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CLWB RYGBI WRECSAM WREXHAM RUGBY CLUB

Bryn Estyn Road, Wrexham, North Wales. LL13 9TY

 

 

 

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Match Reports

2008 - 2009
from

Chris Kilfoyle

Click there for LATEST NEWS>>> Latest News
Please click here for news from past seasons
Match Reports (2008) Match Reports (2009)
COBRA (H) December 6th Bethesda (A) April 25th
RHYL (H) November 21st RHYL (H) April 18th
Bro Ffestiniog (A) November 1st COBRA (A) April 11th
RHOS (H) October 18th    cam.jpg (804 bytes) BRO FFESTINIOG (H) April 4th
Machynlleth (A) October 11th    cam.jpg (804 bytes) Rhos (A) March 28th
WELSHPOOL (H) October 4th    cam.jpg (804 bytes) MACHYNLLETH (H) March 7th
DERI (H) September 20th Rhos (A) February 21st
Newtown (A) September 20th Welshpool (a) January 31st
BETHESDA (H) September 13th BANGOR (H) January 24th
Bangor (A) September 6th NEWTOWN (H) January 17th
. .
Please click here for news from past seasons

This Year's Match Reports

Bethesda   40    WREXHAM    3

Wrexham delivered a brave, against all the odds, performance at high flying Bethesda with five Second Team regulars coming in to plug gaps in their battered side. They led at one stage in the first-half, but injuries and fatigue eventually took their toll and they finally succumbed by 3-40 to a fine home team.

The visitors did most of the early pressing with their pack dominating up front and half-backs John Roberts and Ashley Wrathall dictating play. The return of hooker John Gill from Chester enabled the Wrexham line-out to function much better than of late and the inclusion on Gareth Noon at number eight resulted in Wrexham winning a high percentage of their possession.

Pressure told in the 29th minute when Bethesda killed the ball, and centre Dave Thomas made no mistake with his penalty attempt to put his side in front. The home side soon rallied and came back seven minutes with a converted try, and then took advantage of Wrexham’s loss of a player through injury to grab another try just before the break.

Turning around at half time trailing by 3-12, Wrexham tried through the running of their wingers Dave McHugh and Will Gauntlett to get back on terms, but were quickly reduced to only 13 players when skipper Guy Bingham had to leave the filed with a back injury. With no replacements available, they soldiered on gamely before Bethesda wrapped it up with late scores.  

This Saturday, Wrexham Firsts will play their last game of the season when they visit Rhyl for a North Wales Division two contest. Rhyl defeated them at Wrexham by 40-22 only a fortnight ago, but the visitors can finish in fourth place in the table if they can turn the tables at Y Waen (k.o.2.30pm).  

WREXHAM    22   Rhyl   40

Wrexham’s scheduled North Wales Division Two game at Rhyl was switched to Bryn Estyn Road at the last minute due to a boiler problem at Rhyl, but it made little difference as injuries and a lack of fitness told in the late stages again and Wrexham crashed to a 22-40 defeat.

They started brightly with five Youth Team players adding much needed pace to their attack and outside-half Roger Chadwick returning from holiday to add a touch of class behind the scrum. Chadwick’s chip over the Rhyl defence in the 9th minute produced the opening try as the visiting full-back failed to gather and young hooker Joss Stott pounced on the loose ball to score.

Rhyl came back 8 minutes later with a well worked try, their forwards and backs combining with short snappy passes before they created an overlap on the right and sent winger Wes Jones in for an unopposed try. Flanker Jake Brown appeared to have a simple conversion shot but Wrexham full-back Ashley Wrathall managed to charge down the kick, leaving the game all square at 5-5.

Both sides made mistakes but Wrexham competed well at this stage with Youth Team scrum-half Kieran Morris linking well with Chadwick. Rhyl possessed the greater mobility and conviction, however, and created their second try when lock Jason Reano missed a vital tackle and full-back Stuart Falcrook sprinted in for a try, converted by Jake Brown.

Wrexham turned up the heat in the forward exchanges with number eight Mike Jones competing well in the line-out and prop Ian Sanger driving into the Rhyl defence. With his forwards pressing hard in the Rhyl 22, Roger Chadwick capitalised by kicking a neat drop goal in the 37th minute, but a poor team decision just before the break resulted in him not being given the opportunity to kick a simple penalty.

Rhyl, grateful to turn around at half-time leading by 12-8, soon increased their advantage when centre Rob Tilley ran 45 metres through a gaggle of flailing defenders to touch down under the posts, Brown quickly converting. However, Chadwick came to Wrexham’s rescue only minutes later when he again chipped over the Rhyl defence and gathered the ball to score.

Chadwick’s conversion reduced Rhyl’s advantage to only four points again but, as the game entered its final quarter, the visitors opened it up once more when outside-half John Hall ran through a Wrexham line-out and touched down unopposed. Brown converted again but Wrexham launched a big assault on the Rhyl line and flanker Wayne Roberts claimed a deserved try with Chadwick adding the extra points.

