Team News v Aberavon RFC

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Jason Strange has made a number of changes to the side to face Aberavon RFC as the Steelmen look to continue their winning run after recent victories over Newport and Swansea.

The Steelmen bring in Evan Lloyd and Jon Evans at half backs while Joe Franchi returns to the starting XV as captain.

It is new look back row, with exciting youngster Owen Conquer starting at 6 alongside Lewis Young and Alex Howes in the back row.

Replacements will be confirmed on Thursday.

Travel Information

The Addicts will be providing transport to the game leaving the Welfare at 5.45pm and returning straight after the match.

For those travelling to the Talbot Athletic Ground, the address is:  39 Manor St, Port Talbot SA13 1AB

Ebbw Vale Claim Another Win

The Steelmen came away with five points after the game was played in crisp weather conditions.

The game started with both sides making mistakes and releasing the pressure off each other, after making in-roads into each side’s twenty-two.

Following an infringement at the scrum by the visitor’s, a kick to the corner by Ebbw Vale outside half Keiran Meek saw the home side forwards apply the pressure. With co-captain Rhys Francis being stopped just short of the line, second row Curtis Gregory was alert and stretched over the try line, to score the first try of the game. Fly half Meek successfully added the two points.

The away side’s first chance of points came when the All Whites were awarded a penalty just inside the Ebbw half, after a forward strayed in front of the kicker. Ex Ebbw Vale number ten Rhys Jones was unlucky to see his kick fall just short of the posts.

With the visitors putting some nice moves together and keeping hold of the ball, flyhalf Jones was given another opportunity to put his team on the scoreboard after the hosts were caught offside. However, the experienced number ten was unable to take advantage.

With Swansea on the back foot and attempting to run from their own twenty-two, referee Simon Mills adjudged an away back to have held onto the ball at the ruck on the halfway line. Ebbw fly half Meek found touch. From the lineout outside the visitors twenty-two, the hosts forwards set up a rolling maul, which saw Ebbw go forward at a rate of knots. The end result saw co-captain Francis touch down to go joint top of the try scoring charts with his seventh try of the season. Meek was unable to add the extra’s.

The All Whites brought themselves back into the game, when from a lineout in the Steelmen twenty-two, they set up a maul. A break down the blind side saw the ball end up in the hands of Morgan Rees to score a well taken try. Outside half Jones added the two points.

Ebbw Vale extended their lead just before half time when a Swansea player was too quick out of the blocks and was adjudged to have been in front of the kicker. Fly half Meek sent the penalty between the sticks to put his side eight points ahead.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 15 Swansea RFC 7

The home side came out and went straight onto the front foot. A knock on by an away side player in the visitor’s twenty-two provided Ebbw with a scrum in an attacking position. An impressive push by the Steelmen forwards, saw referee Mills award the hosts a penalty. A chip to the corner by outside Meek saw the Ebbw forwards attempt to replicate their try from the first half from a maul. However, on this occasion, they were unable to take advantage.

With the All Whites unable to clear their line, the hosts were not to be denied, however. Centre Dom Franchi was stopped just shy of the try line. Prop Harry Drane was on hand to dive over and score the home side’s third try of the game.

Ebbw Vale Coach Jason Strange started to ring the changes. Hooker Ieuan Morris replaced co-captain Rhys Francis, Morgan Davies came on for Luke Garrett, Jon Evans replaced Rory Harries, Evan Lloyd replaced Keiran Meek, Ben Main came on for his debut after replacing Kobi Rees and Owen Hatherill replaced Harry Drane.

From a penalty inside the Swansea twenty-two, the Steelmen opted for a scrum. After winning the scrum, an unstoppable maul saw referee Mills have no alternative but to award a penalty try to the home side. To add to their misery, Swansea number seventeen Tom Slone was shown a yellow card and spent ten minutes in the sin bin.

The home side made another change, with young number eight Owen Conquer replacing Alex Howes.

A clever kick forward in space by the hosts full back Carrick McDonough, saw the speedster nearly add another try. However, the covering defence just got back to touch the ball down over the try line for a goal line drop out.

