SAM WARBURTON admitted he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after Wales’ superb comeback at the Aviva Stadium finished in a 16- 16 draw against Ireland.
The flanker played 75 minutes in Dublin as the hosts raced into a 13-0 lead thanks to a Conor Murray try and two penalties from Jonathan Sexton.
But Wales came roaring back, despite losing Dan Biggar to an ankle injury early on, as Taulupe Faletau’s try and the boot of Rhys Priestland turned the game on its head.
But no sooner had they taken a 16- 13 lead with less than ten minutes to go, than they were pegged back a late Sexton penalty that ensured it finished honours even.
And Warburton revealed after the game to ITV that he and his teammates were experiencing mixed emotions.
“A draw in the RBS 6 Nations is not really a good result for anyone,” he said.
“It takes away a potential Grand Slam, a potential Triple Crown and it means we will need another big scalp down the line to try and win the Championship.
“The positive is we managed to pull it back, even with losing Dan (Biggar), I thought Rhys came on and played his part, he got plenty of points for us.
“The good thing is this was one of our away games, of our next four games three of them are at home.
“That’s why we were so desperate to win here because it sets you up for the tournament.”
Slow starters Wales paid the price for a slow start, much like in both the 2014 and 2012 RBS 6 Nations clashes in Dublin where they let the men in green get on top of them early.
And Warburton could not believe he and his teammates had made the same mistake again.
“We are disappointed with the first 20, before the game all the talk was about how we have to start well,” he added.
“The last two times we have come out here, two years and four years ago they always come flying out of the blocks against us.
“I am pleased with the way we weathered that storm, 13 points behind to pull back. Two years ago we didn’t do that and it was one of the worst international games I have been involved in.”
Foel’s Championship dream halted
FELINFOEL’s hopes of promotion to the WRU Championship were brought to an end on Sunday (May 12) as they were beaten in the play-offs by Ystalyfera.
Ystalyfera had won the first leg 34-28 on their home soil but Felinfoel were still very much in the tie and they had the backing of an 800-strong home crowd in the reverse fixture. Fans packed in to the ground and they witnessed an epic encounter.
Felinfoel held the lead at one time but their opponents hit back to seal a 20-30 win to win overall by 64 points to 48.
Felinfoel played some attractive rugby during the first half with wingers Eray Wilson and Elliot Dawe scoring tries wide out one of which was converted by Aled Roberts. Ystalyfera scored a penalty and a converted try making the half time score 12 points to 10.
The second half opened brightly for Felinfoel with Roberts kicking a penalty and Wilson scoring a further try. With the score at 20 points to 10, matters were looking favourable for the home team.
It was at this stage that the Ystalyfera forwards took complete control of the match denying Felinfoel of any possession for the final 20mins of the match. With a strong scrummage and dynamic driving maul they continued to exert pressure onto the home team.
Ystalyfera were rewarded with a further two converted tries, penalty goal and drop goal and deserved their victory 20 points to 30, and promotion to the championship.
Both teams are to be congratulated in the way in which the game was played. Both sides gave their all and provided an entertaining encounter.
Both sets of supporters gave loud vocal support to each team and were sporting throughout the match.
At the end of the match Felinfoel coach Mike King who is leaving after two years in charge was given a rousing send off by players and supporters alike.
After the game Felinfoel took to twitter saying: “After another successful season, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to all sponsors for supporting the club throughout the season once again. Without you we would not exist. Thank you to all the supporters who have been with us through thick and thin.
“Lastly, thank you to head coach Mike King who will be leaving us. He has set the foundations of the club and has turned this club around for the better. All at Felinfoel RFC can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the best in the future.”
Morgan marches seconds home
DAFEN Seconds earned the bragging rights over Llanelli Seconds on Saturday (May 11) as they cruised to an eight wicket win.
Dafen won the toss but elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they bowled their opponents out for just 118 inside 22 overs.
Aadil Mukhtar finished with excellent figures of 5-21 while Oliver Evans supported well taking four wickets for the loss of 40 runs.
Needing just thirty overs of their reply, Dafen Seconds eased to victory as Jac Morgan finished not out on 64 to see his side over the line.
The win for Dafen keeps them joint top of the table with Briton Ferry Town after two games while Llanelli sit bottom of Division 3 and are still searching for their first win.
On Saturday (May 18), Dafen Seconds are at home against Dyffryn while Llanelli Seconds are away to Neath thirds.
Jones duo sink Bronwydd
LLANGENNECH earned their first win of the season on Saturday (May 11) as they beat Bronwydd by 14 runs in a low scoring game.
Llangennech won the toss and elected to bat but they lost Chris Hickey early on when he was caught by Jacob Jenkinson off the bowling of Colin Tucker.
Matthew Jones scored 11 before he was caught and bowled by Tucker before David Williams was caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Matthew Vaughan for a score of 14.
James Taube made the same score but was then caught by Phillip Howell off the bowling of Dafydd Morgan. Morgan also bowled Martin Gregory to leave Llangennech on 83-5.
Opener Scott Lloyd’s score of 30 had come off 127 balls and he was eventually caught by Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.
Richard Clement was the third Llangennech batsman to make a score of 14 before getting out as he was caught by Jenkinson off the bowling of Gleeson.
Michael Jones was then run out before Gleeson claimed his second wicket as he had Simon Clement caught by Oliver Furneaux.
Vaughan then wrapped up the innings as he had Bav Patel caught by James Cale to leave Llangennech all out on 124. Photo by Darren Harries
Bronwydd’s opening pair of James Cale and Philip Howell shared 15 runs but Howell was out for a score of 8 to the bowling of Michael Jones.
Oliver Furneaux was next to fall when he was trapped leg before by Matthew Jones on a score of 11.
Chris Hickey then gave Owain Phillips his first wicket as he caught Jacob Jenkinson and the bowler then claimed his second as he had Cale caught by David Williams on a score of 17.
That left Bronwydd on 44-4 but Iwan Davies and Dafydd Morgan shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to keep their side in the game.
Davies hit three fours and a six in his knock of 33 but he was then trapped leg before by Michael Jones. He then also bowled Callum Collins-Davies for a duck to reduce Bronwydd to 84-6.
Matthew Jones then had Dafydd Morgan caught on a score of 8 before then trapping Tom Gleeson leg before.
Hickey then took two more catches of Matthew Vaughan and Colin Tucker to give Matthew Jones his five-wicket haul and Bronwydd were all out for 110.
Gareth John had finished not out on 18 but it wasn’t enough for victory for the visitors.
News2 weeks ago
Appeal for information following the sudden death of cyclist
News5 days ago
Police appeal for information on man wanted for recall to prison
News1 week ago
Judge hammers police ‘dereliction of duty’
News2 weeks ago
Child victim of Drugs Trafficking Youngest in Wales
News4 days ago
Live music and good times planned for Party at Parc Y Bocs
Sport4 days ago
Foel’s Championship dream halted
News3 days ago
MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails
News2 weeks ago
Burry Port RNLI tasked multi service operation in cliff rescue