Sunday, 28 December 2008

Happy 2009

The Xmas Grudge match was very much enjoyed. I hope everyone has an excellent Xmas and New Year. Home game against Penlan Jan 4th, details to follow. If the gloves are too small and still fit for exchange I'll aim swap them with the company. Sizes were small boys or large boys - I guessed in rugby terms 7 year old were the former but we feed them well!
See you next week

Saturday, 20 December 2008


No morning training session.
Meet 1pm at UNDERHILL weather permitting for Parents/grandparents verses Pirates.
Move up to Cricket Club for Xmas presentation by Shane 2-30pm to 3-30pm(have lunch first/bring snacks, no food available @ Underhill or Cricket Club except bar snacks).Bring things for autographs if you wish + change of clothes (hoodies & beanies for pirates) etc.
Look forward to seeing you all in your boots ready for action - the old magic never leaves you!
Can everyone check their beanie for Thomas T's name inside - got swapped by incompetent ref last week!

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Shane can make it 2.30-3.30 on Sunday for Xmas presentation at the cricket club. MUMS/DADS/BROTHERS/SISTERS/GRANDPARENTS tag match 1.45 Cricket Club. On this occasion winning is everything!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


A very productive training session with genuine flahes of potential to achieve our next goal and performance level. Quite simply this is realizing the importance of teamwork and working together rather than individuals. We must all emphasize the importance of support, passing and position: communicating together to make attacking or defencive lines. Training on Sunday 9.45 -11.15 Bishopston. Players of the week will go to the strongest contributors to teamwork and we will encourage the keen runners to learn about unselfish options and the power of the 'team'.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Training is a success

Many Thanks to all who helped make our training session a success on the weekend.
As was foretold the Mumbles Pirates showed great spirit and some hefty challenges proved a bit too dangerous at times, but it shows that they all want the success in being part of a team who are going places, not to mention enjoying themselves, which clearly showed in their playing and movement.
Defense and Attacking formations were heavily worked on and paid off with some great passing movements whilst looking to keep these positions.
Training this Sunday at our adopted home ground Bishopston for 9.45am start, please. Finally i want to say a big well done to our players of the week Alex and Max a great effort guys :)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Weekend Plans: Training at Bishopston and Parents' Do at the Club

Friday Night: Don't forget the Minis Section Xmas Do at Mumbles Rugby Club. From 8 till late. Rav's Quiz starts at 8:30 followed by Disco. Only £3 a ticket with all proceeds going to the teams. You can pay on the door or get a ticket from Mike (7s) or Donna (9s). Come along and support the club. All parents / grandparents / friends / anyone are welcome. Drag someone along or just pop in for a pint.

Sunday: Change of plan. Morriston have double booked and cancelled their match. The Pirates will be training at Bishopston 9.45 start.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Lots of complements from the opposition about our close fought 7;5 game with Pencoed. They were the best drilled team I have seen and so far undefeated so it was great to give them such a competetive game. We will have to adopt the defence cry "READY, SET, OUT" which really focused the taggers.

With the cold weather the hoodies and beanies were a very useful addition.

Tony's Match Report

1st Half
As they lined up before the start, immediately the contrast between the two sides was clear. Mumbles a fun loving bunch of free runners was up against a well organised and intimidating team. I was half expecting to see a haka. The game did not start well with Pencoed powering through the Crossbones line for their first try (A lot to do with very cold hands not being able to tag). Pencoed continued to run and pass strongly scoring five tries. However, the Crossbones flair showed through and the team came back to score three tries using our secret weapon Will. (3-5)
2nd Half
Just like last week the benefit of training showed and the defensive line became stronger as the game went on. Liam scored a very quick try. The Crossbones seemed to have a self belief and were working well together. An unfortunate dropped ball lead to another Pencoed try. The Crossbones dug deep and faced up to Pencoed who shouted out calls to each other as they lined up. Some good running lead to Will’s fourth try and it was only a very good run by Pencoed that enabled them to get a try close to the end. (2-2)
On reflection a 5 to 7 loss is not bad and parents/coaches must be proud as the Crossbones showed great heart and some fine rugby skills to compete with such an organised team on such a bitterly cold day.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Sunday 30th November Pencoed Double Whammie

