the way into town.

For those not aware, the Gwlad XV was made up of members and friends of the Welsh rugby chat site They have been holding an annual fund raising match for several years, originaly amongst themselves split into City Slickers and Valley Commandos (for whom Warriors Mathew Jones, Gwilym Lewis and Rhydian Jones put in apperances). This season during the Autumn season they combined and played Magor RFC (who Billo put in another apperance for). This was their 2nd venture as a combined team. The team this time featured amongst it's enthusiastic amateur players Irish and American players and a former London Welsh prop. The gwlad site is generally recognised as the best informed chat site and is regularly used by the Welsh media with members including Rick O'Sea and Carolyn Hitt. It has over 5,000 members and is well worth a visit. A word of warning - it can take a while to 'get' the sense of humour and it is not the place for whimsical 'thinking out loud' unless you have the statistics and evidence to back it up. Lurking before posting is recommended.
Anyway - they made up today's opposition for the Warriors, a pretty unkown quantity even for themselves, the Warriors travelled to Cardiff's Llandaff feilds to take them on...


Played in warm spring Cardiff sunshine that perfectly suited their running instincts, the Warriors were able to triumph in this entertaining fixture against
Although the Warrior have been unable to put out a settled line up this season they were able to field a strong side for only their 3rd ever visit to the Capital. The home side were also forced into a late reshuffle so both sides had several untried combinations.
The game maintained a quick pace throughout and although the Warriors started better they fell behind to two long range effort as the home team put together some sweeping moves. Kevin Robbins was the Gwald team’s main threat and they got tries through Drew and ex London Welsh scrum half Dan Red, neither of which they converted. This seemed to give the home team confidence and they came more into the game, roles were reversed and it was now the Warriors having to attack from distance. Richard Pegler finally got a score for the Warriors but when Gwlad scored a third try, a swerve, step and sprint from wing Donnelly, and things began to look ominous for the Llanelli side.
The packs enjoyed a good battle up front with John Horwood and Richard Evans doing well and Jon Kerr managed to urge his troops to new efforts. They got back in the game with a slightly fortuitous try when a mix up between Humphries and Thomas in the Gwlad backline allowed Parker to pounce on the loose ball as it rolled over the line. With Kerr improving it gave the Warriors hope for the second half.
Even when Gwlad got further ahead through a try and conversion from Robert Eirwg the Warriors seemed to sense they were still in the game. They hit back with a try from the top draw. The back row worked Jones into space from a scrum in their own 22 and using the support runners as foils he weaved his way to the try line. This score put the game truly back in the balance and a huge spring in the Warriors step. Darren Politt had a dancing run down the wing whilst flankers Williams and Lelli both did well. Burly centre Alun Stephens’ strong running made a try for mobile prop Colin Talcon which saw the Warriors finally go ahead. In such an open game both sides realised it was all to play for but it was the Warriors who literally got the bounce of the ball, a hack ahead looked to be safely in the hands of MacKenzie but it bobbled into the lap of on running Jones who just beat the cover to the line to secure the win for Llanelli.
For Gwlad, Dafydd Oliver didn’t deserve to be on the losing side and some of the forwards proved powerful around the field whilst the Warriors had Cross and Jenkins in good form.
With both sides and the referee being positive throughout it proved an excellent encounter which also raised monies for various rugby charities. The success of the fixture can be measured in that it has already been written into the fixtures list for next term as an integral part of the international weekend.
Llanelli Warriors: Joshua Crowther, Neil Parker, Richard Pegler, Alun Stephens, Richard Evans (Darren Pollitt), Jason Cross, Mathew Jones, Adrian Williams (Richard Lelli), Jason Jenkins, Jason Bennett (Colin Talcon, Huw Jenkins), John Horwood, Roger Thomas, Jonathan Kerr (Cpt), Gwilym Lewis, Lee Rowlands.
Gwlad Combined Regional Select: (inc) Bender the Robot, Married to a Cardiff girl, Yankee Red, Drew, Cardiff Thomas, Clunk, Bigman, Bigman's son, Neef Neef Neef, Kahuna, Thomond 78, Eirwg, Dill the Dog, Superliftboy
Warriors Scorers
Tries:Mathew Jones (2), Colin Talcon, Richard Pegler, Neil Parker
Conversions: Jon Kerr (2)
Tries: Yankee Red, Drew, Eirwg, Clunk
Conversion: Eirwg
Man of the Match: Mathew Jones
Additional match information: It all looked like it might go a bit pear shaped when Bloc recivied a Bigman hand to the chops and Roger got a decent hand off but with the world's coolest ref; Postie, immediatley calming things down, it soon developed into a free running romp of a game. Thats not to say there weren't any forward exchanges with John Horwood being pressured in the lineouts and loose play but to be fair he did well. Rich Evans came in off his wing to smash his 8 stones into a couple of rucks whilst linesman Lewi did his bit by threatening 6'5 Bigman. Pegler had a very impresive return to Warriors colours but alomst spoilt it by trying to come off early. Luckily Mam was on hand to envoke the family name and shame him into staying on. Adrian had a tidy 2nd apperance and even brought an extra player in Ricky Lelli who is so unfit he used to play f**tball with Bloc. Neil Parker managed to score again which isn't bad for someone whose 'back is totally f**ked' and 'can only stand on the wing'. Whilst it wasn't the most competitive of games the last of Bender's mistakes was so comical that Warriros coach Gwilym claimed "I wouldn't have beleived it if I hadn't played against Gwlad before."

