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.