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Nuemann set to make first start for Wales

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FULLBACK Lisa Neumann will make her first start for Wales at Donnybrook this Sunday (Feb 25) (15:00) in Round Three of the Women’s Six Nations.

The 23-year-old from Pembrokeshire is the only new player in the starting line-up to face Ireland. Meanwhile, loosehead prop Cara Hope could win her first international cap from the bench.

“Lisa has been pushing hard for a place in the starting team and she deserves her opportunity this Sunday,” said Phillips, who has enjoyed the benefit of having former Wales international Gareth Wyatt coaching the backs since the start of the tournament. “We have a lot of talented back-three players in the squad, so we think Lisa will slot in well alongside Hannah Bluck and Jess Kavanagh-Williams – two players who pose threats from the wing.”

Phillips recently spoke about his team not being burdened by an “emotional hangover” from the result at the Twickenham Stoop, and insists that preparations for Ireland have been geared towards one thing. “We need to show that we’re improving in the areas that we’ve been working on this year,” said Phillips. “This will be a game between two very evenly-matched teams, and coming off the back of the last match we’re very keen to give a good account of ourselves.”

The last time both teams met in competition was during the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August – a game Wales won by 10 points at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. However, Phillips says that result won’t count for much come Sunday in Donnybrook, particularly after Ireland’s winning performance in a pre-Women’s Six Nations friendly with Wales in Ystrad Mynach earlier this year.

“Ireland were competing for a Grand Slam going into the final game of the competition last year, so we know how much of a strong team they are. The World Cup was a bit of an anomaly for them, so they’ve had a point to prove since then.

“They’ve got a lot of new personnel across the board, but the team is settled and experienced. It’s up for us to  show what we’re about as a team. We’ll certainly be prepared for a hugely competitive match in front of a boisterous Irish crowd this Sunday.”

Wales Women team to face Ireland:

15 Lisa Neumann (Scarlets)

14 Hannah Bluck (Cardiff Blues)

13 Kerin Lake (Ospreys)

12 Rebecca De Filippo (Dragons)

11 Jess Kavanagh-Williams (RGC)

10 Elinor Snowsill (Dragons)

9 Rhiannon Parker (Cardiff Blues)

1 Caryl Thomas (Scarlets)

2 Carys Phillips (c) (Ospreys)

3 Amy Evans (Ospreys)

4 Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys)

5 Mel Clay (Ospreys)

6 Alisha Butchers (Scarlets)

7 Beth Lewis (Scarlets)

8 Sioned Harries (Scarlets)

Replacements

16 Kelsey Jones (Ospreys)

17 Cara Hope (Ospreys)*

18 Meg York (Dragons)

19 Natalia John (Ospreys)

20 Nia Elen Davies (Scarlets)

21 Jade Knight (Scarlets)

22 Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys)

23 Hannah Jones (Scarlets)

Sport

Swifts eyes on double.

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Monkton Swifts reserves have blown away the second division this season and now have the double in their sights. They face Merlins Bridge reserves in the semi final of the second division cup and lived up to their favourites tag.

Swifts won comfortably with key player Butland getting three assists and Josh Sture grabbing a brace. Waterman and Rhys Sture added the other goals as outstanding Monkton won 4-0.

Herbrandston and Johnston played in the other semi final and this was a much harder fixture to call. The promoted Herbie a younger and perhaps less physical outfit in comparison to the Tigers. Johnston quickly took control of the game when they found themselves two up after just 29 minutes.

However when Scott Murray was shown a red card just eight minutes later, Herbie would have been confident of staging a comeback. Despite being a man light, Johnston held Herbie until the final minute of the 90, when Alex Ouzman gave Herbie late hope. The Tigers held firm however and progress to the final where they will be underdogs. A tag that I’m sure the players and manager Steven Allen won’t mind too much.

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Tenby hit five against downbeat Bridge

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On a beautiful day in Tenby, the hosts welcomed Merlins Bridge to The Clicketts, fresh from their West Wales semi final defeat midweek.

The Bridge squad was missing some influential players after picking up some injuries and the visiting team asked questions over the fitness of the pitch, which, according to the Bridge management, was too hard.

The referee waved these away and the game was on, with the Tenby squad clearly thinking they were already in the heads of the Bridge team.

Almost straight from Kick off Tenby set their stall out with some great attacking play, which Jerome Mansbridge benefitted from in just the second minute putting the home team ahead.

The bridge players weren’t at the races and Tenby capitalised scoring a further 4 first half goals, including a Mansbridge hat trick, leaving the away team bewildered and 5-0 down at half time.

What could have been a hugely embarrassing defeat for a team that harboured title hopes at the beginning of the season, turned around somewhat at half time, when Dai Davies, the club captain, almost singlehandedly dragged them to a much higher level in the second half, ensuring his players kept their discipline and worked hard against a very good Tenby team. Undoubtedly Merlin’s Bridge were the better team in the second period, but the damage had already been done in the first half, and despite Bridges best efforts, the score remained 5-0 to the home team.

In a game which saw Tenby jump to 4th in the league, they can be hugely proud of their season and will look to build on that for their next in Division one.

A fantastic game on a beautiful day with a good home crowd watching, the team from the Clicketts will be justifiably happy with their afternoons work.

Tenby 5-0 Merlins Bridge.

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Preseli poses a challenge for novice crews

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THE END of April will see the popular novice night rally organised by the Teifi Valley Motor Club being held in Pembrokeshire. On the weekend of 27th and 28th April, Rali Bro Preseli will see 75 novice crews tackling the winding and challenging roads that Pembrokeshire has to offer.

Clerks of the Course, father and son Richard and Jason Davies along with Aled Richards have a terrific route lined up for competitors. Starting as usual at the Crymych Mart, the route will appeal to all novice drivers and navigators.

“It will offer a bit of everything. It will be challenging but easy to follow with some whites thrown in the mix. Aled has designed the whole route and we’ve done the donkey work,” said Jason, now in his second year as Clerk of the Course.

As regular competitors, Jason and Richard wanted to give something back to the sport and they enjoy being on the organising side of the things.

Jason, who won the Bro Preseli with his father in 2013, explained: “We’ve competed in the Preseli on several occasions, and we decided to give something back to the sport and that’s why dad and I thought it would be a good idea to help.

“It’s interesting to see how it all comes together and the work involved, and there’s a lot of that,”

He also won the event with Tim Hand in 2016 and was fourth overall in 2019.

Aled Richards, Joint Clerk of the Course, knows the routes of Rali Bro Preseli like the back of his hand having only ever missed it once since its formation in 2003. He’s driven on four of them in 2005 – 2008 with the best result of a 4th place with Arwel Jenkins in the navigator seat.

Aled has been Chief Marshal on Rali Bro Preseli since 2013 before moving on to being Clerk of the Course this year and competitors can look forward to a great event.

Aled told the Herald: “This is the first time I’ve been Clerk of the Course, but we have a good team with Dylan Davies as Chief Marshal and Olwen Davies as Secretary.

“I live some 30 miles away from the actual route, but we’ve been around it twice and I’m confident it will be a good yet challenging night. Some of the whites are currently waterlogged but the farmers have been brilliant and offered to help clear the tracks before the event and we are very grateful.”

The rally, kindly sponsored by Arjay Factors and Home James Taxis, will have four official Spectator Points on the night and the locations will be available at signing on.

The Clerks of the Course and the Teifi Valley Motor Club would like to thank all those who have helped to organise the event – landowners, homes en route, petrol at Brian Llewellyn a’i Ferched, and the start and finish venues – Crymych Mart and the Teifi Waterside Hotel.

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