Bill Carne watched Scott Powell play his heart out for Pembroke RFC in the WRU Bowl Final at the Principality Stadium and this week met up with the skipper to relive a day which certainly had its highs and lows . . .

When Pembroke lost to Porthcawl in an epic final of the WRU Bowl competition in the Principality Stadium no-one could have been more disappointed than their inspirational skipper Scott Powell, who had given all in the Scarlet cause.

But he rose above the body blow to show his leadership in style as he was straight across to his opposing captain to congratulate him and was told that the better team lost, which was little consolation at the time.

It must have been all the harder because  The Scarlets had battled their way back from an early 27-5 deficit to lead 31-30 with time running out but then Porthcawl retook the lead from the last kick of the match and Pembroke's dream of being the first-ever Pembrokeshire club to take home some WRU silverware was cruelly ruined.

The defeat must have been awful for Scott and Co but again he showed a quiet diplomacy as he got his team lined up to clap the opposition off the pitch and acknowledge the Pembroke supporters - and answered questions from several interviewers in the post-match verbal post-mortem with the skill of a seasoned performer; but caused him to miss the jacuzzis enjoyed by the rest of the squad to ease their tired limbs!

But he also showed his determination when he had to leave the field after about 60 minutes  with a painful rib injury - but still managed to take his boots off, stand on a box nearby and raised his arms to call for even more support from the huge Scarlets' contingent in the crowd.

It was then that he noticed his parents Rowland and Helen up in the crowd and he politely asked the nearby steward if he could nip up and give them a hug - and even when he was told it wasn't allowed he went anyway, had the afore-mentioned contact with them and returned to the touch-line, with no harm done!

"We had a couple of pints afterwards before popping off to 'The Gatekeeper' pub across the road and being cheered in by the Pembroke contingent still there, with other customers of the Weatherspoon's pub wondering who these celebrities were!

"We also stopped at 'The Fox & Hounds' in Bancyfelin on the way back and there were pints waiting on the bar when we got there - before a guard of honour waited outside our club at Crickmarren when we arrived there at 9pm.

"I eventually left five hours later, feeling a bit sad but knowing that as a team we couldn't have given any more than we did!"

But at least they had special mementoes with the match programme, the good-quality medal and WRU pin, as well as lots of photographs which have appeared on social media.

That Scott should play rugby comes as no surprise because his father Rowland was a Pembrokeshire League winner in the days before the national leagues as he played for Pembroke Dock Harlequins and Cardigan as a fine flanker. Scott's brother Joe plays play at a higher level with Llandovery and twice this season for a Scarlet Select XV, whilst brother Tom is doing really well with Narberth and sometimes with Crymych, both also back row players.

"My grandfather Vernon Scott was a newspaper reporter who covered Pembroke Borough matches in the Welsh League and he was another major influence on me when I started out in sport."

Scott was a relatively late starter in the oval ball game when he joined Stuart Lewis at Bierspool and the Quins doyen of coaching gave him every encouragement as did his son Gareth and Darren Pennington when the team joined with Neyland because both suffered a shortage of players.

He also played for a strong Ysgol y Preseli team that was coached by Gethin Vobe and included the likes of Huw Rees, Aled and Rhydian Harries, which reached the quarter finals of the Welsh Schools’ competition.

"Eventually I joined the Quins' youth team and found the games much tougher and faster but I enjoyed it alongside good players like Lee Rixon, Hughie John and Jason Scarfe.

"But then I went to the University of South Wales and didn't play any rugby whilst I was there - and put on four stone as I enjoyed the social side of college life.

"When I came home I discovered that most of my pals were playing for Pembroke Seconds and spent much of the season watching the likes of Max Hayward and Jamie Alderman until one day Ross Taylor, who coached with Martin 'Animal' Alderman, suggested it was time I got back playing and in my first game back I joined Will Edwards as a second row pairing, weighing almost 40 stone, which would now be about 30 stone since Will is very fit as a regular in the first team.

Scott readily admits that first match was agony but he had made the first step and went on to captain the seconds for two seasons before gradually forcing his way into contention with the first team with Ossie Boswell as a supportive coach and with forwards of the calibre of Luke Hansford, Steve Dyde, Gareth Jones and Richard Mason.

“My first start came against Swansea Uplands with ‘Scrum Five’ there to watch the Uplands receive the section silverware and we lost 100-5 – and I had a rollicking off Ossie because I tried to flick a pass between my legs and they scored an interception try!”

Over the last two seasons Scott has really worked at his fitness and after just missing out on promotion to New Dock Stars after a 10-9 home defeat vowed that this would be their season with Scott and vice-captain Johnny Palmer working closely with coaches Geraint Lewis and Cyle Weatherall.

It has been a successful partnership because the Scarlets have only lost one league game all season and need just a win from three games for the Division Three West A title - and have a Pembrokeshire KO Cup final against against Aberystwyth in St Davids on May 23rd

“In the WRU Bowl we started off with a 31-24 win at Haverfordwest, beat Aberaeron 40-22, and Cefn Cribbwr 42-30 (where we started to think we had a chance of a really good cup run), followed by away wins at Laugharne by 32-22 and Cobra in North Wales (34-3 and arguably our best performance before we beat Deri from Caerphilly in the quarter final by 24-7.

“Then came that defeat against Cardiff University and ultimate reinstatement, which we learned about as we were en route to The Principality Stadium the week before to cheer on our youth team in their Welsh Cup Final.

“It meant a huge rush to get things organised and team manager Nick Shields sorted polo shirts and tee shirts for our special day and everything had to be sorted for the tam and our army of supporters.

“Then the big day dawned and we left Crickmarren at 8.30am, had breakfast at Pinto’s on the M4 and were soon at the stadium, where we were cheered into the underground car park by about 200 Porthcawl supporters who were there early and waiting for their team bus.

“Going into the home changing room was amazing and before the start we had a few words from our chairman, Darrell Willington before the legendary Jonathan Thomas inspired us with a talk that left us all proud to be Scarlets and then I had my usual pre-match talk.

“We left the changing rooms all fired up but had to return pretty quickly because a steward told us we were two minutes early!

“I can’t describe running out onto the pitch, accompanied by young Dawson Davies, whose father Louis coaches the under 8s, and I will never forget playing on the pitch where so many great Welsh players had inspired me – but pretty soon I was leading a team that was losing 27-5 and the game going against us.

“But we gradually settled and fought back to lead with minutes left – but in the last 50 seconds Porthcawl came back at us and snatched the trophy out of our grasp!”

But it’s typical of Scott’s philosophy that he won’t dwell on negatives and is already looking ahead to finishing the season as they lie one win from promotion?/ to Division Two West.

He has been a natural leader, a great communicator and powerful player but plays that fact down, preferring to praise his team mates, coaches and everyone else at Pembroke RFC, who are lucky to have had Scott Powell at the helm in what has been the most momentous season in the club’s history!