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Reigning champions back on form

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Team Photo: Scarlets Ladies pictured before the game (Pic. Riley Sports)

Team Photo: Scarlets Ladies pictured before the game (Pic. Riley Sports)

Blues Ladies 7

Scarlets Ladies 46

AFTER AN UNCONVINCING, but ultimately successful display in difficult conditions against the Dragons in the last round of the Women’s Senior Regional Championship, the Scarlets Women’s Senior squad arrived at The BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park in determined mood to return to the attacking free-flowing rugby that proved to be a championship winning formula last season.

The Scarlets came out of the blocks firing, putting the capital region players under intense pressure from the off and were duly rewarded in the second minute when the Blues were guilty of holding in the ruck, and the ever reliable boot of Jodie Evans settled any nerves there may have been by slotting the kick from 35 meters out.

The opening try of the day came 8 minutes later when after some powerful inter-play between the forwards and backs, impressive full back Dyddgu Hywel slice through the Blues defensive line to score near the posts. Evans adding the extras.

From the restart, the girls in red again went on the attack. After yet another infringement at the contact area by the Blues the Scarlets were awarded a very kickable penalty, however this time captain Sioned Harries opted to take a quick tap which saw her feed centre Elen Evans to race towards the line only to be brought down just short of the white wash. The Scarlets recycled the ball quickly and scrum half Kavenagh fed blindside flanker and former under 18s captain, Alisha Butchers who drove across the line to score despite the attention of several Blues defenders. Evans once again converted the try.

The next Scarlets score came soon after. Once again the forwards created the perfect platform for the exciting Scarlets backs to exploit. The Blues were finding it difficult to handle the powerful phase play of the Scarlets eight and eventually a gap was created in the Blues line, outside half Hannah Jones needed no second invitation and raced in for the score under the posts, with Evans once again adding the extras.

To their credit, the Blues girls came back into the game and after a series of penalties found themselves camped on the Scarlets line. The attacking prowess of the Scarlets Girls had been evident throughout the game, but their defensive qualities came to the fore at this stage, showing determination and no small amount of aggression to eventually secure the turnover and make their way up field. Some fantastic interplay between all the players eventually led to Whitland No 8 Natalie Walsh being released to score the bonus point try on the stroke of half time. When Evans slotted the conversion the score was 31-0 to the Scarlets.

The Scarlets started the second half in the same way that they had finished the first with a 15-minute blitz in which they scored 3 tries. Barely 5 minutes after the break, ever impressive centre Elen Evans showed pace and power to cross for the Scarlets 5th try of the day. Less than five minutes later the Reds were at it again. Jodie Evans showing that she is more kicker when after some slick handling she cut through the Blues defence to score wide out. The next, and as it turned out final score for the Scarlets came on 55 minutes when once again the irrepressible Scarlets team interlinked to release full back Hywel for her second and the Scarlets’ 7th score of the day.

The girls in red could have scored more, but were guilty of squandering some guilt edged opportunities. To their credit the Blues kept going and were rewarded in the last play of the game when winger Rafike Taylor scored a great individual try under the posts which was duly converted.

The Scarlets next face local rivals, the Ospreys on December 20 at a venue to be confirmed, in what could be the defining game of the season so far, and based on this result the Scarlets can go into that game with confidence, but will need to raise their game further if they wish to maintain their unbeaten record going into the Christmas break.

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Scarlets support new Wish Fund campaign for children and young people

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THE Scarlets are working in partnership with their local NHS Charity to support the Wish Fund, a new campaign which will create magical memories for children and young people living with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families.

The Wish Fund will raise funds for NHS Paediatric Palliative Care services in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area. The funding will enable the services to provide activities which are beyond NHS expenditure.

These include fantastic group activities and family day trips, therapeutic play toys to help young patients process what they are experiencing, and wellbeing resources for families and young siblings.

Angharad Davies, Children’s Community Lead Nurse, said: “The Wish Fund will provide us with opportunities to give that little extra to our patients and families.

“It means we can create lasting memories together which will be cherished forever. I can’t tell you how much this means to the children and young people we work with, their families and carers, and the Paediatric Palliative Care team.”

Jonathan Davies, Scarlets Rugby, said: “We are thrilled to be able to support the Wish Fund and look forward to working with Hywel Dda Health Charities to make a real difference to families across mid and west Wales.

“We hope to inspire people across the region to join with us and bring a bit of joy to their lives. We want to help them create some brilliant memories which will last forever.”

The campaign officially launched on May 20 and the charity publicised the partnership at the Scarlets Vs Stormers match on May 21 at Parc y Scarlets.

The Wish Fund campaign will see the NHS charity and the Scarlets working together on an ongoing basis to raise funds for the campaign and raise awareness about the work of the Paediatric Palliative Care team.

Pictured L-R: Jayne Thomas (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Paediatric Palliative Care), Tiara Davies (patient), Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Delton Williams (patient), Anne-Marie Llewellyn (Children’s Community Nurse)

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Rob Evans and Steff Hughes leaving Scarlets

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SCARLETS has confirmed that Rob Evans and Steff Hughes are amongst the nine players who will be leaving the club at the end of the 2021-22 season.

