Llanelli Warriors 20-45 Swansea Vikings
A STORMING start put the Vikings into an unassailable position despite a gritty performance for the Warriors on Sunday (Sept 9).
There was proof of rugby’s inclusiveness at Burry Port on the weekend when the Warriors who look to include players with learning difficulties and the Vikings who encourage gay and bisexual members took on each other.
It may have technically been a friendly match but it was as hard fought and contested as any other and proved to be a physical encounter.
The Swansea Vikings more or less put the seal on this one on the first fifteen minutes. They stormed through for 3 quick-fire tries and were unlucky not to have got a couple more as they burst out of the blocks.
The Warriors already knew it was going to be a tough one with a number of players missing and a rearranged backline. They lost Captain Rich Evans in the warm up, and then inside centre Andrew Ladd early on. Lloyd Crawley on his debut was forced into emergency centre rather than his preferred 2nd row alongside flanker Nathan Lawson.
With Dan Grinter and Jarrod Davies also making debuts it was no wonder that the Warriors took some time to settle by which time the Vikings were striding away.
There were some stand out performances for the Warriors. Yanis Whitely had his best game to date. He added some jinking runs to his tenacious tackling and deserved his fine try. Dai Haines carried strongly and was added by Simon Jenkins who gave the Warriors much of their physical edge.
In the backs Anthony Yendall answered an S.O.S. to fill in at number 10 and add some shape to attack whilst the score would have been a lot higher if not for the efforts of Day and Ashour out wide.
They never threatened the result though. The Vikings strength was between back row and 10. They back row contained the Warriors best efforts giving the half backs the room they needed to pile on the pressure. Despite the best efforts of Jordan Jones, Gareth Ladd and Andrew Davies they held an edge here throughout.
The Warriors must be pleased with their efforts though. All the debutants did well and others will have learned a lot from this experience. They also finished strongly. Davies had an effort disallowed but eventually Randall had enough space to round his man and end the game on a high note.