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Samson puts his weight behind ‘Don’t miss kick off’ guidelines

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WALES international Samson Lee has delivered a personal reminder to rugby supporters to arrive at Principality Stadium early to avoid missing the kick off when the Under Armour Series gets underway against Australia tomorrow, Saturday, November 11 (5.15pm).

Due to enhanced security at the venue, Principality Stadium will open three hours before matches kick off against the Wallabies, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa at the home of Welsh rugby – instead of the 90 minutes Welsh rugby-goers will be used to.

The latest security measures also include 100% personal checks at the turnstiles and advice to leave large bags and large umbrellas at home, to avoid disappointment and causing further delay to fellow supporters entering the stadium.

As a bumper crowd is expected this autumn, the WRU has called on the Scarlets prop help tackle the safety and security messaging for the iconic rugby venue, with a WRUTV spoof to remind fans to plan their travel and arrival at the stadium in advance.

The self-acclaimed ‘Brad Pitt in the making’ stayed behind after training to act out scenes filmed at the team hotel and the national stadium to show supporters that poor planning ahead of match day now comes with the genuine risk of missing kick off.

The budding WRUTV star said: “As a squad we are used to working to a strict schedule where everything from our eating, sleeping, training, kit and transport is planned out to ensure the very best preparation for international matches. The filming for the ‘Don’t miss kick off’ video has really hit home how well prepared we are as a team but also shows the consequences associated with lack of proper planning.

“With the enhanced security measures we are becoming accustomed to in the UK, this is an important message for anyone with tickets for the Under Armour Series and supporters need to arrive early for the 100% search regimes, or, like me in the film, they risk missing kick off!

“Ask any player and they will tell you the best feeling in the world is hearing the roar of the stadium crowd during the anthems. We want every single fan in their seats for the start of the match and I really hope this film raises awareness and motivates our supporters to plan ahead this autumn, as well as being a bit of fun!”

While South Wales Police stress there is no specific threat to Cardiff, Principality Stadium routinely works closely with the Police and the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit to deliver appropriate security measures for major events.

Stadium Manager Mark Williams added: “The safety and enjoyment of supporters on matchday is our top priority and so we have increased the gate opening hours to three hours before kick-off for the autumn international matches.

“This will allow a capacity crowd to pass through the enhanced security checks safely and in plenty of time to enjoy the games and the renowned pre-match build up at Principality Stadium.

“We strongly urge fans to assist us in maintaining a safe and secure stadium by getting in early and leaving large bags and large umbrellas at home to avoid unnecessary delays and disappointment.”

Sport

Vikings smash seven past Clarby to lift Senior Cup

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HAKIN United lifted the Senior Cup for the first time since 2012 as they put in an excellent second half performance to thump Clarbeston Road 7-1 on Saturday (Apr 21).

The Vikings had raced into a two goal lead but Clarbeston Road’s Tom Reubens pulled a goal back as the game was evenly poised at 2-1 at half time.

However Hakin smashed in a further five goals in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.

Justin Harding: Scored and set up a goal for Hakin

The game was only three minutes old when Hakin’s Leigh Marchant sent a cross into the box which Clarby keeper Lee Scott flapped at before his defenders cleared the danger.

The first goal came on eight minutes and it was a goal worthy of gracing any final stage. Nicky Woodrow flicked the ball up and volleyed the ball into the back of the net, leaving the keeper with no chance.

Adam John then saw a shot blocked before Ben Fawcett made his way through a couple of defenders before firing into the net to double Hakin’s lead.

John was then sent through on goal and he beat the keeper to the ball but Clarby’s defenders got back to snuff out the danger.

With 22 minutes gone, Clarbeston Road got themselves back in the game as Jason Griffiths crossed the ball into the middle for Tom Reubens who squeezed the ball under Adrian Devonald and into the net.

Leigh Marchant then saw a cross hit the bar as the action switched back and forth before Clarby won a series of corners but were unable to find the net.

