Friday, March 18, 2011

Gwl@d forum Select Llanelli Warriors 0 (Match Report 170)

The third in the Gwlad series and a third cracking invasion of the capital by the Warriors hordes. Hordes of supporters anyway as several late withdrawals leaves the team with a reasonable 18 players but a bit short on pace and cutting edge.

The build up to the Warriors 170th fixture saw unprecedented interest on opponent’s web site with posts on the subject of the game well up. That was superseded by 1st a mention on Scrum V (red button fan zone, Rick O’Shea) and then thanks to Tace Shambles on scum V website a visit from Phil Steele for Radio Scrum V’s Club call. A Tuesday night interview in the Cambrian was broadcast on the Thursday and later went worldwide as part of the podcast.

As ever the more complicated the fixture the more stressed the management and the computers and phones of Neil, Lee and Gwilym fairly buzzed as supporters joined and players dropped out. In the end the only hitch was a rushed pick up of red rather than blue kit and fears it might clash with Gwla@d’s pink strip.

And so the Warriors biggest trip to date (outside of tour) saw a 50+ seater heading up the motorway, A very quiet stag do and some very loud Warriorettes all aboard saftley. Unfortunatley they were also encouraging Big Al and Neil to indulge in Stella. Lee’s on bus entertainment of 1st to score and raffle which took up to Pencoed to sort. Big Rhydian was the 1st winner, claiming an Easter egg.

At the ground only slightly late the 1st thing to do is make sure Gareth ‘Scottish Trip’ Cocoran is there for his 3rd game for the Warriors and his 1st match for anyone for 18 months. Having secured his services, handed the Captaincy reigns to Rich Hapus as Simon isn’t available.

The match itself is easily told. Gwl@d dominated possession and hammered away at the Warriors line. The Warriors work on defence was paying off and the reds defence helped by some poor passing held firm for about 20 minutes before Bender went over.
Just as the Warriors re-gathered themselves for the kick off half the Gw@ld team was replaced and banks of pink shirted players swopped throughout the game. Never the less the Warriors did well and only conceded another try before the break. Unfortunately the had little chance to attack although prop Paul Davies made an impressive break up the wing.

The game continued in much the same vein with Kevin Khuana again Gwl@d’s most potent threat, sweeping in for 3 tries in the last quarter as the Warriors ran out of steam. To be fair t the Llanelli side it was a draining efforts and injuries meant that they had to borrow Gareth Bambsy from the home ranks. The defensive effort was huge though with Rhydian having his best game indefence and Darren Pollitt being named Man of the Match for his efforts. A mention for Eric Horridge, the hooker filled in well as wing/full back despite having played for Betws against French tourists XV De Erdre the night before. Big Al had bit of the day with a massive bounce as the Warriors went close and Jon Kerr sort of made a tackle - even if it was 5 meters behind his try line. Rich Evans did well as Captain in difficult circumstances and the team emerged with plenty of credit.

Warriors XV: Kerr, Fitzsimmons, Parker, Stephens, Porridge, Cocoran, Edmunds, Evans (Cpt), Jenkins, Hancock (Talcon), Williams (Horwood), Pollitt, Lewis, Rowlands (Davies), Lawson

After the match it was a traipse (possibly via the halfway pub, some Gwl@d nibbles in the car park and some French oysters and wine) to the Bowls Club, home of Clwb Rygbi Caerdydd and more food; pies, pasties, welsh cakes and chocolate brownies. Suitably refuelled it was another jaunt, back towards town this time with a top sing song on a rather bemused service bus.

Into the Philly for drinking, dancing and Wales winning over Ireland – the victory possibly all the sweeter as the try was controversial. Some top dancing them ensured with Sharon, Colin and even Big Al deserving mentions but all trailing the awesome Jason Jenkins who having dominated the pole then proceeded to hassle every hen party he could find.

Amazingly everyone found the bus home (I think), some more singing (yellow submarine – natch) and back to the Cambrian where there was a ….. Karaoke on!

The hardcore made the crawl up to the Met bar in town to round off some 16 hours of rugby & drinking although there was little sign of the competing Parker and Al.

Just in case you think this was all for fun several hundred pounds was raised for the running of the Gwlad website and the Reuben & Friends charity.

