Wayne Pivac has warned his Scarlets team the Ospreys are no longer the soft touch of previous seasons. As the two rivals meet on Saturday in the first Guinness Pro14 Welsh derby of the season, the Scarlets coach is convinced the opponents he knows best are now on the up. The Scarlets did the double over their neighbours last season and Pivac’s side have only lost one of their last five matches between the teams.
Elfyn Evans has made a magnificent start to today’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB eight stages, and after the morning loop of five tests is second overall – just 8.9 seconds behind rally leader Ott Tänak. Co-driven by Dan Barritt, Evans started today in 13th place, after last night’s short opening stage at Tir Prince. The Dolgellau driver leapfrogged eight places to fifth after a great time through this morning’s slippery opening forest stage in Clocaenog and was then up to second after a superb time through Brenig, which is the longest stage of the event. And his time could have been even quicker, had a false puncture alarm not distracted him in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC. Another great run through Penmachno forest, plus two fast and consistent runs through a very tricky Slate Mountain stage, sees Evans enter midday service in Deeside in a very strong second place.
Swansea Harrier Josh Griffiths is targeting a big October as he sets his sights on Sunday’s Commonwealth Half Marathon Championship and the Dublin Marathon later in the month. The man who shot to prominence when he finished as the top British runner at the 2017 London Marathon is relishing taking on the best the Commonwealth has to offer once again after his exploits on the Gold Coast earlier this year. The 24-year-old finished 15th in the Commonwealth Games marathon which he described at the time as “the hardest race I have ever done”.
Former Celtic Dragons and Wales shooters Georgia Rowe and Cara Lea Moseley have crossed the Severn Bridge to join Severn Stars in the new Vitality Superleague season. They head into England while Wales’ top shooter, Chelsea Lewis, has opted to return home from Team Bath after two seasons away. Lewis was this week among four new signings announced by the Celtic Dragons as they plan their fightback from the basement section of the Superleague.
Ryan Giggs is expecting a fierce Irish backlash when he takes his Wales team to Dublin for the third round of the UEFA League of Nations to meet Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland side. While Giggs was in dreamland after his home debut as manager turned into a 4-1 rout at Cardiff City Stadium last month, opposite number O'Neill had his head in his hands after the mauling. Things didn’t go as well in Denmark the following week with a 2-0 defeat in Aarhus, but Giggs remains confident his side can repeat their heroics against the Irish in Dublin. They meet Spain next week at the Principality Stadium in a warm-up friendly that is set to attract a 50,000+ crowd.
Esapekka Lappi set the fastest time on the opening stage of the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB to lead the event after tonight’s one mile spectator stage around the Tir Prince Raceway near Rhyl. Co-driven by Janne Ferm, the Toyota driver set a time 0.3 seconds faster than team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and World Rally Championship leaders Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai), while five-time world champions Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC) were fourth, a further 0.4 seconds behind. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja, who crashed their Toyota on the morning’s Shakedown stage in Clocaenog forest, made it all three Yaris WRCs in the top five, while Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger completed the top six in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.