The Raiders 24
Coventry Bears Reserves 30
The Raiders look destined to finish fourth and could face a trip to Valley Cougars in the semi-finals, after losing a classic game 30-24 to fellow play-off side Coventry Bears.
Coventry, who could still finish top of the league, completed the double over the Llanelli based side becoming the first team to beat them at Parc Stebonheath.
It was a see-saw game with the lead changing hands three times, but it was the Bears’ excellent start to the second half that eventually gave them the win.
The Raiders started the stronger of the two and it wasn’t long before centre Dan Fox went round the Bears defence and scored in the corner.
After a frantic set of repeat sets, Coventry pushed over the line with Liam Scott, Steve Coleman converting.
The Raiders were caught flat footed and the Bears struck again on the 15th minute mark with Kenny Relliner scoring out wide Steve Coleman again converting the try to make it 12-4.
The Raiders forced an error just over the half way line and after a superbly worked try from the scrum Josh Taylor was sent clear to score under the posts, Luke Williams adding the conversion.
Stalemate then ensured with both sides working extra hard in defence but on the 32nd minute mark Dan Fox again went over in the corner with Luke Williams converting from far out wide.
The Bears again then rallied and some slack defence allowed Liam Scott to go on over under the posts, Steve Coleman again adding the conversion.
With a minute remaining of the first half an obstruction at a ruck resulted in a Raiders penalty which was successfully kicked by Luke Williams which made the score 18-18 at half-time.
The second half started with the Bears snuffing out and preventing the Raiders from getting out of their own half with an excellent technical tackling display. The pressure showed when Alex Brown turned a simple attacking move in to a converted try.
Two sets later the Bears pushed hard and kept the Raiders within their 40 and on another pivot Tom Kelluhar was sent over with Steve Coleman converting giving them a comfortable two-try cushion.
The Raiders tried hard to claw their way back and in the process had two tries disallowed, one for a forward pass and one with a knock on over the line, and it wasn’t until the 76th minute that the try of the game was scored when Alan Pope kicked the ball deep in to the Bears half and the exocet missile Curtis Ford chased the ball down, picked it up, went round the centre, flat footed the full back and returned to put the ball under the posts with Luke Williams converting.
However time was not on the Raiders side with the final whistle going with the Welsh side still a converted try short.
Raiders Head Coach Jon Ellis said: “We have several players taken on international duty today but that is no excuse. Rugby League is a very technical game and we neglected to address those aspects today. Although it was a great game for the supporter, myself and the players know we have much more in us as we progress in to the play-offs.”
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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