Rugby Preview - 5th October 2019


Championship Division

Clash of the top clubs at the Lewis Lloyd Ground

Narberth v Pontypool

After three wins on the trot Narberth face the famous Pontypool, who have the same win ratio but have already accumulated maximum bonus points where as The Otters have only one.

Matches between these two teams have been close-fought in recent years and as usual it is to be expected that the Pooler chairman will be landed on the top pitch at The Lewis Lloyd Ground as a measure of the financial gap that exists between the two teams.

Pontypool are again coached by Leighton Jones, who last season faced the agony of his team being beaten by Llanelli to miss out on a place in the Welsh Premiership – but they will know they face a real test against The Otters.

Home coach Sean Gale has started to build another strong squad but there is inevitably a relative lack of experience which could be a factor – and I have to go for Pooler, although I hope for a big shock like Japan against Ireland!


Division One (West):

Preseli Men start as favourites

Crymych v Gorseinon

Crymych are currently in 10th place in this section and know they should be higher as they face Gorseinon with one win and two losses to their name. This will be a match that canny coach Randall Williams will have targeted as a ‘must-win’ tussle against a side in eighth, and having an identical record but with one more bonus point.

It could be tight but with the match being played home I expect The Preseli Men to ease through and leap-frog their opponents in the table.


High time for a Scarlets’ success

Pembroke v Llanelli Wanderers

After a tense draw and two narrow defeats Pembroke know that they need to start winning and there should be no better place than at Crickmarren against bottom club Llanelli Wanderers, who have the same results record but fewer bonus points.

After two successive promotions home coach Geraint Lewis will know his team need the confidence from a victory – and I can’t really see anything other than a Scarlets’ win here!


Tough task for The Borderers on the road

Llangennech v Whitland

After their first defeat last Saturday, Whitland coach Gareth Bennett will be looking to see his team return to winning ways against Llangennech, who are currently in third place to The Borderers’ fifth spot. Both have won two and lost the other match, with matching points totals, but the home side must start as favourites for me by dint of the fact that they have home advantage.


Division Two (West):

Entertaining match in prospect

Fishguard & Goodwick v Mumbles

Fishguard and Goodwick have made a fantastic start with two wins and a battling 36-all draw at Tycroes last weekend but they face an even tougher game at The Moors when they entertain high-flying Mumbles, who have won all three of their games and accrued bonus points with their attacking brand of rugby.

But they have also conceded points aplenty and home coach Nathan Jenkins and brother Steve will be eager to attack from the outset as Chris Shousha leads by example and young fly half Mark Jones is in terrific form with his left boot.

It is sure to be an entertaining game – but I think The Seagulls might have to settle for a bonus point, which I’m sure will spur them on !

Fishguard coaches Nathan and Steve Jenkins

Mariners looking for a home-win double

Milford coach Nathan WilliamsMilford assistant coach Steve MartinMilford Haven v Tycroes

After a cracking 41-26 win at The Obs against Kidwelly last week Milford Haven will be eager to repeat the process as they entertain Tycroes who drew 36-all against Fishguard in their previous match.

Tycroes have a win, a draw and a loss from their starts but Mariners’ coaches Nathan Williams and Steve Martin know that they have a strong pack and some formidable finishers in Dan Jenkins, Lee Riley and Ryan Mansell.

It looks like a bonus-point victory for The Mariners to me!


Can Tenby build on last week?

Pontyberem v Tenby United

There was great delight at Heywood Lane last Saturday as Tenby United won their first home match in two seasons but now coach Jonathan Evans knows his relatively young squad need to build their confidence – and this could be just the chance for them as they Travel to Pontyberem.

The host club have been known in the past for their brand of attacking ruby but they are in the doldrums at the moment with three defeats from three starts – but will be no walkover.

I’m hoping for Seasiders’ success but I am afraid that if they don’t travel well might have to settle for a bonus point!


Division Three (West) A:


Right royal battle at Merlins Bridge

Haverfordwest v Laugharne

There could be a right royal battle at Merlins Bridge as Haverfordwest entertain Laugharne in what could be the section’s match of the day. Both have played two games and won them both and will be very eager to maintain their unbeaten record, with Blues’ coach Steve Barnett hoping his son Craig will be back to exert his considerable influence, and that he can field his best side against a very experienced and skilful Laugharne outfit who have Mikey Williams, Shane Morgan and a few others as influential players. I think The Laugharnees might have just a little too much fire power but my tip against them will surely encourage The Blues!

Craig Barnett - vital points gatherer for Haverfordwest

Quins sitting on the crest of a wave

Pembroke Dock Harlequins v St Davids

The Quins are sitting proudly at the top of the table with maximum bonus-point wins – and their 57-10 success at Llangwm last Saturday after beating Neyland 53-23 and winning at Lampeter by 22-8.

In stark contrast The Saints have lost their three matches and it would be a brave man who would tip Gethin Bateman’s boys – and I’m a bit of a rugby coward!

Better days at The Quins under Neil Machin, Ian Osbourne and Simon Lloyd

Long journey for The All Blacks

Lampeter Town v Neyland

Neyland were understandably delighted with victory over Tregaron and now they face a long journey to take on Lampeter Town with a bit of a spring in their steps. Coaches Graham Richards and Steve Evans will hope for a full squad and perhaps Alex Codd will be able to help them again after two tries last Saturday – but I think it might be just a journey too far at the moment!


Aber to win at the King George Vth Fields

Cardigan v Aberaeron

Matches between these teams are traditionally hard-fought but Aber hold the edge after a huge KO Cup win at the start of the season. Cardigan will battle all the way but I think Aberaeron will have too much pace and raw power for them.


Ian Griffiths Llangwms veteran all rounderCan The Wasps win away?

Tregaron v Llangwm

I think this is the toughest match to predict as The Wasps make the long journey to Mid Wales seeking a second win after beating Cardigan on the opening day. They will need a strong squad around the likes of skipper Josh Hicks, centre Lewis Murphy, James Lewis and Ian Griffiths and I hope they do well – but it is going to be a real challenge for them!