With the All Whites on the back foot, an up and under from their twenty-two landed in the arms of Ebbw replacement Lloyd, who passed straight to replacement number eight Conquer. Charging over the halfway line, the young number eight barged straight through four Swansea defenders and was able to offload in the tackle to supporting runner Jon Evans, who went over unopposed. Replacement fly half Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.

Credit to the All Whites, who never gave up and nearly scored their second try of the game late on when centre Osian Knott passed out wide to winger Morgan Rees, who believed he was in to score. However, referee Mills pulled play back for a forward pass.

The home side finished the game with fourteen men, when in the last-minute replacement scrum half Jon Evans was shown the yellow card for ill-discipline. The away side were unable to take advantage and Ebbw cleared their lines to see out the game.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 36 Swansea RFC 7


Tries: Curtis Gregory (1), Rhys Francis (1), Harry Drane (1), Penalty Try (1), Jon Evans

Conversions: Keiran Meek (2), Evan Lloyd (1)

Penalty: Keiran Meek (1)


After the game we spoke with Ebbw Vale prop and try scorer Harry Drane. Harry was happy with not only the front five’s performance, but also the team performance. Harry said the team worked on what they practiced during training. He was pleased to get the bonus point win, especially with team’s close by dropping points.

We also spoke with Swansea and ex Ebbw Vale fly half Rhys Jones. Rhys acknowledged it was a tough game. He said the Swansea squad were expecting it to be a difficult game playing away to Ebbw Vale, especially playing in cold weather conditions. He informed Ebbw Vale are a well drilled team, who are going well in the league and cup. Rhys believed Swansea made to many mistakes, which gave Ebbw field position, and they took full advantage.


Ebbw Vale’s next game is away to Aberavon in front of the S4C Clic cameras on Thursday 30 November 2023, with kick off 7:30pm.


Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

The Steelmen return to action today, looking to build on the victory against Newport RFC last weekend, when they entertain Swansea RFC at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium with a 2.30pm kick off.

The Steelmen have made several changes to the match day squad.

It is all change in the front row with Luke Garrett, Rhys Francis and Harry Drane returning to the starting 15, while at half back, Rory Harries and Kieran Meek replace Jon Evans and Evan Lloyd.

Ben Main, the summer signing from Abergavenny RFC, will be looking to make his debut for the Steelmen from the bench.

There will also be a return of a fan favourite to the club today with Toby Fricker being the guest speaker for the pre-game hospitality. Toby played for the Steelmen for 2 seasons before signing for the Bristol Bears. He is currently signed with the Ospreys.

Ebbw Vale Team

15 Carrick Mcdonough 14 Harry Rees-Weldon 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Jordan Thomas 10 Kieran Meek 9 Rory Harries

1 Luke Garrett 2 Rhys Francis (CAPT) 3 Harry Drane 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Cameron Regan 7 Kobi Rees 8 Alex Howes

16 Ieuan Morris 17 Morgan Davies 18 Owen Hatherill 19 Jakub Malecki 20 Owen Conquer 21 Jon Evans 22 Evan Lloyd 23 Ben Main

The 3rd North Gwent and Powys Coaches Forum was held this week at Ebbw Vale RFC where Jason Strange and Mostyn Richards were joined by guest speaker, former Ebbw Vale RFC Head Coach Leigh Jones.Leigh was the head coach at Ebbw Vale RFC during one of the clubs most successful eras in the late 1990s. During this time, Leigh turned the Steelmen into one of the top professional teams in the UK, orchestrating memorable victories against Toulouse and Toulon in European Competition and leading the Steelmen to the SWALEC Cup Final for the first and only time in the club’s history. Leigh then went on to coach Newport Gwent Dragons before becoming head of rugby operations at Hong Kong . He was assistant coach to Eddie Jones with Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and more recently was the general manager at Leicester Tigers working with Steve Borthwick winning the English Premiership in 2022.During the session, Leigh covered many really important elements to coaching e.g. relationships, managing the younger generation in the current game, intensity blocks in today’s coaching sessions and the importance of how we feedback to all our charges. The audience of 22 coaches were actively engaged in the presentation for two hours !The EVRFC Head Coach Jason Strange commented “This was a very professional presentation from Leigh. Basically, he brought to life the current trends in the world game for the coaches of North Gwent and Powys. Leigh’s attention to detail about the current trends in rugby will serve the 22 coaches for a long time and the responses received from the audience evidenced how they found the evening to be so enlightening and inspirational.”The next session for these coaches will be held in January.

