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Mooar to replace Pivac as Scarlets head coach

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SCARLETS are delighted to confirm that Brad Mooar has been signed as the region’s new head coach for the 2019-20 season and beyond.

44-year-old Mooar will join the West Wales region from the successful Super Rugby side Crusaders.

Mooar will bring with him a wealth of coaching experience having been assistant coach at the Crusaders for the last three seasons, Head Coach at Mitre10 Cup side Southland Stags as well as attack and backs coach with South African sides Eastern Province Kings and Southern Kings in the Super 15. Eastern Province Kings were unbeaten Currie Cup Division 1 Champions during Mooar’s tenure.

The experienced coach leads on team attack as well as strategy and tactics at the Crusaders. Away from the rugby field Mooar is a qualified solicitor and was admitted as barrister and solicitor to High Court of New Zealand in 1997. He has been hailed for his inspirational leadership and excellent management skills.

Commenting on the news Scarlets General Manager of Rugby Jon Daniels said: “After a detailed and comprehensive search we are delighted to have secured an exceptional coach in Brad. As part of the recruitment process we have taken extensive references on all candidates and what came through loud and clear on Brad was that he is one of New Zealand’s best coaching prospects and destined for great things.

“We pride ourselves in appointing players and coaches that not only perform on the rugby field but also contribute to the ethos and environment of the club and our wider community. Brad’s rugby philosophy, leadership style and personality are everything we were looking for in a head coach.

“Brad has been assistant coach with the Crusaders over the last three seasons helping the side to two consecutive Super Rugby titles. Brad has a great understanding of what is required for success and how to build a winning culture.

“Throughout the process we have been hugely impressed with Brad’s appreciation of Scarlets’ place in the community, his passion for developing players and the research he had done on our heritage.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming Brad and his family to West Wales, we’re excited for the future but we still have everything to play for this season which will remain our primary focus.”

Brad Mooar added: “The opportunity to take on the role of Head Coach at the Scarlets is simply too good to pass up and is both an exciting challenge for myself, and a fantastic opportunity for my family to experience life on the other side of the world.

“The Scarlets is a rugby brand that’s known the world over, it is a winning club with an extremely proud history, passionate fans, and is aspirational in its goals. It is humbling to be offered the opportunity to take the reins after the great work Wayne Pivac has led, as he moves on to the Wales job.

“In addition to Scarlets’ on-field rugby pedigree, with a strong squad of talented and largely homegrown players, the club represents its wider community with great pride and dedication. My family and I are looking forward to being a part of the wider Scarlets community integrating into life in West Wales.”

Mooar progressed through the Canterbury age grades as a flyhalf, reaching Canterbury B level. He played for Mid-Canterbury from 1997-1999 and then played overseas before returning to Christchurch to take up coaching.

His first coaching role was with the Christchurch Colts and then the club’s premier team from 2007 to 2011. In 2011 he became the assistant coach of the Canterbury Colts.

In 2012 he moved to South Africa to coach the EP Kings then become assistant coach of the Southern Kings Super Rugby side under Matt Sexton’s leadership. He returned to New Zealand to take up the head coach and Director of Rugby role at Southland.

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Wanderers edged out by Gowerton

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LLANELLI Wanderers came close to victory against Gowerton on Saturday (Feb 16) but were unable to find a winning score as they were beaten 14-18.

Gowerton had taken the lead early on with a penalty and an unconverted try gave them an 8-0 lead at half time.

The Wanderers hit back in the second half with Sianco Morgan going over for the try and the conversion from Lewis Jones brought them to within a point of their opponents.

They then took the lead as Lloyd Thomas went over and Jones again added the extras to make it 14-8.

Gowerton hit back with a converted try of their own and they were back in the lead by a single point.

They then scored a penalty to make it 14-18 with six minutes to play. Try as they might the Wanderers could not find a way through and they had to settle for a losing bonus point.

The Wanderers are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they travel to Crymych.

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Nant hold off Trimsaran

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NANTGAREDIG remain unbeaten in League 3 West B after they sealed a narrow 17-18 win away to promotion rivals Trimsaran on Saturday (Feb 16).

The visitors took the lead with an early penalty scored but Trimsaran responded well with a try to take the lead but the conversion was missed and the home side led 5-3.

