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Wrexham Rugby Club LTD. Bryn Estyn Road, Wrexham, North Wales. LL13 9TY

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Match Reports

2010 - 2011

Chris Kilfoyle

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Please click here for news from past seasons
Match Reports (2010) Match Reports (2011)
  Menai Brdge (A) May 16th
  Machynlleth (A) May 7th
  Denbigh (A) April 23rd
  Welshpool (A) April 20th
  LLANIDLOES (H) April 16th
  WELSHPOOL (H) April 13th
Newtown (A) December 11th Abergele (A) April 9th
SHOTTON (H) November 20th COBRA (H) April 6th
DOLGELLAU (H) October 23rd Dolgellau (A) March 26th
Rhyl (A) October 16th RHYL (H) March 19th
RHYL (H) October 9th Bala (A) March 5th
BALA (H) October 2nd NEWTOWN (H) February 25th
COBRA (A) September 25th ABERGELE (H) February 12th
BANGOR (H) September 18th Bangor (A) February 5th
Newtown (A) September 11th DINBYCH (H) January 15th

MACHYNLLETH (H) September 4th

Llanidloes (A) January 8th
Please click here for news from past seasons

This Year's Match Reports

Menai Bridge  0  Wrexham  66

Wrexham retained their place in North Wales Division Two with an emphatic 66-0 victory over Division Three champions Menai Bridge in a crunch play-off contest at Denbigh Rugby Club.

They struggled to make headway in the opening quarter due to a catalogue of mistakes, the kind that had dogged them all season and forced them into this play-off match. There was, however, a moment to cheer when their threequarters broke quickly from their half in the 7th minute and centre Josh Francis fed wing Jack Radcliffe who stretched his legs to score under the posts.

Scrum-half Owain Turner missed the simple conversion and then failed with a penalty attempt, but Wrexham soon started to dominate the game through their more powerful pack and hungry young threequarters. It was an older hand, wing Scott Davies, who made a big difference in the 23rd minute when he made about 30 metres of ground down the left wing and then offloaded to his forwards who released flanker Phil Williams for a great try under the posts.

Outside-half Mike Powell took over the conversion kicking duties but he too failed with a straightforward attempt. However, with Williams securing a stream of possession from the line-outs, number eight Troy Roberts softening up the Menai Bridge defence with his powerful thrusts and centre Dave Sully stopping any counter attacks, Wrexham soon hit top gear.

A neat break and a 20 metre run produced a try for Josh Francis in the 26th minute, and he came back to score another one only moments later with a delicate pirouette. A run by Sully then set up a final try before the break, Scott Davies taking a scoring pass from Mike Powell. Despite using different kickers, all conversion attempts failed, leaving Wrexham with a lead of 25-0.

Menai Bridge pressed hard at the start of the second-half with an increasing breeze at their backs. Their opponents had to use their dominant pack to drive back the Gwynedd side from their line and were greatly relieved when Ratcliffe broke out and scored under the posts. That wasn’t converted but the next one, Ratcliffe’s hat-trick, was converted by skipper Mike Jones to a loud cheer.

By now Menai Bridge perhaps had their minds on their North Wales Intermediate Cup Final against Llanidloes tomorrow night and offered little resistance with this game lost. Further tries followed from replacements Rhydian Jones and Ian Sanger, full-back Andy Clutton, Scott Davies and a final try from Francis that brought up his hat-trick. Jones added two conversions.

Machynlleth  60  Wrexham  17

Machynlleth guaranteed their existence in North Wales Division Two with a comprehensive 60-17 home victory over Wrexham, who now face a play-off against Division Three champions Menai Bridge for a place in the second division next season.

Despite having to field a makeshift backline, the visitors played well in an evenly matched first-half and reached the break with the scores level at 17-17. Good line-out work by skipper Mike Jones resulted in a driving maul that ended with prop Dave Gard crashing over for a try. Centre Jack Ratcliffe added the extra points with a well-struck conversion.

Machynlleth responded with a couple of converted tries and a penalty but Wrexham closed the gap with a try by Mike Jones from another driving maul. Then Wrexham drew level when outside-half Andy Clutton chipped over the home defence from 25 metres out and Ratcliffe won the race for the loose ball before crossing for an excellent try.    

Centre Dave Sully stood out for his solid tackling and defensive skills and prop Nick Perrin contested well in all of the forward exchanges.

However, Machynlleth picked up the pace in the second-half and cut through Wrexham’s defence with a series of smart offloads of the ball in their threequarters that led to scores. The visitors kept going to the final whistle but there was no way back for them and now they face a must-win situation in next Saturday’s play-off match for survival.

Dinbych  27  Wrexham  19

Wrexham went desperately close to achieving a much needed victory at Denbigh after leading by 19-3 at the break and then going off the boil in the final quarter to lose by 27-19.

A fine team performance in the opening-half led to scores by scrum-half Owain Turner, wing Jack Ratcliffe and flanker Phil Williams. Ratcliffe, not known previously as a goal kicker, stepped up to the mark and landed two successful conversions to increase Wrexham’s advantage to a hefty sixteen points at half-time.

Prop David Gard stood out in the pack for his impressive all round strengths, and centre Josh Francis was outstanding in attack and defence. Denbigh, out of sorts early on, found their rhythm after the break and struck back with a couple of tries. The visitors seemed to lose their concentration, holes appeared at the back and they fell away towards the end to lose a match that they had within their grasp.  

