Chairman Peter Rees previews Saturday’s home Premiership game v Neath
Croeso cynnes iawn i pawb o Clwb Rygbi Castell Nedd i Banc Yr Eglwys heddi! It is with great pleasure that we welcome Neath RFC to Church Bank for the first time in 2017/18.
Before we look forward to the day’s fixtures can I take the opportunity to congratulate long standing Neath committee man Mike Price on his recent election as Chair of the group that represents all Premiership Clubs. Mike has always worked hard on behalf of Neath RFC through good times and bad and we have every confidence that he will work equally effectively on behalf of all Premiership clubs.
As we look forward to our second home fixture of the season and our fourth game of the new term the Drovers’ supporters must be delighted with not only the results so far but the way the game is being played and the contributions of our young starlets alongside the more established squad members. We are frequently reminded by the pundits that defences win games but supporters enjoy seeing tries and attacking rugby - so far this year we have been treated to both skill sets, some remarkable tackle counts and great tries from all phases of play, long may it continue!
Whilst the Drovers have won four out of our last five fixtures against Neath the long term record is not so positive, with the Welsh All Blacks leading the “head to head” by 22 wins to the Drovers’ 12 and Neath have started this season quite well with 2 wins out of 3 starts. They also come to Church Bank with a few players that, over recent years, played in our colours so I am sure they will get a warm welcome on and off the pitch!
Meantime with a longer season and more Premiership games our rugby management are very aware that our long term success will depend on making full use of the entire squad so today we see some players being rested whilst others make the starting line up for the first time following positive contributions from the bench. I am sure that if the unseasonal weather relents a little we will see some sunshine rugby!
For our second XV the 16th of September represents a date that will go into our history books as they will play their first ever game in the WRU National Bowl competition with the opportunity to ultimately play the final at the National Stadium! We welcome their opponents today - Neyland RFC - but I am sure the “seconds” will be aiming to start their competitive season with a home win!
We have previously remembered those members and supporters that sadly passed away over the closed season but I feel that one member warrants a special mention. Keith Faulkner was for many years a regular member of the hard core of travelling supporters that have follow the Drovers across Wales. I am sure we will all miss Keith greatly and we pass on our condolences to his family and friends.
Our match sponsors today are Paul Rees of Molson Coors and the Welsh Shearing Company (Brian Davies – Tomi Lewis’s Grandad!) and the match ball sponsor is Erwlon C&C Park. Thank You all!
Er Gwaethaf Pawb a Phopeth Ni Yma o Hyd! Ymlaen Y Porthmyn!
Peter Rees Cadeirydd/Chairman