As Pencoed are fielding 2 U8 teams we plan to play both the Skulls & Crossbones. Both teams to meet at 9.30 to train with the Crossbones kicking off first as soon as Pencoed are ready. Skulls will play as soon as a pitch is available. Dress v warm, 2-3 layers, gloves & hats.Hotdogs at the Cricket club afterwards with Pencoed. Hoodies out tomorrow!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Tony's South Gower Report

1st half
A break in the winter rain allowed two well balanced teams produce some fine
running rugby. The first try went to Mumbles after a great run by Ryan.
South Gower then replied with a fine try. It was a credit to the effort put
into their training that the boys produced such an entertaining game despite
the very cold conditions. Each side could have scored several tries.

2nd half
South Gower scored first and in previous games Mumbles would have let the
flood gates open. However, the boys worked well as a team and tagged
extremely well. The play went from side to side as each team's tagging
created turnovers. The deadlock was finally broken by Max who scored
following a tremendous run. South Gower almost scored in the dying seconds
but the defence held strong. Well done to all the SKULLS who showed a lot of
improvement. I'm sure the CROSSBONES will do us proud next week after
training hard this week.

This weekend Sunday is at Bishopston again for a home game against Pencoed. They also have 2 teams we have found out. Having seen already the benefit of training sessions the working plan is for the crossbones to play each Pencoed team in turn to allow a full 930-1100 training for the skulls. If any crossbones want a rest rather than play twice we'll draft in the skulls as required. Everyone is welcome back at the Cricket Club after and we are short of volunteers to boil the hotdogs!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Sunday 23 November

See Alex's blog below about us splitting the squads. Further to this - can we all meet in Bishopston this Sunday (23 November) at 10:00.

The Skulls will have a warm-up and short training session followed by a game against South Gower, kick-off at 11:00.

The Crossbones will have a full training session.

There will be food and drinks back at the Mumbles Cricket Club afterwards, everyone's welcome.

Split Squads - the New Formula for Success

After the glory days of an undefeated season (like all great teams!) the Pirates have hit on a lean patch. For the most part there are positive forces underlying this – match after match without training time (which the kids love) and a recent swell in numbers, a brilliant foundation for the future but reducing game time in the present. I have no doubt if we fielded a squad the same size as our opponents (who often struggle to have 10 players) or favoured our strongest team at the expense of others we could well continue our winning ways. However, this challenges the fundamental goals and ethos of our team, built on enjoyment, fun, inclusion and to nurture and fulfil potential for all. I have been speaking to the other year group coaches who (believe it or not) highlight their positive experiences of a losing streak as a stimulus for focus and improvement. We plan to follow the example of the U10s and U9s who also have full squads and split in two working groups – easy to name for us: the Skulls and the Crossbones!

One squad will train and the other will play the match with warm-up and training fitted around. The intention is to have two groups of equal ability and potential (not A & B) and they will be shuffled and mingled regularly once we are up and running. For away matches one team will travel and the other will train at home (whether that be Underhill or Bishopston) – we will endeavour to accommodate all logistical issues (those with brothers in other teams / parents who car share etc) nearer the time. We will also use the mini-teams on non-match days for training exercises. This will of course only work if everyone gives training sessions the same priority as matches and as in all teams attendance will be one selection criterion. Remember the coaching staff is made up solely of parent volunteers – why not come and join us?