However, the loss of Mike Jones with concussion and another injury to replacement flanker Kenny Simms weakened Wrexham’s scrum and line-out badly and Rhyl exploited this in the final minutes. Quick tries by centre Tobias Shaft and Stuart Falcrook with two more conversions by Brown added 14 points to Rhyl’s tally and finally gave them a clear-cut victory.

COBRA    59    WREXHAM    0

For the second week in succession, Wrexham conceded over 50 points in their 59-0 North Wales Division Two drubbing at Cobra.

Despite the return of lock Mike Jones and number eight Mike McLeod, they couldn’t make up for the absence of their skipper Guy Bingham and a lack of players with pace. Although they still hold on to fourth place in the Championship, Wrexham are low in confidence and look as though they can’t wait until the season ends in a few weeks time.

Cobra opened smartly on their home midden, keeping the ball alive and quickly outstripping the visitors’ defence to lead by 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. They didn’t ease off in the next 20 minutes and turned round at half-time with 42 unanswered points on the board.

Wrexham rallied after the break with the introduction of a couple of young replacements and managed to restrict Cobra to only two more tries and a penalty. Coaches Ross Roberts and Dennis Weston came on as late replacements and used their vast experience to ensure that Wrexham mounted a strong finish even though they couldn’t score.

WREXHAM    11   BRO FFESTINIOG  53

Wrexham were outmuscled by unbeaten visitors Bro Ffestiniog who went on a 9 try spree to win by 53-11 and consolidate their position at the top of North Wales Division Two.

The rout started from the kick-off when Bro surged through the home ranks and scored an unconverted through flanker Nathan Jones. Wrexham came back immediately with a well struck penalty by outside-half Jamie Morris, but then a missed tackle by Wrexham scrum-half John Roberts allowed the stocky outside-half Barry Roberts to break away and score under the posts.  

Roberts converted his try and set up a try for his muscular centre Daniel Jones who handed off several defenders before touching down wide out in the 15th minute. Wrexham were shell shocked and unable to get their forward based game underway because they were struggling in the front-row and were too slow to reach the breakdown in the loose exchanges.

As the game entered the second-quarter, Daniel Jones accelerated from half-way and scored under the posts without a single tackle being made on him, Roberts adding the extra points with a conversion. Although Wrexham’s hopes were raised briefly when Morris kicked a 25th minute penalty, further tries by Jones and Roberts increased Bro’s advantage to 34-6 at the break.      

Wrexham came back into the game at the beginning of the second-half, Jamie Morris kicking well and bringing the backs into the action. Flanker Phil Williams and prop Danny Seabrook drove into the Bro forwards who were an abrasive outfit and had to be warned by referee David Carter for their indiscipline under pressure.

However, the home forwards could not break though and Bro were able to kick themselves out of trouble through the mighty boot of Barry Roberts. Slow reactions by Wrexham then allowed Bro to score through Daniel Jones from an uncontested line-out and number eight Tom James from a forward drive, Roberts converting both.

Moments later, Wrexham finally gained their reward for an improved second-half performance when full-back Peter Dougan moved the ball out smartly to Ashley Dawson on the right wing, and the 18 year old jinked past the Bro full-back before scoring his first ever try for the senior side.  Bro had the final word with a try by winger Andrew Roberts to pass the 50 points mark.    

This Saturday, Wrexham travel to Cobra in mid Wales for a North Wales Division Two game between the clubs occupying third and fourth place in the league table (k.o.2.30pm). Third placed Cobra won the corresponding game at Wrexham by 8-5, thanks to a last minute penalty goal, and should have the edge at home against a Wrexham side that was trounced by Bro Ffestiniog last week and is low in confidence.

Rhos  5   WREXHAM    21

Wrexham avenged their shock defeat by Rhos in the Wales Intermediate Cup competition by pulling off a convincing 21-5 victory in a Division Two match at Penycae on Saturday.

With their pack in dominant form and Roger Chadwick returning at outside-half, following a long absence, to dictate matters behind the scrum, Wrexham soon had their local rivals in all sorts of trouble. They claimed an early lead when the referee awarded them a penalty try after the home forwards had illegally prevented Wrexham from scoring from a pushover move.

Chadwick slotted the simple conversion in front of the posts and then proceeded, with the wind at his back, to stretch the Rhos defence with some fine tactical kicking. Up front, the visitors continued to dictate events with skipper and prop Guy Bingham enjoying perhaps his most forceful game to date and prop Nick Perrin also contributing massively.

Wrexham increased their lead at the start of the second quarter when their pack once more attacked the Rhos line and number eight Dean Griffiths crashed over from a pushover move. Chadwick added the extra points with his neat conversion to put his side firmly in the driving seat at 14-0, and that proved to be the last score of the half as Rhos improved their defence.

