HEAD coach Brad Mooar praised the character of his Scarlets side after they claimed a hard-earned 17-13 triumph over Toyota Cheetahs at a rain-soaked Parc y Scarlets – their fourth Guinness PRO14 victory of the season.
Incessant downpours meant the clash between two free-running teams was never going to be a classic, but the Scarlets were able to dig deep for another crucial victory to add to their Conference B tally.
“I am proud of the boys,” said Mooar.
“Conditions were really tough. I am just really proud of the way we stuck together and ground out a win.
“At the back end of the season when you are looking back on the points table, these games are hugely important. We showed great character to finish things off.
“Everybody put in, including the boys who didn’t take the field and helped set the week up. I am really proud of the whole squad.”
Flanker Josh Macleod was at the heart of the Scarlets’ effort, picking up a second man-of-the-match award of the campaign to add to his medal on the opening weekend against Connacht.
“Josh was outstanding, he has been an outstanding player in the first five weeks,” added Mooar. “He is so physical and attacks everything he does at 100 per cent.
“I thought all the forwards put in an outstanding effort. Ioan Cunningham has been doing some great work with the forwards and that driving game really set us up for the first try for Steff (Evans). Hats off to Ioan who has been working really hard to build a group who can perform like that in tough conditions.”
The victory keeps the Scarlets in touch with Conference B pacesetters Munster and Connacht, who also claimed wins on Welsh soil over the weekend.
“We would have taken four from five at the start of the year,” admitted Mooar.
“We needed to respond after last week (loss to Edinburgh), which was not us. We worked out how we can help each other out and put on a better performance to take some points.
Students step up to offer support in time of crisis
TWO Swansea University students have been working to support the emergency services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Medical student Robert Jones is now a health care assistant working at Morriston Hospital while Samuel Murkin, who is studying for a master’s in mechanical engineering, is helping to share vital messages for Avon and Somerset Police.
Robert, whose family is originally from Carmarthenshire, is based at Morriston Hospital’s children’s emergency unit where he has been able to utilise skills developed during his first year at Swansea University Medical School.
He said: “It has been a very positive and rewarding experience. I had never properly been out on the wards as the pandemic led to our first clinical placement being cancelled so the first few days on the ward were a real learning experience. But the staff have been amazing and couldn’t do more to help. “
Robert added that the best part of the role was seeing the change in children following their treatment. “I have been fortunate enough to be able to care for children and their families at often their most vulnerable times.”
The pair have both been enthusiastic members of the Swansea contingent of the Wales University Royal Naval Unit – Samuel was Senior Midshipman while completing his undergraduate degree this year and Robert is currently an Acting Officer Cadet.
Swansea University’s military education representative Peter Neville said: “The endeavour and hard work of these two student cadets shows the ethos of the Royal Navy: high personal and professional standards, and willingness to serve. Their actions are a credit to themselves, their Swansea University training, and of course the Wales University Royal Naval Unit.”
Robert said: “I joined the unit to see what Royal Navy life was really like and to enjoy the diverse variety of activities and learning opportunities the URNU provides. As a result of positive and enjoyable time I have had with the URNU, I am considering a career in the Royal Navy as a medical officer.”
Like Robert, Samuel said he had been motivated to do something to help during the pandemic and was delighted to become a digital community ambassador for Avon and Somerset Police.
Samuel said: “My role involves passing on vital communication and key messages from the force to my local community, via groups that have been pre-established on social media.
“I am hoping to join the police force in the future, so the experience is very useful for me personally, but I was also eager to do something to help my community and our police at such a difficult time.”
Two charged following serious Llanelli assault
TWO people have been charged following a serious assault in Llanelli.
Police were called to the incident in Clos Sant Paul, in the early hours of June 16, following a report that a serious assault had occurred with a number of casualties.
Three victims -two females and one male- were taken to hospital for examination.
Following investigations, one male and one female were later arrested and charged with assault.
Chad White, 28, was charged with Assault by beating, GBH without intent, affray and ABH.
Alicia Clark, 21, was charged with assault by beating, GBH without intent and affray.
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said “Police were called to Clos Sant Paul, Llanelli, at around 2.10am on June 16 following a report of a serious assault and a number of injured people.
“Three victims – two women and a man – were spoken to, saying they had been punched and that one had been struck to the head with a TV.
“All three were taken to hospital to be examined. Two suffered cuts and bruises, with the third sustaining a suspected fractured eye socket.
“Two people were arrested later that day, and were charged to appear at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on June 18.”
Socially distant but always on duty – using technology to catch waste criminals
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is using high-tech surveillance techniques to tackle unscrupulous waste operators seeking to take advantage of the Coronavirus crisis.
Government guidelines on social distancing mean NRW officers are unable to use their usual investigation methods. As such, they have turned to sophisticated drone technology and satellite cameras to help in the tracking of waste criminals.
The new approach includes:
• Using drone footage to investigate illegal waste disposal.
• Participating and benefiting from research and tools created in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency through the Life SMART Waste Project.
• Trialling the use of satellite imagery obtained from the European Space Agency, as well as high resolution commercial satellite data.
• Adrian Evans, head of NRW’s Tackling Waste Crime initiative, explained:
“Social distancing is impacting on how companies supplying goods and services operate and waste criminals are taking advantage of this.
“We have had to modify our ways of working by developing technological solutions to support our work and ensure that waste operators comply with environmental regulations.
“This technology will ensure the environment of Wales is protected for the people who live here and for legitimate waste operators who abide by the rules and work in a responsible manner.
”Those hoping to exploit the lockdown restrictions to commit waste crime should think again. We have the capability and technology to continue to identify and pursue those that flout the law.”
This type of surveillance is already underway in south east Wales, where NRW and Gwent Police are using drones to investigate illegal activity.
PC Matt Andrews, who, as part of Gwent Police’s Rural Crime team, is the embedded officer with NRW and assists the South East Wales Operations team in tackling all types off illegal activity, said:
“During lockdown our waste team continues to have close communications with permitted waste sites, but we’ve also strived to find alternative ways to having boots on the ground.
“Drone work has helped us investigate illegal activity in remote locations while adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
“For example, the imagery can be used to identify the extent of illegal tipping on land which would normally take two NRW waste officers to physically investigate.”
The public and businesses can help by reporting any suspected illegal waste activity on our hotline 0300 065 3000.
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