Jake C*
Max P
Tomasz B
Thomas T
Cai B-L*
Ryan C*
Max B*
Rhydian D
Josh B
Connor M
James F
Rory D


Will M
Liam T
Megan F*
Elias A*
Ioan H*
Tomos A
Tal E*
Matthew G
Alex D
Connor O’S
Freddie B
Sean M
Dylan T

* coach parent
This weekend the skulls will face South Gower and next week the Crossbones will take on Morriston!! both at home (Bishopston)with training for the other squad.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

After Match Drinks at Mumbles CRICKET Club

Good to hear about the tough battles while I've been away. We are all invited with the U&,U9 and U10 to the CRICKET club after this Sunday's game at Bishopston. This could be an opportunity to discuss any issues with parents - there are some ideas we are entertaining to maximize training time given that the fixture list is so heavy. Quietly confident that the Pirates hoodies and beanies may be available too!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sunday 9th November - Cowbridge RFC

We have a match this Sunday (9th November) against a touring side from Cowbridge RFC which will be played at Bishopston School playing fields, the same venue as last weekend. Kick-off will be at 11:00 and we will have a training session beforehand, so please meet at Bishopston at 9:45.

There will be food and drinks back at the clubhouse afterwards with Cowbridge, everyone's welcome. I'll let you know arrangements later on in the week.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Match Report - Gowerton RFC

Catch me if you can!

1st half - It was a cold dry morning at Bishopston, our adopted home ground. The early score by Gowerton was followed swiftly by a swerving run from half way by Rhydian who crossed for a try. This set the scene for a fine running game of rugby. The extra practice on keeping the line paid off. Will again showed his skills with a run down the wing setting up a try for Ryan. Gowerton answered with a try. Some excellent tagging resulted in a turnover and a try for Will. (3-2)

2nd half - Some good running and passing enabled Elias to start the scoring with a fine try. Gowerton scored. Max made a snaking run hugging the sideline and set up Liam’s first try. Mumbles showed their team work with good passing, fast running and excellent support. Elias started a move, passed to Megan who ran well and passed to Will who went over for his second try. Elias was prominent again with a last minute tag to prevent a try, but Gowerton kept up the pressure and scored a short time later. Connor also made an excellent tag to halt a long swerving run by a Gowerton player. Unfortunately this move was finished by Gowerton scoring again. Gowerton had a further two tries in the half and took the lead that they never lost. (6-7)

3rd half - Gowerton were quick off the blocks again for another try. Mumbles replied after some good running especially by Liam that resulted in Max scoring by the corner flag. Gowerton scored a try. Will was able to finish one of his many runs with a great solo try. However, Mumbles then showed great teamwork to provide Will with his fourth try. Gowerton scored again before Liam finished off with his second try. (10-11)

The players of the week were Max and Matthew. Max showed some fine running skills and a try, whilst Mathew was rewarded for his teamwork and support play. Josh had a good game with fine tagging and good support play. Well done to all the players who made this game so enjoyable to watch. It was unlucky to lose such a fine game.

Half term holidays and illness meant that we were short on coaches this week so many thanks to Paul for helping with the training and running behind the team during the match; to Matthew's mum for looking after the substitutions and to Rhydian's mum and dad for the match report and the photos.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Sunday 2nd November - Match vs Gowerton RFC NOW AT BISHOPSTON

EDIT: The 'home' match against Gowerton has been moved to Bishopston School Playing fields, due to Underhill being very busy with cup matches this Sunday. To get there, drive over the common past the garage and turn left into The Glebe, just before the hill goes down to Bishopston Valley. The School and Playing Fields are at the bottom of the Glebe. Gowerton have been informed, and the arrangements for timings remain as before....Please note for any sibling arrangements that the 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s and 13s will all be at Bishopston this week.

Our next match is this Sunday at HOME to Gowerton RFC. Gowerton will arrive at 10:30 with kick-off shortly afterwards. Please can we meet at 9:30 for a full training session before the match. Sorry about the late notice of the fixture, Gowerton have just returned my call.