Ebbw take the spoils in another Gwent derby  

The Steelmen came away from Newport with a hard earned but well-deserved victory, in a game that was played in testing conditions.

Straight from the kick off, playing into the wind, the away side took the game to their opponents. After being awarded consecutive penalties in the home sides half, Ebbw Vale outside half Evan Lloyd successfully kicked a penalty to put the visitors three points ahead.

Three early substitutions for Newport disrupted the home sides rhythm. However, they were soon ahead when from a lineout inside the Steelmen’s twenty-two, the home side forwards set up a rolling maul, which ended with hooker Henry Palmer diving over the line to score the first try of the game. Fullback Carwyn Penny was unlucky not to add the two points when his conversion came back off the posts.

With the away side forwards taking the game to the Black and Ambers, a superb chip inside the home side’s twenty-two by Evan Lloyd out to the wing, saw Ebbw Vale young winger Harry Rees-Weldon catch the ball and cross the line to score in the corner. A terrific conversion by Lloyd from the touch line went over after hitting the inside of the post, to extend Ebbw’s lead further ahead.

Newport soon hit back and retook the lead, when from a lineout inside the Steelmen’s half, the ball found its way out to full back Penny, who saw a gap in the defence outside the away side’s twenty-two. With the defence scrambling back, the full back showed his pace and went under the posts unopposed. Penny successfully converted his own try.

Ebbw Vale marksman Lloyd put the visitors back ahead from a penalty after the referee penalised Newport for ill-discipline.

With the game going into first half injury time, Lloyd further extended the away side’s lead to make it a four-point game going into the interval.

Half Time: Newport RFC 12 Ebbw Vale RFC 16

The Steelmen came out for the second half, like they finished the first half and went straight onto the front foot. With the wind and momentum behind them, Ebbw further extended their lead to seven points within five minutes of the restart, when the visitor’s top points scorer Lloyd kicked an excellent fifty metre penalty.

The Black and Ambers responded immediately with full back Penny successfully reducing the deficit with an excellent penalty into the wind.

Another penalty by the visitor’s marksman Lloyd, saw the lead again extend to seven points for the Steelmen.

The away side were given another opportunity to extend their lead to ten points after ill discipline by Newport gave Lloyd an opportunity from the tee. With the wind behind him, the marksmen successfully kicked the penalty to put Ebbw Vale more than one score ahead.

With the weather continuing to play a part in the game, Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange started to ring the changes. Lewis Young replaced the impressive Kobi Rees, inspiring props Adam Court and Morgan Davies were replaced by Harry Drane and Luke Garrett.

Further ill-discipline by the home side gave the visitors an opportunity to stretch their lead to thirteen points on the seventieth minute. Prolific points scorer Lloyd duly obliged.

The Steelmen’s coach Strange, made further changes with co-captain Rhys Francis replacing the ever-dependable Joe Franchi and Owen Conquer coming on for the excellent Alex Howes.

With just over five minutes left of the game, the away side were reduced to fourteen men when fly half Lloyd was penalised in the Ebbw twenty-two. Running out of patience the referee showed the yellow card, to leave the Steelmen seeing out the remainder of the game one man down.

The hosts with a numerical gain, took advantage when the forwards took the penalty quickly and number eight Ben Roach powered over the try line to score his sides third try of the game. Full back Penny was again unsuccessful with the conversion.

With only minutes remaining, Ebbw Vale coach Strange replaced the reliable Harry Rees-Weldon with Kieran Meek and Rory Harries came on for the industrious Jordan Thomas.

Despite the best efforts of both teams, no further points were added to the scoreboard, leaving the Steelmen victorious after a hard battle in tricky weather conditions.