Welshpool  10    Wrexham  41

Wrexham climbed above Machynlleth in their bid to avoid the Division Two play-offs with a 41-10 victory under floodlights at Maesydre Recreation Recreation Ground. Winger Jack Ratcliffe scorched over for a hat-trick of tries and lock Joss Stott crossed twice for the visitors before leaving the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder. DENBIGH v WREXHAM

Wrexham  3   Llanidloes  32

Wrexham competed well for 70 minutes in a titanic struggle with Division Two championship contenders Llanidloes at Bryn Estyn Road, but they conceded 3 converted tries as they ran out of steam in the closing period and finished unwarranted 3-32 losers.

Still, skipper Mike Jones and coach Rob Thomas were greatly encouraged by their team’s improved performance and felt that they could carry that through to the 3 crucial games that lie ahead before the end of the season. Man of the Match was undoubtedly Youth Team centre Josh Francis who demonstrated some superb skills in attack and defence.

Jones could have kicked Wrexham into a 4th minute lead but his attempt flew wide of the mark. Llanidloes looked lively in their threequarters but Wrexham’s tackling, with lock Joss Stott, Josh Francis and centre Dave Sully to the fore, forced them into a series of errors and knock-ons. Still, the home side endured several close shaves and needed the kicking of scrum-half Owain Turner to rescue them.

Pressure from the visitors eventually told in the 21st minute when they were awarded a penalty that outside-half Dan Short kicked. Wrexham’s response was very positive, however, and they pummelled Llanidloes for a full 15 minutes with winger Jack Ratcliffe being bundled into touch on the Llanidloes line and Turner setting up a charge for lock Iwan Roberts who almost celebrated his 150th senior appearance with a try.

Perhaps Wrexham were trying too hard, and the score that they deserved didn’t arrive until just before half-time when Turner kicked a penalty to level the scores. Immediately after the restart, however, Wrexham fell behind again when Short kicked a penalty and then centre Ben Davies punished a mistake at the back with a well-worked unconverted try.  

The home side countered with solid work from the forwards, secure possession in the line-outs from Mike Jones and incisive breaks by Francis that were only halted by the resolute tackling of the visitors. Wrexham were still in the game as the final quarter started, but the younger Llanidloes pack started to dominate in the scrums as the home forwards began to fade after an immense effort.

In the 72nd minute, full-back Ed Pugh attacked from the half-way line and sped through several half tackles before scoring by the posts. Short added the conversion and then inspired his side to search for the bonus point that is awarded for scoring four tries. Despite the efforts of Josh Francis, who at one time resembled a one-man tackling machine, Llanidloes achieved their goal  with a touchdown from flanker Dick Jones and a last minute one from Pugh, both converted by Short.

Wrexham deserved more for their efforts and aim to bounce back with a win when they visit Welshpool in a rearranged Division Two league contest on Wednesday evening (kick-off at 7.30pm). 

Wrexham  71   Welshpool  5

Wrexham claimed their first victory since February when they overwhelmed bottom club Welshpool by 71-5 in a floodlit Division Two contest at Bryn Estyn Road.  

Lock Ian Sanger, the home team’s top try scorer, forced his way over the Welshpool line to open the scoring in the 3rd minute of the game and this was followed by breakaway tries from wingers Leighton Cox and Owain Harry, the last one converted by full-back Andy Clutton.

Welshpool came back with an unconverted try by prop Danny Hulse, who powered over in the 16th minute, but Wrexham soon reasserted themselves and stretched away with further scores. Sanger collected two more tries and number eight Mike Jones claimed a skipper’s touchdown from a tap penalty to give Wrexham a 32-5 advantage at the break.

The player who stood out most was Youth Team scrum-half Owain Turner whose accurate passing and linking enabled his side to cut through the Welshpool defence time and time again. Dave Sully, in the centre, also initiated some telling breaks while Andy Clutton relished the freedom of a fast running game and made a major contribution to Wrexham’s high score.

Any hopes that Welshpool may have had of halting the flow in the second-half were shattered in the opening seconds by a try from Wrexham centre Jack Ratcliffe following a 70 metre run. A brilliant flip pass from replacement centre Josh Francis put Clutton in for a fine try and this was followed by scores from lock Joss Stott, prop Nick Perrin, flanker Richard Platt, Owain Turner and Andy Clutton. Conversions from Turner and Mike Jones completed the score.

Abergele 35   Wrexham  5

Wrexham lost ground in their bid to avoid the end of season play-offs when they were defeated by 35-5 at Abergele.

The home side got off to a flying start with three quick tries as they capitalised on some poor tackling by a much-changed visiting team. During this opening, Wrexham scrum-half Dan Bowen broke his leg when he fell awkwardly and the side had to be reorganised with Andy Clutton moving to scrum-half and Pete Blakemore coming on as a replacement in the centre.

Wrexham came back into it and dominated much of the half, but they couldn’t fashion a score against a solid defence. They continued to perform well in the scrums and line-outs after the break and were rewarded with a neat unconverted try by Clutton. However, Abergele possessed the better cutting edge out wide and wrapped up their victory with two more tries.

Wrexham  7  COBRA  41

Wrexham’s woes continued as they delivered a poor performance and were thrashed 41-7 by visitors Cobra and a North Wales Division Two contest.

