Rugby Preview - 26th October 2019

Championship Division:


Lewys Gibby - in-form Narberth No 9Maesteg Quins v Narberth

The Otters will travel to Maesteg to take on The Quins in very good heart after last week's 52-5 drubbing of Cardiff Met tucked neatly under their belts, when young scrum half Lewys Gibby led the way with a hat-trick of tries as reward for his support play. (Thanks to the quite large number of Otter  players and supporters who were delighted I had tipped them to lose narrowly!)

Canny coach Sean Gale will know that this is a tough task as games on the road generally are so he will be demanding total focus and commitment from the entire squad against a side who have won three and lost three of their matches so far.

Verdict: It could be close but I think The Otters will claim their fifth win from seven starts!


Division One (West):


Penclawdd v Crymych

Crymych are one of the most difficult teams to forecast result because they are so unpredictable in what is a tough division where they currently lie sixth after two victories and three defeats.

Penclawdd are two places below them, having won one and drawn one of their five league matches but are a useful side at home whilst Crymych haven't always been the best travellers.

Verdict: Randall Williams, the Crymych coach, will be eager to wipe out the memory of last Saturday's home defeat against and I think the Preseli Men will do just that!

Whitland v Gorseinon

The Borderers were rightly chuffed to bits by their away success against Crymych in their last game and they sit in fifth place, with three wins and two losses, and entertain11th -placed Gorseinon who have only won once from five outings.

The visitors will bring with them a determination to keep their eyes on avoiding relegation but Whitland are a strong side and love playing at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn.

Verdict: The Borderers' coach Gareth Bennett knows the importance of a good start and a strong defence to build attacks on - and he will make sure his side is up for it so I go for a home win, plus a bonus point as well!

Pembroke v Newcastle Emlyn

This has been a quite a roller-coaster ride for Pembroke after two successive promotions but they have shown that when at full strength they can hold their own.

Coach Geraint Lewis will have targetted this home match at home to Newcastle Emlyn, who sit proudly atop the table with a 100% start from five matches, as one that will stretch his side.

But The Scarlets love a challenge and won’t take a backward step despite such in-form opposition.

Verdict: I would love to tip Pembroke but my head says the visitors - so prove me wrong Geraint and Co!

Division Two (West):


Tenby United v Fishguard & Goodwick

This is sure to be a Pembrokeshire derby to savour as Tenby United play host to Fishguard & Goodwick at Heywood Lane, with The Seasiders in sixth place, one below The Seagulls and having played two matches more.

Tenby have won two and lost four league games so far and are beginning to show that their side is finding their feet in this section.

But coach Jonathan Evans will know that The Seagulls will bring a very experienced outfit under the watchful eyes of Nathan and Steve Jenkins and a good start is vital.

Verdict: Fishguard have only lost once in their four outings, with two wins and a draw - and I think they might grab a victory, especially if they don't have one of their regular shaky starts on away turf!

Fishguard coaches Nathan and Steve Jenkins - looking for victory at Tenby

Nathan Williams - top coach at Milford HavenNantgaredig v Milford Haven

After promotion last campaign Milford Haven coaches Nathan Williams and Steve Martin know that every away match provides a different challenge and this trip to Nantgaredig is an example.

The Mariners are currently in a healthy third position having won three out of five matches, but Nant are right below them and knowing that a home win will push them above the opposition.

Verdict: Nantgaredig have won three from four so far and are strong at home so I think they might win here - but of course I will be pleased if The Mariners prove me wrong!


Division Three (West) A:


Mattie Phillips - leads Haverfordwest by exampleCardigan v Haverfordwest

At the start of the season I thought that Cardigan would feature in the top four of the section table but they have flattered to deceive and so far have only won once in five games and as a result are only two places above bottom sport.

In contrast, Haverfordwest have won two and drawn the other after only playing three times so far.

Their best win was a 29-0 success against Laugharne and it looked as if they might achieve a similar result at home to St Clears last Saturday - but allowed The Saints to come back for a draw.

Verdict: It is something that coach Steve Barnett will want to see - his side regaining their killer instinct and I'm pretty sure they will do it at the King George Vth Playing Fields!


St Clears v Pembroke Dock Harlequins

What a fascinating fixture this is as The Quins look forward to putting right their defeat at home to Aberaeron from last week against a Saints' side which held Haverfordwest to a draw - and might even have won it!

The Quins still sit proudly atop the table after four previous wins on the trot whilst The Saints are quietly confident, with home advantage,

Verdict: The Saints will need to get on top up front if they are to inflict a second successive defeat on The Quins but to be honest I can't really see it happening!

Jonathan Ealy and Rhodri Jones - St Clears player coaches

St Davids v Neyland

Sadly, this is the banker bet as Neyland travel to St Davids as hot favourites despite only winning two of their four fixtures so far. The Saints have lost all six of their games up until now and conceded over 100 points last weekend and no-one in the county likes to see that.

Perhaps a few recruits from other clubs who are struggling to field a second side might help them hugely and on a personal note I would love to see that happen.

Verdict: The All Blacks to gain a bonus-point win!


Owain Thomas - strong points scorer for Laugharne

Laugharne v Lampeter Town

Laugharne are definitely the current 'form-horse' team after a big win last weekend and WRU Bowl success in North Wales before that. They entertain a Lampeter Town team that is second in the table after winning four of their five league matches so a cracking contest is in prospect.

Verdict:  Laugharne to ease through with home advantage but I expect Lampeter to push them all the way!


Aberaeron v Tregaron

In a division that has so many competitive teams this season Aberaeron are also very much in the mix after a superb success at Wrexham in the WRU Bowl competition and a very important 12-5 win last week against Tregaron.

They have a potent back division in which Rhodri Jenkins is a key figure whilst Tregaron have won two out of five games and are currently tenth in the table.

Verdict:  A bonus-point victory for Aber in this Mid Wales derby!

Johnny James - lots of rugby folk will be thinking of him on Saturday

Llangwm v Llanybydder

This match was postponed after the untimely death of Johnny James, who was a terrific hooker for The Wasps over a 20-year period.

There was a minutes' silence at several games last week in memory of Johnny and Llangwm players and supporters will long remember the dynamic play in the front row that saw him asked to play for several other clubs - but Johnny was a Wasp through and through and wouldn't dream of leaving Pill Parks.

He also had a great sense of humour that made him a popular man after games, wherever Llangwm RFC played and on a personal note I loved a chat with this genuinely larger than life character!

Our thoughts at go out to Johnny's family, club and friends at this awful time.