Llandovery Match Report

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 Llandovery take the four points

Match report by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Ebbw come away from Church Bank with a losing bonus point after an uncharacteristic performance from Jason Strange`s side.

Straight from the kick-off the home side were on the front foot after the Steelmen’s number eight Ryan Jenkins knocked the ball on to give the home side a scrum on Ebbw’s twenty-two. However, the passage of play came to nothing. 

With numerous penalties being awarded to both sides, the Drovers took the lead through the boot of full back Jack Maynard, after they were awarded a penalty from the scrum with fifteen minutes gone.

The Steelmen hit back from a scrum in the home sides half, when the ball made its way to outside centre Ethan Phillips, who sliced through the home defence at pace to score a very well taken try. However, Lloyd missed the conversion. 

With Llandovery having most of the ball, a neat chip over the top led to the home sides winger Aaron Warren beating the defence and diving on the ball to score the Drover’s first try of the game. Full back Maynard was unable to add the extra’s.

Ebbw were awarded a penalty midway through the half after a home side’s player knocked the ball on. Lloyd uncharacteristically sent the ball wide.

With the Drovers having the majority of the ball, no further points were added to the score during the remainder of the first half.

HT: Llandovery 8-5 Ebbw Vale

After the Steelmen made some early second half changes to the front row, Llandovery had a line out in the away side’s half. The forwards set up a maul, however, the Ebbw pack did well to hold the ball up and stop a try from being scored. 

A second try of the game came for Llandovery, when the home side’s number four Griff Evans charged down a clearance kick from Ebbw scrum half Jon Evans inside the Steelmen’s twenty-two and dived on the ball over the line to score. Full back Maynard was unable to add the two points. 

Within a few minutes the home side scored their third try of the game. A knock on by the away side led to the Drover’s chipping the ball out to their winger, who drew the full back and sent scrum half and captain Lee Rees in under the posts. Maynard added the extra’s.  

After both sides made numerous changes, no further points were added to the scoreline until the last two minutes, where the Ebbw backs broke from their twenty-two and fed the ball to winger Morgan Richards, who showed a turn of pace and sprinted the length of the field to score under the posts. Replacement outside half Meek added the conversation. 

In the last play of the game, the away side were on the Llandovery twenty-two when the referee awarded a penalty. Ebbw replacement Meek kept a cool head to slot the penalty with the last kick of the game.

FT: Llandovery 20-15 Ebbw Vale 

After the game we spoke with try scorer Ethan Phillips who made his fiftieth appearance for the club. Ethan acknowledged Llandovery is a hard place to play rugby, the performance was not the best and too many mistakes were made. Ebbw could not keep hold of the ball until the last two minutes of the game where we started to put together some phase. The work rate was there, we are a hard-working team, however, the skill level let us down.

We also spoke to Geraint Lewis. Geraint was disappointed with the result and the performance. He knew that Llandovery is a hard place to come to, we did not give the best reflection of our selves and did not get our game going. He felt that we were fortunate to come away with a bonus point. 


Steve Phillips has resigned from his position as CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Nigel Walker will take over as Acting CEO with immediate effect.

Current Performance Director Walker has been appointed by WRU chair Ieuan Evans and his Board on an interim basis whilst the recruitment process for a new CEO is established.

The WRU’s chair Evans made an announcement concerning the next steps in the formation of a new external Taskforce which will investigate culture and behaviours on Friday (27/01/23).

Phillips attended the meeting about the new Taskforce, but has since reached the conclusion that he is no longer the person to lead Welsh rugby.

“It is with a huge amount of regret that I have decided to hand in my resignation,” said Phillips.

“I have always had the best interests of Welsh rugby at the heart of my every action and thought, but have come to the conclusion that it is now time for someone else to lead the way.

“This is a sport I love and is so admired around the world and I wish everyone involved in the game every success and my heartfelt best wishes.

“I am absolutely aligned with Ieuan’s commitment to re-examine and further improve the cultures and behaviours at the WRU and fully support the formation of a new independent Taskforce. I am pleased I have been able to start this process for the WRU

“On a personal note, I wish Nigel Walker well and thank all of the dedicated staff at the WRU who can be extremely proud of the efforts and hard work they put in on a daily basis to the betterment of our game.