The team from Meifod in mid Wales went ahead, against the run of play, in the 5th minute when their lively young full-back Sion Wyn Williams accelerated from the half-way line and scored wide-out. Wrexham tried to force their way into the game but were disjointed and fell further behind when they conceded a penalty in front of their posts that was kicked by scrum-half Alwyn Williams.

Wrexham were heartened by the return of Michael Powell at outside-half after a career threatening injury, and his brother Kerry at flanker who was also returning from injury. Youth Team player Owain Turner impressed on the wing with his running and tackling and skipper Mike Jones secured a stream of possession from the line-out, but there was little else to savour.

As half-time approached, the visitors pressed hard again and were rewarded with two tries within two minutes, the first from a thrust by flanker Barry Jones and the second from a breakaway move by outside-half Dorian Lloyd. Alwyn Williams kicked both conversions to extend Cobra’s lead to 22-0 at the break.    

Within two minutes of the start of the second-half, Wrexham centre Jack Ratcliffe broke from half-way and then rounded the Cobra full-back to score a spectacular try under the posts. Mike Powell added the extra points with a simple conversion kick, but two minutes later Cobra’s Sion Wyn Williams struck back with his second try of the game, this time unconverted.

With Roger Chadwick coming on as a replacement at outside-half and Joss Stott adding his presence to the pack, Wrexham played their best rugby of the game and twice threatened the Cobra line. But the scores wouldn’t come and the visitors then made Wrexham turn with high kicks on the full-back before applying the coup de grace with late tries from centre Andrew Price and Dorian Lloyd, both converted by Alwyn Williams. 

Dolgellau 42 Wrexham  7

Wrexham gave an improved account of themselves at Dolgellau against the Division Two title chasers, but early mistakes led to them conceding four early tries and there was no way back from that handicap as they lost by 7-42.

As usual, the Wrexham pack dominated in the set-scrums but lacked vital mobility in the loose exchanges. Phil Williams impressed with some good work on the flank and confirmed his return to form after long term injury. However, Paul Allen had to leave the field with a strained calf after 20 minutes and the lack of a replacement specialist hooker left the visitors struggling at the line-outs.

When skipper Mike Jones won the ball at a line-out before half-time, he delivered the ball into the hands of Ian Sanger and the big lock powered over for a try to the side of the posts. Outside-half Dave Thomas made no mistake with the conversion kick to narrow Dolgellau’s lead to 35-7 at the break.

Wrexham looked a better side in the second-half and continued to dominate the set-scrums. The threequarters saw more of the action but their lines of running failed to penetrate the Dolgellau defence. The home side had already secured their bonus point but pressed for more points, eventually extending their lead with a converted try. 

Wrexham  5   Rhyl  24

Wrexham were caught napping at the start of their crucial Division Two game against Rhyl at Bryn Estyn Lane and never managed to get back on terms with the Seasiders who eventually triumphed by 24-5

Having missed an early penalty, the visitors surged to the Wrexham line in the 7th minute and no one managed to lay a hand on scrum-half James Farrell who dived over from a ruck. Centre Rob Manley added the extra points with a well struck conversion and the home side then had to defend desperately through centre Troy Roberts.

The difference in confidence levels was very apparent with Rhyl having been boosted by their 67-0 demolition of Bangor on the previous Saturday and Wrexham trying to recover from an 8-69 humiliation at Bala. Veteran number eight Ian Sanger raised the home side’s spirits with a surge that led to a penalty in the 14th minute, but outside-half Roger Chadwick failed with his kick.

Wrexham’s forwards, on Rhyl’s own admission, dominated the set-scrum, but they were less incisive in the rucks and mauls where the visitors were able to claim plentiful possession to feed their lively threequarters. Manley extended Rhyl’s lead with a penalty in the 28th minute and then converted a try by winger Paul Sellwood only four minutes later.

On the stroke of half-time, however, Wrexham winger Dave Thomas intercepted an attacking move by Rhyl on their own 22 and he stretched his legs to score a fine opportunist try that Chadwick was unable to improve. This led to an improved performance from the home side at the start of the second-half, but a penalty effort by Dave Thomas failed to reach the posts.

Left wing Jack Ratcliffe enjoyed a couple of stirring runs that forced Rhyl on the defensive and replacement flanker Keir Harding was outstanding with his ball winning skills. On the right wing, Thomas was always industrious as he went in search of a second try, and the introduction of Mike Jones to the pack gave Wrexham a steady stream of possession from the line-out.

The problem for Wrexham was that although some decent attacking moves were created, support for the ball carriers was often slow to arrive, wrong options were taken and there was little structure to their play. Rhyl came back in the final quarter with a try by Farrell from a 40 metre run that should have been stopped at source, Manley adding his third conversion of the game. 

Bala 69 Wrexham  8

Wrexham suffered a humbling experience at Bala where they went down to the strong North Wales Division Two championship contenders by 69-8.

It was a disappointing outcome for skipper Mike Jones after a very promising performance at home to Newtown the previous week. The unavailability of several key players due to work commitments led to Jones having to scratch around for players and that lack of strength led to the team's undoing.

Jones, normally a lock or number eight, had to fill in at full-back to plug a gap and soon had the front runners of Bala bearing down on him as they tore through Wrexham's middle area from the start. Although the visitors competed well in the scrums and line-outs and even created a couple of turnovers, slack tackling enabled Bala to lead at half-time by 39-0.

