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 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