Chairman Peter Rees previews the Cardiff game

Croeso cynnes iawn i bawb o Glwb Rygbi Caerdydd i Fanc Yr Eglwys heddi! It is with great pleasure that we welcome Cardiff RFC back to Church Bank for our first home fixture of the 18/19 season.  At the beginning of a “make or break” season when every game could be critical I am sure that both teams will see today’s fixture as a “marker” for the season. Whilst the Drovers had a brilliant start away at Bargoed last week the management team will be more than aware that this weekend Cardiff will almost certainly represent a greater challenge with a strong squad with an experienced coach. Meanwhile Cardiff will have to face an exciting Drovers squad that has the potential to challenge any team at home and a win for the city team at Church Bank would be a major boost to get them back on track after a disappointing home defeat at the Arms Park.

I understand our loyal travelling supporters had a very warm welcome at Barged last week and it was very pleasant to receive this week ,an email from one of “The Bull’s” supporters which said  “I would like to say that I did not come from the game on  Saturday feeling disappointed at our defeat – WHY? Well because I watched a team (Llandovery) play outstanding rugby, a pleasure to watch & if they keep up that standard they should not have a problem with winning the premiership”. Whether his prediction comes true only time will tell but isn’t it great to see that sportsmanship is still alive and well and the style of rugby that has characterised the Drovers over recent seasons is appreciated even in the Rhymney & Gwent valleys!

As we have grown to expect our coaching team have had a busy off season and over coming weeks we will surely get to know and appreciate our new signings to the squad but I hope they will forgive me if this weekend I just mention Dafydd Land who today celebrates his first full season of senior rugby with selection on to the Drovers’ bench. As a product of our Junior Drovers and Youth XV it is great to see him continue to progress and take the opportunities as they arise.  In the meantime good luck to all our new signings I am sure you will enjoy yourselves at Church Bank!

I the context of new starts we have a new groundsman in a well known loyal supporter of the club – Phil Jones.  Phil has already spent a lot of time preparing the ground for his first home fixture and I am sure, with the help of our regular post match “forkers”, we will continue to have one of the best natural playing surfaces in the Premiership.  Thanks Phil!

As has been customary over recent seasons the Club Board of Directors are delighted to sponsor the first match of the season and our match ball is sponsored today by Gareth Faulkner in memory of Keith Faulkner

Er Gwaethaf Pawb a Phopeth Ni Yma o Hyd! Ymlaen Y Porthmyn!

Peter Rees Cadeirydd/Chairman

Cardiff 16 13 0 3 396 243 61
Carmarthen Quins 17 10 3 4 372 278 54
Aberavon 16 11 0 5 371 272 53
Llandovery 16 9 2 5 344 285 48
Pontypridd 18 10 0 8 394 376 47
Merthyr 18 8 0 10 362 374 44
RGC 1404 17 8 1 8 409 381 43
Newport 15 7 0 8 294 278 37
Swansea 17 7 0 10 246 292 35
Llanelli 15 6 0 9 293 412 27
Ebbw Vale 17 4 2 11 283 351 27
Bridgend Ravens 18 3 0 15 271 493 19