Juniors and Mini
Llanharan U16’s vs St Julian’s HSOB U16’s 30/4/17
Match Report from Ted
Llanharan u16’s travelled to Newport for their last ever fixture as a junior rugby side to face St Julian’s HSOB RFC. With the rain not forecast to come in until after the final whistle, not a breath of wind and a really firm pitch, conditions were perfect.
There was a palpable feeling of anticipation around the 16 boys in the squad, and they were obviously looking to win well to give themselves a feel-good mentality through the Summer and into pre-season training for youth rugby in September.
The game was very physical right from the kick-off (some of the boys have really come of age this year) with the two teams evenly matched and looking to play. From a scrum, the St Julian’s backs showed some powerful, direct running (something the Newport team were to do consistently throughout the game) but the outside half chipped ahead and the ball travelled over the try line, Jacob Sayers touching down for a 22 drop-out.
Llanharan then worked their way down into the opposition half with their customary passing game. Four phases later, with the ball going from one touchline to another, they were in under the posts for the opening try from Lloyd Gregory, easily converted by Morgan Johns.
St Julian’s came right back into the game with some really hard running around the fringes, players consistently taking the ball at pace, but the Llanharan tackling was heroic and eventually, the defence forced a knock-on.
Llanharan chose to run their way out of their 22 and it paid off when Elliot Jenkins went in under the posts at the other end for the second try. The conversion made it 14-0 to the away team
From the restart, Jack Jeffreys performed his customary powerful run through most of the opposing team but spoilt it by losing the ball. Now Llanharan were running it from everywhere and from a scrum on half-way, 3 sets of well-timed hands put Reece Newman in the clear. He stepped the full back to go in for the third try. 21-0 to Llanharan and things were all going to plan.
From the restart, the junior dairymen got a little too ambitious in their own 22, knocking on. From the scrum, the St Julian’s outside half, who was coming into the game more and more, once again brought on his outside backs with some powerful, well-timed runs. Llanharan did well to keep them out but one tackle went above the horizontal, giving the home side the first of what was to become many penalties.
Four penalties later, all of which were scrum options, St Julian’s go in for their first try which was converted from wide out. 21-7 to the visitors, and the game was now beginning to turn.
A great move from a scrum then put Tom Whittaker through the middle. Llanharan almost got over for a fourth but were penalized for holding on followed by a further penalty for lineout encroachment. The penalty count was now 8-2 in the home side’s favour. They were obviously getting on the wrong side of the ref but carried on battling. Nobody epitomized this more than Reece who received the ball on the wing once again, and proceeded to beat countless defenders with a variety of footwork. The scoring pass to Tom was judged to be forward.
St Julian’s then worked their way into the visitors’ 22 with some lovely kicking from their number 10. Then followed another flurry of penalties to the home team, all taken as scrums, and inevitably the try came from their centre. Another great conversion from the stand-off, who looked like a star in the making, made the score 21-14 to Llanharan at half-time.
From the kick-off, some great passing from Llanharan got them off to a good start. Then from a scrum, a great outside break from Mitchell Hall (is he hooker or a centre!?) took him close to the line. Crucially he didn’t die with the ball and off-loaded to Dylan John, who was on his shoulder for the try. The conversion gave some breathing space. 28-14 to Llanharan.
That turned out to be the last bit of positive rugby of the day, as the game lost its structure. The ref seemed to lose control of a game that up until this point, had been played in very good spirits.
The penalty count against the away team kept on mounting (I think it reached 14-3 but I’m not sure as I lost count!) and with the visitors being marched back 10m for backchat, it all got a bit silly.
Eventually, the inevitable fisticuffs broke out, and the referee amazingly had no hesitation in abandoning the game, even though it was the first altercation of the whole match. A real shame as the game could have continued, but things were spoilt for the home team as well as the visitors.
So a strange feeling at the end of junior rugby for these boys. They’ll take the win into the Summer, however, as well as the great style of passing rugby that they displayed not only today, but throughout the season as a whole. They no longer play as individuals but as a whole team and have scored some fabulous tries as a result. Well done to every single player and see you in June at pre-season training for what’s going to be a fabulous first season of youth rugby.