Outside-half John Gormley gave his side some heart with a well struck penalty as they pressurised Bala after the break but it wasn't long before the home team increased their lead again. Wrexham's consolation came towards the end of the game when scrum-half Ashley Wrathall slipped a pass to Mike Jones following several phases of play, and the converted full-back stretched his legs to score an unconverted try wide-out.

Wrexham's next game is on Friday evening when they entertain Cobra in a rearranged Division Two game. With a full squad available, Wrexham will put in a big effort to bounce back from defeat and secure a much-needed win to keep them above the relegation zone.

Wrexham  20   Newtown  25

Wrexham outscored visitors Newtown by 3-1 on try count in their floodlit Division Two game at Bryn Estyn Road, but they incurred the wrath of the match referee in the execution of their play and had to settle for a losing bonus point as they went down by 20-25.

The first penalty was conceded in the second minute of the game as a Wrexham forward went in from the side of a ruck while trying to stem Newtown’s early onslaught. Centre Matthew Jones made no mistake with the penalty but he was left flat-footed only three minutes later when centre Jack Ratcliffe finished off a sparkling Wrexham threequarter movement with an unconverted try wide-out.

The pace didn’t slacken as the home dominated the set scrums but found themselves being driven back in the loose exchanges. Matthew Jones then punished a failure to release the ball with a 10th minute penalty that put the visitors back in front. Wrexham countered with a penetrating break from a scrum by number eight Keir Harding but his supporting backs failed to score with only the full-back to beat.

Another Jones penalty was followed by a try from flanker Mattie Jones who spotted a gap in the home defence and scored under the posts. Matthew Jones converted and then kicked his fourth penalty to give his side a 19-5 lead, but Wrexham came storming back before the break with a pushover try from Keir Harding, a conversion from outside-half Roger Chadwick and then an injury time drop goal from Chadwick.

With a slight wind and slope advantage in the second-half, the home side started in determined mood with Chadwick pinning down Newtown with a series of long kicks. Scrum-half Ashley Wrathall probed effectively, centre Troy Roberts ran and tackled superbly, Chadwick was just wide with another attempted drop goal, but the scores just wouldn’t come.

In the 55th minute, however, the referee sent Harding to the sin bin for 10 minutes for an alleged technical offence. Newtown took advantage by increasing their lead with two more penalties by Matthew’s Jones as Wrexham’s frustration grew. However, skipper Mike Jones, who was playing well in the second-row on his return from injury, settled his side and directed them towards a stirring finish.

They camped in the Newtown 22 and created the opening for full-back Andy Clutton to score a deserved try in the 78th minute from 35 metres. As they came back again searching for the winning score, they forced their way over the line twice but couldn’t ground the ball. A last minute scrum in front of the Newtown posts gave them a final opportunity to win the game, but the ball was shipped away from their strongest runners and Newtown held on to claim the full points.

Caretaker coach Rob Thomas reflected on the game afterwards and was pleased with many aspects of his team’s performance. “We’re getting there. We’re looking for space and working ourselves into better positions; it was the penalties that let us down, but we’ll address that”, he commented.

Wrexham  16   Abergele   33

Wrexham, forced to make 5 changes to their line-up due to the unavailability of players, dominated most of the first-half of the league and cup double-header against visitors Abergele but then became sloppy in defence and ultimately crashed to a 16-33 defeat.

Despite this reverse against the title chasers, the work of caretaker coach Rob Thomas appears to be bearing fruit and the Wrexham players confessed afterwards that they enjoyed playing an expansive game that gave their wingers opportunities to play attacking rugby. The downside of an exciting match was that skipper Mike Jones had to leave the field with a shoulder injury and is expected to be missing for several weeks.

The home side made a bright opening with their pack controlling the forward exchanges and their backs running hard at the Abergele defence. A 50 metre run by centre Jack Ratcliffe nearly ended in a try and then wing Mark Gasson was bundled into touch only metres short. Flankers Phil Williams and Gareth Owen drove off the scrum time after time to keep the visitors in check.

Pressure told in the 13th minute when outside-half Roger Chadwick was given a clear position by his pack to enable him to drop a superb goal. Abergele countered with a swift attack by their backs but Wrexham held them in the centre and then Chadwick made the visitors turn and run with a long distance kick to touch.

Chadwick then extended his side’s lead with a penalty in the 27th minute and all looked well for Wrexham until Mike Jones had to depart with a shoulder injury, and an error by the referee allowed Abergele to gain a position in the home 22. From a well worked move, centre Richard Medlicott scored near the posts in the 37th minute and centre Gareth Evans added the conversion.

A minute later, Abergele poached a second try when they collected the ball from the kick-off and ran through a floundering defence to score under the posts through wing Chris Marsh, Evans adding the simple conversion. All of Wrexham’s earlier good work was undone and they faced a difficult second-half as they trailed by 6-14.

Wrexham started in positive mood after the break but were soon let down when a confusion in defence allowed number eight Hugh Le Coq to intercept and score under the posts, Evans again adding the extra points. However, the home side settled down again and contained the visitors until the 57th minute when another confusion in defence allowed Midlicott to claim his second try of the game.

