Watson's sideways look at rugby

Aber aren’t invisible: Aberystwyth are members of District H, and therefore are always entered into the Pembrokeshire KO Cup. Some may not like it, others will argue it makes no geographical sense, but it’s a fact and their place in the competition should be respected. Even if it means going a couple of hours on a bus. But predictably they are now into the semi finals without playing a game after being given walkovers by Neyland and now Pembroke Dock Harlequins. This follows Milford Haven also declining an away trip to Mid Wales this season in the WRU Plate. It’s not an attractive journey for a game you’re unlikely to win, I get that, but if Aber themselves took that attitude every time they faced a tough day on the road they’d cease to exist. One day, in a fantasy land far, far away, I’ll reflect on a hard fought KO Cup competition where all teams involved willingly fulfilled their ties. Until then, those who don’t have no right to whinge about the format. The twists of Two West: Never has the phrase ‘anyone can beat anyone’ be more apt that when discussing Division Two West. Clubs can enter January in a position to go up and yet be relegated - or go from grave danger to promotion challengers with a couple of wins. This season is no exception. Burry Port may be runaway leaders but after that just nine points between Mumbles in 2nd and Fishguard in 10th. Those two meet in Swansea this Saturday and an away win would shake things up even further. As its stands for our Pembrokeshire sides, just a point separates Tenby United from Milford and the Seagulls. All three have the chance to push up the table and yet will be well aware that a couple of defeats, especially given we are still unaware if two or three teams go down, will set alarm bells ringing. Throw in the end of season midweek games and player permits and we have one hell of a frenzied finish in store. Nail biting if you’re involved, great fun if you’re not. Wasting the women’s game: So for Haverfordwest Ladies, the Pembroke Panthers, and a host of others the 2019/20 league campaign is over. In fact, it never really began after this ridiculous notion of a ‘merit table’ in the two leagues below the Premiership. Results in games didn’t matter, but the number of players used and good discipline were among the things that did. Therefore you had players like Sarah Lawrence, the young Blues prop who earned a call up to the Welsh squad, preparing for senior international rugby by playing friendlies. The whole notion was as patronising as it was ridiculous. To the credit of All Wales Sport they salvaged matters by creating their own league table for the North and South leagues and later this month, will host a presentation to reward the winners. But it shouldn’t be up to them to develop the women’s game and the WRU must surely concede this was an experiment never to be repeated. So much has been done of late to bring positive exposure to the women’s game in Wales. But while that’s great on outside, you’re simply masking problems if you don’t have a competitive structure within. Select your side: Before Christmas I raised the prospect of a senior Pembrokeshire side playing annual fixtures again. Things moved quicker than I thought. The idea is still in its infancy, but it has been proposed that on March 7th the county plays a fixture against a Valero XV. The game, to raise money for Pitt Hopkins UK, would be played at Bierspool prior to the England v Wales Six Nations match. So let’s have some fun. Who could or should be picked? How should selection work? Feel free to send your XV’s (and selection process) in to fwa@westerntelegraph.co.uk or such is the modern world, just post them via social media. Here’s my hastily arranged side, selected with the tricky caveat that at least one player from each of the 15 District H clubs must start (otherwise it’s just Narberth and guests). Gethin Thomas (Llangwm), 2 Marc Jones (Whitland), 3 Tom Carrington (Haverfordwest), Arwel Lloyd (Aberystwyth), 5 Gethin Bateman (St Davids), 6 Tom Taylor (Cardigan) 7 Chris Shousha (Fishguard), 8 Roy Osborn (Narberth), 9 Dafydd Phillips (Crymych), 10 Rhodri Jenkins (Aberaeron), 11 Yannic Parker (Tenby), 12 Toby Smith (Pembroke), 13 Jack Price (Dock Quins), 14 George Williams (Neyland), 15 Steve Martin (Milford). Agree? No, of course you don’t. Now do it yourself with the same criteria. Not so easy is it?