Chairman Peter Rees previews the game

Croeso cynnes iawn i bawb o Glwb Rygbi Casnewydd i Fanc Yr Eglwys heddiw! It is with great pleasure that we welcome Newport RFC to Church Bank for the first time in the 2018/19 season.

When the fixtures for the 2018/19 season were announced it was easy to see that November and December were going to be challenging months for the Drovers with a number of tough fixtures and so it has been! We started the period with a tough win against Ebbw Vale and whilst disappointed to loose against Pontypridd at least we came away with a bonus point but that was the end of our good fortune! At Merthyr we were able to field, for the first time against the Ironmen, a strong team only to see another well deserved bonus point snatched away at the last minute. Then on yet another a wet dismal, fruitless day at Cross Keys the Drovers failed to build on their league superiority against a Keys team bolstered by Dragons players. We therefore inevitably look forward to the Newport fixture with a mixture of excitement (to be returning home and playing on a natural surface that is conducive to our style of play) and with some trepidation as the Black and Ambers will surely travel with some confidence following a last minute win against Merthyr.

The impact of our recent results on our league position clearly demonstrates how competitive the Premiership League is this season and whilst the Drovers have quickly slipped down 6 or 7 places over the last month there is of course the potential to move back up a few places just as quickly. So lets keep the faith and hope we can return to winning ways as we lead into Christmas and the New Year. A tough call maybe but we do not deserve to be anywhere near the bottom half of the table!

It is always a pleasure to report when our local players have had the opportunity to step up a level and the latest opportunity came to Ben Morgan one of our Youth Players who recently represented the Crawshays Youth XV against Christ College Brecon. On a similar theme we note that whilst some of our Youth players are playing varsity rugby, some (Ryan Williams and Morgan Price) are gaining their first experience of first team league rugby playing for Ammanford. It is frustrating that other Youth players who wish to progress and indeed other local players are unable to get regular rugby because, despite a great deal of hard work particularly by our President, the WRU have yet to agree that our second XV can enter the national league structure. This has become the single greatest problem facing the Club as we must find a pathway for these players to guarantee the sustainability of the club as a whole! The battle goes on and we will unfortunately have to consider resorting to a legal challenge or the establishment of a “new, separate” (but affiliated) club entity if absolutely necessary.

Our match sponsors today are a group of local loyal supporters and farmers is Rob Davies Of Just Wales Ltd whilst the match ball has been sponsored by Llandrindod 41 Club who travel down from Llandod by train at least once a year and always join us for a home fixture and a few drinks, thank you for your support, it is very much appreciated.

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