It has already been announced that Liam Williams has signed for Cardiff Rugby and Angus O’Brien is rejoining the Dragons for next season, while James Davies revealed in April that he is retiring from the game on medical grounds.

As well as Rob and Steff, the Llanelli-based side will also be saying its farewells and thanks to Tyler Morgan, Marc Jones, Tom Phillips and Tomi Lewis after Saturday’s final URC match of the season against DHL Stormers.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “I’d like to thank all these players for everything they have given to the Scarlets jersey.

“Boys like Rob, Steff, Cubby and Liam have played more than a century of games for the club and they will be fondly remembered by everyone here, staff, team-mates and supporters.

“They can be extremely proud of what they have achieved and I am sure they will have great memories of representing the Scarlets over the years.

“Every season players move on and we always respect the decisions that are made. With a reduced playing budget, we have had to cut our squad for next season and that has meant we have had some difficult decisions to make.

“The players have continued to give their full commitment, as they have always done, and I’m sure our supporters will give them the reception they all deserve at our final game against the Stormers on Saturday. I wish them all well for what comes next.”

SCARLETS LEAVERS 2021-22

ROB EVANS
The Pembrokeshire loose-head came through the Scarlets Academy and after playing for Carmarthen Quins in the Welsh Premiership made his senior debut against Sale Sharks in January 2013. Rob has made 156 Scarlets appearances and scored 13 tries, including one in Glasgow that secured a memorable away semi-final victory in the PRO14. Was a member of the side that lifted the Guinness PRO12 title in 2017 and will be remembered as a larger than life character around the squad during his 10 seasons at Parc y Scarlets. Capped 39 times for Wales,

LIAM WILLIAMS

Liam Williams is bringing to an end his second spell with the Scarlets. The 31-year-old Wales international full-back and British & Irish Lion has played 119 games for the club and has scored 34 tries, one of which set the Scarlets on their way to PRO12 glory in the final in 2017. Liam is joining Cardiff Rugby for next season.

STEFF HUGHES

Steff Hughes has made 104 appearances and scored seven tries for the Scarlets since making his debut at centre in an LV=Cup game against Saracens nine years ago. A former Wales U20s captain, the Llanelli product has skippered the Scarlets on numerous occasions, including the memorable European pool win in Bath in 2020. His two tries in a thrilling home clash against Connacht in the same season helped secure Champions Cup qualification once again.

JAMES DAVIES

James Davies has retired from rugby on medical grounds after battling concussion issues. ‘Cubby Boi’ made his Scarlets debut in 2013 and went on to make 101 appearances in a Scarlets jersey. Delivered a superb try-scoring display in the PRO12 title-winning triumph over Munster and went on to win 11 caps for Wales. Cubby also represented Wales 7s at the Commonwealth Games and Team GB at the 2016 Olympics.

MARC JONES

The experienced hooker joined the Scarlets from Sale in the summer of 2018 after making more than 150 appearances for the Sharks. The 35-year-old played 46 times for the Scarlets over four seasons, scoring four tries.

ANGUS O’BRIEN

Angus O’Brien made his Scarlets debut in 2018 and has made 45 appearances, scoring 112 points, including seven tries. The fly-half is returning to play for his home region, the Dragons, ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

TOM PHILLIPS

A former Wales U20s Grand Slam-winning captain, Tom has played 30 matches for the Scarlets since making his senior debut in 2015. Suffered a serious knee ligament injury in the opening URC match of the season in Edinburgh.

TYLER MORGAN

The Wales international centre has been at the Scarlets for two seasons, making his debut in the Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat in Toulon in 2020. The 26-year-old has made 22 appearances, scoring one try.

TOMI LEWIS

A Wales sevens international,Tomi has made two senior appearances for the Scarlets. Returned to action this season after a lengthy absence recovering from knee surgery and has been playing in the Indigo Premiership for Llandovery RFC.

Physiotherapist Carys Moggridge is also leaving the Scarlets to take up a role with the Welsh Rugby Union.

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Matchroom Whites win Worthington Cup

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MATCHROOM Whites have won the Llanelli Snooker League’s Worthington Cup team final, after a 4-1 victory in the final against Morfa Social

A highlight of the match was another fine Tyler Rees break of 89, although the maximum was on at one point.

Tyler Rees’ winning streak wasn’t over though, as he teamed up with his Matchroom teammate Chris Davies to win the final of the Doubles tournament, defeating Dean Bowen and Mark Sargent; more nice breaks in this one, Rees firing another 68, while Chris Davies added a fine 71.

Meanwhile, more success for the Matchroom came with Matchroom Blacks’ 4-1 Division 2 Olympic Cup final victory at the expense of Reading Room Reds, with Ryan Maides, Adrian Davies, Rhys Morgan and Thomas Williams winning; just Phil Payne offered any winning resistance for the Burry Port side.

Meanwhile, Ammanord Snooker World’s leftie Anthony Krysa is through to the final of this year’s Singles, after a 3-0 victory against Kev Gronow of the Gremlin Club; Krysa made some nice breaks, including a fine 75 knock.

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