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Rugby union – We were not good enough, says boss

DIRECTOR of rugby Aubrey Evans offered no excuses after Mold crashed to a 45-15 home loss to North Wales League Division One pacesetters Nant Conwy on Saturday.

The 2006 and 2007 title winners were desperate to put their controversial reverse at Ruthin behind them and reclaim their place at the top.

And, after touchdowns from top try- scoring winger Richie Hopkins and fly-half Steve Quinton put them 12 points up in the first five minutes, they looked set to do just that.

But impressive Nant, with the aid of some poor tackling, stormed back to lead 25-15 at the break before cutting loose in the second half to snaffle maximum points and leave their shell- shocked hosts with nothing.

Key men Ian Clewarth, Liam Gill, Simon Howells, Jamie Griffiths and Aaron Jones missed a defeat which leaves Mold, for whom centre Dan Edmunds added a conversion and a penalty, down in fourth.

But Evans, whose side make the trip to old foes Colwyn Bay tomorrow (2.30pm), said: “The lads we had missing are quality players but that’s no excuse.

“We opened up a two-try lead but our heads went down far too early after they got back into it. After that we struggled to hold down a team that were extremely confident and made us pay for any mistake we made.

“We deserved to win against Ruthin the week before but we had no excuses on Saturday. The defeat wasn’t down to the referee or unluckiness, it was purely Nant played very good rugby and we didn’t.

“The wheels have fallen off but the wagon is still rolling. We’ve just got to get the wheels back on by getting a win.”

There would no sweeter place to end their two-match losing run than at eighth-placed Bay, who have beaten Mold on their home patch in the last two seasons.

Evans said: “We can’t afford to dwell on what happened on Saturday so it’s good we’re playing one of our big rivals. There’s no love lost between the teams and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Griffiths, Clewarth, Gill and Jones return but Howells remains suspended.

Mold 2nds and Flint 2nds slipped to their second successive Division Three defeats on Saturday.

Flint, who host Nant Conwy 2nds tomorrow (2.30pm) and the Royal Welch Fusiliers in a friendly under floodlights on Wednesday (7pm), went down 23-12 at Caernarfon 2nds despite taking an early lead through Richie Jones. Captain Dustin Parry added their second try late on, which he converted.

Mold, who are at home to Pwllheli 2nds tomorrow (2.30pm), were beaten 14-0 at Abergele.

Shotton Steel and Flint 2nds return to North East Counties action tomorrow at home to Abergele 2nds and away to Colwyn Bay 2nds respectively (both 2.30pm).