Welsh rugby's winners and losers as new referee impresses with bold call but Wales star has day to forget

分类:epaper浏览量:183发布于:1个月前

Rugby returned to Wales on the weekend, with all four regions in derby action.

The Scarlets saw off the Cardiff Blues 32-12 on Saturday, while the Ospreys and Dragons played out a 20-20 draw on Sunday.

But who had a weekend to remember and who would sooner forget the action?

WINNERS

STEFF EVANS AND ASHTON HEWITT

Let's start with these two flying wingers paired together.

When Wayne Pivac picked his first Wales squad to face the Barbarians last year, both were named - proof were if needed that both are well within the mix for Test selection.

And, on rugby's resumption in Wales, both of them wasted little time in showing their credentials.

Evans, complete with a lockdown haircut that could wake many a barber up in a cold sweat, put in an dazzling all-round performance - scoring twice and playing a part in all of the Scarlets' tries. He was, quite simply, a handful.

Read More
  • Welsh rugby's winners and losers as new referee impresses with bold call but Wales star has day to forget epaper 第1张 The construction of Steff Evans' complete performance as Wales' forgotten man takes the headlines

The following day, it was Hewitt who picked up the mantle - also bagging a brace as he helped the Dragons rescue a late draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Hewitt has been nothing short of impressive with his mature dealings of key issues like racism on social media over the summer and deserves all the plaudits he's had so far.

And, just like Evans, he'll have been delighted to hit the ground running back on the rugby pitch after six months away.

ADAM JONES

When it comes to a referee's debut, the last thing you want to be pulling out of your pocket early on is a red card.

That was what new boy Adam Jones was forced to do - handing it out to George North, no less - but Jones, who started his officiating career at Gwernyfed RFC, was clear in his convictions when it came to making the big decision.

Sure, it was a fairly clear red, but lesser officials might have looked for an out in their first match at this level.

Elsewhere, he did a solid job of controlling the breakdown under this season’s fresh directives.

“I thought he did really well for his first outing,” said Ospreys coach Toby Booth.

“He’ll look at his game as do the players and I’m sure he’ll want to put his best foot forward, but I thought he was consistent.

“For a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”

12s CALLED 'WILLIAMS'

If you tallying up the player ratings from both matches, you'd find that two inside centres with the surname Williams would both be placed pretty high up.

In Llanelli, new signing Johnny Williams impressed, amassing the metres with a number of strong carries.

After six years of Hadleigh Parkes occupying a midfield berth at Parc y Scarlets, the transition from life after Hadleigh could be fairly seamless if Johnny keeps up his solid start.

Welsh rugby's winners and losers as new referee impresses with bold call but Wales star has day to forget epaper 第2张Kieran Williams of Ospreys is tackled by Sam Davies

Meanwhile, at the Ospreys, it was the turn of Kieran Williams to steal the show on Sunday.

The official man of the match, the 23-year-old showed his quality with an attacking display that outshone some bigger names - such as Dragons debutant Nick Tompkins.

ED KENNEDY

The Australian back-row wasn't even meant to be starting for the Scarlets on Saturday.

But when Blade Thomson was a late withdrawal, Ed Kennedy stepped into the breach and then some.

He got involved early on, nearly getting past Hallam Amos to dot down early on - before taking a similar chance minutes later to open the scoring.

A hefty break in the second half was a standout moment in an impressive performance from the late call-up.

CALLUM SHEEDY

There were some big performances from Welsh players in the Gallagher Premiership this weekend - perhaps none better than Cardiff native Callum Sheedy.

He pulled the strings expertly at fly-half as Bristol beat Gloucester 33-24 at Kingsholm - their first victory at the ground in 14 years - with his four conversions underpinning an outstanding bonus-point display.

He qualifies for Wales through birth, England through residency and Ireland through his father, as his only appearance for England was in an uncapped match against the Barbarians.

Being uncapped also means the 24-year-old could play for Wales despite plying his club trade across the Severn.

RUGBY AGAINST RACISM

Much of the summer without rugby has been dominated by wider issues that certainly transcend rugby, but the sport's reaction is important nonetheless.

So, it was brilliant to see all of the players take a stand against racism on the weekend by kneeling before kick-off.

The sight of players from all the regions mixed together and taking a knee was undoubtedly a powerful one.

LOSERS

WALES' SCRUM-HALF RIVALS

Pivac would have arrived in Llanelli expecting a mouthwatering battle between two of his scrum-half options - Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams.

Instead, he saw both depart with injuries. Quite how serious either injury was is a little unclear at the moment, although it seems apparent Williams' shoulder knock was worse than Davies' bruised buttock.

But the fact both were denied the chance to really shine after six months of waiting is a shame for both.

The performance of Rhys Webb on Sunday will be some comfort for Pivac, while it will also give Davies and Williams a little extra motivation in what is a battle between three top-class players.

NIGEL OWENS AND BEN WHITEHOUSE

Much of the talk from an officiating standpoint ahead of the restart had been about the breakdown interpretation.

Yet at Parc y Scarlets, the jackal threats of Macleod and Olly Robinson probably weren't rewarded by Nigel Owens as quickly as they should have been for their efforts over the ball.

The officials also had a couple of iffy moments at either ends of the pitch. First up, Steff Evans' second try - where he appeared to have grounded the ball at the same time as Josh Adams - might not have been given by the TMO had he not been backed into a corner by assistant referee Ben Whitehouse's call that the on-field decision should be a try.

And both Owens and Whitehouse were certain Josh Adams' try-scoring pass to Matthew Morgan was flat - only for the TMO's intervention to reveal it was anything but.

GEORGE NORTH

The Wales winger was well on his way to being a winner after forcing his way over for an early try on Sunday.

However, one misjudged moment ruined his afternoon ultimately.

Read More
  • Welsh rugby's winners and losers as new referee impresses with bold call but Wales star has day to forget epaper 第3张 The Wales star who just handed Wayne Pivac a timely lift and the words that should encourage every Dragons fan
Read More
  • Welsh rugby's winners and losers as new referee impresses with bold call but Wales star has day to forget epaper 第4张 George North sent off for 'dangerous' Ashton Hewitt incident after just 14 minutes of Ospreys' draw with Dragons

The clumsy way in which he took Hewitt out of the air didn't have any malice behind it, but it did leave Adam Jones with no choice but to produce the red card.

Given how long all the players have waited to get back on the pitch, it only makes an early departure all the more galling for North.

JOSH TURNBULL

The versatile Cardiff Blues workhorse was handed the captaincy but his day as skipper didn't exactly go to plan.

Turnbull was unable to do much when it came to stopping the Scarlets running away with victory.

And the icing on the cake was when he was sin-binned for killing the ball following a break from Ed Kennedy.

To compound matters, Turnbull was the man who'd missed the initial tackle on Kennedy.

THE OSPREYS

And finally, just a quick one.

While the Ospreys didn't end up on the losing side, the draw against the Dragons did confirm that they would finish this season as Wales' worst region.

Confirmation, if it was really needed, that it's been a campaign they'd sooner forget.

 上一篇 下一篇 

我来回答

猜你喜欢

最近更新

关注我们

qrcode
最近发表
标签列表