Tumble Development XV 20 Llanelli Warriors 34 (Match Report 169)

Warriors survive comeback in Tumble
Match Photos
Some impressive attacking but poor defense from both sides but the Warriors hold on.

The Warriors managed to triumph in an exciting match at Gwendraeth overcoming a talented but wasteful Tumble Development side.
Tumble fielded a young side giving youth an opportunity whilst the Warriors, although missing some key players welcomed back veteran hooker Jason Jenkins.
Right from the off Tumble demonstrated both their desire to spread the ball but also a lack of discipline, a loose pass was picked up by sharp Warriors 9 Mathew Jones and he strode away to score.
The Warriors built on this fortuitous start; the dangerous running of Smith and Jamie Evans complimented by some hard graft from Darren Pollitt and Rhydian Williams. Evans first set up namesake Richard and then stepped through himself to help the Warriors to a substantial lead before Tumble got off the mark with a long range effort.
Simon Jenkins drove over from close range for the Warriors but the try of the half though came through their wing Jon Kerr who stepped through a gap on half way and streaked home.
29 - 5 up at half time the Warriors were guilty of relaxing in the 2nd period. Tumble began to spin the ball but a too casual attitude saw too many forward and dropped passes. The did begin to score though and three unanswered tries ate into the Warriors lead. The visitors last ditch tackling helped them keep their noses in front but it got tighter and tighter as the minutes ticked away.
The Warriors were able to up their game and the closing minutes saw a ding dong battle with play sweeping from end to end. Tumble weren't quite able to get the score they needed to put the game back in the melting pot and with the last action of the game Mike Seignot wriggled over in the corner for the Warriors to secure victory.

Penybanc 41 Llanelli Warriors 59 (Match Report 168)

Fast & Loose for Warriors at Penybanc
Match Photos
After last weeks bruising encounter with the Bumble Barbarians this was a totally different experience for the Warriors.

Two relaxed teams looking to spin the ball produced a try fest of free flowing rugby with all players looking to express themselves. The Warriors did kick an early penalty but after that foot was rarely put to ball which was thrown about like a hot coal.
Not surprisingly in such a game it was the wings who benefited most. Jonney Corner (Warriors) and Aled Arnold (Penybanc) monopolised the early scores getting two tries a piece. Hot stepping center Jordan Smith extended the Warriors lead but strong running Cellan Harris hit back for the Tigers. Penybanc were left to rue missed kicks whilst the Warriors through Simon jenkins (2) and Richard Evans improved every score.
If sharing 6 tries in the first half was impressive there were 9 in the second. The pace of the game resulted in plenty of tired legs which didn't help defenses and so the tries came at regular intervals.
Arnold completed an impressive hatrick for the home team and Mario D’Angelo scorched in on the other flank. However Smith got his second and then Hancock got two for the Warriors. John James finished off a sweeping move for Penybanc and a second Lindsy Stamp conversion kept their hopes alive.
The Warriors swept back up field though, Simon Jenkins managed to score from an ambitious chip and chase before Gwilym Lewis got their 8th try to seal the game. Remarkably despite using several kickers the Warriors 100% conversion record held with Jon Kerr (2), Jenkins, Rhydian Williams and Smith all landing kicks.
Penybanc had the final word when veteran Steve Bear seized on a loose ball to sprint over from long range, his conversion bringing the final whistle.
An entertaining game of rugby, despite all the try scorers Warriors hooker Richard Evans was named Man of the Match for a non stop performance edging out the impressive Jon Kerr and strong running of Rhydian Williams whilst Penybanc were lucky to have players with the intelligence of Mike Howells on the field.
To round off a great day for the Warriors Penybanc made a donation to the club to support players with learning difficulties.
Llanelli Warriors: Jon Kerr, Joshua Crowther, Neil Parker, Jordan Smith, Jonney Corner, Jamie Evans, Gwilym Lewis, Chris Hancock, Richard Evans, Mike Fitzsimmons, John Horwood, Rhydian Williams, Simon Jenkins (Cpt), Alun Stephens, Lee Rowlands

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Llanelli Warriors 22 Bumble Barbarians (Bradford & Bingley) 17 (Match report 167)

Warriors edge out brave Bradford & Bingley.