“I am on record already saying how much I hugely regret the feelings and emotions expressed recently by former members of staff.”

Evans has described the meeting held with the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport and Chief Whip, Dawn Bowden to discuss a new independent Taskforce charged with investigating culture and behaviours within the WRU, as constructive.

He has confirmed Sport Wales will now advise on the process to appoint a Chair to oversee the investigation, set its scope and parameters and recruit key personnel to its panel.

“I thank Steve for his dedication and support for Welsh rugby,” said Evans.

“Steve has spent a large part of his professional career at the WRU, first as Finance Director and more recently as our CEO.  He has made a significant contribution to our progress on the world stage in that time and most recently was instrumental in securing the return of Warren Gatland to the helm of the senior men’s side.

“He also brought in Nigel Walker as our Head of Performance, as one of his first acts as CEO, which has led to the introduction of professional contracts for the Wales Women’s squad and significant progression in the provision for the professional and amateur Women’s and Girls’ game.

“He successfully guided Welsh rugby through the coronavirus pandemic and has secured a new six-year verbal agreement with the PRB (Professional Rugby Board) and a signed ‘heads of terms’ designed to ensure a sustainable future for our professional game.

“We are delighted to be able to call on an individual, a businessman, and former elite sportsman, of Nigel’s calibre to come in as Acting CEO.

“Nigel will work closely with the new Taskforce and help lead us through the next urgent steps, as we seek to learn from the current serious and significant issues we face.”

No allegations were made against Steve Phillips in the recent BBC programme and he was not accused of any wrong doing.

Nigel Walker, OBE, was appointed Performance Director of the Welsh Rugby Union in July 2021.

The former Olympic athlete, Welsh rugby international and Cardiff RFC wing joined from the position of National Director at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and has also held a string of high-profile posts in Welsh sport since retiring from the game in the late 90s.

“There is no doubt that Welsh rugby is facing an existential crisis,” said Walker, who has also worked for the Welsh Institute of Sport and was Head of Sport at BBC Wales for five years and Head of Change for a further four.

This has been a wake-up call.  Perhaps it is a call that has been overdue.  The first step to any recovery is admitting the problem.

“We must now listen intently to what people from outside our organisation are telling us. We care and are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we work hard in this space with dedicated resource and investment.  But we need to do better.  We need to do much better and we will.

“We will take the necessary corrective steps and stick closely to what the new Taskforce advises.

“I would like to add my gratitude to Steve Phillips who is someone I have always found to be open-minded, caring and dedicated to Welsh rugby.

“I will work tirelessly and relentlessly with our chair Ieuan Evans, with our Board and with the newly appointed Taskforce to ensure the WRU progresses to a better place.

“Welsh rugby is an integral part of Welsh society and we need to ensure that we are not only perceived as a welcoming institution with a place for all, but that our every action reflects this in all quarters of our business.”

Walker has also served as a UK Sport Board member from 2006-10, was Chair of the Major Events Panel and a member of the Audit Committee and a Commonwealth Games England Board member between 2014 and 2022.

A former international athlete and rugby union player, he represented Great Britain as a high hurdler before switching to rugby, earning 17 international caps for Wales and was awarded an OBE in 2019.

Your Ebbw Vale side to take on Llandovery RFC in the Indigo Welsh premiership this Saturday at Church Bank, 2:30pm is as follows. We hope to see lot’s of Ebbw supporters at the game shouting on the boy’s!

Follow the match on our social media channels Twitter @evrfc and Facebook www.facebook.com/SteelmanRugby for updates #Steelmen


1 Charley Kearns

2 Rhys Francis (c)

3 Adam Court

4 Dylan Bartlett

5 Andrew Mann

6 Lewis Young

7 Gethin Williams

8 Ryan Jenkins

9 Jonathan Evans 

10 Evan Lloyd

11 Morgan Richards 

12 Dom Franchi

13 Ethan Phillips 

14 Amir Jiwa Walji

15 Haydn Simons


16 Joe Franchi

17 Luke Garrett

18 Harry Drane

19 Curtis Gregory

20 Chad Thomas

21 Joe Thomas

22 Matthew Flanagan 

23 Kieran Meek


The Premier Division Clubs that participate in the Indigo Group Premiership of the WRU are astonished and appalled by the allegations of sexism, racism and misogyny levelled at the Welsh Rugby Union by a BBC Wales Investigation broadcast on the 23rd January 2023.

