Rugby Preview 19th October 2019

WRU Championship:

Otters face strong students’ side

Richard Rees - leading Narberth by exampleNarberth v Cardiff Met

After successive defeats against the top two teams Narberth will be eager to return to winning ways against the students from Cardiff Metropolitan University at The Lewis Lloyd Ground in a fixture which is traditionally marked by fast, entertaining rugby and with tries galore.

At the moment the students are in fourth spot, two ahead of The Otters, and with a slightly better record that reads, played five, won four, whilst Narberth have won three games and lost two.

Verdict: Cardiff Met will start as slight favourites and I have to endorse them as likely winners - but with my record as a tipster that gives The Otters a real advantage!


Division One (West):


Borderers – but only just!

Gareth Bennett - Whitland coach looking for a local derby winCrymych v Whitland

Surely the county's match of the day as two of the 'big guns' will be lining up at Parc Lloyd Thomas!

Crymych entertain Whitland and it would be a brave neutral rugby supporter who could tip the winner with any confidence because both have powerful packs and speedy backs who can run the ball from any part of Parc Lloyd Thomas.

The Preseli Men know that The Borderers have a major influence in Nico Setaro's points' gathering and will be looking for their powerful back row to nullify that area and they have try scorers of their own in Lawrence Headlam and Adam Phillips.

Verdict: There are canny coaches here in Randall Williams and Gareth Bennett so it is going to be close - but I think it will be 'Benny' who has the bigger smile when they share a pint or two in the clubhouse afterwards!

Tough task for Scarlets

Tom Lewis - part of a strong half back Pembroke duoFelinfoel v Pembroke

Pembroke coach Geraint Lewis was delighted by his side's 20-3 victory against Llanelli Wanderers after a couple of early defeats and a draw but know that they face another battle royale on Saturday as league leaders Felinfoel arrive at Crickmarren looking to add a fifth successive win to their impressive start.

The Scarlets are now able to call upon almost their entire squad and in Toby Smith and Tom Lewis have half backs that can play a key role if their pack can play well.

Verdict: Felinfoel will start as hot favourites but I have a feeling that Pembroke might just pinch this one!


Division Two (West):

Mariners aiming for welcome win

Dan Jenkins - in try-scoring form for Milford HavenMilford Haven v Burry Port

This is undoubtedly the match of the day in this tough division as third-placed Milford Haven play host to second-placed Burry Port, whose record reads played four, won four.

The Mariners have lost once alongside three wins and they will be up for a shot at their opponents who won all four of their league matches before their abandoned game the previous week.

 Milford's coaching staff of Nathan Williams, Steve Martin and Andrew Williams know their squad can beat anyone on their day and will be looking for a fast start, with Sam Dolling leading by example up front and Dan Jenkins eager to build on his impressive start in terms of tries the goal-kicking accuracy of James Trueman.

Verdict: If The Mariners can start well and keep their discipline they might just upset Burry Port's apple cart at The Obs!


Seagulls can soar against classy Nant

Chris Shousha - in-form Fishguard skipperFishguard and Goodwick v Nantgaredig

There have been some terrific battles of late at The Moors and this week's tussle against Nantgaredig should be no exception because both sides will be up for some action, with Fishguard and Goodwick itching to get back into action after only 22 minutes rugby last Saturday before an injury to the ref at Burry Port saw their match abandoned.

Nantgaredig now have three wins out of four matches to sit in fourth place whilst The Seagulls are just below them and eager to gather some precious league points.

Verdict: Nant are a more than useful team but I think if Nathan Jenkins' boys can get off to a good start they could snatch this one!


Seasiders should succeed against The Bont

Luke Dedman - doing a good job as Tenby captainPontarddulais v Tenby United

Tenby United's players are understandably on a high after winning their two previous league games and will never have a better chance of a hat-trick as they travel to play a Pontarddulais outfit who hare sitting at the foot of the table.

The Bont have lost all four games so far and Seasiders' coach Jonathan Evans will be aiming to keep their all-loss record intact as his young team grow in confidence.