On the stroke of half time, Justin Harding crossed into the box for Wilson but his shot was saved.

It remained 2-1 at half time and both sides were still very much in with a chance of winning the Cup.

Clarbeston Road came close to equalising three minutes into the second half as Matthew Davies beat the keeper to the ball but he lost sight of the ball as it bounced in the air and Hakin were able to clear the danger.

Challenge: Players of both sides go for the ball

Ten minutes later, Hakin added a third goal as Harding sent a free kick into the box and Nicky Woodrow got a touch on it to divert it into the net.

With just over an hour gone, Ryan Wilson crossed into the box for Ben Fawcett and his header went in despite Scott getting a touch to it.

Four minutes later the game was as good as over as Harding fired the ball into the top corner with Scott again getting a touch on it.

Hakin continued to attack and with ten minutes to go they made it six as Woodrow side-volleyed in his third goal to complete his hat trick.

John then sent a free kick into the box but Daniel Armstrong’s header was well tipped over the bar by Scott.

However, just moments later it was seven as the ball fell to Jack Wilson on the edge of the box and he drilled it low into the bottom left corner of the net.

That was the end of the scoring and it left referee James Olyott, who had an excellent game in the middle, to blow the whistle for full time.

It sparked wild celebrations amongst the Hakin players and supporters as they sealed a first Senior Cup win since 2012.

Hakin’s Ben Fawcett was named man of the match and Kristian Bennett picked up the trophy for the first time as a manager.

Winning manager: Kristian Bennett

Speaking after the match, Kristian said: “I am just overwhelmed, I couldn’t have asked for a better performance in the final. Give Clarby some credit they battled back and it was anybody’s game but in the second half the boys smashed some good goals in.

“I did rip into them at half time, just because we gave the goal away and let them back in the game when we were well on top, that’s all it takes and Clarby Road are a good side.

“It’s brilliant, first Senior Cup as a manager, total new feeling but absolutely awesome.”

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Pembroke replace Cardiff in Bowl Final

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PEMBROKE will take part in the final of the WRU Bowl after all after semi-final opponents Cardiff University were found to have breached the competition’s eligibility rules.

The National Bowl Final will take place on Sunday, April 29, at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Pembroke were beaten by Cardiff in the semi-final but lodged an appeal following the game.

Pembroke, whose Youth team will compete in today’s National Youth Plate Final v Tondu (Principality Stadium, 1.15pm) will now face Porthcawl in next week’s National Bowl Final in the first of the National Finals Day encounters (1pm), Nant Conwy play Brynmawr in the National Plate Final (3.15pm) and Merthyr play Newport in the National Cup Final (5.35pm).

All three finals will be broadcast by S4C and tickets for National Finals Day are available on www.wru.wales/tickets

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Carew earn deserved win

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CAREW earned a deserved 3-1 victory on Friday night (Apr 20) as they beat Neyland thanks to goals from Jordan Richards, Sam Christopher and Alex Bayley.

It also means that the Rooks are still very much in with a chance of finishing third in the league as they, Merlins Bridge and Clarbeston Road are all locked on 39 points.

Jordan Richards gave the hosts the lead in the first half and it could have been much more for the home side if they had taken some of their chances.

Instead it remained 1-0 at half time and Neyland were still in with a chance of getting something out of the game.

Alex Bayley came close to scoring for the Rooks after he beat a tackle to run into the box before cutting side but his effort was saved by the Neyland keeper.

Neyland then brought themselves level as Jake Booth slid the ball across the box and Geraint Rees was on hand to tap the ball in.

Jordan Richards then did well to keep hold of the ball on the by-line before passing to Sam Christopher who fired past the keeper.

Bayley was causing problems for the Neyland defenders and he brushed past one of them before firing low into the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-1.

Neyland looked to get back into the game late on but Carew held on for the three points.

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