Howard Evans (Merthyr Programme Notes)

Welcome to Merthyr – their supporters and players. We are going to see them again very shortly for a Premiership game and while they currently lead the league they are also the cup holders.

We well remember their play-off win a while back when former Wizard, Richard Carter, was in the Merthyr ranks and today we welcome back two former favourites in Matthew Jarvis and Jay Baker while we have Stef Andrews fit again and he is another who has played for both clubs.

If there was a golden boot in rugby it would surely belong to Matthew, a wonderful kicker, while how Jay never was ever given a regional place is beyond belief.

If Matthew’s boot is enough Merthyr have another wonderful kicker in Richard Powell and his father (Graham) and his uncle were two special players years back in great days at Blaina.

Merthyr are led by the splendid lock Craig Locke, who I saw twice for Mountain Ash in the Mid District Cup and he looked the goods then and was soon snapped up by Pontypridd. And talking of Ponty reminds me of another former Wizard, Dale McIntosh!!

Yes, Dale played for Aberavon at Glamorgan Wanderers many years back and after being a New Zealander, he was a Scotland B and then a Wales cap.

To me, ‘The Chief’ is amongst the best and wisest of all Welsh coaches, I assume he breathes fire in the dressing-rooms, but he is always polite to me and never looks down on his opponents, and his brother was also a Wizard of course.

So we have two good sides who may be thinking more of league results, but we have a good referee in Gareth John today and the TV cameras here, so bring it on.

Just to add a very Happy New Year to all and also to Neath, who played splendidly here on Boxing Day.

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 21 17 0 4 612 340 86
Cardiff 21 16 1 4 647 430 81
Pontypridd 20 16 0 4 714 357 78
Ebbw Vale 21 15 1 5 474 348 71
Llandovery 21 13 1 7 572 381 66
Aberavon 20 13 2 5 440 382 63
Newport 21 12 2 7 526 489 63
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 19 10 0 9 496 410 56
Carmarthen Quins 22 10 0 12 456 420 53
Swansea 20 10 0 10 467 416 51
Llanelli 21 6 1 14 411 546 34
Bridgend Ravens 19 6 0 13 362 472 33
Cross Keys 20 5 1 14 432 648 33
Bedwas 21 5 1 15 441 614 30
Bargoed 20 3 0 17 361 683 18
Neath 19 1 0 18 287 762 3