The Llanelli Warriors ambitious weekend double-header saw them narrowly miss out to French invitational side XV De L’Erdre on Friday before bouncing back with a fine result in Cefneithin next day.
The fact either fixture went ahead was a testament to the hard working ground staff at Betws and Cefneithin.
XV De L’Erdre 5 Llanelli Warriors 3
The Warriors – always looking to give players new experiences were delighted to take on XV De L’Erde – boosted by a few locals - at Betws in conditions which ensured there was little Gallic flair to be seen.
Both sides tried play flowing rugby and there were fine moves with Guillaume Le Rossignol and Pierric Allard doing well for the French while James Davies and Will Browne showed up well for the Warriors.
Mistakes and determined defence ensured it would be a close match and the French struggled sometimes with local emphasis of the law.
The Warriors edged possession and territory but L’Erdre looked more dangerous on the counter.
A missed Warriors penalty was the closest either side came to scoring until the deadlock was finally broken just before the interval when a couple of hacks through on the sticky ground saw the French pile up field.
Graham Mosser appeared to have saved the situation only for his kick to be charged down and Eric Moulinier capitalised.
The second half was more of the same with plenty of effort but little to keep the scoreboard occupied.
The Warriors kept the tourists back from their line but Karl Davies missed a key penalty as the game went into the final quarter.
The Warriors pressed but it was not until the final ten minutes that Simon Jenkins’ penalty put the game on a knife edge.
Despite their best efforts however, the Warriors failed to find a way through staunch French defence allowing the visitors to claim victory as the post-match singing began before the teams had left the field.
Cefneithin 19 Llanelli Warriors 34
Despite the wind, rain and hail, both sides looked positive for the ever-popular Anniversary Cup.
The Warriors put on the early pressure and second row Liam Tobias scored an early try. Dafydd Bonar’s home team were under the cosh but they got a break when Ralph Evans seized on a loose pass and scorched away for their opening score, neatly converted by McCall.
Warriors Captain Graham Mosser put over a straightforward penalty and then Jamie Evans was put away for a long dash to the line. The Warriors lineout went well with Darren Pollitt named man of the match while Huw Jenkins caught the eye early on and Adam Fussell and Richard Evans also worked hard.
For the hosts, Scott Davies and Ioan Williams impressed before Wayne Williams got a score back for Cefneithin.
The second half surprisingly saw little let up in the pace but some poor Warriors kicking hampered their efforts.
Cefneithin’s discipline did them no favours and the Warriors scored a spectacular try through Paul Davies after a quickly-taken penalty.
Cefneithin hit back through Owen Lewis converted try before Gwilym Lewis collected a bizarre interception and fashioned a pass to put Karl Davies in with a spectacular dive. Jenkins slotted the conversion.
A great run by the improving Andrew Davies led to a final try for Mosser with Whittaker’s conversion helping the Warriors retain the Anniversary Cup.