2015/2016 Premiership Challenge Cup
Neath 20 v 22 Llanelli
19 January 2016 - The Gnoll, Neath

Match Report

Away win in the Fosters Challenge Cup

Gareth Walters admits the inaugural Foster's Challenge Cup competition has given the Principality Premiership clubs a much-needed platform to introduce younger talent into their sides.

The Llanelli full-back starred with a try and two conversions against Neath at The Gnoll as Dai Flanagan's youthful side came from 14-8 behind at half-time to win their second match in Pool A.

Victory kept their faint hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive – and Walters believes the introduction of the Challenge Cup has boosted the competition for places within the Llanelli ranks.

He said: "It's been good (Challenge Cup) – it's given the younger boys an opportunity to play while some of the other lads are away in the British & Irish Cup.


"It gives boys the opportunity to step into the Premiership side and more than anything it's about getting a winning streak going and getting more confidence in camp.

"In cup rugby it's all about coming away with the win which is what we did, so we're obviously happy."

Neath wing Josh Jones bagged the game's first try after a Iwan Evans penalty before Walters levelled proceedings by scoring and converting his own try.

The Welsh All Blacks, who also named several youngsters from the outset, went ahead again before the break with a try from Tonna centre Jack Anderson – but Llanelli responded immediately after the restart as centre Matthew Pearce crossed over.

Neath continued to battle and looked destined for victory when replacement James Roberts crossed over on 62 minutes.

But it was another replacement, Nathan Hart, who broke Neath hearts as he barged over the whitewash late on after several phases of attacks to seal the win.

Walters added: "It was a real scrap. We had a few opportunities in the first half but didn't really capitalise on them which we spoke about at half-time.

"We just about came out on top and scraped the win in the end by two points.

"At this time of the year you expect to play a lot of up-front rugby, but we tried to come out with a bit of flair.

"It didn't quite work in the first half, but we tried to throw it around a bit more in the second half so I think that's what got us the win in the end."

Neath: Tries: J Jones, J Anderson, J Roberts; Pen: I Evans

Llanelli: Tries: G Walters, M Pearce, N Hart; Cons: G Walters (2)

Neath RFC 20 -22 Llanelli RFC


courtesy of SWEP 

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Attendance: 450

Official : Simon Mills (Wales)

Neath Llanelli