The Premier Division Clubs concur with the stated aims of the WRU which include, ”to increase participation opportunities by working with partners to deliver a diverse and inclusive rugby menu across all communities in Wales” and ”to create, implement and develop a sustainable alternative rugby programme with inclusivity at its heart-a jersey for all”.

Consequently, the Premier Division Clubs expect swift and decisive action to be taken, in addressing these extremely serious and damaging allegations, that will eradicate this appalling alleged behaviour and provide a future that is accessible and comfortable, for all within Welsh Rugby.

Looking ahead to this week`s away game to Llandovery, we spoke to team manager Dan Haymond. 

Dan said the loss to Llandovery earlier in the season was a tough pill for Ebbw to swallow. He felt the team had done enough to win but it was not to be on the day. The coaches are hoping to see improvements in the set piece from that point in the season. Hopefully the boys can get over the line this time and are working hard to make that happen. 

After the last game the lads have been working hard on our transitions in attack and converting time spent in the opponents 22 into points, as that was a disappointing stat after the loss to RGC last time out. 

The mood in camp is still very positive. Obviously some results have not gone our way but the players and coaches have created a great culture and are tight as a squad and striving to improve every week.

Llandovery is a tough place to go and have always been a strong team in the league. They are a team that like to play, have some quality players and just from looking at their league position this year, that is evident. We are confident if we go there and put into practice what we have been working on, then we can come out on the right side of the result this time.

Club Statement

Ebbw Vale RFC is committed to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusivity is at the forefront of our culture within the club for players, staff, volunteers, sponsors and supporters.  We are disappointed and dismayed to hear some of the allegations revealed in this week’s BBC programme regarding the WRU.  We stand with every other club in calling for transformation of the WRU structure and governance standards without delay. Welsh Rugby holds a special place in the future of Wales and therefore it is the duty of the governing body to ensure that its actions are in keeping with a modern and inclusive country

Sport provides the perfect platform within our communities to ensure everyone has equal opportunities and to this end, EVRFC will continue to implement our culture of inclusivity throughout the club and our activities.


Our home fixture against Merthyr has now been re-arranged for Friday 10th of March, the game will kick off at 7:30pm. This is the night before Italy v Wales in the 6 Nations.

The Ebbw Vale side to take on Cardiff RFC in the Indigo Welsh premiership this Saturday at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium, 2:30pm is as follows.

Let’s have a big home crowd shouting on the Steelmen and pack the bank!

Tickets can be pre purchase here in advance ps://www.evrfc.co.uk/product/21st-january-cardiff/

Follow the match on our social media channels Twitter @evrfc and Facebook www.facebook.com/SteelmanRugby for updates #Steelmen


1 Charley Kearns

2 Rhys Francis (c)

3 Adam Court

4 Dylan Bartlett

5 Andrew Mann

6 Lewis Young

7 Gethin Williams

8 Ryan Jenkins

9 Jonathan Evans 

10 Evan Lloyd

11 Morgan Richards 

12 Dom Franchi

13 Ethan Phillips 

14 Amir Jiwa Walji

15 Haydn Simons


16 Joe Franchi

17 Luke Garrett

18 Harry Drane

19 Curtis Gregory

20 Chad Thomas

21 Joe Thomas

22 Matthew Flanagan 

23 Kieran Meek

The Ebbw Vale side to take on RGC in the Indigo Welsh premiership this Saturday at Stadium CSM, Colwyn Bay, 2:30pm is as follows.

