Tenby United v Aberystwyth – Pembrokeshire and District Cup Final preview

By Observer Reporter in Rugby

With the final scheduled at Crymych RFC tonight (Friday), with a kick-off at 6.45 pm, a supporters bus has been arranged for the game and is due to leave the club at 5.30. Cost will be £8 per person.

Seats have been selling fast and well…. so if you want to book one, please telephone 843501 or call into the club.

It will be a case of the team going for that elusive double...and your support would be invaluable and much appreciated

Be in a position to utter those immortal words... “I was there”

CHAIRMAN’s MESSAGE

On behalf of Tenby United RFC, I would sincerely like to offer my thanks to everyone who has supported us this season; and there have been many.

There have been a tough couple of seasons behind us, but sometimes the character built from adversity creates a culture of strength. This team has truly stuck together, a rare quality in today’s game. The commitment to training, the coaching, on and off the field professionalism and the bond with the supporters have all grown.

As soon as we found our feet in early September, the momentum began to build; some big away wins, a smaller but more consistent squad, with Heywood Lane soon becoming a fortress for visiting sides. Record crowds hit the terraces, the junior sides clapped our team onto the field, more and more local sponsors and businesses have attended our club events and we have become a team that belongs to our community.

This doesn’t happen by accident and the hard work by all involved has been incredible. We know we are on a ‘journey’ and today’s Cup Final against Aberystwyth is simply another step. Tenby United have not completed the league and cup double for almost 20 years and if they were to achieve that today, it would be a testament to a team and a town that have stood together and produced what we all knew was possible. A ‘United Tenby’ at Tenby United RFC.

Matthew Evans,

Chairman,

Tenby United RFC. 

PLAYER PROFILES

Luke Hansford (club captain): Age 30; nickname Hound Dawg or Hanny Position; flanker; height 6’; weight 15st. Games at first team level - played 23 this season and 89 in total. Joined Tenby United from Pembroke in 2012/13 season, playing a massive part in previous successes for TURFC. He was unanimously voted club captain and has led the club through two tough seasons, before leading from the front in rebuilding the team this season, and driving them to the Division Two West title. After becoming a Seasider, Hanny settled in straight away, making the No7 shirt his own off the back of some superb performances. Luke is a dog in the loose and if attacking teams even blink he’ll turn them over. He prides himself on his fitness and has a total disregard for his personal safety when wearing the Red ‘n’ Black of Tenby United and is a ferocious tackler. Rugby honours including, Pembroke RFC, Pembrokeshire U11s-U18s, Scarlets U18s and U20s, Welsh Colleges U20s, and UWIC. Luke is set to marry his fiancée Jade next Saturday and Tenby United and the whole town wish them all the best for the future.

Ethan Morgan: Age 20; nickname Bulldog; position - tight head prop; height: 5’11”; weight 18st. Games at first team level - played 22 this season and 41 in total. A strong young prop, Ethan has matured over the past two seasons after being called up to the 1st XV when they were in Division One West previously, whilst he was still in his final season of youth rugby. Ethan is a Tenby United product and has come through the age grades of the Swifts from U13s to Youth where he was youth captain. He also represented Greenhill School, Pembrokeshire Schools and District Youth.

Joe Poole: Age 20; nickname JP; position - hooker; height 5’10”; weight 15st 7lbs. Games at first team level - played 23 this season and 26 in total. Joe signed for Tenby United this season from Narberth RFC where he represented Otters at Youth, 2nds and senior levels. He has represented Pembrokeshire U19s, Barnstaple Colts, North Devon College, won Devon Cup twice whilst in the final at Exeter Chiefs’ Sandy Park ground, Northampton Saints elite player development group, Cambridgeshire County, Shelford RFC (captain) and Great Finborough School, Stowmarket, amongst other accolades. A hard tackling player who has been instrumental in the successes this season.

Dan Allen: Age 20; nickname Dallen; position - hooker; height: 5’8”; weight: 15st. Games at first team level - played 22 this season and 43 in total. Another talented young hooker to come through the club’s ranks from Swifts U10s to U16s, before having a short spell at Narberth Youth, although the pull of Heywood Lane was too strong and he returned to the Seasiders Youth and became a regular in the 1st XV in Division One West whilst in his final season at youth level. Dallen has played for Pembrokeshire U15s, won the District Schools U16s Cup with Greenhill School and is a keen amateur train spotter. His ambitions are to eventually become a London Underground driver. Dan is leaving at the end of this season to go travelling for a year, before taking on his locomotive driver qualifications and we wish him all the very best and look forward to his safe return.