The home side had the advantage of a stiff breeze at their backs in the second-half but found it difficult to make any impression against a Wrexham side that tightened its game and held on to possession. Mike Randall gave a particularly impressive display in the Wrexham centre, having only recently returned from long-term injury, and the pack continued to dominate the forward phases.

Perhaps the best move of the match came in the 61st minute when lock Mike Jones received a pass 30 metres from the Rhos try line and set off on a great solo run, beating five defenders before touching down wide-out. Chadwick held his nerve against the wind and completed a faultless afternoon with another successful conversion.

With the match sewn up, Wrexham tried to move the ball as much as possible but were denied on several occasions when the last pass went astray. Rhos eventually started to progress when front-row injuries forced the packs to engage in uncontested scrums, and they gained a deserved consolation with a late unconverted try. 

WREXHAM    28    MACHYNLLETH   27

Wrexham emerged as 28-27 bonus point winners of a topsy-turvy game against Machynlleth at Bryn Estyn Road, gaining revenge for an early season defeat and cementing their fourth place in North Wales Division Two.

Top try scorer Ian Sanger switched from the front-row to the back-row and stormed through the Machynlleth defence to increase his tally by grabbing a superb hat-trick of tries. On the plus side there was a return from long term injury for the experienced number eight Mike McLeod, but on the minus side there was a gap left by the recent departure to Chester of regular hooker John Gill.

Machynlleth arrived with only 14 players and immediately limited Wrexham’s usual forward advantage by requesting uncontested scrums. Although the home side started in fine style, moving the ball smartly via the recalled Jon Davies to Ashley Wrathall on the right wing, Machynlleth held firm and claimed an unexpected lead with a 4th minute penalty by outside-half Iwan Thomas.   

Wrexham, undaunted by this reverse, continued to play with width and power, paving the way for Sanger’s first try from a forward surge in the 14th minute. Outside-half Richard Lloyd added the conversion and repeated this feat when he was called upon to convert a second try by the irrepressible Sanger seven minutes later.  

Unfortunately, the home side then took their foot off the pedal, allowing Machynlleth’s fast running backs to join in the action. Following concerted pressure in the Wrexham 22, scrum-half Wyn Blockley squeezed through a gap to nick a try, converted by Iwan Thomas, and then Wrexham skipper Guy Bingham was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes, Thomas punishing him by kicking another penalty.

Leading by only 14-13 at the break, Wrexham found themselves still under the cosh at the start of the second-half, surrendering possession to the lively Machynlleth forwards too easily. It took some combined hard work by Sanger and the determined lock Wayne Roberts to stem the tide and get Wrexham into a scoring position. From a scrum in the 48th minute, number eight Mike Jones picked up and crashed over in classic style, Lloyd adding the extra points.

With Bryn Estyn Road favourite Mike McLeod making his long awaited return to the side, Wrexham pressed again on the visitors 22, but a slack pass enabled number eight Dorian Lloyd to intercept and he promptly galloped 80 metres to score beneath the posts. Thomas added the simple conversion to narrow the home advantage to only one point.

In the final quarter, Wrexham player/coach Ross Roberts came on as a replacement as Machynlleth threatened to run riot. He steadied the line from his position at centre and then used all of the guile and experience produced over a career of 375 senior appearances to launch a spirited attack. Sanger appeared at his shoulder and the flanker proved unstoppable as he touched down to complete his hat-trick of tries, Lloyd rounding off a 100 per cent performance by converting again.

Lloyd then used his tactical kicking skills in a fine effort to keep the visitors pinned in their own half for the remaining 15 minutes of the game, but Machynlleth escaped to run Wrexham ragged in the closing minutes. When the home forwards dropped a ball at a line-out, prop Rhys Morris emerged from the confusion to dive over for a try. Thomas made no mistake with the conversion but luckily for Wrexham, the referee blew for full-time immediately afterwards and victory was theirs – by a whisker.

There will be no Wrexham First or Second Team games for the next fortnight while Wales conclude their quest for the 2009 Six Nations Championship, but the Youth Team will be in action at Mold this Saturday in a very important North Wales League and Cup ‘double-header’. The game starts at 12.00pm so that players and supporters can enjoy this classic local derby contest and then watch Wales on television in their 3.00pm game against Italy in Rome.

Rhos  6     WREXHAM    5

Wrexham’s 5-6 defeat in a tense North Wales Intermediate Cup semi-final match at Rhos was the first time ever that they had fallen at first team level to their local rivals, and dealt a severe blow to their pride.

They were lacking a number of their top performers including, crucially, the injured Mike Jones and the absent Phil Williams who are their main line-out jumpers. However, there was no excuse for their inability to retain possession against a hard working side intent on pleasing a large home crowd.

Led by former Rhos prop Guy Bingham, Wrexham made a good start to the first-half with outside-half Richard Lloyd kicking well tactically and combining with scrum-half John Roberts to create a number of exciting breaks. Rhos, however, were able to steal possession when moves broke down and took the lead with a Simon Hughes penalty when the Wrexham forwards obstructed.

