16 January 2023 / Team News

Youth secure hard fought victory over Otters

oung Wasps secure hard fought victory over Otters


Llangwm 9 - Narberth 5

Venue: Pill Parks
Referee: Dan Tompkins (Llangrannog)
On most occasions the outcome in a game of rugby is decided by a moment of brilliance, an unfortunate error or overwhelming pace and power. Sometimes it is simply down to guts and determination and an unwillingness to accept defeat. Such was the case in an absorbing contest between these two youth teams where Narberth held sway in terms of possession and territory but the young Wasps simply refused to be beaten.
From the first whistle to the last, the large crowd was treated to a ferocious end to end battle under the floodlights at Pill Parks in a fantastic advert for youth rugby. The first and last plays typified the whole encounter. Sam Rickwood collected the first kick off and was met with a thunderous two-man hit. Fast forward to the last play when Narberth were pressing in Llangwm’s 22 only for a huge tackle to see Seth Willington win a final turnover. It was breathless stuff between forty players prepared to put their bodies on the line and fight for every scrap of advantage.

Picton lands only score of the first half

Fletcher Picton was once again the toast of his team mates as his three successful penalty kicks proved enough to secure victory, whilst Narberth’s sole score coming from a close-range try for replacement Elliot Evans. In a game where player frustration frequently boiled over resulting in several dust ups, referee Dan Tompkins remained the calmest person in the ground. He showed admirable composure to retain control of what was a difficult game to officiate, issuing four yellow cards and a general warning to both teams, taking the heat out of the game and ensuring both teams finished with 15 men on the field.
The only score of a tight first half was a penalty from the boot of Picton, both teams seeing other penalty kicks drift wide. For Narberth, Lewis Reed and Wil Nicholas provided a steady supply of lineout possession with half-backs Mike Gurney and Shay Norcross controlling play well. The excellent Iestyn Comey and Brad Cramb regularly made ground with strong bursts but despite periods of pressure Narberth secured no reward.
For Llangwm young Kieran Sinclair in only his second youth game, stepping up from the Under 16s showed his potential with an outstanding all-round display. Behind the scrum, Ioan Hawkridge-Jones and the unflappable Liam Rees linked well with the outside men, Rees kicking superbly out of hand all evening.
After 15 minutes Narberth lost Jayden Scourfield to the sin bin following some back chat to the referee. Five minutes before half time both Seb McIntosh and Shay Norcross saw yellow for an altercation involving several players. Midway through the second half the influential Hawkridge-Jones received a yellow for killing the ball. Despite these setbacks both teams redoubled their efforts to keep their lines intact.

Equally tight second half

The second half remained scoreless for 15 minutes until an infringement by the Narberth forwards allowed Picton to slot his second three-pointer. This only served to spur Narberth on and an extended period of pressure finally saw them claim a deserved score. Reed again secured good lineout possession with the resultant driving maul taking them within inches of the Llangwm try line. After several thrusts it was Evans who spotted a chink in the defence and dived over, referee Tompkins perfectly positioned to award the try.
The conversion was missed leaving Llangwm one point to the good and Picton extended the lead to four points shortly afterwards with his third successful penalty. Narberth piled the pressure on in the closing minutes pressing for the winning score but try as they might, galvanised by their outstanding skipper Arwyn O’Loughlin, Llangwm defended for their lives. Archie Valance released Harry Williams who looked sure to touchdown in the bottom corner but for a superb cover tackle by Aaron John. The impressive Kyle Day, who had come off the bench, made a significant impact with several tremendous bursts but each time he found the door closed on him. To the final play of the game, another Narberth carry, another big tackle, another turnover and the Llangwm celebrations could begin.

And finally . . .

Llangwm coaches Dafydd Bowen and Geoff Asson were visibly and deservedly delighted with this notable victory, just reward for their hard work and dedication over a number of years with their young squad. On the night it would be unjust to single out any player for the Player of the Match award. Numerous Narberth players put their hands up with outstanding individual displays but on this occasion the award was rightly shared by 20 jubilant young Wasps for a fantastic team display of sheer determination to win.
Llangwm: Charlie Wilson, Seb McIntosh, Kieran Sinclair, Seth Willington, Arwyn O’Loughlin (c), Sam Rickwood, Flynn Tjoonk, Joe Phillips, Ioan Hawkridge-Jones, Liam Rees, Harry Makepeace, Fletcher Picton, Ieuan Gray, Aaron John, Iwan Davies. Replacements: Matthew Cole, Owen Phelps, Jake Thomas, Dom Asson, Fergus Reynolds
Narberth: Joel Davies, Callum Levitt, Jayden Scourfield, Harry Harris, Lewis Reed, Will Nicholas, Yori Morgan, Iestyn Comey, Mike Gurney, Shay Norcross (c), Harry Williams, Brad Cramb, Archie Valance, Max Morgan, Dan Jones. Replacements: Elliot Evans, Ben Davies, Owain Thomas, Kyle Day, James Morgan
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