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WRU urges people to plan ahead

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Large crowds: Plan ahead to avoid missing kick off

Large crowds: Plan ahead to avoid missing kick off

WELSH rugby supporters with tickets to see RBS 6 Nations live at Principality Stadium are being urged to start planning their day so as not to miss out on the action when Wales face Scotland, France and Italy in this years competition.

With over 74,000 supporters descending on the stadium on matchday, supporters are reminded that planning and preparation is necessary to avoid missing kick-off. Principality Stadium is advising those with tickets to the match to arrive early to allow time for potential travel delays and enhanced security checks and to leave large bags at home, where possible, to avoid further hold-up.

The request follows a meeting with South Wales Police, the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit, the Sports Ground Safety Authority and Cardiff City Council about security in the capital in light of recent world events.

While South Wales Police stress there is no specific threat to Cardiff, Principality Stadium joined other city stadia as part of the Safety Advisory Group to ensure spectator safety is paramount across major events.

Principality Stadium General Manager Mark Williams welcomed the joint review of existing operational practices, which has brought about these recommendations. He said: “Robust security measures already exist across Cardiff sports venues however we must take on board the lessons learnt in light of recent events and in particular Stade de France in Paris. Many of the security measures we have in place are not in the public domain however there are some key areas where spectators can assist us in maintaining a safe and secure stadium.

“While searching spectators can be time consuming, it is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of all our visitors. Rucksacks and larger bags should be left at home if at all possible. Be prepared to encounter delays on entry at Principality Stadium if you have a bag with you. If you arrive at the stadium shortly before kick-off, be aware we give no assurance you will be in your seat in time for the start of the game.”

Principality Stadium works with the Safety Advisory Group and wider city stakeholders including the transport providers to ensure Cardiff has the correct planning and protocols in place to deliver major events.

With all three of Wales’ home matches, including France and Italy, sold out for the first time since head coach Warren Gatland’s debut Grand Slam-winning season of 2008 Mr Williams added:

“Even with the necessary systems in place across the city region, supporters leaving it too late to travel to the venue, particularly for a Friday night fixture, could experience delays and subsequent disappointment if they miss the match kick-off. My advice to fans is to start your planning now for RBS 6 Nations matches in Cardiff allowing extra time – not to miss out!”

South Wales Police Inspector Andy Smith said: “Following a meeting earlier this month, the Cardiff Safety Advisory Group has supported proposals by the city’s stadiums to enhance security checks.

“With immediate effect this will mean if spectators bring a bag it might be searched before they can enter the four main stadia– the Cardiff City Stadium, the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, the SSE SWALEC Stadium and the Principality Stadium.

“While there is no specific threat to South Wales, it is important that we all remain vigilant.

“In Cardiff, we have a long tradition of partnership working and we hope the public will support these extra measures which are designed to keep Cardiff safe.”

James Clemence, Chair of the Cardiff Safety Advisory Group said: “Working closely with each of the sporting venues in Cardiff the Safety Advisory Group fully endorses any additional measures that aim to enhance public safety, we also encourage the public to lend its full support.”

Further information and links to transport providers can be found on Principality Stadium’s official website: principalitystadium.wales

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Raiders seal first ever win

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West Wales Raiders 44

Coventry Bears 16

Lucas Marshall, Stebonheath Park,

A LATE rally by Coventry Bears was not enough to deny a jubilant West Wales Raiders their first-ever win at the 45th time of asking.

The old South Wales Ironmen tasted victory against Gloucestershire All Golds in the first match played at Stebonheath Park back in July 2017, but never before have the side won under the Raiders banner. And it was certainly worth the wait as the Raiders dominated much of the game against a Bears side that doesn’t have the best record when travelling to South Wales. The other game the Ironmen won in 2017 was against Coventry, whilst the Bears only won by 10 points at Llanelli last season.

Dewi Billingham made his Coventry debut while trialist Zak Williams made his first appearance since returning to the Bears. But both former Raiders stars were unable to come back to haunt their former employers.

Try time: Raiders celebrate another try. Photo by Darren Harries

Much of the damage was done in the first half with the Raiders taking control from the kick-off and eventually going in 20-0 up at the break.

It took only six minutes for Raiders to break the Bears defence when good work down the left put Dalton Desmond-Walker in for the opener. Phil Cowburn added the extras but was off target just moments later after Ash Bateman was on the end of some quick passing to go in on the right.