Right - thats enough of the rugby. There was a decent pub crawl to be had - heading down towards the (pre booked) Model Inn. Sarnies 1st though, courtesy of the Donnellys and then, trying to catch up with the Gwlad contingent it was to The Halfway and then The Cayo Arms before jumping the queue to get to the Model.
Base camp established the day/evening/night slowly descended into the sort of chaos not seen Scotland. Some came, some went (and came back again) but the only constant seemed to be beer and dancing. The less said about the Welsh - Irish game the better but dancing seemed to ease the pain. Tracey Shambles had the cheek to say that some of it had scared her for life since she and Michelle were amongst the worst culprits. It must have been pretty bad as Neil Parker ended up being 'the sesnsible one' and (eventually) got everyone heading to the bus. Somehow everyone made it more or less on time (although some people thought they had lost other people already on the bus) and we headed for Turk town. With the singing on the bus keeping everyone awake (or kissing Lewi if you were Irish) only a brave few managed to make any headway into town. This weeks last Warriors standing: Parker, Newson, 2 Guns, Gwilym Lulu, Tracey Hallett & Lee Babara. At least we weren't barging ex Welsh Captains like the Gwald contingent!
Belive it or not, after all that both teams are enthusiastic to make it an annual venture.

Monies were also raised for, The Toby Lloyd Cockbain Foundation and the Gareth Jones Trust.

For a further idea on how the game came about and gwald's reaction CLICIWCK

Finally enjoy the pic of the pictures
Rich Hapus - glad to be going

Huw Bwyd with kit and lunch bag heads to the game

'action' from the match

'stay on your feet'

the aftermath

front ball ploy works well(ish)

Pegs finds some space

try coming up

if only these were cropped properly we could pretend they were from different games...

Warriors v Cardiff Saracens

Neil on the up

Line out cwtch time

Yes this should be with the other fotos higher up

Gwlad (Dill) makes a break whilst Gwilym dances with Bender (!!)

Warriors v Stade Francais

Cross ends Dill's break

Pegs chasing

Warriors v Cardiff

Leon gets away from Joshua

Warriors v Neef

Hapus still smiling


Darr, Josh and 2 Guns clear the dance floor

The survivors

Bigamn still missing tackles even after the game

Barber feels a right arse

Gwendraeth girls out drinking the men again

Neil rescues Lewi as the dance floor lurches to the left

wave your hands in the air if you don't care

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cefneithin 39 Llanelli Warriors 53 (Match 153)