Rob Clarke: Age 28; nickname Clarky; position - tight head prop; height 6’; weight 17st 3lbs. Games at first team level - played 15 this season and 139 in total. Rob is a stalwart of the team and club, having played all the age grades from U8s through to 1st XV. Although he is an excellent scrummager, Clarky has also been seen regularly throwing a dummy or sidestepping in midfield and likes to be known as a modern ball-handling prop. He is always first to training and has shown 110 per cent commitment to the club for years.

Rob Luly: Age 23; nickname Luly; position - prop (loose or tight); height 6’; weight (a gentleman never discloses his weight). Games at first team level - played nine this season and 48 in total. Tenby United through and through, Rob has come all the way through the grades of the Swifts and was named U15s player of the year along the way, as well as skipper of Greenhill School’s 1st XV. He was part of the successful league winning youth team of season 2011-12 and went on to become a cornerstone of the Seasiders 1st XV front row and remains as such to this day. Another one of those ‘modern day props’, Luly is also no stranger to throwing a dummy or a sidestep and is really enjoying his rugby.

Mike Davis: Age (undisclosed); nickname MD; position - second row; height 6’2”; weight 14st 8lbs. Games at first team level - played 23 this season. Mike joined Tenby United this season from Pembroke Dock Quins where he was a product of their proud Junior section. A talented lineout forward, Mike has caused opposition lineouts no end of troubles all season and has fitted right in with the squad. He is a hard tackler and very athletic in open play and the dynamo of the team. A great and welcome addition to the squad.

Luke Dedman: Age 27; nickname LA; position - second row; height: 6’2”; weight 106kg. Games at first team level - played 24 this season and 166 in total. Luke has been an ever-present this season and is an excellent player in attack and defence, he provides quality lineout ball and scrummages well. Another player to come through the club’s mini, junior and youth ranks before cementing his spot in the first team. Puts a lot of effort inon the training field and is a very vocal member of the senior players group, describing himself as an ‘All Round Loud Mouth’. LA was a District Youth Cup winner with Tenby United youth and has earned plenty of silverware within the senior squad over the years also.

Andrew Cooke: Age 25; nickname Cookie; position - flanker; height: 5’11”; weight 16st 2lb. Games at first team level - played 23 this season and 54 in total. A very talented back row forward and along with Hanny and Bazla has formed a superb back row unit and Cookie in particular has had a superb season. He is one of the league’s top turnover specialists and is a great counter-attacking threat. Another product of the excellent Tenby Swifts conveyor belt and is a former Seasiders Youth captain.

Alex Thomas: Age 20; nickname Ali G; position - back row; height 5’11”; weight 90kg. Games at first team level - played 19 this season and 35 in total. Another product of the club’s thriving Mini and Junior system, Alex is a fine young player. Has represented Tenby United at all age groups before a great few seasons with the youth team and gained experience with the 2nds, before cementing his place as a regular within the 1st XV squad, also getting a taste of Division One rugby last season in his final year of youth. Ali G has also represented Pembrokeshire U12-U19s, Scarlets West U16s, Welsh Academicals and Greenhill School. A real one to watch for the future.

Barry Parsons: Age 28; nickname Bazla; position - number eight; height 6’1”; weight 14st 11lb. Games at first team level - played 22 this season. Barry joined Tenby United this season from Pembroke Dock Quins, where he played through the age grades and was a regular 1st XV team player and former Quins club captain. He is a hard running number eight, with great control and ball handling, both at the back of the scrum and in open play. He is a keen mixed martial artist and this certainly aids his ability to jackal for the ball and earns him a high turnover win rate. A great signing for the Seasiders along with his fellow Quins comrade Mike Davis.

Charlie Patching: Age 25; nickname: Denzil; position - second row/back row; height: 6’1”; weight: 15st 10lb. Games at first team level - played nine this season. Denzil only started playing rugby this season and has matured and settled in well. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for with determination and passion for the club and is a superb team player. Very strong runner and has had a solid maiden season.

Matthew Morgan: Age 25; nickname Matty; position scrum-half and wing; height 5’11”; weight 80kg. Games at first team level - played 17 this season. Matthew joined the Seasiders this season from Easts Tigers club in Brisbane, Australia, after having a successful time out there playing at a high level. He went through the Haverfordwest Junior section and represented their seniors, too, before he went Down Under; also played regularly for Pembrokeshire Schools. Despite missing much of the early part of the season through a broken leg, sustained against Tycroes in October, he has recovered and is back to his best. Matty is a great player with lightning speed off the base of the scrum and breakdown and has a knack for spotting and getting through gaps. He is a great club man and is a very welcome addition to the squad.