Follow the match on our social media channels Twitter @evrfc and Facebook www.facebook.com/SteelmanRugby for updates #Steelmen


15 Morgan Richards

14 Carrick McDonough

13 Ethan Phillips

12 Dom Franchi

11 Ryan Davies

10 Evan Lloyd 

9 Jonathan Evans

1 Luke Garrett

2 Joe Franchi (c) 

3 Harry Drane

4 Dylan Bartlett

5 Andrew Mann

6 Lewis Young

7 Joe Thomas

8 Ryan Jenkins


16 Rhys Francis

17 Charley Kearns 

18 Adam Court

19 Jakub Malecki

20 Gethin Williams 

21 Matthew Flanagan  

22 Kieron Meek

23 Amir Jiwa Walji

RGC vs Ebbw Vale preview 

By Alex Kineall-Evans

Follow the game on our social media channels Twitter @evrfc and facebook https://www.facebook.com/SteelmanRugby

With Ebbw on the road again this weekend against RGC, we spoke with scrum coach Aaron Coundley. Looking forward to the game Aaron said, RGC will be a very organised team and a well drilled side, who will be a challenge to the break down, regardless of whether we play them home or away.

Even though we came away from Llanelli with a bonus point, the squad felt we were no where near our best. It`s a credit to the squad to gain a try scoring bonus point victory away from home and still be dissatisfied. That shows their expectation, and we will look to be more clinical against RGC. 

The positives we will take from the Llanelli game is the job we set out to do was completed and that is credit to this squad of players and coaches.

Whilst It is nice to get a run of six league wins together, we don`t get carried away with the league table, especially as we have a big month ahead. We take each game at a time and the excitement is the same every week and that`s set by the environment and culture of our team. 

Ebbw Vale come away with the five points 

Report by Alex Kinsella-Evans

The Steelmen came away from Llanelli with a bonus point victory in a game that was played in poor weather conditions.

Straight from the kick-off, former Llanelli player Ryan Jenkins knocked the ball on and an offside player gave a penalty away. However, the following play came to nothing.

With the home side on top and the game being played inside the Ebbw Vale half, Llanelli won a lineout. The home side forwards kept the ball before the ball made its way to centre Eddie James to score the home sides first try of the game. Josh Phillips successfully kicked the conversion. 

From a scrum within the away sides half, the Steelmen’s outside half Kieran Meek put in a wonderful 50:22 kick against the wind, to put the away side inside the Llanelli twenty two. From the line out, Ebbw were awarded a scrum, which came to nothing.

With the away side forwards coming more into the game, the referee awarded a penalty due to the Llanelli forwards illegally attempting to stop the rolling maul. From which, the Steelmen’s number ten Meek kicked the ball into the home sides twenty two. Ebbw won the line out and from the resulting play, the referee awarded the home side’s inside centre Jack Price a yellow card for repeated infringements. However, the away side were unable to take advantage from the penalty. 

With the play just inside the Llanelli half, the ball made its way to Ebbw Vale’s outside half Meek, who had great vision to put in a cross-field kick to speedster Ryan Davies in space.  With plenty still to do, the young winger caught the ball on the bounce, put in a sidestep and sped past the covering defence to go over for a well taken try. Meek added the extra two points. 

Mid way through the first half, Llanelli were awarded a penalty inside the away side’s twenty-two due to a player not rolling away from the ball. Josh Phillips added the three points. 

The away side nearly added their second try of the game when winger Davies was fed the ball and ran down the wing, only to be denied by a hand in touch when being tackled going over the line. The resulting line out in the home twenty-two to the home side was not straight. 

From the scrum the Steelmen’s forwards turned on the power and pushed the home side forwards back and former Llanelli number eight Ryan Jenkins dived on the ball over the line to score his side’s second try of the game. Meek added the extra’s.

With the home side gaining some ball, the referee awarded a penalty just outside the Ebbw Vale twenty-two. Llanelli full back Phillips again added the extra’s. 

On the stroke of half time, from a line out, the ball made its way to Ebbw Vale’s Number eight Ryan Jenkins, who at pace burst through three tackles before being stopped illegally just outside the Llanelli twenty-two for a penalty to the Steelmen. Meek slotted the three points.  

Half Time: Llanelli 13-17 Ebbw Vale

Inside the first five minutes of the second half, the home side gave away three consecutive penalties. The third from just outside the home twenty-two for a no arms tackle. Ebbw’s Meek added three points to the scoreboard. 

The home side came straight back at the Steelmen and the referee awarded another penalty to Llanelli for ill-discipline. The home side’s Phillips added the three points. 

