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Quins put All Blacks to the sword

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Pembroke Dock Quins 53-23 Neyland

THE Quins, with a much changed line up from the previous week at Lampeter, put the Pembrokeshire ‘All Blacks’ to the sword on Saturday (Sept 14) scoring no less than nine tries in the process, against a spirited Neyland side who quite easily could have come away with a four-try bonus point.

It took the Quins just three minutes to get the scoreboard moving as a superb pass out of the tackle by Outside Half Kieron Machin sent Centre Jordan Asparassa racing in from 35yds to touch down near the corner flag. Full Back Ben Hathaway missed the conversion.

The Quins lead, however, was short lived as Neyland launched a dangerous attack which ended with Left Wing Henry Macbeth scoring in the corner. Outside Half Toby Hayman missed the conversion.

The Quins were certainly not having things their own way, and when Toby Hayman slotted over a 35-yard penalty to give his side a 5-8 lead, the writing was certainly on the wall.

On 25 minutes the Quins hit back when Scrum Half Elliot Lewis caught the All Blacks napping as he darted round the blind side of a maul to score in the corner. Ben Hathaway missed the difficult conversion.

As the half was drawing to a close Centre Jack Price added an unconverted try to push the Quins into 15-8 lead.

Neyland hit back quickly though when Hayman landed a Penalty to send the teams into the break with the Quins just shading it 15-11.

As the second half started, it was a case of who would score first, and fortunately for the Quins it went their way.

The Quins, once again set up by Man of the Match Kieron Machin, completely outflanked the visitors defence which enabled Prop Liam Smith to again touch down wide out for another unconverted try.

That gave them a bonus point and they soon added a fifth try when Danny Manning, on as a replacement for Left Wing Josh Brown, scored in the corner. Ben Hathaway at last got his radar right and landed the conversion from the touchline.

With a 27-11 lead it was difficult to see how Neyland were going to come back.

The Quins’ sixth try was not long coming when a quick tap penalty sent Jordan Asparassa over for his second try. Ben Hathaway converted to push the lead out to 34-11.

Minutes later Jack Price, not to be outdone by his fellow centre, also grabbed his second try which was again converted by Ben Hathaway.

At 41-11 it looked all up for Neyland but they showed great spirit hitting back with a try from Flanker Owen Evans which was converted by Hayman.

As the game was drawing to a close their was a flurry of tries as Danny Manning added his second, which went unconverted before Neyland hit back with a close range unconverted try from Prop Craig Power.

Ben Hathaway then touched down for his third try of the season which he also converted himself to end the scoring.

Unfortunately for the All Blacks there was not enough time left for them to secure a try bonus point.

On Saturday (Sept 21), the Quins travel to Lampeter Town in the first round of the WRU Bowl, and if it’s anything like the league game a few weeks ago it should be a thriller.

Team: Ben Hathaway, Josh Brown, J Asparassa, Jack Price (Capt), Jordan Kokolin, Kieron Machin, Elliot Lewis, Liam Smith, Marcus Phillips, Jack Davies, Ben Gibby, Martin Cully, Danny McLeod, Harold Owen, Ollie Parsons. Replacements: Dai Moseley, Bronzac Burley, Hywel Baker, Danny Manning, Danny Potter.

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Bluebirds awarded promotion to the Cymru Premier League

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Paul Davies MS and David Hughes during a visit to Haverfordwest County AFC before lockdown restrictions were introduced in Wales

HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY AFC have secured their promotion to the Cymru Premier League.

Following the Football Association of Wales (FAW) decision back in March to curtail all domestic football throughout Wales, many teams have waited in angst for clarification on how the promotion and relegation process would be decided.

The FAW, confirmed on Tuesday, June 16, using the ‘average points per game’ method that Haverfordwest County AFC had done enough to be promoted to the Cymru Premier for the upcoming 2020/2021 season.

Taking to their website to confirm the news, the club said “It is nothing less than Wayne, the coaching staff, players, board and volunteers deserve after a fantastic effort last season.

“It has been a long wait to learn our fate, but the club and its staff have worked tirelessly on and off the pitch to ensure we had as much in place as possible, and following the announcement we can now hit the ground running and prepare for next season.

“We cannot wait to welcome the best teams in Wales to The Bridge Meadow!”

Local Member of the Welsh Parliament Paul Davies has also added his congratulations to Haverfordwest County AFC on their promotion back to the JD Cymru Premier League.

Commenting on the achievement, Paul Davies said “It’s great that Haverfordwest County will once again compete in the Premier National League of Wales with the likes of The New Saints, Barry Town and newly crowned champions Connah’s Quay Nomads. The management and players have done a fantastic job in gaining promotion from the JD Cymru South League.”

“With the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium widely regarded as being one of the top grounds in Welsh non-league football, it’s only fitting that the Bluebirds will be back in the premier division.”

“I would also take the opportunity to thank David Hughes and Rob Davies for the work they have done as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the club respectively. I have known David for a number of years and he has worked tirelessly for the club. I’m delighted to learn that both David and Rob will stay on the Board as Robert Edwards takes over as Chairman. Their knowledge and experience will be vital moving forward into this exciting new era.”

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Nigel Owens hosts virtual rugby quiz for Pembroke Panthers

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PEMBROKE Panthers RFC enjoyed a rugby return during lockdown after winning a competition which saw international referee Nigel Owens host their own virtual clubhouse quiz, thanks to Principality Building Society.

The women’s squad at the Pembroke club beat more than 1000 entries to win Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz competition. With many clubs affected by widespread flooding at the start of this year and now closed indefinitely due to coronavirus, the building society is continually looking for ways to support grassroots rugby clubs in Wales.

Pembroke Panther Lucy Neale, 30, entered her team with the hope of bringing the players together online. She said: “We’d usually see each other up to five times a week between training sessions, matches and socials, so it’s been a really strange time. I thought I’d enter the club thinking it would be a nice pick-me-up for us all, but never actually expected to win so it was an amazing surprise.”

The team were tested on their rugby knowledge by world cup referee Nigel Owens over video conferencing platform Zoom, where players won tickets to Welsh internationals at Principality Stadium, signed rugby shirts and balls, and tickets for a tour around Principality Stadium. The quiz included a guest appearance from former Welsh international Tom Shanklin.

Lucy continued: “It was such a memorable and special evening for us all. We’re usually quite a lively bunch but we behaved well for Nigel. We’re so thankful to Principality for putting on the quiz and allowing us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as a team.”

As sponsors of Principality Stadium and the National Youth Leagues for grassroots clubs in Wales, Principality has a strong relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and knows how much rugby means to communities across the country. With matches on hold currently, the building society wanted to be able to bring the buzz of the clubhouse to the home.

Clubhouse Quiz host, Nigel Owens, said: “Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz was a fantastic way to bring one team closer together and Pembroke Panthers really showed off their rugby knowledge. Rugby plays such an important role in Welsh communities and I know they’ll be missing the action on the field right now, so it was lovely to have been part of this experience to bring this team together. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sin bin any of them either.”

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Many rugby clubs across Wales have had a really difficult year, with flood damage to pitches and clubhouses now followed by coronavirus. This was our chance to recreate the camaraderie of the clubhouse for one team and we hope that it brought plenty of laughs and memorable moments for Pembroke Panthers at this challenging time.”

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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