Connor Ennis: Age 20; nickname Menace; position - uility back; height 5’10”; weight 80kg. Games at first team level - played eight this season and 14 in total. An extremely committed young player, Connor has bags of talent and has come through every age group in the club, before becoming youth captain, and credit must go to him for keeping the youth side together through a tough period. He is a speedy back who takes his opportunities with both hands. He has represented Greenhill School at all levels in 15s and has represented them on three tours to the Roslyn Park UK 7s and was an ambassador for Pembrokehire when he toured South Africa with Greenhill School. Certainly one of the ‘characters’ of the squad.

Jordan Asparassa: Age 20; nickname Asbo; position - wing; height: 6’ ; weight 12st. Games at first team level - played 21 this season and 54 in total. A fearless player, Jordan is known for his hard tackling and isn’t afraid to take on the biggest of opponents, usually coming out on top. He knows his way to the try line, crossing for 14 this season so far and has caused the oppositions headaches all season with blistering pace. A Seasider through and through, Jordan came right through the ranks from U7s to seniors at Tenby. He played for Pembrokeshire Schools, was part of the Greenhill School U16s County championship squad and has also represented Pembroke Dock Quins on loan from Tenby United.

Ashley Sutton: Age 24; position - outside-half; height 5’9"; weight 75 kg. Games at first team level - played 11 this season and 20 in total. Ashley has followed his father Phil who ran out at first team level 84 times and racked up an impressive 279 points, in joining Tenby United in season 2014/15, and has already racked up an impressive 169 points in a spell broken by a visit Down Under to play cricket in Australia. His playing career has included West Wales representation, Pembrokeshire U11s through to Youth, Scarlets U18s and 20s, as well as Narberth RFC

Scott James: Age 23; nickname City Life; position - centre; height 5’11"; weight 95 kg. Games at first team level - played 22 this season and 35 in total. Scott started his rugby at St. David’s, gaining District representation at U11s through to Under 18s, moving in 2013 to Haverfordwest and eventually to Tenby in 2015. A versatile or utility back, he has now settled in well at centre and his natural attacking flair fits neatly into the current playing style favoured by Tenby. Backs this with some fearless defensive skills

Jack Guerreiro: Age 26; nickname Gee; position - centre/wing; height 6’1"; weight 14.7. Games at first team level - played 15 this season and 108 in total. Yet another product off the Swifts conveyor belt and an excellent utility threequarter player, used as wing and centre this year, although confident enough to slot in at 10 or at fullback if required, with his attacking flair and defensive skills always to the fore. A regular at training, despite having to travel from Cardiff, and a true Red ‘n’ Black thoroughbred. Also rumoured to be a reasonable golfer, or so he says....

Moritz Neumann: Age 21; nickname Moz; position - centre/wing; height 6’2"; weight 113kg. Games at first team level - played nine this season and 18 in total. Starting his rugby like Scott James at St. David’s, Moz has represented Pembrokeshire and Narberth before trying his hand at Tenby first in season 2015/16, returning again this year. A very powerful player who uses his pace and bulk to good effect and gives the impression he has a secret desire to play at number eight, along with the rest of the furniture removers.

Jonny Morgan: Age 28; nickname Jonny (what else!); position - fullback; height 5’11"; weight 13stn. Games at first team level - played 24 this season. Joined Tenby from Narberth this season along with his brother Matthew, and dad Andrew, who has been a revelation as part of the coaching squad. Only the second player to be an ever-present this season and is very much the ‘eyes’ of the team, especially the threequarters, always playing heads up rugby and directing fellow players, both in attack and defence. Has also represented Pembrokeshire age grades, Boys Clubs of Wales and Whitland RFC.

Greg Lees Griffiths: Age 24; nickname GLG (what else!); position - wing; height 6’1";weight 15.3. Games at first team level - played nine this season and 36 in total. Yet another product of the thriving junior section at Tenby, playing through the age levels up to and including Youth, as well as representing Pembrokeshire. Had a late start to the season, but held down the wing position, forming a neat roving partnership with fellow wing Asbo until injured in late March.

Mark Heywood: Age 29; nickname Rhino; position - centre/wing; height 6’; weight 106kg. Games at first team level - played 18 this season and 142 in total. Mark is Rhino by name and by his nature on the playing field. A very powerful runner and causes defences big problems with his direct running treating the opposition more like road bumps. He is a former Swifts and Narberth Junior player, represented Pembrokeshire at multiple levels, Wales U16s, Narberth Seniors, Jolly Sailors 7s side (alongside the Morgan brothers) and is a keen rugby coach, holding his WRU L2 badge and coaches his son Carter’s side in the Swifts section.

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