Trailing by 0-3 at the break, the visitors soon forced their way into the lead when former Youth Team hooker Huw Evans grabbed the ball at the back of a ruck and stretched over to grab a deserved try. Lloyd failed with his difficult conversion attempt, but his side was back in the game and thought that they had the game plan to overcome their rivals once more

Rhos had other ideas and starved Wrexham of possession at the line-out as well as at the breakdown. They managed to keep the visitors pinned down in their half and could have claimed a try if their attempted scorer hadn’t dropped the ball over the line. Eventually, persistence and a greater will to win paid off and they secured their passage to the cup final with a late Hughes penalty.  

Wrexham have no game this Saturday but will be preparing for the visit of Machynlleth in their next North Wales Division Two encounter on Saturday 7th March.  

Welshpool    0      WREXHAM    12

Wrexham held on to fourth place in the North Wales Division Two Championship with a hard-earned 12-0 victory over Welshpool at Maesydre Recreation Ground. Superior forward power won the day, with the visiting pack claiming their second penalty try in as many weeks.

Wrexham dominated the first-half with lock Phil Williams winning the opposition’s line-out ball as well as his own, and flanker Ian Sanger and lock Jason Reano also contributing terrific performances in the forward exchanges. Welshpool, who have a habit of notching early points against Wrexham, had no answer on this occasion and rarely threatened.

The visitors, however, were too frantic in their approach to the game and found it very difficult to create any clear cut scoring opportunities. Frustration crept in as mistakes cancelled out Wrexham’s dominance of play and half-time arrived with the game still scoreless.

The team talk at the break soon paid dividends as the visitors settled down at last and stuck to their game plan. The forwards camped in the home 22 and broke the deadlock in the 49th minute when the referee awarded them a penalty try, Welshpool having collapsed pushover scrums on three occasions. Centre Mike Jones add the conversion.

Moving up a gear, scrum-half John-Roberts broke several times to put the home defence under pressure. The forwards provided a stream of possession by stealing Welshpool’s ball as well as winning their own, and the introduction replacement Ross Roberts at outside-half and Rhodri Ifans in the back-row paved the way for Wrexham’s match clinching try.

It came in the 74th minute when the Welshpool defence was drawn in by Wrexham’s power play and the ball was quickly moved out to the backs for winger Ashley Wrathall to steal in at the corner. Welshpool still refused to concede, however, and it took a full stretch tackle by winger Llion Morris to deny the mid Walians a consolation try.

This Saturday, Wrexham Firsts will enjoy a rest day with a strong contingent of players travelling up to Scotland to cheer on Wales in their opening defence of the Six Nations Grand Slam that they won last season.

WREXHAM    31     BANGOR  3

As expected, Wrexham finished 31-3 clear winners in their Division Two home game against bottom club Bangor, but they failed to impress for much of the contest against keen but inexperienced young opponents.

The home side got off to a good start with a 6th minute try by hooker John Gill, his first this season. It came from a tap penalty move and a solid drive to the Bangor line by Wrexham’s forwards. Flanker Mike Jones kicked well to add the extra points with an angled conversion.

Within two minutes, however, the visitors reduced Wrexham’s lead with a penalty by outside-half Matthew Monaghan following the chargedown of an attempted clearance kick by Gill. Bangor then took the game to Wrexham, stealing possession at the breakdown and countering with incisive although flawed attacks by their backs.

Monaghan had another chance to reduce the arrears with a penalty in the 21st minute, but his attempt flew just wide of the uprights. That flashed a warning to the home side and they suddenly improved with an inspirational run by winger Ashley Dawson followed by a couple of clean line-out catches by Mike Jones.

Heavy forward pressure by Wrexham then produced a classic pushover try for number eight Dean Griffiths, Mike Jones’ conversion attempt flying just wide. That put them in good heart with a 12-3 lead at the break, but they found themselves stretched at the restart when Bangor broke smartly upfield and only a last ditch tackle by centre Andy Clutton saved them.

In the 43rd minute, however, a powerful break by centre Dave Morris took Wrexham into the Bangor 22 and smart handling by scrum-half John Roberts put replacement prop Ian Sanger in for an excellent try. Mike Jones added the conversion from the touchline and came back again to add the extra points when Wrexham were awarded a penalty try in the 50th minute.

Outside-half Daniel Cheesbrough put a faltering Bangor under more pressure with some good tactical kicking before the new Polish lock, Marius Arendacz, made a promising debut in the home pack. A further try in the 60th minute from a pushover move by Mike Jones should have inspired Wrexham to go on the rampage, but Bangor revived and were the sharper side in the final minutes.