The coaches (Rob, Ceri, Will and Alex) recently had a meeting and discussed, amongst other things, training or the lack of it due to so many fixtures. It was decided that in order to develop rugby skills, a full training session would be held before each home fixture, hence, the 9:30 start.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Match Report 19 October - Skewen

Great photos from Tony for the Skewen game - showing excellent two handed ball control (Elias to note!!). Hopefully this makes up for the poor commentary, as I missed most of the game.... The first half ended without score, but in the second half Skewen pulled way to finish 2-0. A small pitch with lots of players meant it was difficult to find space, but highlights the need for the team to drive forward with good support and accurate passing.

Will took away this week's player of the week award for an inspired and consistent contribution to this team this season. Could he and Liam both bring the trophies back next week!!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sunday 26th October - Match vs Penclawdd RFC

Our next match is on Sunday 26th October away at Penclawdd. We will meet at their ground at 10:30 for a run around before the game kicks off at 11:00. Directions to the ground can be found here.

It's the first weekend of half-term and Ceri, Alex and Will are away so Rob will be looking after the team on his own. If there are any parents who could help out next weekend, I'm sure that Rob would greatly appreciate it.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Next Sunday - Skewen

We have been invited to Skewen for a match next Sunday. They have a thriving junior section so it should be a great morning out.

It is a bit of a trek, but if we could aim to get there for about 10:00 they have promised an early kick off (10:30) so we'll be back in good time. The Mumbles 7s, 8, 9, 10, and 11s are going, so there should be plenty of opportunity for car share and lifts.

It takes about 25 minutes to get there from Mumbles. Directions to Skewen rugby club can be found by clicking here. The ground is at Tennant Park (SA10 6HU) on the way to Neath. I think the best way to is all the way along Oystermouth Road and cross the river turning up towards Llansamlet (A217). Carry on to Llansamlet and turn right onto the A48 (towards the M4). When you get to the roundabout for the M4, take the exit to Skewen (4th exit A4230), after about a mile, take a right turn into Christopher Road, take the second right into Coombes road and then straightish on towards Charles Street. The club and playing fields will be in front of you. The club website is here.

Match Report 12 Oct - South Gower

Thanks to all the parents who got 20 boys (and Meg) down to South Gower on Sunday, despite a last minute cancellation by Bonymaen (apologies also for the last minute cancellation of the previous week's game against Fall Bay -we'll have to put some thought into how we communicate better in the future).

Another lovely day meant we got a good training session in before half the squad took on Swansea Uplands. Will and Freddie (first try of the season - well done) scored for the Pirates, good runs from Rhydian, Max, Connor and a great interception from Liam. Despite some great tagging the final score was 5-2 to Swansea Uplands.

The second squad met South Gower and were unable this time to cross the line. Thomas had a great run early in the game and Elias and Dylan both showed good speed down the pitch. The team all tagged well, with Josh picking up the Player of the Week award for crucial tags leading to turnovers for Mumbles.

Both sets of opposition showed excellent defence, which we found very difficult to penetrate. This is a good lesson for us in maintaining the defensive line throughout the game, not just at the start of a play. We also lost possession a number of times, so we need to to think about our passing and picking up loose ball.

See you all on Sunday to work on this!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Sunday 12th October - Match vs Bonymaen

The match against Bonymaen tommorrow has been CANCELLED. We received a telephone call on Saturday evening saying that they do not have an U8's team ...... why they left it until so late to tell us is anybody's guess!!

We have a match tomorrow against South Gower RFC. Could the whole U8 squad (in other words: Bonymaen squad to South Gower) meet at the South Gower ground at 10:00 for a 10:30 kick-off. Directions can be found here: South Gower RFC .

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Subs and Registration Due

All Players - please make sure you have completed the standing order form for the team subs. If you haven't got a form, ask one of the coaches. You can take the form directly to your bank. Or bring it to Mike down the park. Better still, if you have internet banking you can set it up at home using our details from the form.

New Players - please make sure you have filled in the Registration form. Return it to your coach asap.

