Croeso cynnes iawn i pawb o Clwb Rygbi Aberavon i Banc Yr Eglwys heddi! It is with great pleasure that we welcome Aberavon RFC to Church Bank for the first time in the 2017/18 season.
Such is the nature of our complicated fixture list that Aberavon travel to Church Bank this weekend for the first of two fixtures over four weeks as we will welcome them back on the 30th December, by which time we will be in the second phase of the season and one suspects that each game result will become even more critical to the outcome for the season.
As a quick reminder the team at the top of the “West Premiership” will carry forward into the second phase 8 points, the second 7, third 6 etc . So as we stand currently the Drovers are two points behind RGC and Merthyr and just 5 points ahead of bottom placed Neath and Ebbw Vale.
The Drovers will today be pleased to get back to something closer to our primary squad following a few games where selection has been disrupted as players have been released to support the region. As part of our agreement with the WRU all clubs are obliged to release players in support of their region and national squads. Unfortunately whilst the Drovers have always tried to encourage our players to participate at the highest level possible, (including last season releasing a player to play for another region), it would appear that players are not being released consistently by all clubs in the Premiership. It is now up to the WRU to make sure the rules are applied consistently.
Meanwhile the Drovers will this weekend hope to recover from a lacklustre performance at the Gnoll last Friday and similarly the Wizards will be anxious to get back to winning ways after two tough fixtures against RGC and the Quins.
The Drovers’ supporters will have been delighted to see Wyn Jones selected to the bench for the Wales fixture against the mighty All Blacks and this following a strong scrummaging performance last week. Da iawn Wyn! At the risk of entering the domain of our quiz supremo, Huw Thomas, this leads to a few interesting questions – how many former Drovers have played against NZ, how many of these at Cardiff and finally how many who progressed through our Junior Drovers or Youth teams? Answers on a post card to the Chairman!
Our sponsors today are our neighbours along the A4069 and our match ball has been sponsored by the Weaver family – thanks to you all. We are also delighted to be starting in a small way today another of our themed supporters days as we hope to establish a “Farmers Day” reflecting the general support we have always received from our local food producers. Thanks for your support and hopefully next time we can attract a few local rural suppliers to join you for an afternoon’s entertainment.
Er Gwaethaf Pawb a Phopeth Ni Yma o Hyd! Ymlaen Y Porthmyn!
Peter Rees Cadeirydd/Chairman