Wrexham coach sent the veteran number eight Dean Griffiths on as a replacement and he engineered a great try in the 62nd minute when his mighty pack shoved Abergele off their own ball and Griffiths picked up the ball and dived over. Sadly, that was cancelled out moments later by a second interception try for Le Coq, converted by Evans, as Wrexham committed another defensive error.

To their credit, however, Wrexham came back once again and top try scorer Ian Sanger gave them the last word when he spotted a gap near the Abergele line and rumbled over for a deserved try. Their defensive errors cost them vital league points and a place in the Intermediate Cup, but coach Rob Thomas was pleased with his side’s improvement and will work hard with the players to address those errors before Cobra arrive for the scheduled league game next Saturday.

Bangor 11   Wrexham  17

Wrexham completed the double over Bangor and achieved their first league victory since September when they overcame a competitive local side at Cae Milltir to record a 17-11 success.

In poor conditions but with the wind at their backs, Wrexham opened strongly and claimed a deserved lead in the 12th minute when centre Jack Ratcliffe intercepted a Bangor move on the half-way line and sprinted away to score under the posts. Outside-half Roger Chadwick made no mistake with the conversion to send confidence surging through his team.  

The visiting forwards, with skipper Mike Jones restored to his familiar number eight position alongside Phil Williams and Gareth Owen, pressed hard and soon dominated proceedings. They earned their reward in the 31st minute when top try scorer Ian Sanger powered his way over the home line from a maul and Chadwick added the conversion.

Sensing the game running away from them, Bangor countered effectively and reduced the arrears with two well-struck penalties before the break. That setback could have unsettled Wrexham who had to face the gale in the second-half, but they defended well on the restart and limited the home team to a single unconverted try.

The last quarter belonged to Wrexham as they pressed hard and contained Bangor in their own half with the visiting forwards again dominant. Eventually Bangor made an error in defence and Roger Chadwick punished them with an excellent penalty to wrap up a long awaited victory for his hard working side.   

Wrexham  14  Dinbych  51

Wrexham led visitors Denbigh for thirty minutes in their North Wales Division Two match at Bryn Estyn Road, but they eventually ran out of steam against a stiff breeze and a lively back division before slumping to a 14-51 defeat.

The home side made a bright start with their scrum in dominant form and they claimed the lead in the 5th minute when outside-half Roger Chadwick dropped a neat goal from the Denbigh 22. They continued to press with John Gormley sniping well at scrum-half and Chadwick using his fine kicking skills to gain territory or to keep the visitors pinned in their half.

For their part, Denbigh avoided being drawn into a forward battle that they were unlikely to win and, instead, ran the ball at every opportunity. They managed to use their pace advantage to break upfield in the 25th minute and then they stretched Wrexham left and right until a gap appeared and prop Brychan ap Geraint crashed over for an unconverted try.

The home side quickly recovered and regained the lead only 3 minutes later when Chadwick slotted a penalty to punish a Denbigh error. When he stretched Wrexham’s lead with another penalty moments later, hopes of a home win suddenly increased, only to have them dashed when the visitors replied with swift tries by wing Jamie Winning and centre Tom Seddon plus a conversion from scrum-half Llion Edwards.  

Trailing by 9-17 at the break, Wrexham went further behind when Edwards added a penalty soon after the restart. To their credit, however, the home side dug in and kept possession with number eight Gareth Noon dominating the line-out and the forwards driving hard at the Denbigh defence.

A quickly taken tap penalty by replacement scrum-half John Roberts, followed by his 20 metre run, surprised the visitors in the 52nd minute and they looked on powerless as lock Ian Sanger took possession of the ball and surged through for a great try. Unfortunately, Chadwick failed with the conversion attempt when the ball was carried off target by the wind and struck an upright.

Having forced their way back into contention, Wrexham were devastated only three minutes later when slack tackling enabled centre Tom Seddon to cut through and claim his second try of the game, converted by Edwards. That finally knocked the stuffing out of a hard working home side and Denbigh wrapped up the game in the final quarter with a brace of tries by wing Tom Schrimshaw, a penalty try plus three conversions and a penalty by Edwards.

Llanidloes 34 Wrexham  0

Wrexham put in a good effort on their return to the North Wales Division Two Championship at Llanidloes, but early lapses cost them dear and they were eventually defeated by 34-0.     

The home side included a number of their former Youth Team players in their squad and their pace enabled Llanidloes to score three tries in the opening quarter, one of them converted. The match then had to be stopped to enable Wrexham flanker Richard Platt to be transported by air ambulance to Shrewsbury Hospital with a suspected neck injury.

Happily, Platt made a complete recovery and was later discharged from hospital with no apparent ill effects. His replacement in the back-row, Pete Blakemore, gave in impressive performance but there was nothing he or his team mates could do to stop the home side adding a converted try and a penalty to their tally by half-time.

The second-half proved to be much better for a hard working Wrexham side and they were able to limit Llanidloes to only one more converted try. The pack gained enough possession to enable them to dominate the game for a 15 minute period during which they kept the home side pinned in their 22.

Skipper Mike Jones gave a Man of the Match performance at number eight, Richard Greensmith contributed effectively in the second-row and flanker Kerry Powell was into everything as usual. Unfortunately, Wrexham couldn’t construct the score that their efforts warranted, but they did leave with the satisfaction that they had finished strongly following two months out of league action and should be able to acquit themselves against Denbigh next Saturday.         