The Warriors proved a rarity over the weekend when they overcome their English visitors in an enthralling encounter at Parc y Scarlets.

Fired up with national anthems both sides provided a passionate performance with the result in the balance to the end.
The Warriors started strongly and dominated early territory. The forwards got the team on the front foot and allowed their backs to get into the game early. The good work was undone though when the ball was spilt in the tackle and Ben Hall caught the Warriors cold to sprint away for a try from nowhere. Despite being stunned the Llanelli side picked up where they left off with Lee Rowlands running strongly in centre and again the forwards going well. Bumbles defence though held strong and it was déjà vu as a loose ball allowed the Bumbles to streak away and despite a rearguard action they held their composure and grounded a second try through George Morris.
Obviously shaken by this stunning turn of events it took some deep resolve for the Warriors not to panic but they stuck to their game plan and worked their way up field. Three times for a Welshman, the third score of the game went to Jason Bennett, powering over after good approach work with a trademark burst.
Captain Jenkins slotted the conversion and a penalty and it was the Bradford teams turn to wonder what had happened with their lead evaporated.
10 all at half time the pace of the game continued, it was a tight affair with plenty of tension and lots of excellent hard rugby. The Yorkshire side had plenty of grunt up front with Anthony Yorke and Lee Hainsworth going strong, Ryan Kirby was a thorn in the Warriors side and Ashan Sakandar put in some big hits. The Warriors struggled to contain them at times and Richard Evans and Darren Pollitt lead the way in putting their bodies on the line.
Jamie Evans and Jordan Smith were busy in the Warriors back line but strong tackling nullified much of their efforts. The Warriors took the lead through an unorthodox score, they broke through mid field, rucked well and broke right, Mathew Kirkham almost put Josh Crowther over but Bumbles snaffled the ball back, but under pressure they couldn’t clear, a three man collision with the post saw the ball spill loose and Curtis Ramcke pounced for the score which Jon Kerr converted.
The Bumbles side wasn’t finished though and with the wind in their favour they were easily able to get into Warriors territory. The broken running was a feature of an exciting match and they managed to steak away and Nick Starkey touched down. Kirby kicked the extras and it was all square with 10 minutes to go. Back to the Warriors, a drive almost got the score they needed as the clock ran down and time dipped under 5 minutes left they were camped on the English line. A third scrum saw the ball moved twice and eventually Bumbles ran out of defenders and Ramcke crossed for his 2nd. The windy conditions scuppered Jenkins conversion leaving 3 minutes with all to play for. It was desperate stuff from both sides but a hack ahead put the Bumbles on the Warriors line. Drive after drive was held up and eventually the Warriors got hold of the ball and cleared, back came Bumbles but the spirit of the game was exemplified by Crowther holding onto Cookson for dear life until the cavalry arrived. A late penalty with a minute to go kept the Welsh team nervous but they won a scrum and with the last play of the game managed to clear to touch. The final whistle brought pain and ecstasy to the opposing teams as both had given their all in a fast hard match. A true sporting occasion with a winner and loser but no charity or tokenism, although both sides had players with learning difficulties it was a quality match to saviour for the standard of rugby played. The Bumbles – England’s only integrated team can be proud of their performance in only their 4th game whilst the Warriors were proud winners on a great international occasion.
Warriors: Jon Kerr, Ryan Morgan (Joshua Crowther), Jordan Smith, Lee Rowlands (Mike Fitz), Jon Corner (Curtis Ramcke), Dean Gilasbey, Gwilym Lewis, Colin Talcon (Eric Horridge), Richard Evans, Jason Bennett (Matthew Kirkham), John Horwood, Rhydian Williams (Jamie Evans), Chris Hancock (Mike Seignot), Simon Jenkins, Darren Pollitt

Warriors edge out brave Bradford & Bingley.

Betws 17 Llanelli Warriors 31 (Match report 166)

The Warriors FINALLY got the season underway with what is now their oldest running fixture - Betws RFC. It was already time for the November internationals but on a bright sunny winters day and after several cancelled fixtures the Warriors headed for Betws. It was quite a convoy with the bus followed at intervals by Killers Kar of supporters, an always late gwilym and Kwan Kar with his supporters. Just when it seemed the club had a team together (which was better than Betws were managing at that point) the Edmunds car turned up with 3 more players.

