SWALEC CUP holders Pontypridd showed they are in no mood to surrender their title as they strolled into the semi-finals with a 36-0 home win over Llandovery.
It may only have been 12-0 at half-time, but the Drovers simply had no answer to the power of Ponty up front and then their pace behind as four second half tries followed the two in the first and three conversions completed the rout.
If they can reach a fifth successive final Pontypridd will match the achievement of the great Llanelli sides of the seventies who played in the first five finals, winning a record four on the trot. If they can hold onto the title then they will become only the second club to win a hat-trick of finals, following on from Llanelli’s victories in 1973-76 (4) and 1991-93 (3).
The Drovers cause was certainly not enhanced by the ridiculous indiscipline of a number of its players. Shaun Miles, Matthew Harbut and Wyn Jones were all yellow carded, which meant the visitors had to play ten minutes of the game with 14 men and the best part of ten minutes with only 13 as Miles and Jones were sent to the bin within seconds of each other.
To go to Sardis Road with a full quota of players and get a result is tough enough, but with Ponty in the kind of form they are at the minute, having lost only once in seventeen Principality games, to try and play large parts of the game with a numerical disadvantage is a nigh-on impossibility.
Llandovery’s powerful pack were creating a good platform for the backs to run. With the back row of Phil Day, Shaun Miles and Richard Brooks all making good yards and causing Ponty problems. However despite the forwards dominance the backs were never at the party. Several opportunities were spurned through poor handling errors or wrong decisions.
Pontypridd on the other hand were ruthless. With minimal chances they raced into a commanding lead. Dafydd Lockyer and Aled Summerhill were making breaks at will and the latter grabbed himslf two of his side’s tries.
Further scores by rapid winger Dale Stuckey, front rower James Howe, Garyn Smith and number eight Dan Godrey gave the homeside a comfortable victory and leaves them on the brink of history.
The Drovers will take little from the game, but may be comforted by the fact that they are not the only team to leave the ‘House of Pain’ on the wrong side of a comprehensive defeat in recent years.
However with Carmarthen Quins schedled to arrive at Church Bank for Sunday’s big televised Principality Premiership game, the Drovers will have to dust themselves off quickly to be back on their A-game.
Llanelli Warriors RFC Win World Award
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.
New look Cwm aiming to bounce back
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.”
Tomi Lewis the latest to sign
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.”
News1 week ago
Play your part – stop the spread
News2 weeks ago
Carmarthen: Police in search for Skye Roberts, 16
News1 week ago
Police appeal following road traffic collision on B4308 Llanelli to Carmarthen
News2 weeks ago
The latest increase in coronavirus in Wales is ‘sobering’ says First Minister
Comment2 weeks ago
A question of power
News2 weeks ago
Call for care homes to be given top priority amid ‘totally unacceptable’ testing shambles
News2 days ago
Police appeal for witnesses after 20-year-old pedestrian tragically killed on A40
News2 weeks ago
WASPI unaffected by appeal’s failure