Newtown 37 Wrexham  7

Wrexham battled hard in difficult conditions at Newtown but fell away in the last quarter and were knocked out of the Swalec Bowl competition by 37-7 in the third round.

On a pitch that was barely playable following a fortnight of severe weather, Wrexham made an impressive start and opened the scoring in the 18th minute with an opportunist try by their skipper Mike Jones. Operating in the centre for this match, Jones flat-footed the home defence by opting to take a tap penalty and scored close enough to the uprights for outside-half John Gormley to add a conversion.

With Youth Team players Owain Turner and Tom Evans adding zest at half-back and centre, Wrexham worked hard to build on their lead but suffered a setback when Newtown countered with an unconverted try. The home side struck again just before the break, this time with a penalty that gave them a slender 8-7 lead at half-time.

Newtown pressed harder in the second-half and Wrexham wing Mark Gasson demonstrated his excellent tacking abilities as he made a major contribution in stemming attacks from the home threequarters. Wrexham ran out of steam in the final quarter, however, and Newtown finished with a flurry of tries to seal their passage into the fourth round of the national competition.           

Wrexham  21 Shotton  13

Wrexham Firsts bounced back from two successive defeats, and a four week lay-off, by securing a hard earned 21-13 victory over visitors Shotton in the first round of the North Wales Intermediate Cup competition.

The contrast in styles was marked with Wrexham starting in ponderous mood while Shotton were far more lively in everything that they did. The solid approach work of the home side paid dividends, however, in the 13th minute when winger Jack Ratcliffe latched on to a well worked move by forwards and backs and scored an unconverted try in the corner.  

That rattled the visitors and they camped in the Wrexham 22 and launched several smart probes until skipper Mark Higgins picked up a loose ball 5 metres out and scythed through to snatch a fine try. Outside-half Steve Ellson made no mistake with an angled conversion to put his side in front at the end of the first quarter.

Four minutes later, Wrexham regained the lead when flanker Ian Sanger, having an immense game with Mike Jones and number eight Keir Harding in the back-row, charged through the Shotton defence and stretched out to score a great try. Outside-half Roger Chadwick added the extra points and then stretched the visitors with some astute tactical kicking.   

Shotton used their backs and kept the ball alive at all times to force the home side on the defensive and they reduced the arrears in the 32nd minute with a neat penalty by Ellson, leaving the game finely balanced at 12-10 in Wrexham’s favour at half-time.

After the break, Wrexham pressed hard with Keir Harding making a series of breaks but, with support to slow to arrive, their only reward was a penalty by Chadwick. That was quickly countered in the 53rd minute by a similar effort from Ellson, and then Chadwick calmly replied with a drop goal from a position gained from an exciting break by replacement wing Dave Thomas.   

When Wrexham were at last beginning to impose their authority on the game, centre Andy Clutton was ordered to the sin-bin for obstructing an opponent. However, that loss seemed to inspire them to work harder and, with lock Marius Arendacz and Sanger performing well in the forward battle, Wrexham went further ahead when Chadwick kicked another penalty.

The visitors tried hard to make another comeback, but Wrexham finally overcame the rustiness inflicted by four weeks out of action and played with some panache in the dying minutes. Ellson missed an injury time penalty for Shotton but it wouldn’t have affected the result as Wrexham now march on to meet either Abergele or Welshpool at Bryn Estyn Road in the next round.     

Wrexham  0 Dolgellau  51

Wrexham Firsts, fielding a makeshift side for the second week in succession, played bravely against a competent Dolgellau side at Bryn Estyn Road, but eventually succumbed to the inevitable and were whitewashed by 51-0.

It took the visitors three minutes to open the scoring, centre Carwyn Pugh finishing off a simple handling movement to score wide-out. Boosted by the introduction of several Youth Team players, the home side came back keenly and put Dolgellau under some pressure with a solid forward drive from a scrum in the 8th minute, but they were quickly turned over and forced to defend again.

A well worked try by scrum-half Owain Thomas in the 15th minute, with a conversion from outside-half Gerwyn Thomas, gave the visitors a clear advantage. Under pressure in the set scrums and line-outs, and lacking mobility in the loose exchanges, Wrexham tackled as best they could with scrum-half Owain Turner, prop Nick Perrin and outside-half John Gormley in outstanding form.

Dolgellau added a penalty by Gerwyn Thomas and a try by Dylan Evans to establish a 20-0 lead at half-time and then claimed a pushover try by hooker Geraint Evans, converted by Gerwyn Thomas, 12 minutes into the second-half. Wrexham competed well at times with centre Josh Francis attempting to break out, but they were always well shackled by the visiting defenders.

A breakaway try by full-back Huw Wilcox with another conversion from Gerwyn Thomas extended Dolgellau’s lead to 34-0 by the start of the final quarter. The introduction of replacement wing Mark Gasson helped Wrexham to stem the flow for a short period, but Dolgellau took advantage of a tiring defence by running in three tries in injury time, one of them converted.

A players’ meeting has been arranged with the club management on Tuesday evening before the start of training. It is hoped that issues that have contributed to two heavy defeats in recent weeks will be resolved and that the club will be able to compete at full strength again.

