Raiders RL 84
Glouc. Warriors 20
At Stebonheath Park, Llanelli
ON AN ABSOLUTELY immaculate pitch at Parc Stebonheath, the Raiders ran in 15 tries against a side that never gave up but were reduced to 12 men for most of the second half and 11 for a five-minute period towards the end due to injury.
Captain Alan Pope crossed for four touchdowns for the Raiders while there were hat-tricks for Dan Fox and Andrew Rees. Hooker Alex King added a try to his 12 goals for a 28-point haul.
Birthday girl Ellie Thorne with led on the Raiders to the field alongside Pope and the Raiders team were cheered on to the park by the watching crowd for what was the first home game in six weeks.
The Gloucester team had travelled down the M4 with a strong starting 13 but with no interchanges on the bench it was always going to be a hard day at the office for them.
The Raiders instantly opened up the Gloucester defensive line through their hard running forwards inviting the Raiders backs to exploit the gaps and scored 3 tries within the first 15 minutes of the game.
Gloucester managed to pull a try back, but their hard fought pressure was soon quelled when the Raiders once again punched into the centre of the defensive line and allowed quick hands to put over their backs for a further two tries.
On the stroke of halftime Gloucester once again managed to find an edge and scored in the corner.
In the second half the Raiders came out a different team, Gloucester played hard and valiantly but the Raiders structure and attacking formations soon ground down the Gloucester defenders leaving them with too much to do.
The Raiders cut up the Gloucester defence on numerous occasions on the 5th tackle and completed their sets with a try, meaning the score line was soon well beyond the reach of the Gloucester warriors and with the scoreline at 64-12 many other teams would have thrown in the towel, but Gloucester showed great spirit and fight, scoring two further tries against the flow of play.
With injuries taking their toll on the Gloucester side that had no replacements, the Raiders ran in more scores to end the game with a massive 84-20 victory.
Raiders coach Jon Ellis was delighted with his side’s display saying:
“We never had our foot on the peddle in the first half and our players knew that they had more in them. It was great for the boys to get a win under their belts and get their mojo back, we are a strong team and play really attractive Rugby League we just need now to get back to basics and go away to Coventry this week with confidence.”
RAIDERS: Nath Beck; Taf Phillips, Luke Williams, Dan Fox, Andrew Rees; Dan Maiden, Shane Lee; Ben Phillips, Alex King, Rhys Davies; Morgan Hughes, Kyle Bryan; Alan Pope .
INTERCHANGE : Josh Taylor, Jo Festa, Zak Bevan, Owain Phillips.
Scarlets make five changes for European quarter-final
Johnny Williams and Sione Kalamafoni have been handed their Scarlets’ European debuts for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol (8.15pm UK time).
Both summer signings are included in a side showing five changes to the line-up that took the field against the Dragons in the Scarlets last match of the Guinness PRO14 season.
Wales and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns to face his former side, linking up with Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans in an all-international back three.
Williams and Steff Hughes continue their midfield combination, while Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has recovered from injury to partner Dan Jones at half-back.
Skipper Ken Owens, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee pack down in the front row and behind them Tongan international Sam Lousi starts at lock alongside Jake Ball.
In a reshuffled back-row, the PRO14’s turnover king Josh Macleod gets the nod at openside; Kalamafoni, who featured for Leicester Tigers in the pool stages of the tournament, wears the No. 8 jersey and Scotland international Blade Thomson has recovered from an Achilles issue to start at blindside.
On the bench, Ryan Elias, Phil Price and Javan Sebastian provide front-row cover with Lewis Rawlins and James Davies the other forward replacements. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Tyler Morgan cover the backs. Morgan is set to make his first Scarlets appearance since joining from the Dragons.
The Scarlets and Toulon faced each other twice during the pool stages. A last-gasp converted try grabbed a 17-16 victory for the French side in November. The three-times European champions then claimed a crucial 27-15 win at Parc y Scarlets in January to ensure they topped the group.
Head coach Glenn Delaney said: “It is a final for us. If you win three finals in a row you win a trophy. We are that far away from achieving the objective we all set out upon 12 to 13 months ago. It would be lovely to finish it off the right way. Whenever you get the opportunity to play for a trophy you have got to be very respectful and take it deadly serious, which is exactly what our boys have been doing.”
Scarlets team v RC Toulon (Saturday, September 19, 2020; kick-off 8.15pm UK)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.
Reps: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Tyler Morgan.
Unavailable because of injury
Rob Evans (neck), Rhys Patchell (calf), Liam Williams (foot), Daf Hughes (knee), Steff Thomas (knee), Alex Jeffries (elbow), Tomi Lewis (knee), Aaron Shingler.
Pembrey Country Park to host one of first post-lockdown events
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Pembrey Country Park has been chosen to host one of the first outdoor sports events in Wales since the Covid-19 lockdown.
Welsh Government has given the go ahead for three trial sport and culture events as part of its continued easing of restrictions.
Pembrey Country Park will host a duathlon on Sunday, September 6, with a limited number of competitors, although there will be no spectators.
The event will be monitored and will help inform Welsh Government policy on future sporting events as the country continues its recovery from Covid-19.
The council is working with Welsh Triathlon to ensure athletes can compete safely, with strict risk assessments and protocols being put into place.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to host this trial event here in Carmarthenshire, and hope this signals a return of more sporting events in the future. Our teams are working alongside Welsh Government and Welsh Triathlon to ensure that the event is safe and secure whilst providing an exciting and challenging duathlon course for competitors.”
Trundle and Robinson are back for another season with Ammanford AFC
Ammanford AFC are pleased to announce that the Ex Swans legends Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson are back for a second season with the club
The pair helped Ammanford AFC to achieve a respectable seventh place finish in the JD Cymru South league last season.
The Supporters of Ammanford will welcome the news and will be hoping that they can go and watch their team once clearance has been given.
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