The next few weeks will decide who will be crowned Indigo Premiership champions for 2023 writes Huw S Thomas.
What we do know at this stage is that the winners will come from one of four teams – Cardiff, Llandovery, Merthyr or Newport, incidentally all founder members of the WRU back in 1881.
Llandovery have twice won the WRU Cup – in 2007 and 2016 – and are the only team in the quartet never to have won the Premiership so are on the brink of making a further mark in the semi-pro game.
All four have already qualified for the semi finals but this Saturday will decide which two will have that vital home advantage.
Newport – on 74 points- are too far back to finish in the top two, so it will be two from Cardiff (85 points), Llandovery (83 points) and Merthyr (82 points) who will play at home.
Cardiff’s 18-13 win over Ebbw Vale on Saturday has elevated the Blue and Blacks momentarily into top spot but this week’s two big games – Cardiff – Merthyr and Newport-Llandovery – will decide the semi final draw.
Whoever is top of the table after this weekend will entertain fourth placed Newport whilst the club that ends up second will have home advantage over the third placed side.
There are six possible permutations for top two finishes amongst Cardiff, Llandovery and Merthyr and all will be revealed on Saturday evening at the end of the Newport – Llandovery game that kicks off at 7pm.
For the Drovers to finish top, they will need to beat Newport and see Merthyr turn over Cardiff
That said, even if Llandovery lose at Newport, they could still finish second if Cardiff were to beat Merthyr and deny the Ironmen two losing bonus points.
A bad scenario for Llandovery would be slipping up at Newport without any bonus point and seeing a Cardiff – Merthyr draw pushing them down to third spot.
Wins for Newport and Merthyr would also drop Llandovery into third spot.
Another factor to bear in mind is that if Llandovery and Merthyr were to finish on equal points, Llandovery would be placed second because of having won more games in the season
There is even the possibility, albeit unlikely, of all three clubs finishing on 87 points, at which point we would all have to take a careful look at the WRU regulations for the Premiership.
It’s time for Drovers supporters to bite their nails!
WRU regulations state:
National League placings will be decided on the basis of League points gained during the season. Where teams have gained equal numbers of League points, the team with the most wins shall be given preference. If the number of wins is equal, the team with the fewest losses shall be given preference. If the number of losses is equal then the Club having recorded the most tries in the Season shall be given preference. If the number of tries is equal the points ‘for’ shall be divided by the points ‘against’ and the team with the highest factor shall be declared to have the better record
2022/2023 Indigo Premiership as at May 3