When Morgan Evans went in for the Raiders third, again converted by Cowburn, their loyal band of supporters started to believe they were on course for victory.

It could have been even worse for the Bears, but strong defence saw them hold the visitors up over the line on three occasions mid-way through the half. Although there was no denying Archie Snook with one of the final plays of the half after Welsh International Steve Parry had split the Bears defence to put the centre through. Cowburn once again failed with the conversion but the Raiders still celebrated their most positive 40 minutes in almost two years.

After the break, it was the Bears who struck first through Reece Rance, but any hopes of a comeback were soon extinguished by three quick-fire tries.

First, former Bears player Mitch Shaw scooted over, before Bateman and Snook both got their second try of the afternoon to all but secure the victory for the Llanelli-based outfit.

Parry then went in for the Raiders’ eighth try of the day to put the icing on a long-awaited cake.

But the Bears were by no means done and added two further tries of their own to make the scoreline look a little less dominate than the game suggested.

Tries from Errol Carter and South Wales youth system graduate Cobi Green, along with two Joe Sanderson conversions rounded off the scoring for the visitors.

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Dafen see off Porthcawl

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DAFEN Seconds earned their sixth win of the season on Saturday (Jul 6) as they beat Porthcawl by 75 runs.

Porthcawl won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Dafen out for 182.

Opener Oliver Evans made a score of 19 and Chris Randell scored 25 as a number of Dafen batsmen made good starts.

Jonathan Griffiths scored 22 and there were also scores of 15 from Tom Lavender and 16 from Luke Dunning.

Matthew Thomas made a late score of 18 while Andrew Randell top scored with 43 runs.

Nicholas Morgan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for the loss of 30 runs from his 6.3 overs.

Mark Bevan also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-37.

Photos by Darren Harries

That set Porthcawl 138 to win but they lost a number of batsmen for single figure scores as they struggled to put runs on the board.

Andrew Randell had Nicholas Morgan caught by Jac Morgan and Matthew Thomas had Rhodri Phillips caught by Chris Randell.

Chris Richards made a score of 13 before he was bowled by Rhys Marchant who then also bowled Rob Warren and had David Lewis caught by Chris Randell, both for ducks.

Tim Richards also fell for a duck when he was caught off the bowling of Matthew Thomas.

Mark Lewis had scored 25 but he also fell to the bowling of Marchant.

Steffan Flood also scored 25 before he was bowled by Chris Randell and Joshua Aubrey added 20 late on before he also fell to the bowling of Randell.

That meant that Porthcawl were all out for 107, giving Dafen seconds an excellent win.

On Saturday (Jul 13), Dafen seconds are away to local rivals Llanelli seconds.

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Rees century sees Llanelli to win

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LLANELLI’s Iwan Rees scored a century on Saturday (Jul 6) to help his side to victory over Briton Ferry Steel.

Briton Ferry won the toss and elected to bat but they were restricted to 186-8 in their innings.

Steven Devonald struck early on to remove Evan Hynes but Lloyd Clement and Jamie Griffiths shared 44 runs for the second wicket.

Jac Rees had Griffiths caught by Craig Howells on a score of 24 and soon after Craig Evans was bowled by Aled Gilley for a duck.

Clement had made a score of 41 but when he was bowled by Rees, the Steel found themselves on 81-4.

That soon became 88-5 as Steve Maddock was caught by Marcus Leaf off the bowling of Gilley.

Photo by Darren Harries

Iwan Rees then had Steffan Evans caught by Howells and Rhys Norgrove fell in similar fashion.

Jason Hughes and Thomas Williams shared 56 runs for the eighth wicket as they looked to give their side a total to defend.

On the last ball Williams was caught by Rees off the bowling of Gilley on a score of 24 which left Hughes not out on 67.

Llanelli openers Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips shared 42 runs for the first wicket before Phillips was caught by Rhys Norgrove off the bowling of Jay Webb.

That was as good as it got for the Steel though as they were unable to claim any further wickets.

Craig Howells hit seven fours as he finished unbeaten on 53 while Rees starred with 14 fours to finish unbeaten on 104.

The win gives Llanelli 19 points and keeps them third in the table. On Saturday (Jul 13), they travel to local rivals Dafen.

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