Sunday 12th October

There are two matches this Sunday against Bonymaen and South Gower both away from home. Bonymaen only have a small squad of U8's which would have meant only a few minutes game time for each of the players, so we've decided to split the squad to give everybody a full match.

Bonymaen Squad
The match is away at Bonymaen, meet at their ground at 10:30 for an 11:00 kick-off. Directions to their ground can be found towards the bottom of this link. The squad is:
Max Bowyer
Cai Beynon-Lloyd
Connor Mort
Connor O'Shea
Elias Ash
Ethan Bippus
Freddie Bull
Joshua Bottomley
Max Phillips
Rhydian Davies
Sean Morgan
Tomasz Bielak

South Gower squad
The match is away at South Gower, meet at their ground at 10:00 for a 10:30 kick-off. Directions to South Gower can be found on their website South Gower RFC. The squad is:
Alex Dunstan
Dylan Taylor
Ioan House
James Fender
Liam Taylor
Matthew Gully
Megan Ferguson
Ryan Cole
Tal Edwards
Thomas Truscot
Tomos Alderman
Will Mellowship

My apologies if I have left anybody out. Give me a call if I have left you out or if there any problems or queries.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Sunday 5th October - Match vs Fall Bay RFC

We are playing Fall Bay U8's this Sunday (5th October) at home at Underhill Park. Kick-off will be at 10:00 or as close to as we can manage, so please arrive for 9:30 for a brief training session.

Loughor were going to come along this Sunday but have now pulled out, we'll just be playing Fall Bay.

Match Report 28 Sept - Swansea Uplands

Fantastic weather on Sunday meant we had squad of 20 for training followed by the game against Swansea Uplands. Alex and Ceri demonstrated their newly acquired coaching skills (did you notice!!) which gave the squad a chance to practice their tagging and passing during the warm up.

Thanks to Jan (Will's mum) for taking notes of the game, which I'll crudely summarise... Will continued this season's unbroken record of scoring in the first few minutes. Uplands responded with three tries, even though Tal, Meg, Will and Thomas showed some great tagging. Meg just missed out on a try, which was followed by Will bringing the score to 2-3. Two further Uplands tries meant we were trailing 2-5 at half time.

Rhydian opened the scoring in the second half, and despite good tagging from Liam and Jake, Uplands landed another try. Jake then lead an excellent comeback for the pirates, by scoring the next try, which was followed up by great team defence and Jake getting good turnover ball. A good run by Will and Liam lead to Liam's try, with Rhydian's second try bringing the scores level at 6-6. Uplands managed one more try before Will tied the final score at 7-7.

Will (the coach!) brought the squad together to present this week's players of the week awards, which went to Liam for some great forward running and determination and Rhydian for making such an impact in only his second game for Mumbles. Well done boys (and girl) and sorry everyone couldn't get a mention, but there's always this Sunday against Fall Bay. Will will post more details later in the week.

Thanks to Rhydian's dad for the photos.

Pirates at the Liberty Stadium

Great excitement for the lucky ten (Will, Liam, Megan, Tal, Jake, Thomas, Tomasz, Cai, Elias and Max) who took to the pitch hot on the heels of the Ospreys at half time. Will burned up the pitch in the first seconds of the game to score against the competition - Bridgend South. Following an equaliser, Liam scored in the far corner and Bridgend managed to get one back to finish the game at two all. Tomasz proved his 'player of the week award' by delivering some excellent tagging, along with Meg, Tal, Max and Jake. Strong running and passing by Thomas, Elias and Cai resulted in a memorable day for the team.

Thanks to the families and supporters who came to cheer the team along. Hope you've all got copies of the programme which lists the team's names - any photos for the blog gratefully received!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

2 spare tickets

We have 2 spare tickets for the Ospreys game, £10 each, please ring Alex 402057 if wanted.

photos from dunvant game

Thanks to ConnorO's dad for some great action shots!