This Saturday, Wrexham travel to Welshpool to take on a side that they trounced by 43-17 when the clubs met at Bryn Estyn Road last September. Although Welshpool currently occupy a lowly position in the Division Two table, they have played well in a couple of their recent games and Wrexham will need to produce a good performance to win on this occasion (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM    17     NEWTOWN  18

Wrexham gave their all in a well contested North Wales Division Two encounter at Bryn Estyn Road, but they fell to a late penalty as Newtown pressed hard for a win with a gale at their backs.

Although the home side had the elements in their favour in the first-half, a combination of match rustiness after 6 weeks of inactivity, and having to field a scratch side, ensured that Wrexham didn’t get into their stride until late in the second quarter. By then, Newtown’s lively centre Richard Evans had stolen in for an unconverted try and the visitors were defending well.  

Wrexham huffed and puffed with Mike Jones, switched from number eight to the centre, showing the way with an occasional break, and scrum-half John Roberts doing the same. The visitors snuffed out these occasional threats until lock Phil Williams won a line-out and his second-row partner Ian Sanger took the ball and crashed over in the corner to level the scores.

Mike Jones defied the elements and the sharp angle of the kick to land a conversion that put his side in the lead at last. That energised Wrexham and they almost added another when centre Andy Clutton was hauled down in the 22 following a jinking run. Just before the break they were awarded a kickable penalty, but they chose to kick for a line-out and promptly lost it.

Lacking a clear advantage at half-time and facing into an increasing gale, the home side knew that they were going to be up against it in the second-half. Hooker John Gill led the way as Wrexham tried to hold on to the ball and put Newtown under pressure, but they eventually succumbed to a try by centre Eddie Maguire following constant forward pressure.

Outside-half Rowan Meek stretched Newtown’s lead with a fine conversion but Wrexham rallied and put the visitors under such pressure that a Newtown prop was sent to the sin-bin in the 56th minute for an indiscretion. Moments late Ian Sanger broke through for his second try of the match and Mike Jones almost claimed an impossible conversion into the gale.

Six minutes later, the Wrexham forwards went on the rampage again and took the lead when number eight Wayne Roberts forced his way over for his first try of the season. Newtown, however, responded immediately with a penalty by Meek and then regained the upper hand when John Gill was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.

Wrexham defended superbly as Newtown camped in their 22 and used their forwards, now back to full strength, to pound away at the home line in the dying minutes. The strain eventually proved to be too much and a couple of home forwards drifted offside in front of their posts, giving Meek an easy pot at goal to claim a hard earned victory for the visitors.

Wrexham skipper Guy Bingham was not too dispirited after the game and said, “I thought that everyone put a lot of effort into the game. We just lacked a bit of skill at times.” This week Wrexham have a blank date that they hope to fill, possibly at home against Bangor, with one of the games that was postponed during the recent big freeze.

WREXHAM    5     COBRA  8

A late penalty by centre Andrew Pryce gave Cobra a narrow 8-5 victory over Wrexham in a disappointing North Wales Division Two game at Bryn Estyn Road. The home side had their opportunities to win the game as they came on strongly in the final quarter, but they left it far too late.

Both sides committed errors in a lack lustre first-half although the visitors from mid Wales looked better organised with a back line that threatened to break through several times. Resolute defence by Wrexham kept them at bay until the 36th minute when they forced a position deep in the home 22 and hooker Charlie Oakley forced his way over near the right corner.

Holding on to that slender 5-0 lead at half-time, Cobra bottled up Wrexham in their own 22 for the next 10 minutes with a series of driving mauls. However, the tactical kicking of outside-half Roger Chadwick and the determined running of lock Wayne Roberts helped Wrexham to break free from their shackles and they started to dominate in the forward exchanges.

It still needed a last ditch tackle from French centre Mhidi Zaidi to prevent Cobra from adding to their score in a breakaway move, but the tide had turned in Wrexham’s favour. They should have levelled in the 66th minute when replacement wing Scott Davies ran 35 metres through the Cobra defence only to be hauled down just before the try line.

Minutes later, they camped on the Cobra line as they tried to score from a pushover move. Referee Tim Davies failed to spot Cobra illegally pulling down the scrum but there will still a chance for number eight Mike Jones to pick up and crash over. Unfortunately for the home side, Jones attacked at too high an angle and he was easily held by the Cobra defence.

Something had to go and it did so in the 75th minute when Chadwick used a penalty award to kick for a line-out 5 metres from the visitors’ line. The Wrexham forwards won possession and lock Ian Sanger was driven over in the corner for a deserved try. Chadwick’s conversion attempt from the touchline fell wide but a creditable draw looked to be the inevitable result.

From the restart, however, Wrexham were put under pressure when a forward fumbled and knocked-on the ball as he attempted to gather. Cobra won the resultant scrum which turned into a ruck and then referee Davies spotted a Wrexham hand trying to claw back the ball illegally. This time Pryce made no mistake with his conversion attempt and Cobra claimed the spoils.     

