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 27 21 0 6 798 501 107
Llandovery 28 20 1 7 803 492 98
Cardiff 26 19 1 6 771 547 95
Ebbw Vale 28 19 1 8 671 512 90
Pontypridd 25 18 0 7 840 480 89
Newport 29 16 2 11 726 678 83
Aberavon 25 16 2 7 569 478 78
Swansea 28 15 0 13 625 552 75
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 26 12 1 13 669 556 73
Carmarthen Quins 29 13 1 15 616 544 71
Llanelli 29 11 1 17 622 710 58
Bedwas 28 10 1 17 615 786 52
Bridgend Ravens 26 9 0 17 544 651 50
Cross Keys 27 5 1 21 552 925 35
Bargoed 27 6 0 21 522 872 33
Neath 26 1 0 25 367 1026 3