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 That was superseded by 1st a mention on Scrum V (red button fan zone, Rick O’Shea) and then thanks to Tace Shambles on scum V website a visit from Phil Steele for Radio Scrum V’s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