The Seasiders are not always the best starters on the road but if they do well in the first 20 minutes there could be a celebration for them.

Verdict: I'll go for a Tenby United win and another move up the section table.

Division Three (West) A:

Blues to stymie The Saints

Terry Lovell - tremendous work-rate for HaverfordwestHaverfordwest v St Clears

Haverfordwest disappointingly bowed out of the WRU Bowl competition last Saturday but canny coach Steve Barnett will use that to incentivise his players to maintain their 100% league record over three games prior to that.

Terry Lovell, Jon Mason, Jamie Zambas and skipper Mattie Phillips are all playing well for Haverfordwest.

Opponents St Clears were thought likely to be one of the front runners for section silverware at the start of the campaign but lost two early matches alongside three wins.

Verdict: The result might be closer than their results suggest but I still think this should be a bonus-point win for The Blues!


All Blacks to use home advantage here

George Williams - hoping to lead Neyland to victoryNeyland v Llangwm

One of the best local derbies to savour in local rugby and on this occasion it is Llangwm who make the short journey up the hill from Pill Parks to the Athletic Ground as Neyland look to boost their record of one win from three starts.

The All Blacks are ninth in the table, just ahead of The Wasps, who have won one match in four but could start as slight favourites on this occasion because they seem to have the more settled side, with Josh Hicks leading by example and enjoying great support from the likes of Lewis Murphy, James Lewis and Ieuan Power, to name a few.

But Neyland have terrific performers in skipper George Williams and his brother Ben, with Ieuan and Owen Evans playing well up front alongside veteran lock Mark James, who uses his wealth of experience to good effect.

Verdict: I would really want to sit on the fence with this one but rather than risk falling off at my age I'll go for home advantage with Neyland, but there's just a cigarette paper between them!

Quins to shade verdict at Bierspool

Ben Hathaway - lots of points for The QuinsPembroke Dock Harlequins v Aberaeron

This season has brought about a dramatic transformation at Bierspool as Pembroke Dock Harlequins have recovered from the trauma of last campaign and have won all four league games under Neil Machin, Ian Osbourne and Simon Lloyd.

The return of high-calibre players like Jack Price and Jordan Asparassa has  been a major influence alongside youthful talent like Hywel Baker, the Bradney brothers and Ben Hathaway, who has picked up points aplenty and several players have returned after a couple of season's absence.

They entertain a very experienced and balanced Aberaeron squad who have lost once in four outings - and could well be a potential silverware chaser if they can steer clear of injury.

Verdict: This is the real tester for The Quins but they will have to be in top form to achieve the victory I expect!

Saints continue to seek a first win

Lampeter Town v St Davids

Lampeter have quietly slipped into the top four after losing only one of their first four matches and St Davids will make the long trek on the back of a record that sees them defeated in all five fixtures.

It is hard work for The Saints under new coach Gethin Bateman, who will also play in a side that never knows when it is beaten but sometimes struggles for players in such away games.

Verdict: Sadly, it has to be a home bonus-point win but The Saints will remain as one of my favourite teams for their redoubtable spirit in adversity.

Laugharne too strong for Tregaron

Tregaron v Laugharne

Tregaron are currently seventh in the table with two wins and two losses whilst Laugharne sit a place above them with three wins out of four.

But I think that the latter's place does not reflect their ability as Mikey Williams, Owen Tomas, Tom Jameson and Carl Smith are just four to name that show their quality.

Verdict: Home advantage is bound to boost Tregaron's hopes but I think Gary Price's Boys will comfortably prove top dogs in this match!

Llan likely to use home advantage

Llanybydder v Cardigan

Both teams have made disappointing starts as Llanybydder are still seeking a first win after three defeats and Cardigan have only won once in four games so far

I saw The Teifisiders play at Llangwm and they looked a useful outfit who are lacking confidence and need something to spark a run of successes.

Verdict: Can this be the chance for Llanybydder to pick up some points? I think it could well be but hope The Teifisiders prove me