From the restart, the Llanelli winger knocked the ball on. The away side won a free kick from the scrum and from a snipping run by scrum half Matthew Flanagan, the forwards were stopped just short of the try line. However, the referee awarded Ebbw a penalty in front of the posts, which the away side elected to take a scrum. From the base of the scrum, the ball was fed to outside centre Ethan Phillips, who darted between two defenders to go over the line to score a well taken try. Meek was unsuccessful with the conversation. 

With the Llanelli forwards coming back into the game, a penalty was awarded to the home side and the Steelmen’s inside centre Dom Franchi received a yellow card for being offside. Phillips added the three points for the home side.  

The Ebbw forwards won a scrum on the halfway line and the ball was fed to replacement outside half Evan Lloyd, who put in a wonderful cross-field 50:22 kick to gain the away side a line out in the Llanelli twenty-two. The away side won the line out and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, with the Llanelli number eight Nathan Hart being yellow carded for being offside, to put both sides down to fourteen men.  Replacement outside half Evan Lloyd slotted the penalty. 

Some quick ball to the backs outside the Llanelli twenty-two resulted in full back Morgan Richards putting in a grubber kick which the covering defender took over the touch line. Quick thinking from the line out by Ebbw replacement scrum half Jon Evans, led to Harry Drane charging over for a bonus point try. Lloyd unfortunate to miss the conversation from the touch line.

Entering the last ten minutes of play, Ebbw Vale replacement prop Lewis Kinsella received a yellow card for throwing the ball away. With the home side camped inside the Ebbw twenty-two, the referee awarded a penalty. Llanelli chose to take the scrum and from open play the home side’s flanker Iwan Shenton dived over for the try. Phillips slotted the extra’s. 

In the last moments of the game, Llanelli were caught offside just inside their twenty-two. Lloyd added the three points.   

The Llanelli side battered at the home sides try line with the last play of the game. However, the Steelmen were resolute and kept them out to win the game.

Full Time: Llanelli 26-36 Ebbw Vale 

Man Of The Match: Lewis Young

After the game we spoke to Ebbw Vale scrum coach Arron Coundley.  Arron said the conditions played its part in making the game not much of a spectacle, especially in the second half. However, he was happy to come away by winning the game ugly than not at all. Aaron acknowledged the performance was not what was wanted but the team came away with the five points and was pleased with the progress the team has made since last season. 

We also caught up with man of the match Lewis Young. Commenting on the game Lewis thought Llanelli made it tough for the Steelmen. He added the coaches highlighted the areas that required improvement during half time. He was aware there were areas of the game that need to be improved before playing against RGC next week but as a team they know what went wrong and what they have to put right. 

Report by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Supporters bus for RGC on Saturday January 14th

Leaving Wetherspoons Ebbw Vale at 9am on the Saturday and returning 10am on Sunday 15th Jan. This is an overnight stay bus  

There is a 2hr stop off in Hereford on the Sunday, aiming to be back at 6:30pm in Ebbw Vale, Sunday.

You will need to book your own hotel room/s at the Premier Inn, Glan Conwy Llandudno junction.

Let’s have lots of Ebbw support to shout on the Steelmen in RGC👍🏻🇭🇺

To book your BUS seat please contact Adders on 07816153355


Ebbw Vale Side To Play Llanelli RFC

The Ebbw Vale side to take on Llanelli RFC this Thursday evening in the Indigo Welsh premiership at Parc Y Scarlets, 7:30pm is as follows.

The game is on TV via the S4C Clic, YouTube, Facebook channels





15. Morgan Richards

14. Carrick McDonough 

13. Ethan Phillips 

12. Dom Franchi

11. Ryan Davies

10 Kieran Meek

9. Matthew Flanagan 

8. Ryan Jenkins

7. Lewis Young 

6. Chad Thomas

5. Curtis Gregory

4. Dylan Bartlett 

3. Adam Court

2. Rhys Francis (c)

1. Joel Harries 


16. Joe Franchi 

17. Lewis Kinsella 

18. Harry Drane 

19. Morgan Thomas

20. Joe Thomas 

21. Jonathan Evans 

22. Evan Lloyd 

23. Amir Jiwa Walji