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 winThe 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.