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.

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