Raiders RL 35 20 Nottingham Outlaws
SECOND placed Nottingham Outlaws made their longest journey of the season on Saturday with a four-hour coach trip down to west Wales to face an in-form Raiders RL side at Llanelli. In a hard fought game the Outlaws matched their Welsh counterparts for most of the game but a crucial ten minute spell just before half time that saw the Outlaws concede three converted trys proved to be the difference as they succumbed to 35-20 defeat.
The Outlaws went into the match with a squad containing no fewer than nine changes to the side that racked up a record score against Oxford the previous week. The major re-shuffle saw first team debuts for Matt Nixon and Dan Wilson who took up two of the interchange spots whilst Adam Cunliffe moved up to scrum half to partner the returning Alex Whittle.
Despite the changes it didn’t take long for the Outlaw’s to put themselves on the scoreboard with Jon Christie scoring in the corner, the try went unconverted.
It took a further 15 minutes before Raiders captain and stalwart Alan Pope forced himself over the line and Shane Edwards notched the conversion.
Nottingham again found gaps in the Raiders defence and with a well worked move saw Alex Whittle score to the right hand of the posts, Adam Cunliffe converting. The Raiders found themselves with an overlap immediately after kick off as pivot Shane Lee and second row Morgan Jeffereries created a gap for debutant winger Curtis Ford to outstrip his winger, flat foot the full back and score in the corner, Nathan Beck converted from far out.
It seemed again almost immediately from the kick off the Raiders hit the Nottingham right hand flank and centre Dan Fox got over the line for a much needed try, Nathan Beck converted again.
Nottingham stepped up a gear and proved hard to break through with them being very technical in the tackle area slowing the Raiders quick ball option right down, however on 35 minutes winger Curtis Ford side stepped the Nottingham centre, sent the full back the wrong way and scored another try under the posts.
Nottingham did push hard and nearly scored under the posts but the Raiders defence held out and the ref blew for a much-needed half time break.
In the second half the Raiders came out with renewed vigour, a clever move culminated in the Raiders full back Nath Beck finding a gap and Curtis
Ford following up and scoring his hat trick in the corner.
With the score at 28-10 it seemed that the Raiders were in the ascendency however a try on 50 minutes by Nottingham’s Jimmy Goodwin put Raiders on the back foot, the try was unconverted. Nottingham built pressure and again broke through a lacklustre Raiders defence with Adam Cunliffe converting his own try.
It needed something special for the Raiders to pull clear of the Outlaws and that came in the form of debutant winger Curtis Ford scoring his 4th try of the day in spectacular fashion and converting his own try.
The game was put to bed when pivot Shane Lee dropped a goal on the 77th minute mark allowing the Raiders to hold out against a determined Nottingham outfit until the final whistle.
Despite victory Raiders coach Jon Ellis was not pleased with some aspects and commented: “We made really hard work of this game, Rugby League is a game of 80 minutes of none stop graft, we played some dumb rugby and gave Nottingham too much respect, although we got the win and the game was great for the spectators we need to be more technical and ruthless in all areas of the game.
“We did however find some gems of players today and we are looking forward to playing Leicester away next week.”
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
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