Nant hit back and got their first try of the game thanks to and the extras were added for a 3-10 lead.

They then extended their lead to 5-15 with an unconverted try and with half time looming, the lead was extended further with another penalty.

Lloyd Williams kicked one conversion and two penalties. Ben Nichols scored a try and Rhydian Evans scored the other.

Photo by Darren Harries

With the score 18-5 at the break Trimsaran knew they would need to play well in the second half and they very nearly pulled off an excellent comeback.

Trimsaran scored two good tries with the latter try bringing the score to 17-18 setting up a nervy finish for both sides.

However, it was Nantgaredig who showed why they have not lost a game this season as they held on for the win.

They have now won 24 games on the bounce and look favourites for the title and promotion this season.

On Friday (Feb 22), Trimsaran are at home as they take on Penybanc with the game kicking off at 7:15pm.

Nantgaredig are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they host CR Cymry Caerdydd in the quarter final of the WRU Bowl.

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Kidwelly come from behind to win thriller

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WITH both sides residing in a similar league position in Division 1 and a spot in the Senior Cup Quarter finals up for grabs, all was set for a close encounter between Kidwelly and Felinfoel on Saturday (Feb 16).

Felinfoel had home advantage and, having already beaten their opponents 3-1 earlier in the season, they were favourites to advance to the next round, but nothing is ever that simple in football.

During the first fifteen minutes Felinfoel dominated possession with much of the play happening in and around the Kidwelly box.

Felinfoel took the lead with twenty minutes gone when a dangerous cross was delivered towards the back post which resulted in a well-taken goal.

After the restart Kidwelly showed signs of resurgence with brothers Connor and Jordan Howells linking up well in midfield and creating problems for Felinfoel.

Photo by Darren Harries

The fightback, however, was short lived as Felinfoel sent a wide free kick into the box and the ball was headed into the back of the net.

There was not much Kidwelly could have done about either goal as the deliveries for each were superb.

With five minutes left of the first half and Kidwelly not threatening much, they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Winger Rob Hammond sent a superb high ball into the box and Kyle Griffiths, former centre-back turned midfielder, flicked the ball over the keeper and into the net to give Kidwelly a glimmer of hope.

The half time whistle went and even though Felinfoel had the better of the half Kidwelly had shown good resilience and were pleased to be only 2-1 down at the break.

The second half started with both sides playing at a high tempo with Kidwelly in a confident mood having scored before the break and having come from behind to win in other games this season.

As the game continued both teams were battling hard with some big tackle flying in. Kidwelly had far more possession in the second half and created numerous good chances.

Kidwelly were playing some good stuff but it wasn’t until the hour mark when Rob Hammond, Kidwelly’s top goal scorer, latched on to a huge goal kick and delivered a clinical finish to make it 2-2.

Not long after that, Hammond again latched on to a forward pass and with a bit of creativity managed to turn the defender and find the bottom corner with a quality finish to put his side into the lead.

Felinfoel looked to get back in the game and Kidwelly manager Gareth Evans introduced fresh legs replacing hardworking Liam Jones with club captain Luc Fitzpatrick who was returning from injury.

Photo by Darren Harries

This was an attempt to keep Felinfoel at bay but they threw everything they could at the makeshift Kidwelly keeper Danny Coleman, normally a number ten. However, Coleman made some tremendous saves and put his body on the line on numerous occasions.

Kidwelly survived three goal-mouth scrambles and on one occasion had ten players behind the ball trying to keep it out.

Unfortunately for Kidwelly, during one of those scrambles, veteran Chris Cray volleyed his goal keepers arm meaning Coleman would have to go off injured. He was replaced by striker Aled Giley with Daniel Griffiths, who was having an excellent game, having to go between the sticks for the rest of the game.

Both sides battled until the end with more strong tackles flying in but Kidwelly full backs Tom Hughes and Daniel Fitzpatrick had faced quality opposition wingers and came out on top.

Felinfoel played their part in an excellent cup game but Kidwelly, who have recently won five games on the bounce in Division 1, showed great resilience and team spirit to earn a thrilling win.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Kidwelly are at home as they play Pontlliw in the quarter final of the same competition, kick off 1:45pm.

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