Rhyl  58 Wrexham  10

A makeshift Wrexham side, including only five of the players who appeared in the opening win of the season against Machynlleth, was soundly thrashed 58-10 by Rhyl in a North Wales Division Two game on Saturday.

Injuries and availability robbed the visitors of some of their most experienced players including skipper Mike Jones and top try scorer Ian Sanger, and it therefore became inevitable that an untried fifteen would struggle at Y Waen. The home side was itching for revenge after their narrow Swalec Bowl defeat at Wrexham the previous week, and they duly claimed it.

The visitors did put on a reasonable show in the first-half with good debut performances from their university players Norman Ravenscroft at outside-half and Anthony Lowe-Sarsam at number eight. Marius Arendacz also contributed well in the second-row after a two-year absence, but Rhyl were better-organised and crushed Wrexham with a fine second-half performance.

Wrexham’s points came in a well contested opening half from a try by winger Mark Gasson, making a welcome return after long-term injury, and a conversion and a penalty by Ravenscroft.

Next up for coach Gareth Barrett is a must-win home game against Dolgellau next Saturday and then another home game against Benllech in round two of the Swalec Bowl competition on Saturday 30th October.          

Wrexham  24  Rhyl  21

Wrexham progressed to the second round of the Swalec Bowl competition with a 24-21 success against visitors Rhyl, the lead changing hands six times during an enthralling contest.

Fielding a side showing seven changes from last week’s selection, Wrexham quickly settled and claimed the lead in the 5th minute. Centre Troy Roberts made the initial break, lock Joss Stott hacked on after Roberts was tackled and then centre Jack Ratcliffe used his pace to complete the touchdown. Skipper Mike Jones was just off target with his conversion attempt.

The home side came back again, created holes in the Rhyl defence but were turned over only two minutes later within reach of the visitors’ try line. The grateful Rhyl outside-half received the ball and sprinted upfield to score a breakaway try under the posts, his number eight adding the conversion.    

Wrexham’s response was to camp in the visitors 22, the pack looking very secure despite several changes with Gareth Noon always a threat at number eight. Rhyl resisted a series of scrums until they cracked in the 16th minute and Noon touched down in a pushover move. Winger John Gormley added the extra points in front of the posts.

The game then became very even with Troy Roberts defending well in the centre and flanker Kerry Powell making a major contribution in the battle for possession. It was Rhyl, however, who reclaimed the lead just before the break, their scrum-half slipping through two tackles to score with their number eight adding the conversion.

Rhyl had two penalty chances to extend their14-12 lead at the start of the second-half, but both attempts flew wide. Wrexham made several changes which included the introduction of David Gard to the front row and then reclaimed the lead with a superb try under the posts by Troy Roberts, all created by a kick ahead and a 50 metre run by Jack Ratcliffe. Mike Jones added the conversion.

Minutes later, however, the visitors levelled the scores when their scrum-half squeezed through the Wrexham defence to claim his second try of the game. A successful conversion put the Seasiders back in front again but Wrexham surged back once more in the 59th minute to claim an unconverted pushover try by prop Nick Perrin from a line-out.

Rhyl’s frustration led to brawl that ended in their number eight being sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes. Both sides then had chances to score points through tries or penalties in the final stages but all fell short and Wrexham were relieved to end the afternoon with a deserved victory and a return to winning ways.   

Wrexham  13 Bala 17

Injury depleted Wrexham survived a first-half pummelling by Bala at Bryn Estyn Road and then came back to almost overtake the visitors in the dying minutes, eventually having to accept a 13-17 defeat.

The home side kicked off with the elements in their favour but, without their unavailable skipper Mike Jones and several of their key players, they took time to find some cohesion and came under heavy pressure from the hard driving visitors. Prop David Gard tackled well to stem the Bala assaults and number eight Gareth Noon worked wonders to keep Wrexham supplied with possession from the line-outs.

Pressure eventually told and Bala were awarded a try in the 15th minute when scrum-half Clwyd Roberts dummied his way over from a line-out, although the unsighted referee failed to spot that the scorer was actually held up on the line. Outside-half Rhydian Jones, who had missed an early penalty, found the mark with his conversion attempt to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.

Moments later, Wrexham scrum-half Paul Edwards was sin-binned for tackling his opposite number before he had fully got his hands on the ball, and the home side had to survive a torrid ten minutes until Edwards was allowed to rejoin the fray. His return prompted a sparkling passage of play with winger Jack Radcliffe touching down in the corner only to be hauled back for an alleged forward pass.

They kept up the pressure but passes went astray and the forwards were held up over the Bala line before centre Andy Clutton put in a perfectly weighted chip over the defence for wing Sion Lloyd-Jones to score in the corner. Outside-half Roger Chadwick failed with his difficult conversion kick and the half ended with Rhydian Jones stretching Bala’s lead to 10-5 with a neatly dropped goal.

Following a half-time talk from coach Gareth Barrett, Wrexham restarted the game in top form with flanker Troy Roberts troubling the Bala defence with a surging run. The visitors failed to release the ball in front of their posts and Chadwick make no mistake with his penalty attempt to narrow the gap to only two points.

Back came Bala, however, and Wrexham were collectively at fault in conceding a 53rd minute try when they failed to deal with the rampaging bulk of prop Meileir Evans who crashed over virtually unopposed. Rhydian Jones added an angled conversion and impressed during a ten-minute period when Bala dominated the game and nearly succeeded with a series of pushover moves.