From the Under 16s:
Tomorrow marks a special day for Llanharan under 16s as we play our last game as a mini and junior team against St Julians of Newport.
On behalf of myself Leigh Thomas, Andrew Osborne and Alun Evans I’d like to take a moment and share a few words of appreciation and express deep gratitude to every player and coach past and present that has given our team their commitment and time to attain its longevity, making this year our 10th as a team.
It’s been a pleasure coaching the boys for all these years watching them progress in to great players, and very humbling to see them evolve into such a passionate and close knit team, with such dedication to the game and Llanharan R.F.C
We are all excited for next season as they move into Youth with difficult challenges ahead, but with all the spirit and heart they've shown over 10 years of rugby I’m sure they'll become a valued asset to Llanharan R.F.C.
We look forward to our pre-season training beginning mid-June and welcome new faces along with the old... roll on next season!
"21/04/17 - 24/04/17: Mini section tour to Exmouth
Last weekend the Mini Section from Llanharan went on tour to Exmouth. Highlights included a fancy dress party on Friday Night with themes including WWE Wrestlers, Superheros and Where's Wally?
The Saturday we had some "Its a Knockout" style games, the highlights being the kids and adults space hopper relay race, and a game of Hungry Hippos using kids, skateboards and washing up bowls. The Sunday was game day with the Llanharan youngsters facing teams from Exmouth, Porth and Weston-Super-Mare with the Llanharan players performing excellently. We thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and warm welcome from Exmouth RFC. This alongside with plenty of time on the beach and in the pool made it a weekend to remember for all involved"
Llanharan U16’s vs Cymru Caerdydd U16’s 2/4/17
On a beautifully sunny morning in Cardiff, Llanharan u16’s took on Cymru Caerdydd at Pontcanna Fields. Only 12 boys were available, meaning that 3 players were kindly borrowed from CC, but they were all up for a game of rugby as usual.
Straight from the kick-off a knock-on from Llanharan gave CC a scrum, disappointing as the boys had been starting games a lot better recently, often scoring first. On this occasion, however, the powerful CC centre sliced through to score under the posts. The conversion made it 7-0 to the home side.
Llanharan started to get back into the game with some driving forward play, but they lost possession and CC worked their way down into the away team’s 22. Only a lot of really committed tackling kept them out. When Llanharan did get some possession, they made the mistake of trying miracle off-loads – admirable ambition, but not what was needed when they had gone behind early on.
With CC looking dangerous every time they had the ball, it was almost inevitable that from one turnover, they made metres down the blindside and scored their second try. 12-0 to the home team.
A great backs move from the restart put Tom Whittaker away, but their momentum was stopped in its tracks by a penalty for going off their feet at a ruck. The tide was definitely turning, however, with Llanharan starting to match the home team’s physicality. They started to be awarded penalties in the home team’s half, but the forwards showed some white-line fever and didn't spread the ball wide when the backs were ready and waiting. Eventually, Llanharan remembered what their strengths were, and from a move which including lots of off-loading and great recycling of the ball, Kieran Thomas went in for their first try.
Straight from the restart, Llanharan are on the attack once more. Ioan Thomas made some good metres, and when they went blind, Chris Osbourne show good basic skills (something lacking in Welsh rugby at the moment) to draw the CC defender and put Reece Newman in for his second. With Keiron Thomas probably wishing that his conversion wasn't mentioned (a real daisy-cutter from right in front), the away team were now only 12-10 down.
Llanharan were now right in this game, with Calum Evans controlling the play from 10 in the absence of concussion victim Leon Burton. The kicking obsession evident in the last two games thankfully seemed to have disappeared, and after a penalty tap from a midfield offside, Jack Jeffreys took the ball at pace and was unstoppable. The away team took the lead for the first time and it was 15-12 to Llanharan at half-time.
Straight from the restart, Calum put in a lovely chip which was gathered by Jack once again, but he was held up over the line. From the resulting scrum, Llanharan put together a multi-phase passage of play involving some lovely off-loads, and eventually good hands put Reece over once again. The conversion made it 22-12.
Then, despite Llanharan really matching the physicality of the home side, the kicking curse returned, and the CC fullback ran back a poor relieving boot to score in the corner. A fabulous conversion made it 22-19.