This Saturday, Wrexham aim to return to winning ways when they entertain their old rivals Rhyl at Bryn Estyn Road (k.o.2.30pm). They defeated the Seasiders by 15-7 at the same venue in the North Wales Intermediate Cup competition a month ago and should win again if they can eliminate some of the mistakes that cost them the match against Cobra last Saturday.  

WREXHAM    15   Rhyl  7

Wrexham clawed their way back from a 0-7 half-time deficit to overcome Rhyl in the first round of the North Wales Plate Competition at Bryn Estyn Road on Friday night.

The visitors used the wind at their backs to contain Wrexham for much of the first-half and opened the scoring with a well-worked converted try after 14 minutes. Wrexham struggled to find cohesion with a much-changed side that included three promising youngsters from their successful Youth Team.   

Outside-half Jamie Morris made a couple of promising breaks, Danny Sissons impressed on his senior debut at number eight while the experienced props Ian Sanger and Guy Bingham rumbled at the opposition with concerted drives. The home side, however, were mainly limited to defensive operations and were glad to arrive at the break without conceding a further score.

When lock Jason Reano was sin-binned for handling in a ruck at the start of the second-half, Wrexham found themselves under pressure again. However, they held firm, debutant Kenny Simms pulling off a fine tackle, and when they were back at full strength again they went on the offensive with Jamie Morris using the wind to kick deep into Rhyl’s half.

In the 14th minute Rhyl had a player sin-binned for ‘killing’ the ball during a Wrexham onslaught and Morris made no mistake with his penalty attempt to put his side back in the game. Ten minutes later, the home forwards swept towards the Rhyl line after a kick was charged down and lock Rhodri Ifans emerged to touch down a fine try that Morris splendidly improved.

Within minutes Wrexham surged back again with a free flowing back movement that centre Andy Clutton carried into the Rhyl 22. He was eventually held but there was no stopping Ian Sanger who ripped out the ball and blasted through a gaggle of defenders to score on the right. Morris missed this time with his conversion attempt but Wrexham had done enough to win the tie.

Bro Ffestiniog    29      WREXHAM    15

Injuries and unavailability forced Wrexham to field a scratch side at Division Two leaders Bro Ffestiniog, but they rose to the occasion and created a 10-0 lead before eventually running out of steam late on and falling to a 15-29 defeat.

The Wrexham pack, with lock Jason Parry coming out of retirement to power the engine room and flanker Mike Ward making a welcome return to the side, dominated the opening exchanges and forced the home forwards to concede a 14th minute penalty for ‘killing’ the ball.  Outside-half Roger Chadwick made no mistake with his kick to put the visitors in front.

They increased their lead in the 33rd minute when scrum-half John Roberts broke smartly from a ruck on Bro’s 10 metre line and slipped the ball to centre Andy Clutton who then created the space for winger Scott Davies to touch down a splendid try wide-out. Chadwick’s accurate kicking ensured that Wrexham claimed the extra points to lead by 10-0.

The home side, however, were gradually producing a head of steam and countered with an unconverted try by outside-half Barry Roberts just before the break. A stern talking to at half-time by their coach obviously had the desired effect because they soon raised their game and scored tries through Gwion Jones, Matthew James and Sion Roberts, Barry Roberts adding a conversion.    

Wrexham then introduced their ‘old guard’ of Kelvin Bryan, Matt Arnold and Dennis Weston, totalling 145 years between them, and this soon had a steadying influence on their play. It was Bryan, operating at scrum-half, who broke from a scrum in the 71st minute and combined with Mike Ward to send Scott Davies racing in for an unconverted try in the corner.

Sensing that the visitors were getting too close for comfort, Bro made one last effort in the dying minutes and secured their victory with a second try for Barry Roberts who also added the conversion for good measure. Wrexham were left to reflect on a determined performance against the odds, new French centre Mhidi Zaidi and flanker Gareth Owen making a good impression.

This Saturday, Wrexham will enjoy a well-earned rest day to watch Wales taking on World Champions South Africa in the first of this season’s autumn internationals at the Millennium Stadium.  Wrexham coaches Matt Arnold and Ross Roberts will then prepare for their visit to Deri Broncos in South Wales on Saturday 15th November to play in the Swalec Cup Plate Competition.

WREXHAM   24  Rhos  5

Wrexham secured a 24-5 bonus point victory over their local rivals Rhos at Bryn Estyn Road to stay in fourth place in the North Wales Division Two Championship.

The home side were forced into a first minute reorganisation when centre Mike Randall was helped off with a damaged ankle. Rhos pressed hard with the breeze at their backs but they were turned over in the loose several times, allowing Wrexham to work their way back upfield.

When a long kick to touch from outside-half Roger Chadwick in the 21st minute gave the home forwards a foothold in the Rhos 22, they stole the ball from a line-out and drove hard towards the visitors’ line. Prop Ian Sanger emerged with possession and used his considerable frame to crash over for the first try of the game, Chadwick adding the conversion.  