Wrexham, to their great credit, rose to the gritty challenge that they faced and came storming back in the final quarter with piercing runs from Troy Roberts and Clutton. When Bala’s Clwyd Roberts was sin-binned for a technical offence, Wrexham raised the tempo again and narrowed the gap to only four points when prop Nick Perrin stretched over to score in the corner.

Chadwick’s conversion attempt failed against the breeze but Wrexham embarked on a rousing finale as Troy Roberts led the way again and replacement wing Tony Medcalf sped down the wing. A late penalty was spurned because Wrexham needed a try to win in injury time, but Bala somehow managed to hold on to claim victory, although Wrexham did have the consolation of earning a losing bonus point for coming so close at the end.   

Coach Gareth Barrett was impressed with the way in which his players competed after a poor showing in the first twenty minutes, but he warned, “We should be doing better. We finished off the game as we did at Cobra last week, camping on their line but getting nothing for it.”

COBRA 8 Wrexham  3

Wrexham performed well at Cobra but ended up 3-8 losers due to an isolated case of indiscipline and simple bad luck in their North Wales Division Two contest.

They started well and claimed a 12th minute lead when outside-half Roger Chadwick landed a penalty to punish the home side for not releasing the ball at a breakdown. With the scrums being evenly contested and locks Richard Greensmith and Mike Jones winning a stream of line-out possession from hooker John Gill’s throw-ins, Wrexham went in pursuit of more points.

Cobra countered with a penalty to level the scores but Wrexham soon thought that they had reclaimed the lead when prop Ian Sanger, a double try scorer last week, crashed over the home line in the 28th minute. Unfortunately, the referee was unsighted at the time and couldn’t award the score.

Moments later, scrum-half Paul Edwards reacted to an alleged head butt by an opponent and the referee dismissed him with a red card. The visitors were then forced to make quick changes to their side, moving flanker Troy Roberts into the centre while John Roberts went to scrum-half. They had to dig deep to keep out a rejuvenated Cobra outfit and reached half-time with the score still at 3-3.

Troy Roberts energised Wrexham’s backline with some impressive runs through the middle of the defence, but Wrexham were put on the back foot again when prop Guy Bingham was yellow carded for a technical offence in the 48th minute. With two extra players, Cobra almost immediately won a turnover and created a breakaway unconverted try to claim the lead.

Wrexham again had to hold on but, with Bingham restored to the front-row, they produced an exciting climax to the game as they camped on the Cobra line for the last ten minutes. They celebrated when John Gill touched down in the dying moments, but the match official was again unsighted and disallowed this second ‘try’.

Coach Gareth Barrett was naturally disappointed at losing a game that his team could and should have won, but he was impressed with the way that the character of the team shone through in adversity. He also stressed, “The back line defence is now much better and the team is developing well”.  

Wrexham 29  Bangor 3
Wrexham made it two wins out of three so far in their North Wales Division Two campaign with what eventually proved to be a decisive 29-6 victory over an improved Bangor side at Bryn Estyn Road.
They had to work hard for their win, however, after Bangor went ahead with a penalty by outside-half Dafydd Roberts only seconds after the kick-off and then extended their lead to 6-0 with another Roberts penalty only five minutes later. Technical infringements, mainly by forwards, frustrated Wrexham’s ambitions before prolonged rain made play more difficult.
Outside-half Roger Chadwick kept Wrexham going forward against hard tackling opponents but it was centre John Roberts, celebrating his 300th first team appearance for the club, who created the breakthrough that his side was searching for. His run from a tap penalty move in the 28th minute was finished off by a fine try by lock Ian Sanger who powered over near the right corner.

Chadwick was faced with a difficult conversion kick but struck the ball perfectly in the poor conditions to put Wrexham ahead by a single point.
With their noses in front at last, the home sought another score to consolidate their lead with Gareth Noon picking up well from the base of the scrum to initiate a series of breaks. Slow support work, however, hampered further progress although Wrexham should have been awarded a penalty try in injury time when an opponent dived in at the back of the scrum to block a pushover move.

The home side were quickest out of the blocks at the start of the second-half, Noon carrying on his breaks from the scrum and the rest of the forwards pinning Bangor in their 22. Pressure told in the 48th minute when flanker John Gill spotted a gap in the visitors defence and galloped through to score wide-out, Chadwick only narrowly failing to add the conversion.

Wrexham continued to dominate the half but determined resistance held them out until John Roberts cracked open the Bangor defence with a swerving run towards the posts, the forwards carrying on the move for prop Guy Bingham to score a rare try. Chadwick’s kick from wide-out was inch perfect and then the introduction of flanker Kerry Powell as a replacement spurred the home side on even more.
However, a ball that was kicked long and high into the Wrexham half in the 64th minute was spilled by a defender and Bangor attackers immediately poured through to threaten the home line, only the awareness and sure tackling of winger Andy Clutton preventing a score. With skipper Mike Jones then having to depart with a shoulder injury, Wrexham had to endure a very torrid period against the rejuvenated visitors.

To their credit, Wrexham settled again and controlled the final stages of the game, Clutton touching down an unconverted try near the left corner after a turnover by his forwards and Sanger adding his second score of the match in injury time. The final conversion attempt by John Roberts failed in the poor conditions but the centre could reflect on a fine performance by him on his celebratory day.

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