Full Time: Newport RFC 20 Ebbw Vale RFC 28


Tries: Harry Rees-Weldon (1)

Conversion: Evan Lloyd (1)

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (7)


After the game we spoke to Ebbw Vale winger Jordan Thomas. Jordan acknowledged it was always going to be a tough game away to Newport, especially considering the weather was not the best, with the wind and the rain swirling around at the start of the game. Jordan finished by stating the squad were happy to come away with an important victory, after a hard loss to take last time out against Pontypool.

Ebbw`s next game is at home at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium on Saturday 25th of November 2023 against Swansea, with the kick-off at 2:30pm.


Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Ebbw Vale RFC return to action tomorrow against Newport RFC at Newport Stadium with a 2.30pm kick off.

The Steelmen will be looking to return to winning ways in the Gwent Derby  against Newport RFC following their defeat in their last outing to Pontypool RFC.

Jason Strange has made several changes to the team that faced Pontypool and will be delighted with the return of both Joe Franchi and Harry Rees-Weldon to the starting lineup after injury. In the backs, the only change sees Carrick Mcdonough move to full back with the return of Harry Rees-Weldon on the wing. While upfront, it a new look back row with Kobi Rees and Alex Howes making their first starts of the season alongside Cameron Regan.

The full Ebbw Vale squad is as follows:

15 Carrick Mcdonough 14 Harry Rees-Weldon 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Jordan Thomas 10 Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1 Morgan Davies 2 Joe Franchi (CAPT) 3 Adam Court 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Cameron Regan 7 Kobi Rees 8 Alex Howes


16 Rhys Francis 17 Luke Garrett 18 Harry Drane 19 Jakub Malecki 20 Owen Conquer 21 Rory Harries 22 Kieran Meek 23 Lewis Young


Addicts Information

The Addicts will be providing transport to the match tomorrow. They will be leaving The Welfare at 12.30pm and will be returning from the Newport Stadium at 4.30pm.

The clubhouse at Newport Cricket Club which is adjacent to Newport Stadium will be open from 12 noon on match day for food and drink. Everyone welcome.


For those travelling by car the address for Newport stadium is:  Newport International Sports Village, Stadium Way, Newport NP19 4PT

Postcode for Satnavs NP19 4PT


Pontypool win the Gwent derby

The Steelmen left Pontypool Park with a losing bonus point, after playing in front of the S4C Clic cameras.

The away side took the game straight to Pontypool. After winning the scrum inside the home side twenty-two, the Ebbw forwards went through phase after phase, before number eight Ryan Jenkins powered his way over the try line. Outside half Evan Lloyd successfully added the two points.

Flyhalf Lloyd was unable to add a further three points from a penalty, after a shot at goal from near the halfway line went wide of the posts.

With the game being played from one end to the other, Pooler soon scored their first points of the night, after number ten Matthew Jarvis successfully kicked a penalty.

The home side scored their first try of the game, when the ball reached Pooler centre Joel Mahoney out wide from a maul. With a lot to do and two men outside him, Mahoney showed his speed and went around the covering defender to touch down. Jarvis duly added the two points. In trying to stop the try, Ebbw Vale number eight Ryan Jenkins pulled up with an injury and as a result was replaced by Chad Thomas.

After winning a rare lineout inside their own half, the Steelmen’s fly half Evan Lloyd put in a superb 50:22 to put his side on the front foot. However, the away side were unable to take advantage, with Pooler winning the lineout and clearing their lines.

With Ebbw Vale having the better of the scrum, referee Craig Evans awarded a penalty to give the away side a chance to level the score. Last year’s club top point scorer Evan Lloyd duly obliged to bring the scores level.

Ebbw scored their second try of the game and the last points of the first half when scrum half Jon Evans collected a high ball on the halfway line. With a lot to do, the scrum half burst through tackles before offloading the ball to the supporting forwards in the Pontypool twenty-two. With the home side defence being stretched, a long back of the hand pass by Ebbw Vale number ten Evan Lloyd out to the wing, saw the home side winger Walker Price knock the ball on. Taking his time to decide, referee Craig Evans adjudged the winger to have deliberately knocked the ball on and showed the player a yellow card. To compound the woes, referee Evans also awarded the Steelmen a penalty try.

Half Time: Pontypool RFC 10 Ebbw Vale RFC 17

The second half started off in the same fashion as the first with the away side dominating the scrum but losing the line out.