So after a long wait there was a decent crowd and plenty of players all ready to see the Warriors rock out. The Match report:

Good turn out helps Warriors open with a win

Warriors belatedly open seasons account with good win in Betws

The Llanelli Warriors opened their season with an impressive win at Heol Felin. One of their oldest fixtures the Warriors enjoyed a warm welcome off field in Betws but a good hard match on it.
The Warriors were boosted by a strong turn out for their 1st match with Smith, Bradbourne and Cornermaking debuts. Betws though took the opportunity to experiment with their line up with Rewston returning to scrum half and Ian Davies moving to second row a quick example of this. A good attitude and conditions also helped facilitate an open game with enjoyment obviously as important as winning.
There were plenty of notable performers for both sides; Alex Kwan’ s strong running from full back was a feature of the Warriors play whilst Captain Trevor Morris spearheaded much of Betws efforts from centre.
The open nature of the match was illustrated by the fact that most of the scores came from out wide. Chris Morton and Gareth Lewis got one apiece on the Betws flank but were outdone by Warriors’ man of the match John Corner who scorched away for a brace and although Darren Pollitt on the other Warriors wing didn’t get on the score sheet he was heavily involved with some impressive running.
Not that there wasn’t plenty of effort up front as well with Mathew Rees dominating the line out for Betws whilst Nathan Lawson and Will Brown got around the field effectively for the Warriors. In such a even game opportunities needed to be taken and Betws bombed several certain chances with Mark Thomas and Trevor Morris especially gulity. Added to this only Cellan Davies was successful with a touch line conversion leaving at least 18 points unclaimed.
A Jamie Evans try for the Warriors matched a third Betws effort as the game entered the final quarter and then Alun Stephens exploded off a scrum to give the Warriors the lead with just minutes to go. Betws launched some desperate attacks from deep in their own half and this allowed Kwan to intercept and stroll over to safeguard the result. Simon Jenkins added his 4th conversion to go along with an earlier try and captain his side to this opening win.

Betws: John Fish, Gareth Lewis, Emyr timothy, Trevor Morris (Cpt), Chris Morton, Paul Rees (Owen Williams), Cellan Davies, Eric Horridge (Richard Evans), Steffan France, Mathew Rees, Ian Davies, Nathan Jones, Gareth Underwood, Mark Thomas
Warriors: Alex Kwan (Jordan Smith), Ryan Morgan (Joshua Crowther), Jamie Evans (Chris Edmunds) Alun Stephens (Rhys Bradbourne). Darren Pollit (John Corner), Anthony Randall (Mathew Jones), Dean Gilasbey, Colin Talcon (Will Brown), Richard Evans (Eric Horridge), Mike Seigont, John Horwood, Jonathan Kerr, Simon Jenkins (Cpt), Rob Hughes (Nathan Lawson), Gwilym Lewis

No mention in the official match of Gwilym being given a clear run to the line by Kwan only for Cellan to hit the afterburners and make sure Gwil didn't score against his 'regular' side. Whether this was mainly to stop Gwil himself or because Betws players had agreed a £5 fine for players who let Gwilym score is unclear. The Warriors played pretty well with Darren Pollitt doing well on his wing and Simon throwing well at line outs. Will showed he was still getting used to the difference between rugby and American football with some of his passing whilst Hapus and Porridge showed their loyalty by playing for both sides. Clever Trevster led the Betws challenge Captaining from center and seemed to overcome the trauma of his last match against the Warriors some 10 years ago when playing opposite Chris Bonar he broke his foot at Stradey park and had to walk to A&E.

After the game a very packed clubhouse enjoyed Wales giving the impression they would smash South Africa before not enjoying wales reminding us that they are currently very good at blowing games. Gwilym had already got some chopsing in to Deano but he had the last laugh as Wales let it slide. Chris Edmunds almost got some compensation with his bet that george Gog would score three tries on his debut but again it wasn't quite to be.

Anyway the lovely Tracey turned up to whisk the Warriors off into the night with a fine win under their belts.