Another year and another great day in Cefneithin. This year was the 10th anniversary and will be memorable for: having a wrestling style intro as we took the field, a number of debuts ("This is Adrian is it alright if he has a few minutes"), the return of the Warriorettes and Lynn Williams.
As ever it was Itlay v Wales, singing, dancing and a general lurve vibe (check the album here). Tony Rees was his usual self post match and was ably helped by Chris Bonar & Jason Jenkins. As ever there was some great fundraising and the news that there will be a Warriors cabinet to celebrate the 10th anniversary which will house the new cup that Cefnithin had commisioned.
Match report

The Warriors obviously enjoyed the warm spring sunshine at Cefneithin to cut loose and pass the 50 point mark for the 1st time this season. The popular fixture was celebrating it’s 10th anniversary and the home side had put up a cup which added to the sense of occasion.
For the Warriors, returning half back Dean Gilasbey made his 100th appearance for the club whilst at the other end of the scale there were debuts for Messaggiero, Lawson and Williams. Cefneithin’s side must have had one of the largest age ranges in the clubs history with the return of several old stagers alongside some of the older youth members.
The contrast from the Warriors last game in a frozen Edinburgh couldn’t have been more stark and they hit the ground running. Captain Jonathan Kerr showed an excellent appetite for work and his strong support play saw him grab a record equalling 4 tries within the 1st half an hour. Three conversions saw him set a new match points record of 26 and left the home team visibly stunned.
It set the order for the day and both sides switched on the exhibition mind set, keeping the ball alive at all costs although the defence of both teams might need some work.
With both teams playing with width there was a battle royal on the wings with Cefn duo Alan Taylor and Tony Whittaker going hammer and tongs with Liam Carpenter and Josh Crowther of the Warriors. Taylor, hatrick hero the week before, did eventually get through the Warriors defence only for Warriors full back Lee Rowlands to hammer him in one of the biggest tackles of the game. Crowther got on the score sheet for the Warriors but it was Liam Carpenter who was named man of the match for an excellent all round performance. Whittaker also looked dangerous on occasion and slotted 2 conversions.
Rob Hughes got the pick of the Warriors efforts with a great solo run from half way while Messaggiero, and Lawson got over on their debuts. Dancing prop Jason Bennett completed the Warriors try scoring. Messaggiero and Hughes also improved their efforts to give the Warriors their highest total in 4 years.
Cefn recovered well from their early set backs and eventually notched 8 tries of their own. Marcos led the way with two darting efforts, whilst Williams and Hollbroke finished sweeping moves. The biggest cheer of the day was for veteran Tony Rees who rolled back the years to show the youngsters how it’s done with a storming effort. Nothing could spoil the Warriors day though and the Llanelli side claimed the cup which will now become an annual prize.

Warriors XV: Lee Rowlands, Joshua Crowther, Neil Parker (Nathan Lawson), Alun Stephens, Liam Carpenter, Dean Gilasbey, Mathew Jones, Huw Jenkins (Colin Talcon), Jason Jenkins, Jason Bennett (Adrian Williams, Chris Bonar), John Horwood, Jon Kerr (Cpt), Luke Messaggiero, Rob Hughes, Gwilym Lewis

Man of the Match: Liam Carpenter

It was nice to have Dean Gilasbey back at half back and the difference for the Warriors was obvious with play switching nicley around the field. The official review doesn't mention Alan Taylor's red card from Charlie for (again) fighting with Gwilym but he probaly had had enough by then anyway from Rowlands. Tony gets bite of the day for his fantastic reation to any teasing from the Warriors ranks whilst Liam had a great game on the wing and deserved his Man of the Match bottle of bubbly. With the Bonar family largley absent (see below) it fell to the Messaggiero's to provide the biggest crowd of the day with young Luke getting a try, conversion and almost a can of beer off Lee Rowlands all on his debut (Just don't tell anyone he's only 16!)

The video provides a taste of the day but as ever, you had to be there!

Finally there was a shadow over the day. Anthony Bonar who usually organises so much of the Warriors day at Cefn was with his family up in Cardiff visiting his brother Jonathan. They would not wished for this to spoil the day (and it didn't) but our thoughts were also with them.