Whilst still down to fourteen men, Pontypool hit back. From a line out in the Ebbw Vale twenty-two, the home side forwards played through phase after phase with the Steelmen defence holding firm. However, replacement Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths was strong enough to dive over the line. Outside half Jarvis hit the post after slipping.

The away side quickly added a further three points from the boot of Lloyd, after referee Evans awarded a penalty due to scrum half Jon Evans being upended illegally.

With the Pontypool forwards in the ascendancy, Referee Evans produced a yellow card to Ebbw prop Morgan Davies for not rolling away.

Looking to freshen things up, Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange replaced co-captain Rhys Francis with Ieuan Morris, prop Adam Court came on for Harry Drane and second row Jakub Maleki was replaced by Curtis Gregory.

A rolling maul by the Steelmen forwards was stopped on the halfway line when referee Evans penalised a home side forward for illegally changing their bind. A superb kick into the Pooler twenty-two, saw Ebbw Vale make an unforced error when the ball was not thrown into the lineout straight.

However, from the scrum, referee Evans penalised Pontypool and award a penalty. On this occasion, however, Ebbw outside half Lloyd was unable to add the three points.

Further Steelmen changes saw Kieran Meek replace flyhalf Evan Lloyd, Gethin Williams came on for Lewis Young and Luke Garrett replaced Morgan Davies after the conclusion of his yellow card.

The home side went back in front with ten minutes left to play. After a knock on from the restart on the Ebbw try line, Pooler replacement Ben Moa ran at the away side defence. The forwards again going through the phases, with Alex Grey driving the ball over the line to score. Number ten Jarvis kicked the conversion successfully.

A big push in the scrum from the Pontypool forwards with five minutes to go, saw Craig Evans penalise the Ebbw scrum. Pooler number ten Jarvis was successful with the penalty to put his team five points ahead.

No further points were scored in the final five minutes, in front of a crowd that was estimated to be between two to three thousand.

Full Time: Pontypool RFC 25 Ebbw Vale RFC 20    


Tries: Ryan Jenkins, penalty try

Conversion: Evan Lloyd

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (2)


The Steelmen next play away to Newport on Saturday the 18th of November 2023 with kick-off at 2:30pm.


Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Pontypool vs Ebbw Vale Preview

Second placed Ebbw Vale travel to Pontypool Park on the 2nd of November 2023 to play in front of the cameras against third placed Pontypool, with a kick-off at 7:30pm.

With both teams having won six games on the bounce, Jason Strange’s side will be aiming to keep their good run going but will know that an improved performance from the match against Bridgend Ravens will be required if they are to take anything from the game.

As the two teams have not played each other for some time in the league, the game will no doubt be a fiercely contested derby, with neither side looking to give an inch.

Jason Strange makes several changes to the squad from the game against the Ravens for the Steelmen’s visit to Pontypool.

The Full Squad is:

15.Morgan Richards 14. Carrick Mcdonough 13. Ethan Phillips 12. Dom Franchi 11. Jordan Thomas 10. Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1.Morgan Davies 2. Rhys Francis (CAPT) 3. Harry Drane 4. Dylan Bartlett 5. Jakub Malecki 6. Cameron Regan 7. Lewis Young 8. Ryan Jenkins

Replacements from…

Ieuan Morris, Luke Garrett, Adam Court, Curtis Gregory, Chad Thomas, Gethin Williams, Rory Harries, Kieran Meek and Ryan Davies

Ebbw Addicts Travel

For those travelling with the Addicts, the bus will be leaving the Welfare at 6.30pm.

The Welfare will be open from 5.00pm for drinks and snacks before travelling to Pontypool.

For those supporters making their own way to Pontypool the address is: Pontypool RFC, Pontypool Park, Pontypool, NP4 8AT

Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted to confirm that they have submitted the required expression of interest for membership of the new Elite League.

The club will hold a meeting for members on Tuesday 7th November at the Welfare starting at 7pm  to explain next steps and the clubs intentions. There will also be the opportunity for the audience to ask and have answered any questions they may have.

The meeting will be led by Club Chairman, Jon Jones and Head Coach, Jason Strange.