Rhos came back strongly and forced Wrexham to concede a couple of penalties, but they chose to ignore the invitation to kick for points and squandered their opportunities by knocking-on and dropping the ball. The home side defended well with flanker Kerry Powell making a big impression on his return from injury and Mike Jones covering and catching well at number eight.

The score remained at 7-0 in Wrexham’s favour at the break and then increased rapidly in the second-half as the home side upped the tempo. Only two minutes after the restart, scrum-half John Roberts took a quick tap penalty and stretched one handed to score by the posts, Chadwick adding the extra points.

Moments later, Chadwick shaved an upright with a drop goal attempt before Rhos edged their way into the Wrexham half. However, their work was undone when lock Wayne Roberts stormed through several attempted tackles and then handed on to Mike Jones who galloped 30 metres to score near the posts. Chadwick missed his conversion but Wrexham were 19-0 ahead.

The visitors looked to have run out of steam but defended pluckily and eventually countered in the 74th minute with a fine consolation try by centre Dyfan Jarvis who jinked and swerved his way through a crowd of defenders to score. Wrexham had the last word, however, winger Llion Morris adding a late try from a well executed tap penalty move.

Wrexham coach Ross Roberts was pleased with his side’s performance, particularly after their dismal showing at Machynlleth the previous week. “We all met in the week to clear the air and then worked on some problem areas, particularly in defence. Having a full team at training was great and our defence was much better today,” he added.

Wrexham Firsts have a blank date this Saturday but will resume their league programme when they visit runaway league leaders Bro Ffestiniog on Saturday 1st November (k.o.2.30pm).   

Macynlleth    41      WREXHAM    19

Wrexham, missing several key players due to injury and unavailability, never really recovered from Machynlleth’s lively opening that produced 19 unanswered points in the first quarter.

The home side used their knowledge of their boggy pitch to create numerous overlaps as Wrexham tried to draw them into a forward battle. Centre Gerwyn Coleman notched a hat-trick of tries for Mach while the visitors lost further momentum when they lost number eight Dean Griffiths with a neck injury, joint coach Matt Arnold lacing up his boots to replace him.   

By the second quarter, Wrexham had managed to settle and they responded with a deserved pushover try from lock Mike Jones. Hooker John Gill was also in tremendous form, taking the game to the home side and winning a stream of possession.

When flanker Gareth Noon forced his way over for Wrexham’s second try and outside-half Roger Chadwick added the conversion it looked as though a full recovery by the visitors was underway. However, Machynlleth raised their game and countered with a try and a penalty to lead by 27-12 at the break.

Wrexham put in a strong performance at the start of the second-half and piled on the pressure as Mach were forced to back pedal. Prop Matt Arnold managed to squeeze through a gap to claim Wrexham’s third try and Roger Chadwick added the extra points to give the inspire the visitors again.

Further scores refused to come, however, and as Wrexham’s heavyweights tired in the mud the lighter home backs opened out again and put the game beyond doubt with a late brace of tries. The visitors could draw some consolation from their spirited comeback but this was a game that they should have won if they had been at full strength.

This Saturday, Wrexham Firsts will take on their close rivals Rhos in what is expected to be a very competitive local derby at Bryn Estyn Road. Number eight Dean Griffiths and flanker Ben Chadwick will be sidelined due to injury but hooker Ben Lambswood and centre Mike Randall are expected to return to the side (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM    43  Welshpool  17

Wrexham trailed by 0-10 in the early stages of their North Wales Division Two game against Welshpool, but bounced back to secure their first home victory of the season. All of their points came from their spirited threequarters including a brace of tries each for wingers Scott Davies and Llion Morris.

With the wind at their backs, Welshpool made a good start and took the lead in the 8th minute when outside-half Daley Jones landed a drop goal. Minutes later Jones miscued a long distance penalty attempt but made no mistake when he converted a 14th minute try by hooker Matthew Deare who burrowed through under the posts from a forward drive.

Wrexham looked a bit shaky, particularly in the pack where they were under pressure. However, some good work in the loose by flanker Ben Chadwick, and astute tactical from his outside-half brother Roger Chadwick, helped to stifle the power play of the visitors before Wrexham countered with a superb try.

It came at the start of the second quarter when centre Andy Clutton collected the ball in his own half and broke through several tackles as he embarked on a 35 metre run. When finally stopped, he handed on the ball to Scott Davies who raced down the right touchline to touch down wide out. Chadwick’s conversion attempt flew off target but Wrexham were back in the game.   

The home side survived a couple of scares to keep the deficit to only 5-10 at the break and then opened up with a really impressive display that produced three tries within six minutes. The first score came when Jonathan Davies whipped out a pass to his centre partner Andy Clutton who touched down on the right. Roger Chadwick’s conversion attempt was narrowly wide.

Then full-back Jamie Morris ran and jinked his way through the Welshpool defence to score by the posts, Chadwick adding the extra points. Wrexham stormed back again from the restart and this time Jonathan Davies handed off a defender to score another try, Chadwick again landing the conversion to stretch the home lead to 24-10.

