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Llanelli swim into round two

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Lake Tata: A large patch of water engulfed the pitch

LLANELLI ensured they will be in round two of this years Swalec Cup with a hard fought victory against a brutal Tata Steel side in what can only be described as atrocious conditions, in which a large section of the pitch was under an inch of water by the end of the 80 minutes.

The game was moved to the Championship side’s ground to protect the surface at Parc y Scarlets, where the Scarlets met Connacht on Sunday, and the players ended up sloshing about in ankle deep water by the end, in a bruising encounter, in which the Principality Premiership side just about showed their class. Llanelli centre Nathan Edwards got the decisive try as he touched down with twenty minutes to play to add to a previous penalty try to ensure that the side from Parc y Scarlets avoided a potential early banana skin.

There was an early burst from the hosts as winger Kristian Jenkins gave the Championship side a fine start, but eventually the visitors fought their way to an impressive victory. With the rain pelting down at a horizontal angle as the howling wind brought it in, both sides struggled to handle the ball, but the home side will have been pleased with their start, as they got to grips with the wet ball quicker than their visitors. However with every second that passed, the pitch got worse and worse, and it is testament to the referee that the game was able to continue to a result, as he could quite easily have called the tie off and created even more of a fixture backlog. Jenkins’ try came just before the ten minute mark, and Steve Lewis stepped up to knock the hosts into an early 7-0 lead, but this was to prove to be their only points as a frustrating 70 minutes against a resolute Llanelli defence followed.

Llanelli had decided to wear their white kit to attempt to make it easier for the two sides to be told apart, however this proved to be unsuccessful as time wore on and both sides resembled the old grey Wales change kit, which made the breakdown area a nightmare to referee. The visitors began to turn the screw and after a wave of attacks inside the twenty-two were halted illegally, referee Justin Evans had no choice but to award the penalty try, with Billy McBryde knocking over the conversion to level the scores.

The second half began in relatively glorious conditions as the rain eased slightly and Tata almost took the lead after a fine move resulted in Phillips putting fullback Lloyd Rogers into a gap, but the rampaging 15 was stopped just short of the line, as his legs failed to move quick enough in the bog that had assembled under his studs. Despite a brave effort from the Tata steel defence, Edwards eventually found a gap after several probing runs off the shoulder of McBryde and with twenty minutes to play he romped over in the corner to give his side the lead. McBryde missed a difficult conversion, slipping slightly as he struck the ball. With just five minutes to play victory, and a place in the hat for round two was secured as McBryde knocked over a penalty to end what was a real game of attrition.

Llanelli Team: 15. Gareth Walters, 14. Shaun Pearce, 13. Nathan Edwards, 12. Matthew Pearce, 11. Ryan Davies, 10. Billy McBryde, 9. Josh Guy, 8. Elliott Rees, 7. Owain Morgan, 6. Nathan Hart, 5. Liam Puckett, 4. Adam Powell, 3. Tom Kaijaks, 2. Torin Myhill, 1. Rhys Fawcett

Replacements: 16. Sam Martin, 17. Greg George, 18. Jack Payne, 20. Lewis Johnson, 21. Justin James, 22. Josh Lewis, 23. Paul Davies

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Community

Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages

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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.

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Sport

Wales v Scotland postponed

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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.”

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Sport

Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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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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