Friday, 26 September 2008

Ospreys v Ulster Team Meeting Time 16:30

Can the team of ten meet at Frankie & Bennys at 1630 changed and in track suits to collect tickets and enter together (team only) through the player's tunnel. Please ring Alex (402057/07814717334) to confirm as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Ospreys vs Ulster Saturday 27th September

We are really excited to be invited at short notice to field a team to play tag at half time in this Saturday's Ospreys game against Ulster. The downside is we are limited to 10 players, although we are likely to get another opportunity later in the season. I know there will be disappointment for those we cant take this time and we decided to offer first choice to those who have been with us the longest and put in the most appearances through the cold winter! The team list is: Will Mellowship, Elias Ash, Liam Taylor, Megan Ferguson, Tomasz Bielak, Jake Chase, Cai B-L, Max Phillips, Thom Truscot and Tal Edwards. Tickets will be at reduced cost if we get enough supporters also! Kick off is 17.30pm. See everyone Sunday for our home game against Uplands.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Sunday 28th September - Match vs Uplands RFC

The matches against Dunvant and Skewen were a great start to the season, well done. The next match is on Sunday 28th September against Uplands RFC. The match will be at HOME at Underhill Park. We will meet at 9:30 for a training and warm-up session and will aim for a kick-off between 10:00 and 10:15 as soon as the U7's have finished.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Match Report, Dunvant 21 Sept

Great turnout for the pirates at their first games of the 2008/9 season. Rob and Mark clearly did a excellent motivational job in warming up the squad (or was it Alex's promise of the inaugural player of the week awards for the best taggers?) as the results were two wins against Dunvant and Skewen.

There was no stopping Will who scored the first of a few tries against Dunvant in the opening seconds of the game. Jake and Thomas also touched down with some amazing running. Congratulations to ConnorO, Rhydian, Ryan, ConnorM and Alex, who made their debut performances for Mumbles - especially Ryan who almost scored a try. I was good to see Elias, Tomasz, Cai, Max, Tal, Ethan and Josh back in action this season who all showed they'd been listening to the coaches with great tagging and some good runs.

At the end of the game Alex highlighted some of the positives - no forward passes, no running into touch and winning(!!), but a bit of work on holding the ball with two hands. Thomas and Tomasz were the first recipients of the player of the week awards for their tagging - congratulations, and don't forget to bring them back next week....

Keep your eye on the blog towards the end of the week for an update on Sunday's action - currently scheduled for a HOME game against Swansea Uplands.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Sunday 21st September - Dunvant

Our first match of the new season will be on Sunday 21st September away at Dunvant RFC. We will meet at Dunvant at 10:30 for a half hour warm-up/training session for an 11:00 kick-off. We'll play three 10 minutes periods, which given the numbers turning up this season, should mean that everyone will get a good run out.

Hot dogs and warm coffee will be available.

Directions and a map to the club can be found at Dunvant RFC

Directions are also given on the Crusaders Web Site, HERE.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Training Sunday 14th September

The good weather brought an excellent turn-out and a special welcome to all the new players. Exercises focused again on keeping possession when tagged, watching out for the touchline and keeping the line in defence. Some fine running and tagging.

Next week Waunarlwydd has been unable to raise a team so we are looking for a replacement. If not we will have a mini -match /tournament amoungst ourselves to get match practice. The under 7's have laid down a challenge to our new members to form a team for their first match!

Sunday will also see us introducing our two player of the week awards.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Training Sunday 7th Sepember

A great turn out for the start of the season and a very positive and productive session. Special thanks to the new coaching team of Ceri, Mike, Mark and Chris for all their efforts. The focus of today's training was to introduce the importance of retaining possession especially after being tagged. Remember CATCH, RUN, TAG, PASS OR STOP!
Same time, same place next week.

Monday, 18 August 2008

New season starts...

Sunday 31st August, Underhill Park, 9:30.

Registration and subs day: Sunday 7th September, Underhill Park, 9:30.

First match: Sunday 21st September, Underhill Park, vs Waunarlwydd, time to be confirmed.