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Sport

Strong squad for France opener

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WALES Women head coach Rowland Philips has selected a strong side for the Women’s Six Nations opener in Montpellier on Saturday night (9pm local time).

“We made such huge progress during the autumn – especially against Canada in our final game – that it was important to continue to build on the momentum we created.”

There are two changes and two positional for Saturday’s clash from that previous Wales Test. Scarlets pair Hannah Jones and Alisha Butchers return to the side, Jones will partner Alicia McComish in the centre while Butchers returns from injury to start on the blindside flank. There is a reshuffle in the backrow with Beth Lewis starting at No 8 in place of injured Sioned Harries and Manon Johnes starting on the openside.

“Physicality will be key against France on Saturday,” added Phillips. “That is their strength and they will come out flying. That is an area we have been working on. We’ve prepared for it and now we need to keep our focus from minutes one to 80. Not only do we need to stand up to the physical challenge France will bring but we need to impose our own tempo on the game too.

“Playing France away from home is the only place you’ll experience such a cauldron in terms of the huge crowd and welcome and that’s something the players must embrace and feed off. France are the envy of the women’s rugby world at the moment and our players will certainly gain from the experience.”

The game takes place on Saturday, February 2, 9pm (local time). Live on S4C 8pm GMT:

Team: Lauren Smyth (Ospreys); Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets), Hannah Jones (Scarlets), Alicia McComish (Dragons), Lisa Neumann (RGC); Robyn Wilkins (Blues), Keira Bevan (Ospreys); Caryl Thomas (Dragons), Carys Phillips (capt, Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets) Manon Johnes (Blues), Bethan Lewis (Dragons).

Replacements: Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Cara Hope (Ospreys), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Natalia John (Ospreys), Alex Callender (*Scarlets) , Ffion Lewis (Scarlets), Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Bears), Jess Kavanagh (RGC).

Sport

Goodwick bow out of West Wales Cup

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GOODWICK United bowed out of the West Wales Cup as they were beaten 1-0 by South Gower on Saturday (Dec 4).

The West Wales Premier League side travelled to Pembrokeshire on the back of four straight wins, including their 21-0 demolition of Hendy in the second round of the competition.

This time though they came up against a Goodwick United who were yet to taste defeat this season.

The only goal of the game came sixteen minutes in as Ieuan Priede headed South Gower ahead.

Goodwick had a number of chances throughout the game but were unable to find an equaliser.

Nathan Greene and Johnny Horgan were both brought on to try and change the outcome but their opponents held on to book their place in the next round.

On Saturday, December 11, Goodwick return to Division 1 action with a trip to St Ishmaels.

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Sport

Carew go through in extra time

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CAREW needed extra time to beat Tumble to book their place in the next round of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Dec 4).

Shaun Whitfield had put Carew ahead at the end of first half stoppage time but just four minutes into the second half, Trystan Leech pulled Tumble level.

Jordan Richards then scored Carew’s second to put them back ahead and Whitfield’s second goal looked to have sealed the visitors’ passage into the last sixteen.

However, Leech grabbed his second five minutes from time to give the home side hope of forcing the game into extra time.

And Leech completed his hat trick in the 92nd minute to make it 3-3 and to ensure the teams would be playing another 30 minutes.

In the first period of extra time it was Carew who got the goal to put them back in the lead with Harvey Langston scoring.

Tumble were unable to find a way back this time and Joe Williams’ goal two minutes from the end secured the win for the Rooks.

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Sport

Narberth seconds earn bonus point win over Aber

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NARBERTH seconds (also known as Narberth Athletic) travelled to Aberystwyth as they looked to leapfrog Newcastle Emlyn at the top of the West Wales Conference League.

There was a gale blowing straight down the pitch from the clubhouse, which made attractive rugby difficult in such cold weather conditions.

Narberth lost the toss and played with the wind. They put the home side under pressure for most of the first period using the elements to their advantage and scored two good tries through scrum half Jordan James and livewire flanker Dylan Walsh and, converted by Shane Rossiter but was a 12 point advantage enough going into the second half?

Narberth coach James Merriman sent on two heavyweight replacements at half time in Daf Walters and Jac Norcross to help carry the ball against the elements.

The tactics worked superbly with Walters rumbling over for two tries and centre Ryan Scourfield rounding off a tremendous second half performance for the young Otters going over under the posts to put the score beyond doubt and an excellent bonus point win.

After the game and changing out of their playing strip, the boys then put on their Santa outfits for the Christmas social and long drive home.

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