Llanelli Warriors win prestigious fixture in London
The Warriors took a party of over 60 up to London Welsh for the most prestigious fixture of their 22 year history on the day of the England v Wales match and won what could only be described as a fast and open game.
The Warriors match against a social London Welsh 'invitation' XV was the 1st of three matches at Old Deer and so it was an early 10:30am kick off. The Warriors seemed wide awake though and they got a very early score when Nathan Murphy was worked into space and evaded the cover. Any idea that this was going to be an easy romp though were quickly dispelled. The Home forwards re gathered from the kick off and made enough room for Ty Sterry to scythe through from fly half.
Both sides enjoy a reputation for open rugby and in great conditions, the crowd was kept entertained with plenty of movement from both teams. The Warriors were able to open a lead with Lawson borrowing in and Mark Lewis making amends for being held up once when he scored from close range. Although London Welsh hit back further tries saw the Warriors two clear tries ahead at the break.
Given the social aspects of touring, the Warriors were pleased to be able to utilise a large squad but it did cost them some momentum. It was the home side who started the 2nd half strongly. In a loose match, they kicked intelligently and found holes. It gained them not only field position by a fine try for Dave Langdon. Although the Warriors looked sharp on the counter attack, London Welsh fought their way back firstly to 31 all and then into a 38-36 lead entering the final quarter. Gareth Hawkins and Marcus West were putting their bodies on the line for the cause whilst Jawsie and Cai Griffiths added some neat touches.
With the prize slipping from their grasp, the Warriors stepped up their efforts. James Duke and Man of the Match Tomos Hall produced a much needed resurgence in the forwards and in a mad final flourish Captain Simon Day completed his hatrick and Jason Keighty scored a fine try.
In was an incredible win in a game that had swung back and forth and was a credit to both teams. The Warriors were extremely grateful to Cai Griffiths and his team for the fixture and the welcome they received at the famous club and plans are already underway for a return in 2020.
Lee Rowlands (Ben Griffiths), Tony Whittaker (Dan John), Jonathan Kearney (Adam Fussell), Ben Win (Nathan Murphy), Simon Day (Cpt.) (Jason Keighty), Jamie Evans (Arwel Thomas), Craig James (Jack Hert), Colin Tacon (Huw Jenkins, James Duke), John Horwood (Darren Pollitt), Andrew Davies, Jordan Jones (Nathan Lawson), Simon Jenkins (Tom Hall), Gwilym Lewis (Dai Haines).
Day (3), Lawson (2), Keighty, Hall, M Lewis, Murphy,
S Jenkins (3), Whittaker (2), Thomas
Physio: Dave Usher
Referee: Neil Wharton