A Step Back in Time Report 1920/21 v International XV


(By Percy Jones)

SEASON 1920/21 

Thursday 21st April 1921


(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)


Those who had justly expected to witness traditional Cymric football at its best from the representative Welsh XV who played the Carmarthen Harlequins at Carmarthen Park on Thursday last week were sorely disappointed. We had been told that the visiting team, most of whom were Internationals, were being sent to West Wales with a view to fostering the Rugger code but the Welsh XV gave such an indifferent display that with a little luck the Quins might well have won!


It might reasonably be argued that players of International repute would have pulled themselves together before allowing a second class team to be victors over them. Well the pity is that they did not pull themselves together because it is useless sending down a representative Welsh XV to West Wales in the name of fostering football if such a team is going to give a disappointing performance like that seen in this match. The Harlequins, with only three or four outsiders to assist them, gave a splendid account of themselves and on the whole provided the spectators with an exhilarating display and while they lost by a margin of six points to three, they had the satisfaction that the visiting team crossed their line only once, an achievement which was equalised by the Quins later in the game.


The try scored by the Welsh XV was more or less in the nature of a ‘gift,’ for the home full back, had he not misjudged the position by thinking that the leather was in the dead-ball area, could well have touched down for a minor instead of enabling Vernon Hill to touch it down for a try for the visitors. For the Quins, W. Walton and D. J. Phillips (Llanelly) played a sterling game among the forwards and J.J. Lewis among the backs was always prominent whilst Dai Bevan (Swansea) at full back, although called upon frequently, never made a mistake. Others also played well but it would be invidious to individualize further. For the Welsh XV Evan Davies (Maesteg) at full back was superb.


The teams were:-

Welsh XV – Evan Davies (Maesteg); Hulme (Crumlin); Hunt Davies (Aberavon); Tom Evans (Treherbert); Vernon Hill (Neath); Archie Brown (Newport); W. Delahay (Bridgend); Jack Williams (Blaina); Jim Jones (Aberavon); S. Winmill (Cross Keys); T. Roberts (Risca); W. Morris (Abertillery); Edgar Morgan (Llanelly); Ambrose Baker (Neath); W. D. Jones (Treherbert).

Carmarthen Harlequins –

 Dai Bevan (Swansea Seconds); Arthur Davies (Pontardulais); J. J. Lewis (Captain); Reggie Phillips; Victor Davies; Ernie Thomas; W. Lewis; Del Evans; J. M. Lloyd; W. Walton; E. Morris; E. T. Edwards; Charlie Davies; W. J. Jones; D. J. Phillips (Llanelly).

The referee was Mr. Parry of Pembroke.

In the early stages of the game, the Quins attacked hotly and the first incident of note was when the home forwards rushed up the field and Evan Davies (Maesteg), the visitor’s full back, failing to put in a return kick, passed to his wing. The Quins returned to the attack and the Welsh XV were forced to kick the ball out of bounds. J. J. Lewis came into prominence by giving the ‘dummy’ to his opponent and later Reggie Phillips, receiving the ball near the centre, kicked it beyond the boundary. For obstruction, the Welsh were penalised in a favourable position for the Quins but the attempt at goal by J. J. Lewis was charged down. Continuing aggressive, the home team got away with the ball at their feet and then was witnessed a pretty incident on the part of the visiting custodian. Before he could put in his kick, he was bowled over by J. J. Lewis. He got up from the ground and was bowled over again by another player. He was tackled a third time but with the ball still in his possession, he got up from the ground again and kicked into touch. The Welsh backs who played an open game, brought off a bout of passing but the ball was knocked on and a very promising movement was thus neutralised.


Evan Davies, the Welsh full back was responsible for some smart play by dodging past a number of players but his foot went into touch. The Quins made another onslaught on their opponent’s line but the ball went into touch in goal. D. Bevan of Swansea who was playing full back for the Quins made a good attempt at drop goal and a little later J. J. Lewis performed some pretty work and kicked up the field but the ball went out of bounds. There was no score in the first half.


On resuming it was noticed that J. J. Lewis changed places with Harry Thomas and Arthur Davies and Reggie Phillips had also reversed positions. The Welsh XV were forced to touch down for a minor following a deadly attack by the Quins during which Ernie Morris was nearly over from a scramble. The Welsh backs then brought off a pretty bout of passing at mid-field and Vernon Hill (Neath) on the wing kicked up the field over the line. There was a race for the ball and Dai Bevan and others fielded the hide but let it fall to the ground presuming erroneously that they were in the dead-ball area but Vernon Hill touched down for a try. With a great kick, Evan Davies converted from a difficult angle.


The Welsh XV showed much improvement. Their forwards rushed the ball to the Quins 25 and Davies (Aberavon) kicked over the line but D. Bevan touched down for a minor. The Welsh returned to the attack and Walton saved near the line by kicking into touch. The Welsh skirmishes were handling the ball like threequarters and the rear division joining in made it altogether a warm time for the Quins. W. Lewis, who was in rare form at the base of the scrum, was also very nippy in the open and intercepting passes, found touch at half-way. Evan Davies, fielding a kick by Dai Bevan (following some brilliant fielding) dropped a lovely goal from a difficult angle. The referee, whose decisions were very unpopular, pulled up the Quins when “Jamsie” and H. Thomas had beaten the defence.


The Welsh XV were now going “all-out” but were finding the Quins a tough proposition. D.J. Phillips broke through for the home team but as he was not supported (owing to the suddenness of his breakaway) he kicked to touch. Dai Bevan repelled an attack in polished style and H. Thomas made a mark in the teeth of the opposing pack. The latter again saved well and converted defence into attack by a spirited dash along the touch-line. Play of an exciting nature followed and Del Evans, had he been a little heavier, could have forced his way over the Welsh line. The Quins were playing well at this stage and Harry Thomas failed to accept a poor pass from his captain when there was a reasonable chance of scoring. Reggie Phillips crossed in the Five Fields corner but was recalled for a knock-on. After some hard work in the loose by D. J. Phillips, a try eventually came the way of the Quins, Arthur Davies snapping up the leather and crossing. The kick for goal by J. J. Lewis was charged down. Soon afterwards the final whistle blew with the score – Welsh XV., 1 converted goal, 1 dropped goal (9 points); Carmarthen Quins., 1 try (3 points)