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 That was superseded by 1st a mention on Scrum V (red button fan zone, Rick O’Shea) and then thanks to Tace Shambles on scum V website a visit from Phil Steele for Radio Scrum V’s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

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