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Quins lose ground on play-off spot

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Carmarthen Quins 19
Cross Keys 24

FOLLOWING on from a breath-taking Super Saturday of Six Nations rugby which offered so much skill and attacking flair, the Quins faithful were treated to a Sunday afternoon feast of fine rugby that is seldom seen in these days of staunch defence.

Skilfull handling, organised defence, quality line out work, end to end play, commitment, well taken tries, strange decisions and near perfect playing conditions provided the perfect advert for Principality Premiership Rugby.

With both sides within touching distance of a play-off place it was a surprising opening few minutes with the sides signalling their intentions to spread the play with all the backs having early touches. Haydn Pugh was prominent in the early line outs and the Quins were to prove the better in this department all afternoon.

With the quickly taken tap penalty being utilised by both sides defences were regularly tested, meaning concentration was going to be vital. The Quins pack were up against a heavier unit to almost a stone a player but their usual skill in this department held quite well.

After ten minutes Rhys Williams charged down a kick out of defence and he almost won the race as the ball rolled agonisingly over the deadball line. Elliot Jones at full back was the visitor’s most dangerous player and he was always ready to counter any Quins threat.

A period of Quins pressure in the Vicarage corner midway through the half was rewarded when instead of taking an easy three points they went for a kick to touch. From the line out Pugh collected and the drive was brought down resulting in the referee having no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. Craig Evans added the conversion.

From the restart the visitors captain Leon Andrews made a break only to see his pass knocked on with the try line beckoning. Five minutes later Cross Keys gained a penalty and Ethan Davies put their fist points on the board to make the score 7-3.

Approaching half time Rhys Williams picked up a loose pass in his own 22 and kicked up field, Elliot Jones fielded and his kick down field was gathered by Dion Jones who started a counter attack. He handed on to Jason Harries who shrugged off several defenders to hand back to Dion Jones, who despite being surrounded by several Cross Keys defenders, was able to use his jinking run to mesmerise them all and he crossed for an outstanding try. Craig Evans conversion hit the upright and stayed out.

The visitors were using their tank like props to gain ground and right on half time this tactic paid off when they broke through for wing P.Uhi to cross for a try and Davies’ conversion ended the half 12-10.

At the start of the second half the visitors drove play into the Vicarage corner which resulted in the referee giving Sion Bennett a yellow card which was to change the game. The next ten minutes was to see the Quins concede 12 points which was to prove decisive.

From the resultant penalty a power drive took the Keys over the line and from another first at the Park the TMO was called in and he awarded the try to J. Condy.

Davies took the visitors into a 17-12 lead with the kick.

More Keys pressure kept play in the Quins half and after a slick passing bout J. Condy was able to cross for his second try for Davies to give the visitors a 12 point lead 24-12.

The Quins were not going to give up and went on the offensive with Chris Banfield and Dion Jones particularly dangerous. The Quins kept up their attacking play and one felt that the game was not out of reach and the visitors were left to use the touch line to keep them at bay.

After 70minutes more Quins pressure and good work from Gareth George saw a passing move give Jason Harries the chance to use his power again and shake of two tackles and find Dion Jones up in support to race over for his second try. Craig Evans added the kick to make the score 24-19 with an interesting last 10 minutes on offer.

The visitors defence was under pressure and running out of steam and it was only desperate defending that kept their line intact. The final whistle denied the Quins, finishing with little more than a losing bonus point and only a slim hope of reaching the play offs.

Next Saturday the Quins play host to Newport in the Quarter Final of the SWALEC cup and it is hoped that Dan Jones, Ryan Elias and Keiran Hardy will return after Wales Under 20 duty. Kick Off 2.30.p.m.

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Llanelli Warriors RFC Win World Award

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THE LLANELLI WARRIORS were named double Ability Rugby International Champions, the results announced with perfect timing just as the Warriors held their presentation evening.

The Ability Rugby International Championship compares the results of all the mixed ability sides across the globe, with an emphasis on games played but with a win element incorporated.

The results for 2018/29 have been much delayed but saw the Warriors regain the title from Scottish National Clan team. They edged out newcomers the Dragon Allstars who were playing their debut season. The 2019/20 season may have been curtailed, but the Warriors still managed more fixtures than any other mixed ability side, this time edging out another new side, the Port Talbot Panthers.

