TOUGH GAMES FOR LOCAL TRIO of Newcastle Emlyn, Cardigan and Crymych…

Pontypool are the visitors to Ddol Wiber tomorrow in the WRU National Championship and the red and whites face a formidable challenge as the men from Pontypool Park are currently top of the table with eight wins from eight starts and look dead certs for promotion even at this very early stage of the season.

Last time out they only narrowly beat division newcomers Bedlinog in what was probably their hardest game of the season so far and Pooler just managed to hang on to their 100% record with a late try from hooker and skipper Ben Parry.

Pooler are strong all round the park and in number eight Jordan Williams and inform flanker Gareth Rusby-Davies they have two very fine players whilst hooker Alex Watkins who comes in for injured captain Parry is a real live wire around the field.

Centre Dan Robinson, who has three tries to his name this season and midfield partner Marc Thorley are a talented pairing whilst scrum half Aaron Quick is a handful. Full back or wing Josh Hurley is another dangerous runner and he has also bagged three tries this term

Last season Pooler secured the double over Emlyn with a 40-19 success at Ddol Wiber in October and 27-13 in the return at Pontypool Park at the end of January and they will come expecting to add to their list of scalps in the championship.

Emlyn coach Marc Lloyd has made a few enforced changes with veteran prop Dai Bryant linking up with skipper Alex Williams in the front row along with Emrys Davies. Most former tight heads of Bryant’s age would now be spending their Saturday afternoons discussing misty recollections of yesteryear over a few jars. But not Dai Bryant as he is still doing the business at the coal face and this warrior seems to go on forever!

Bleddyn Davies and Ryan Morgans are the second row combination and behind them Joel James, Gareth Thomson and Brynmor Jones link up again and they can expect a very busy afternoon. Mike Jones starts at scrum half and Dan Davies comes into the centre alongside Rhys Schavonie who impressed many away at Tata Steel.

Shaun Leonard is at full back and Llyr Davies and Llyr Jones are on the wing.

A very tough fixture for Emlyn but a wonderful occasion as Pontypool have such a rich history and a great day out whatever the result.


Abergavenny v Crymych

Crymych make the long journey to Monmouthshire tomorrow to take on Abergavenny in the second round of the WRU National Plate Competition.

The east Wales club were on a four match winning streak until last Saturday when they came unstuck against division two east leaders Abercarn and they will be eager to bounce back tomorrow.

New coaches Gareth Betts, Mathew Price, and Gareth Groves have enjoyed a fine start with wins over Abertysswg Falcons, Pil Harriers, Blackwood and Caldicot, who they also beat in the opening round of the plate, and the Bailey Park club have been buzzing.

Crymych have gone with the same side that accounted for Llwchwr last Saturday at Parc Lloyd Thomas and they will be led by hard tackling flanker Tom Powell with Dylan Phillips and Guto Davies joining him in a familiar back row.

Mathew Roebuck and Rhys Davies will pull the strings at half back and the division one side have a good chance of making it through to the next round of this plate competition.


WRU National Bowl round 3.

Cardigan v Usk

Cardigan tackle Usk in the third round of the WRU Bowl and coach Colin Horscroft and his troops will be in a confident mood after their top of the table win over St Clears last Saturday.

Their nail biting contest went right down to the wire before the thirteen men Cardigan side managed to hang on for a very important win and they will be looking forward to this tussle against a team who play in a similar standard.

Usk play in Division 3 East A and are currently sat mid table in sixth place following three league wins over Monmouth, Fleur de Lys and Ebbw Vale.

Cardigan have made a few changes to their team and have rested skipper Llyr Griffiths to the bench and experienced back rower Colin Davies slots in at the base of the scrum. Horscroft has changed most of his combinations with Will Brice, who has been outstanding this season but who was unavailable last week comes in at loose head with new signing from Emlyn, Bedwyr Davies at hooker and veteran tight head Richard Jones alongside him.

Rhys Williams and Dylan ‘Rambo’ Davies are the second row pairing with Kieran Hurley and Gareth Clifford joining Davies in the back row.

Luke Rogers moves back over to his favoured position of scrum half with experienced footballer Iestyn Crompton taking over at stand off. Marcus Castle and Emyr Harries link up as usual in midfield, Alun Jenkins comes back in at full back after injury and on the wings Horscroft has opted for Rhydian Jenkins and Dafydd Watkins.

This is a well balanced side with more attacking options with a strong bench and certainly a squad good enough to get through into the next round if they can produce the passion and commitment of last weekend.

Usk who are one of the oldest clubs in Wales play in a tougher league with a few more competitive fixtures than the Cardi’s and they will be difficult to beat but the Gollop Stand faithful should be treated to another intriguing contest tomorrow afternoon and probably another tight one.



Leave a Reply