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Otters delighted with win

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NARBERTH travelled to Trebanos on Saturday (Oct 20) with once again a few enforced changes to the team due to injuries and unavailability.

Trebanos are having a very good season with a great defensive record and the Otters knew they were in for a very tough match on a ground where they had lost the previous season.

For the first ten minutes there was very little between the teams with the side in possession looking to create opportunities and then spread the ball wide but good defence from both sides resulted in a stalemate.

Eventually Narberth was guilty of a high tackle and home winger Matthew Edwards kicked the penalty (3-0). Shortly afterwards Trebanos infringed at a ruck and Nick Gale, playing at centre, evened things up with a nicely struck penalty from about 45 metres out (3-3).

Five minutes later Narberth had a scrum on the Trebanos 22 metre line. No.8 Richie Rees picked up the ball and drove forward. The ball was recycled and fed to centre Jack Price who broke down the middle.

There were further charges towards the Trebanos line by the Otters two Props Bradley Davies and Tom Slater and then Richie Rees once again took the ball forward. He was tackled close to the try line and quick ball from the ensuing ruck saw Jack Price sprint through a gap in the home defence and pass to the supporting full back Johnny Morgan who scored near the posts. Nick Gale kicked the conversion (3-10).

Narberth started to get on top at this stage of the game and had the greater share of possession. The forwards and backs were combining well but whether Narberth took the ball on in the forwards or spread the ball wide the Trebanos defence held firm with some strong tackling.

Then Narberth had a scrum near to the Trebanos try line and when the Otters drove forward Trebanos dropped the scrum and were penalised. Nick Gale kicked the penalty (3-13).

Shortly after the restart Narberth were penalised at a lineout and the home team kicked to the corner. The Otters defended well but had to concede a five metre scrum. From this the ball was moved quickly to the Trebanos No.12 who broke the first tackle and then fed his co-centre Tom Dew who scored near the posts. Matthew Edwards converted (10-13).

The remainder of the half saw Trebanos putting pressure on the visitors in their own half and it was the Otters turn to put in a determined defensive shift with some strong tackling being put in by forwards and backs alike. The Otters held out and the score remained 10-13 at half time.

Trebanos started the second half as they had finished the first and after five minutes a clever kick through behind the Narberth backs by the home fly half saw centre Tom Dew dive on the ball and score under the posts.

Winger Edwards converted to put Trebanos back in the lead 17-13. Narberth quickly got themselves back into the game and were pressing near the Trebanos try line. They were beginning to get the upper hand in the scrums with Bradley Davies, Dan Smith and Tom Slater outscrummaging their front row opponents. Eventually from a series of forward drives towards the home try line Narberth forced their way over with a well-deserved try from No.6 Andrew Cooke. Nick Gale converted (17-20).Shortly afterwards from another infringement at a scrum by the home team saw Nick Gale kicking a penalty to increase the lead (17-23).

Trebanos refused to give up and came back with a series of lineouts close to the visitors line but every attack was driven back by a dogged defence from the Narberth forwards. However from an infringement at a ruck Narberth were penalised and again Edwards kicked the goal (20-23).

Narberth then made several changes with Props Davies and Slater being replaced by Dan Jacobs and Tom Kaijaks, scrum half Rhys Lane being replaced by Lewys Gibby and Yannick Parker replacing the injured Nick Gale in the centre. More Narberth pressure in the scrum resulted in afurther penalty which Narberth kicked to the corner.

The ball was caught at the lineout by captain Alex Jenkins and Narberth drove towards the Trebanos line. Eventually the ball was released and Jack Price forced his way over the line. The conversion attempt failed (20-28).

Trebanos came back yet again and a further penalty by Edwards brought the score back to 23-28. That was the final score of the game and the Otters were relieved to come away with another away win.

On Saturday (Oct 27), they are home to Cardiff Metropolitan who are unbeaten and top of the Championship table. It should be an interesting encounter.

Sport

Bluebirds bag last-gasp draw

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JD Cymru Premier League • Haverfordwest County 1 – Caernarfon Town 1

A LAST minute Danny Williams equaliser secured a deserved point for the Bluebirds after a dominant performance at the Bridge Meadow.

The tone for the game was set in the first minute, as only a last-ditch tackle denied Cameron Keetch a shot at goal after he latched on to a lofted pass. The opening 15 minutes were relatively quiet, Tibbets comfortably saved a Sean Pemberton header and Matt Turner stopped Mike Hayes in his track as he had the ball in the box.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a lot of possession in these opening minutes, playing some good football on the pristine surface. The first real chance came as an Elliot Scotcher corner ricocheted around the box before it was cleared off the line. Just 5 minutes later, Scotcher himself hit the post from an excellently struck free-kick from just outside the penalty area. The next chance fell to Marcus Griffiths who couldn’t quite get on the end of a low cross across the face of goal.

Some bad news for the Bluebirds, Cameron Keetch departed the pitch on the 29th minute after suffering an injury, he was replaced by super-sub Jack Wilson. He was straight into the action as he was played through by Ben Fawcett, but he curled his effort just wide of the post. Matt Turner then saved a well-struck free-kick from the edge of the Bluebirds penalty area. Jack Wilson had the final chance of the half as his curling effort from the right skimmed over the bar. A stalemate at halftime, but the Bluebirds on top.