Mixed Ability rugby sees players with and without disabilities play alongside each other and against ‘normal’ rugby clubs. The concept continues to spread rapidly and the days when it was just the Warriors and their Swansea rivals the Gladiators, have long gone. 10 years ago the 1st sides started forming outside of West Wales and there are now over 100 teams and groups world wide.

Captain Richard Evans was very proud. “It takes a lot to organise fixtures regularly so this is a great reward for all our efforts. The boys are very committed and we just love to play. It’s great to see so many sides playing now and it’s great to be at the forefront of the movement”.

The news boosted the Warriors presentation evening where they looked back over their season.

James Anthony was the main beneficiary, playing his 1st full season his pace on the wing and accurate boot helped him lift the Top Points Scorer award and the Player of the Year titles.

Players’ Player went to 2nd row Tom Ashour. Quick enough to have previously played on the wing, he proved a reliable source of lineout ball and was always combative around the field.

Luke Pearse was named Most Improved Player, narrowly beating Will Browne, Lloyd Cawley and Dan Grinter.
The most closely contested was Sportsman where Luke Pearse, Arwel Thomas and Dan John were pipped by Chris Davies. The nominees were described as the glue of the club by Chairman Gwilym Lewis, and vital to the teams success.

The Warriors are especially anxious for Covid regulations to lift as the new season will be their 25th. Planning is difficult at present but they hope to have a number of special fixtures. At the end of the season they are due to head out to Ireland for the 3rd Mixed Ability world tournament which will feature 24 clubs from 8 different countries.

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New look Cwm aiming to bounce back

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During the lockdown period Ryan Stephens and his Cwmamman United
management team took the opportunity to undertake a major review of the
playing set up at the club and with training now having returned they have
already started implementing their exciting plan.

“ It was extremely disappointing to be moved down from Cymru South league
following the FAW average points formula, particularly when our form since
January suggested we could well stay up” said Ryan “ but these are difficult
times and to be honest we had not been consistent enough over the season”
Ryan continued ” We realised though that this was an opportunity to take a
good look at ourselves and create an identity and foundation where we could
enhance the way we developed our players and improve our professionalism.”
The club has recently introduced a new range of training and fitness
programmes, improved technical data and analysis capabilities as well as
create a players charter enhancing team spirit.

“ We have been busy bringing in a mix of young and experienced players to
join a squad where we have been lucky to keep a large group of key players
from last season” said Ryan. ” Combined with a strong group of existing key
young local talent that we expect to see step up this season and with two
strong reserve sides we feel we are in a really good place team wise. It is great
to see everyone buying in to the new approach”

“ We recognise this will be an extremely difficult league with many strong
sides but we are really excited about the challenge to get back to the Cymru
South. We aim to be a club where our players feel truly valued and our club
members, supporters and the community feel proud. We will continue our
preparations so that once it is safe to resume matches again we will be ready.”

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Tomi Lewis the latest to sign

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FLYING wing Tomi Lewis has become the latest player to agree a new contract for the 2020-21 season.

The 21-year-old speedster is among a group of exciting young backs coming through the ranks at Parc y Scarlets.

A member of the Wales U20s squad that competed at the Junior World Championships in Argentina last year, Tomi has also shone on the world seven series, scoring seven tries in his debut tournament in Dubai as an 18-year-old.

A former pupil at Llandovery College, he came through the age-grade system at the Scarlets and scored on his senior debut in an Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against the Dragons. He impressed for the Scarlets A team during this season’s Celtic Cup and linked up on loan with Ampthill RFC in the English Championship in January.

Scarlets recently announced new deals for 17 members of their squad with Tomi becoming the 15th player who has come through the Scarlets system to have agreed a new contract.

“Tomi is another young player who has an exciting future in the game,” said head coach Glenn Delaney. “He is working hard in the squad and has already shown what he is capable of playing for Wales at U20s and Sevens level. He is one of a number of talented young backs we are looking forward to seeing in Scarlets colours.”

Tomi said: “I am delighted to have signed a new deal with the Scarlets. I have been here since the age of 16 and have been fortunate to have been able to learn from some great players.

“At the moment, it is fantastic being in the squad alongside internationals like Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans and I’m looking forward to competing for the Scarlets jersey over the coming years.”

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