After the restart went into touch, Llanharan found themselves back in their half. But after a kick ahead and a fabulous one-handed jackal from Dylan John, Elliot Jenkins took the ball at full pace and was in under the posts. 29-19 and things were looking good.
CC then came back again to score, ensuring that Llanharan couldn’t relax in any way. They didn’t and Chris Osbourne showed that forwards can also side-step to go in for his customary score. 36-24 and it was turning into a classic.
When the CC fullback made a break and put his supporting player in to score, making it 36-29, Llanharan began to look to the referee to blow up but Jack decided to make the game safe with a perfectly weighted grubber kick through the CC defence, which he gathered for the touchdown. A great game of rugby and a special mention has to go to the three Cymru Caerdydd players who contributed greatly, playing for Llanharan.
Final score Llanharan u16’s 41 Cymru Caerdydd u16’s 29
Match Report from Ted
On a good morning for rugby (relatively dry, not much wind and just a little give in the ground), Llanharan under 16’s took on Pentyrch, a team they narrowly beat away just after Christmas.
As usual, there were mistakes right from the off (cold hands and the boys still waking up), but the Llanharan backs put the ball wide, playing to their strength, being probably the smallest under 16 side in South Wales. Tom Whittaker, who was psyching out the opposition already with some choice comments, put a lovely kick through for Rhys Newman to show fantastic speed and some cool dribbling skills, to beat the defending winger and touch down for an early try. Conversion from Leon Burton went just wide of the right hand upright. 5-0 to Llanharan.
Two nasty habits from the home side then started to creep into the game, namely putting Pentyrch under pressure then letting them off the hook with silly penalties, and a massive obsession with putting boot to ball, when their strength is passing.
From one of these penalties, the Cardiff side worked their way right down into the home 22 but Llanharan stole the lineout and escaped with a relieving kick. The home side backs put it through the hands once again but Pentyrch intercepted. Chris Osbourne tracked back in pursuit and hauled the centre down but it was deemed high. Pentyrch kicked to within 5 metres of the home line, and from the resulting lineout and maul, their outside half ghosted between the defenders to score under the posts. The easy conversion made it 5-7.
A replay of the previous play (high tackle and kick to touch) put the home side under immediate pressure from the restart. A knock-on relieved the pressure once again.
Llanharan then started to play some off-load rugby but that was brought to an abrupt halt by a return to the kicking obsession, first from Callum Evans, then Rhys Newman. This was beginning to really frustrate the small band of loyal fans watching but form a rare Pentyrch kick in their own 22, there was a great charge down from Elliot Jenkins and he scored under the posts. The conversion was good this time, 12-7 to Llanharan.
Immediately from the kick off Dylan John got over the ball and turned it over with a prize jackal, but the resulting kick stayed in field. Pentyrch ran it back but the much bigger pack were held up over the line. Llanharan got a chance to clear their lines from the scrum but yet again their kicking was not good enough and when the ball was brought back into the 22, the Pentyrch outside half was in for his second try. 14-12 to Pentyrch.
There were some glimpses of individual effort, with Jack Jeffries proving very difficult to bring down but Llanharan weren’t really playing as a team today.
The second half started with Pentyrch continuing their game plan of hard runners taking the ball at pace around the fringes of rucks. Llanharan’s tackling was manful, and eventually they broke out. Rhys looked like he was away but a great covering tackle from the Pentyrch full back.
The home side’s kicking obsession got even worse as the half wore on but they were kept in the game by their competitive lineout, with Dylan John consistently putting pressure on the opposition jumpers. But what was becoming increasingly obvious was the home side tiring while Pentyrch brought on fresh legs. As usual, though, the effort levels from Llanharan were massive. Eventually they’re spurred on by Keiron Thomas using his speed to break through the middle but he’s tackled high. Jack Jeffries made good yards from the scrum but not for the first time, a home side player is left isolated due to lack of support. Despite this, they worked their way well into the Pentyrch 22 and Leon Burton almost crossed but he’s stopped by desperate defence. Llanharan were really giving this a go against a much bigger team (as usual) with Cardiff Blues players in their ranks.
