By Gwilym Lewis
The Llanelli Warriors and Abercrave Barbarians were the latest sides to return to rugby as the lockdown conditions ease.
The Warriors have assembled a large squad over the lockdown period and so were able to field a strong squad despite a number of notable absentees. Four players made club debuts on Saturday including:
Matthew Miller and Andrew Davies, who had never played a rugby match before.
It is perhaps understandable then, that the Warriors were very slow starting. No amount of training can replicate the intensity of a match and Abercrave contested at every opportunity. They stopped the Warriors getting any platform and dominated early proceedings. Despite some committed defence, they clearly had the upper hand and scored 3 tries with a 4th surprisingly disallowed.
Slowly the Warriors managed to get some structure into their game with the line-out improving quickly to become a strength. Some loose kicking gave Nathan Murphy the chance to cut loose, ably supported by Dan John and Tom Edwards. They were also helped by some poor discipline from the home team which led to a far more even 2nd half.
An improved kicking game, aided by good pressure from hard working Nic Dcruz, gave the Warriors plenty of territory and Jamie Evans took his opportunity to open their scoring. Whittaker slotted the conversion.
Richard Evans returned to the fray in his last game as Captain, and clearly reinvigorated, he demanded a last effort from his team. Although they did not threaten the result, they certainly earned a second consolation score. A good sequence of passing and support play saw No 8 Chris Davies go under the posts, a satisfying score to round off the game.
A frustrating 1st half, morphed into a far more satisfactory 2nd period. The main thing though, was to be back playing rugby.
Abercrave 17 Llanelli Warriors 12
Warriors XV Dan John (Tom Edwards), James Anthony, Nathan Murphy, Johnathan Kearney (Adam Fussell), Simon Day (Nic Dcruz), Jamie Evans, Gwilym Lewis, Mark Lewis (Tony Whittaker), Richard Evans (Cpt), Andrew Davies (Dan Grinter), Matthew Miller, Lloyd Crawley (Rhydian Williams), Luke Pearse (Kallum Morgan, Tom Davies), Chris Davies, Ashley Lewis (Kieron Morgan, Gareth Ladd),