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Principality Cup – Round 6

Principality Cup – Round 6

Round Six of the Principality Cup brings together 16 clubs for eight matches. The round includes Ebbw Vale from the Premier Division, 10 Division One clubs and three from Division Two, while the minnows are Hirwaun (Division 3 East) and Aberystwyth (Division 4 West).

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The eight winners will then be drawn at home against the eight remaining Premier clubs – Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Llanelli, Neath Newport, Pontypridd and Swansea in Round Seven.

Narberth, more than any other club remaining in the Principality Cup, are claiming CUP FEVER this weekend.
For their home match against Merthyr, the Otters are about to deliver the same treatment they handed out at Cross Keys in the last round and expect a big crowd at their Lewis Lloyd Ground to watch another Division One side possibly toppled.

Club secretary Tony Jones said: “If Narberth win this match, in the next round we should be playing a Premier club at home. If local people can come along, please give us your support for a game which may be close, but we are certain will produce exciting rugby.”

The Narberth club also wished their neighbours Whitland success at home to Aberavon in a match where the bottom of Division One Whitland were meeting the leaders Aberavon.

Whitland team manager Frank Setaro was elated at his side’s latest-gasp important league win at Dunvant last week and said: “We are fully capable of beating them and it is a nice draw in many respects as they are a good attraction, the best in our division and the thought of another home tie if we win is good.

“We are slow starters in league play, but cup is something different and there is always an excitement in cup draws. We are capable of causing an upset and that is what the cup is all about.”

Another good crowd should be at Parc Mawr, where high on the hillside will be the Bonymaen-Tondu sides, battling it out for the second time there this season.

Tondu won the league match in great style, but Bonymaen hope the opposite happens from last Saturday when they lost at home to Bedwas in the league after beating them in the Cup.

This time, Bonymaen fancy their Cup chances. Coach Malcolm Dacey says: “The chances of a win are not good in these professional days, but players like to see just how far they are behind the top boys and most will relish the chance of a home tie against the likes of Cardff, Llanelli or Swansea.

“Obviously, we would like Swansea. It would be a local battle and we did well against them a few years ago. Firstly we have to beat off Tondu on Saturday and that will not be easy.”

Aberystwyth are the minnows, who have already won through earlier rounds in convincing style. They will go to Newbridge in hope, but also with a fine record this season.

Could that be the upset, or will Hirwaun pull a surprise from in-form Blackwood? Coach Mark Thomas takes every game in order on its merit and will not be underestimating the home side.

The all Carmarthen battle catches the imagination and Carmarthen Quins team manager Anthony Dragone states that: “There has been hard times between the clubs, but relations are very good in this big area of rugby.

“We have loaned three players – Julian Howells, Derrick Wyke and Steve Morse – to the Athletic this season. They are the home side in the draw, though we both share the ground. That means that we will be going back to their club for the meal and drinks after the match.”

This is the first-ever Welsh Cup clash between the clubs, but there have been Tovali Cup games and only two seasons ago the pair were locked in league clashes. The main interest will be fly half Howells, who appears likely to start for the Athletic, having begun the season with the Quins.

In the other matches, Pontypool will be fully extended at Beddau, but the presence of internationals Byron Hayward in the backs and Mark Jones in the pack should help the bigger outfit.
Ebbw Vale come straight from that interesting Parker Pen European Shield win over Agen by travelling to Llandovery for the second season running.

Despite being the only Premier side in action, the Steelmen will pay the Drovers with respect and hope to repeat last season’s result. As with all the other 15 clubs, Ebbw Vale will hope for a win and a home tie in Round Seven next month.

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