Jump to main content

Drovers seeking Gwent double as Newport head to Church Bank

Indigo Prem

Having seen off Pontypool at Church Bank last time out, the visitors to the home of the defending champions today are second placed Newport. The Black & Ambers are four points behind the Drovers, with Pooler a point further back in third having played a game more.

Share this page:
Llandovery  will get the chance to move further ahead at the top of the Indigo Premiership table if they can make it a Gwent double this weekend.

It means Euros Evans’ men can push Newport further back if they can make it eight wins out of nine this season and keep their noses in front heading into the festive period.

“I was surprised that Newport were beaten at home by Ebbw Vale in the last round. Consistency is the key in this league and Newport have been that for most of the season,” said Evans.
“Their attack sometimes suffers when Matt O’Brien doesn’t play and they missed him last week. He’ll be away for two more weekends on Dragons duty, so that should help us.

“This is the last game against a top four team we will have for a while and hopefully we can make home advantage pay for us and we can get the job done.”

Newport head coach Ty Morris is hoping his Newport side can overcome some major injury headaches, as well as the absence of O’Brien at Church Bank. His side has won four of the last five meetings between the two clubs and two of the last three in west Wales, so they will travel full of optimism.

“We had a bad day with our kicking in difficult conditions against Ebbw Vale and we simply weren’t accurate enough,” admitted Morris.

“We’ve talked about that and now we have to move on and try to get back to winning ways. There is no panic, we are still in the top two, and this time last season we had lost half-a-dozen games.

“Llandovery have maintained their momentum from last season when they won the title, but I’ll be reminding my players that they beat them 52-33 at home last season and only lost by two points at Church Bank.

“Before that, we beat them at their place in the two previous games. So, we should travel with a degree of confidence.”

As well as missing O’Brien in his back line, O’Brien will also be without three second rows, two other centre options and three tight head props.
“It’s not ideal, but we just have to get on with it. A lot of our injuries are all in the same position, but that means an opportunity for other players,” said Morris.

“We fully realise Matt’s position as a coaching with the Dragons, so we have to deal with it. We’ve got two good options at No 10 in Carwyn Penny and Jac Lloyd.”
Third placed Pontypool head to Bridgend for a tricky challenge and will be without Wales U20 prop Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, who has travelled to South Africa with the Dragons.
Director of rugby Leighton Jones was pleased to see his side bounce back to winning ways last weekend after their defeat at Llandovery, but wouldn’t have been happy to only take four points our of a 24-12 win at home against bottom of the table Neath.

Pooler remain in third place, having played one game more than the teams around them, and can expect a thorough examination from the Ravens at the Brewery Field.

Ebbw Vale, 10 points clear of fifth placed Merthyr, and level on points with Pooler, will have home advantage over Swansea. The All Whites have already won on the road twice this season, including a win in Newport, and will be hoping to hit back after their 22-12 home defeat to Cardiff last weekend.

Merthyr will be seeing a fourth win on the bounce when they head north to face RGC, while Cardiff host Aberavon as they seek to move into the top half of the table.

Partners and Suppliers

Principal Partners
Official Broadcast Partners
BBC Cymru/Wales
Official Partners