A long tactical kick by Davies and a subsequent chargedown led to a try by Llion Morris in the 57th minute, Jamie Morris taking over the kicking duties to add a touchline conversion. Wrexham then relaxed and their poor tackling allowed flanker Adam Goldsworthy to notch a try under the posts, Daley Jones kicking the conversion.

The Welshpool comeback was quickly snuffed out by a classic move, the forwards winning the ball on the left of the field and transferring it quickly to the right for winger Scott Davies to claim his second try of the game, Jamie Morris converting. Not to be outshone, Llion Morris joined the forwards to burrow through for his second try in the last minute of the match.  

This Saturday, Wrexham travel to Machynlleth who currently prop up North Wales Division Two in bottom place. The visitors won last year’s corresponding game by 23-9, thanks to their threequarters, and will hope that their backs can repeat the form the produced seven excellent tries last week (k.o.2.30pm).

             

WREXHAM    16   Deri   19

Wrexham put up a brave performance in their Swalec Cup first round game against South Wales visitors Deri Broncos, but they were overtaken in a tense final quarter and narrowly beaten.

They will now compete in the new Plate Competition for first round losers where they may have a good chance of establishing a cup run. Club coaches Matt Arnold and Ross Roberts were pleased with the way that their team was able to turn pressure into points against their opponents although they acknowledged that Deri’s better pace in attack turned the tables in the final stages.

Having weathered an initial storm from the visitors, Wrexham forced their way into the Deri half and opened the scoring in the 11th minute when outside-half Roger Chadwick kicked a neat penalty. However, the visitors countered with an unconverted try minutes later when they collected the ball from a speculative kick by Chadwick and ran through the home defence for number eight Melvin Mayo to score.  

Wrexham responded with forward drives from prop Ian Sanger and hooker Ben Lambswood, and there were flashes of inspiration from the backs when winger Jon Davies and centre Daniel Cheesbrough troubled the Deri defence. Then it was then all hands to the pumps as Deri camped in the home 22 and threatened to overwhelm Wrexham, a dogged defence just holding out.

Chadwick eventually kicked them out of trouble just before the break and Wrexham swept upfield with scrum-half John Roberts taking quick tap penalties as Deri obstructed time and time again. Referee Andrew Davies sin-binned the over enthusiastic Mayo in injury time and Chadwick made no mistake with his penalty attempt to put Wrexham in front by 6-5 at half-time

Only three minutes after the restart, Wrexham increased their lead when Sanger forced his way over from a maul and Chadwick added the extra points. The gap then increased to 11 points in the 54th minute when Chadwick landed his third penalty of the match as Wrexham piled on the pressure in the Deri 22.

The visitors looked to be the ones heading for the early exit in the main competition, but they still held an ace in the form of winger Cae Davies who had shown his exciting pace in the first-half. Out of nothing in the 66th minute, Davies suddenly raced through a sleeping defence and touched down under the posts for outside-half Lee Shaw to add the conversion.

That revived Deri and they sensed that Wrexham were tiring in the final quarter. Coming under heavy pressure, Jon Davies and John Roberts combined to rescue the home side by stealing the ball and kicking it into touch, but the visitors used a free-kick move to release centre Andrew Forrest for the match winning try, converted by Shaw.

Newtown  18      WREXHAM    24

In blazing sunshine, Wrexham turned in a completely changed performance in North Division Two from the debacle of last week. Although Newtown had all the possession for the first 15 minutes, Wrexham tackled, tackled and tackled again and all Newtown could gain from the period was a 9th minute penalty by centre Gareth Roberts.

Wrexham quickly replied with a penalty of their own from new face Jamie Morris, fresh up from the Youth Team. They then took the lead in the 25th minute when flanker Jason Reano forced his way over for a try that Morris was happy to convert.

Newtown came back with another penalty kick by Roberts but the Wrexham pack dominated the last 10 minutes of the half and had the home side pinned in their 22 where they gave away 4 penalties and were on a yellow card warning as the half-time whistle went.

A try against the run of play by flanker Richard Andrew within 5 minutes of the re-start reclaimed the lead for Newtown. Wrexham had swapped hookers at the break trying the new Ben Lambswood for the experienced Paul Allen, the changeover being seamless. With his help another forward try was soon to come for veteran Dean Griffiths playing at number eight, Morris’s trusted boot supplying the conversion.

With only 17 minutes of the game to go, however, Newtown’s fast running centre Gareth Roberts, who had been threatening all afternoon, broke through for a try that he converted to edge ahead of the visitors. This drew a furious response from the whole Wrexham team and the result of their onslaught was a try for new hooker Ben Lambswood with only 2 minutes left on the clock. The final conversion was made to seem effortless by Morris.

WREXHAM    3   Bethesda   41

Bangor    0      WREXHAM   0

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