With Llanharan under pressure, the ball was turned over and Ioan makes a great run into the Pentyrch half but was again stopped by the full back. The kicking continued and it was no surprise that from a loose one, the Cardiff side eventually created an overlap and scored under the posts. 21-12 to Pentyrch.
With Llanharan now trying desperately to come back, the away side cannily started to give up some penalties in their own 22 rather than concede tries. The game ended almost inevitably, with Llanharan being awarded a penalty on the halfway line, tapping the ball and chipping the ball ahead!
Final score Llanharan u16’s 12 Pentyrch u16’s 21
On a damp, drizzly morning at the Welfare, the boys got back on the pitch after a two week break due to some of the boys suffering from illness. Conditions were obviously going to play a part, including a stiff breeze, into which Llanharan played the first half.
Straight from the kick-off this proved to be the case with knock-ons from both sides resulting in what ended up being the first of many scrums. The first passage of play resulted in a penalty to Llanharan for Llandaff holding onto the ball. This, too, ended up being the first of many, mainly because the referee gave both sides literally less than a second to release the ball when tackled.
Both teams were running penalties, which was definitely the right option given the wind, and there was lots of ambition on display despite the conditions. Leon Burton at 10 for Llanharan tried a few clever kicks but the knock-ons continued as it became obvious that the game was going to be won by the side that could hold onto the ball! The half continued to be a succession of knock-ons, scrums and penalties as the ref tried to prove that he knew every rule in the book.
Llandaff kept the home side pinned down in their own half thanks to the wind, and eventually their backs put together a flowing move which nearly brought the first try, only denied by a great steal on the floor from Chris Osbourne. The Cardiff side then do manage to score after their number eight was held up over the line, and from the resulting scrum, their centre goes over, the try converted in style, ten metres in from touch. The first half continued in the same fashion, Llandaff leading 7-0 at half time, although Llanharan were relatively happy with that, having played into the stiff breeze.
Straight from the kick-off, a great pick-up from Elliot Jenkins on halfway, and he makes 40m down the blind side before being hauled down. A penalty to Llanharan is taken quickly by Marcus Chard and Tom Whittaker typically slices through the midfield to score under the posts. The conversion is a scruffy one and hits the crossbar leaving the score 7-5 to Llandaff.
The half then reverted to normal, but Llandaff managed to work their way into the home side’s 22, but a great steal from Elliot and a big boot puts Llanharan right back in the opposition’s half. From a scrum, Tom takes the ball on the angle, the ball is recycled quickly by the forwards, and Leon is in for the score. No conversion so 10-7 to home team.
A few minutes later, Llanharan at last put some phases together, work their way into the opposition half and put Chris in for a good team try. A great conversion from the touchline makes the score 17-7.
Llanharan then let the away team off the hook a few times and couldn’t score again and then found themselves back on their own line as a result of some good continuity play from Llandaff, They’re eventually over the home try line but held up. From the scrum, the home team relieve the pressure once again with a big kick.
Eventually, Llandaff, after being let off once again by home team mistakes, work their way back up to Llanharan’s half and, with the help of a few mystifying decisions from the referee score in the corner. They can’t convert so the score stays at 17-12. The whistle went for full time, but the ref then appeared to change his mind and play on. After some remonstrations from the touchline, he then abandoned the game!
Final score: Llanharan U16s 17 Llandaff U16s 12
Match report by: Ted John
Pencoed 5 v Llanharan 25
Today we took on our local neighbors Pencoed, we made the small journey with a bare 10 players. In muddy conditions the team of Alex, Ajay, Ben, Ieuan, Jayden, Kian, Louis, Luke, Regan and Thomas started the game where we left off from last week, with some cracking handling and offloads in poor conditions, it wasn't long before Ieuan went over for a try. What the boys did well all game was defend, knocking Pencoed backwards, and in the ruck turning the ball over, this something the Welsh team could take note of, and this gave us some good tries through Ajay, Louis x2 and Luke. Pencoed had a try of their own but the boys stuck to the task and this is how the game ended. A special mention to Ben for his defender of the week, and the bulldozer Ieuan for his skill today. Thanks to Pencoed for hosting us, and as always a special mention to our parents and grandparents for braving the elements.
Match report: Jason Halse