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Super Quins earn first win

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THE Quins pulled off their first victory of the season on Saturday (Dec 29), defeating League leaders Neyland 13-10 in a bruising encounter at Bierspool.

The All Blacks will now have to pull out all the stops if they are to have any chance of promotion.

The Quins gave a debut to 18yr old Gethin Bradney at Scrum Half, in which he partnered his older brother Rhys to become the first ever brothers to play at Half Back for the Quins.

It was the All Blacks who struck first in the tenth minute when Centre Alex Codd pounced on a Quins mistake to score half way out. Outside Half George Evans converted to ease his side into a 7 point lead.

Most spectators must have thought here we go again, especially after the drubbing Neyland had handed out in September, but they could not have been further from the truth.

The hard work being put in by the Coaches is starting to come to fruition although there is a long way to go with this young Quins Side.

They countered the Neyland back division brilliantly, even when a tackle was missed there was always another Quins player ready to put his body on the line, as no one took a backward step.

The half ended with the Quins pack slightly on top with replacement Alex Pierce and 2nd Row Darren Potter both putting in a huge shift.

As the second half started it was obvious that the Quins would have to score first, especially against the leaders, and that is exactly what they did.

The Quins rolling maul was pulled down when a certain score looked on, and the Referee had no choice but to award the Quins a penalty try.

With the score now even, and the Quins playing their best rugby for some time a shock result seemed on the cards.

The All Blacks however soon hit back when George Evans slotted over an awkward penalty to restore his sides’ lead.

The Quins though, with still 25 minutes left, were simply not going to go away, as they tore into now what was becoming a very nervous Neyland side.

They started to force errors, and when the visitors were penalised 30 yards out the Quins made the right decision to go for the three points, with Full Back Arron James banging it over and it was all square at 10-10 with 15 minutes to go.

The All Blacks however were soon back on the attack, but it was the Quins who broke out of their own 22 through Outside Half Rhys Bradney who pounced on a loose ball and set off into Neyland territory.

He chipped ahead only to be taken out off the ball, it was an obvious penalty and up stepped Arron James, who, with the ground in deadly silence, put another 30 yard penalty straight through the uprights to put the Quins into the lead.

However, there was still ten minutes of the match left as Neyland laid siege to the Quins line but the young Quins side repelled them time after time as the team ethic started to show as each player to a man did not give an inch.

The Quins can look back on this match with great pride after the turbulent times they have been through.

Taking points when on offer was crucial, and for young Captain Hywel Baker to make these decisions in a tight game went a long way to securing a hard fought victory. It is very rare that the bottom side beats the top sides in Rugby, but it happened at Bierspool on Saturday.

Team. Arron James, Ben Gibby, Harry Lawrence, Jake Griffiths, Liam Scourfield, Rhys Bradney, Gethin Bradney, Rob Hearne, George Bellmaine, Joe Gray, Martin Culley, Darren Potter, Hywel Baker (Capt), Jordan Palmer, Nick Drewett. Replacements: Alex Pierce, Josh Brown, Tom Clarkson, Mike Jones.

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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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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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