Howard Evans (Merthyr Programme Notes)

Welcome back to Merthyr who will be getting used to playing at the Talbot Athletic Ground and to performing in front of the Television cameras. Also welcome back to the exciting (former ‘Wizards’) winger Jay Baker of Cwmavon.

Also welcome back to full back-fly half Matthew Jarvis, who has the best right boot outside of regional rugby and scored a lot of points in his spell at Aberavon. I remember standing behind Matthew when he kicked a late match-winning goal at Bedwas right from the touchline. It was over from the moment his boot touched the ball. Oh that we had a kicker of his class with us tonight.

Among those off the field will be Nigel Davies, the quiet former Wales centre and coach, who now lives in Gwent and I know my friend Mark Ring rated Nigel as one of the best that Wales produced in his time, while talking of Welsh caps we have that former Kiwi and for a short time a Scot (‘tis true) in the mighty Dale McIntosh. Dale was not a man to play against, but he was a helluva guy to play with.

Somehow Jason Hyatt and Lyndon Lewis must get together a 15 that will perform better than last week. That is where they will earn their money – I hope.

Injuries to James Garland, David Pritchard, Sam Williams, Chris Banfield, Jonny Phillips, Luke Davies, Ben Thomas and Andrew Waite, in particular, meant that we just couldn’t match Pontypridd at Sardis Road.

The fine attacking skills of early season have (temporarily I hope) left us, so the coaches and medical staff will have to work hard to put the aching bodies back right and fight the league leaders all the way.

Let us hope this will be a real close game.

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 30 23 0 7 885 593 117
Cardiff 30 22 1 7 991 660 111
Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
Llandovery 30 21 1 8 856 551 104
Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
Aberavon 30 18 2 10 698 603 90
Newport 30 17 2 11 759 700 88
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 30 14 1 15 852 650 85
Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
Carmarthen Quins 30 13 1 16 637 584 71
Bridgend Ravens 30 12 0 18 689 714 66
Llanelli 30 12 1 17 679 723 63
Bedwas 30 12 1 17 681 830 62
Cross Keys 30 5 1 24 586 1093 36
Bargoed 30 6 0 24 576 1003 35
Neath 30 1 0 29 406 1274 3