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Draw gives Warburton mixed emotions

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Warburton (centre): With teammates after Conor Murray’s try

Warburton (centre): With teammates after Conor Murray’s try

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.”

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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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