The second half began as the first ended, this time is was Gruffydd John with a last-ditch tackle to deny Danny Williams. After Sean Pemberton headed wide, Danny Williams played a lofted ball through to Jack Wilson, who headed over Tibbets but Joe Williams cleared the ball off the line. Then, 4 minutes later, Wilson repaid the favour as he sent a lofted ball for Williams to chase, but Tibbets saved his lob attempt.

The Bluebirds continued to create chance after chance. Jack Wilson had a strike cleared off the line, again and Marcus Griffiths saw his header saved by Tibbets.

Against the run of play, Caernarfon took the lead on 74 minutes. Mendes picked up a cross at the back post and squared for Mike Hayes who couldn’t miss.

The setback didn’t deter the Bluebirds who continued to press.

In the space of a minute, Jack Wilson, Dan Summerfield and Jack Wilson all had shots blocked in the penalty area. Jack Wilson then turned provider as his long throw met the head of Sean Pemberton but his effort was over the bar.

With 94 minutes on the clock, Jack Wilson went racing down the right, squared for Danny Williams, and he did the rest from a few yards out with the final kick of the game.

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Sport

Wales gear up for Paris

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Wales face Les Bleus in Paris in what will be their first match since March.

It is one kicking and skills coach Jenkins is looking forward to.

“It is nice to be back. It has been tough since March, but to be involved now and have the boys back is great,” said the former fly-half.

“It’s doing things a little bit differently to what we are normally used to, but the boys have had a head start and been very good helping us.

“We understand what is going on, both at home and in France, and we respect that 100 per cent.

“We are there to do a job, we are there to represent our country, and I would like to think we are going to do that as best as we possibly can both on and off the pitch.

“We will adhere to everything that is required of us, hopefully play a very good game on Saturday, and do our utmost to win the Test match and try and pick the nation up.

“It’s brutal for everyone whether you are a sportsperson or a non-sportsperson. It is not an easy situation at this moment in time. I hope we can put some smiles on faces.

“We want to win, plain and simple. We have lost our last few games. We are here to play well and we are here to win Test matches.”

France got the better of Wales in the Six Nations at the start of the year before Covid-19 struck.

“It seems an incredibly long time ago. People might disagree, but for me it was a Test match I believe we should have won. We had opportunities,” Jenkins said.

“We gave probably 14 points away if I am brutally honest. We left a number of opportunities out there.”

Both sides will use the game to warm-up for their remaining Six Nations clashes and then their Autumn Nations Cup campaigns.

On questions regarding Josh Navidi’s involvement, Jenkins added: “He is going through his protocols and we will see how he goes this week and for the weeks coming up.”

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New Welsh rugby kit launched

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THE NEW Macron Wales kit, to be worn for the first time against France in Paris on October 24, has been unveiled simultaneously in the private changing rooms of the national team headquarters in Hensol and the Wales Women squad’s current base in Swansea University.

Jonathan Davies and Ross Moriarty were joined ‘virtually’ by Wales Women captain Siwan Lillicrap and Gwen Crabb to reveal the kit against a backdrop of jerseys from the community game in Wales which have also been produced by the WRU’s new official technical partner.

The launch of the new kit has taken on a post-Covid feel with both squads currently training in respective ‘bubbles’ and so the community aspect of the partnership – £1m of free kit to be supplied yearly to Welsh rugby clubs over six years – has been reflected by a display of existing Macron community rugby shirts.

A set of unique features sees the red dragon of the Welsh flag embossed across lower back of the shirt, an embossed pattern covering the sleeves – cleverly transforming the hexagonal shape of the WRU three-feathers logo into ‘dragon scales’ – and the Welsh word ANRHYDEDD (honour), also embossed, on the back of the collar.

The ‘away‘ version is a black jersey with a white v-neck collar, this time tipped with red trim that is also found on the sleeves and cuffs.

Both sleeves again feature an all over embossed pattern, but this time a geometric graphic brings a new age look to the garment.

The Welsh dragon is once again embossed on the lower back and another Welsh word, ANGERDD (passion) is embossed on the back of the collar.

“The new kit is striking representation of Welsh rugby tradition and we are delighted to be able to launch our new seven-year partnership with Macron in such a spectacular way,” said WRU CEO Steve Phillips.

“We are delighted with the bespoke kit, training and leisurewear Macron has provided so far, where Italian design meets Welsh passion with impressive results.

“And we are sure that the Welsh rugby watching public will be equally impressed when they get their hands on their favourite pieces in the expansive product range available.”

Wales Women will wear the kit in action for the first time against Scotland in their own postponed Six Nations clash on November 1 and, from next season, Macron’s affinity with Welsh rugby will increase even further when the first instalment of £6m worth of kit over six years, is supplied to the clubs in the community game throughout Wales.

“The Welsh Rugby Union represents one of the pillar stones of world rugby and for Macron to stand side by side with this sporting giant, means that we as a brand, have reached yet another great milestone,” said Macron‘s CEO Gianluca Pavanello.

“Our goal is for the new kits to be instantly recognisable and something that clearly express the Welsh identity and spirit. We hope that our hard work has paid off and that the new collection will be loved by players and fans alike and that the kits evoke the emotion that such a great nation deserves.”

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