Welsh rugby is about to undergo the biggest structural shake-up since the introduction of Regional rugby in 2003 with the creation of the 10-team Super Rygbi Cymru.

Following 9 months of applications and licencing, the 10 licenced clubs will move out of the community game in Wales to become aligned with the professional tier as a way to bridge the gap for players moving between the academies and the regions.

Super Rygbi Cymru (the official competition name replacing Elite Domestic Competition) will kick-off on the second weekend of September (Saturday, 14 September) and will see the clubs play 18 home and away league fixtures in the regular season before progressing to three rounds of play-offs and a Grand Final.  Every team is guaranteed at least one Play-Off match and a further four games in the cup competition that will take place during the 6 Nations window, giving each team a minimum of 23 fixtures over the course of the season.

The first round of fixtures will see the last ever Indigo Premiership and WRU Premiership Cup winners Llandovery head to Pontypool Park to kick-off their pursuit of more silverware. The full fixtures for Round 1 will be:

Carmarthen Quins v Swansea
Ebbw Vale v Aberavon
Newport v Bridgend
Pontypool v Llandovery
RGC v Cardiff

If the Drovers can match their double-winning campaign in 2023-23 next season then they would play a maximum of 26 matches.

As well as playing in the Super Rygbi Cymru trophy and cup, the 10 teams will also get the chance during the regular league campaign to fight for the ‘SRC Challenge Shield’. Similar to New Zealand’s Ranfurly Shield, the ‘holder’ will put up the Shield for competition in every home game in the regular league season.  As the final winners of the Premiership Cup, Llandovery RFC will be the inaugural Shield holders going into this first season. Llandovery’s first defence of the Challenge Shield will be their first home game of the season against RGC in Round 2 at Church Bank.

Llandovery were unbeaten in 15 league and cup matches last season and will go into the first ever Super Rygbi Cymru season with an 18 match home winning streak dating back to 10 March 2023.

“The buy in from all the clubs has been fantastic and we’ve had many good planning meetings in the build-up to this launch, which we deliberately delayed to allow the final season of the Indigo Premiership to reach its conclusion.  Much has been said of the EDC to date, but now we’re excited to finally launch, Super Rygbi Cymru, as a fresh start.  The competition’s new look and feel is designed to be dynamic and eye catching, but unique to us.  It builds on our unique heritage and past, but captures our new ambitions for the future; the energy of the competition, the rising talent, and the working together,” said WRU Head of Player Development, John Alder.

“We’ve tried to be creative in our thinking about the design of the competition while keeping it aligned to the professional game calendar.   Each club will have at least 11 home games over the course of the season but we also wanted to ensure there is lots to play for, plenty of jeopardy, and there are exciting local derbies. The Regions are all on board and the new structure should raise standards all round.

“We’re excited to now see the start line of this new competition. Our goal has always been to provide better playing opportunities for current Academy and Wales Pathway players, as well as providing a vital alternative route into the professional game for players either released by the Regions, or those who develop later.

“We want Super Rygbi Cymru to be not only a breeding ground and finishing school for ambitious players to ultimately push them through into the Regions, the URC, and on to Wales but for it to be the optimal place for Wales’s best domestic players to play.  Our ambition over the next few years is to transform the competition into a competitive, progressive, and sustainable domestic rugby competition.

“We believe we have created the framework for an exciting and intense competition for both young and experienced players, clubs, and fans alike, with a new, vibrant, and fresh brand reflective of where we’ve come from and where we want to go – and all though a new collaborative system between the Regions and their Affiliate clubs.

“One of the exciting features will be seeing the seasoned semi-pro players who have operated to such a high standard over the past season playing alongside some of our most exciting talent. The link between the former Scarlets, Dragons and Wales centre Adam Warren and Wales U20 prospect Macs Page at Llandovery has been a classic example of how the younger players can learn from those who have been there and done it all.

“Alex Mann, Mackenzie Martin, and Lucas de la Rua have all benefitted from playing alongside Morgan Allen in the Cardiff back row, while Wales U20 caps Dylan Keller-Griffiths and Sam Scarfe have developed nicely in the Pontypool front row in recent seasons.

“Joe Westwood and Harri Ackerman have come through the ranks at Newport to make their Dragons debuts, while Dan Edwards and Morgan Morse both played for Swansea before clinching long-term deals at the Ospreys – and our goal is to make it even more intense, competitive, professional and aspirational over the next few years.”

The 10 clubs have all signed up to a ‘salary cap’ system that will enable them to spend up to £150,000 on a squad of 32 players. There will be exceptions to this rule (see notes below).

The WRU will be providing £105,000 to each club, who in return not only have to commit to match funding that sum each season, but are also required to meet a set of minimum operating expectations in the running of both the club and their SRC rugby team.

Season Structure

Super Rygbi Cymru (SRC) will be aligned to the professional game calendar and the United Rugby Championship to create a collaborative working relationship between the 10 clubs and the four Regions. This will include breaks in the competition during the Autumn and Six Nations international windows.

The season will be played in three blocks (September & October / December / April & May):
Regular Season: 18 Rounds with all 10 teams playing each other home and away
Post-Season Finals: The post-regular season finals will consist of four knock-out stages

There will be three pieces of silverware available to the teams – the Super Rygbi Cymru Trophy, the Super Rygbi Cymru Cup, and the Challenger Shield.

2024-25 Super Rygbi Cymru Season

Begins on the weekend of 14 September and concludes with the Grand Final on or around Saturday 17 May 2025 (at a neutral venue).

The regular season will conclude on weekend of 19 April 2025. The following are the block dates:
Block 1: Rounds 1 – 7: 14 September 24 – 26 October 24
Block 2: Rounds 8 – 14: 23 November 24 – 4th January 25
Block 3: Rounds 15 – 18, and Post-Season Finals: 29 March 25 – 17 May 25

Post-Season Finals
Wild Card Finals (7 v 10, 8 v 9)
Quarter-Finals (1 v Wildcard 1, 2 v Wildcard 2, 3 v 6, and 4 v 5)
Semi-Finals (
Grand Final (playing for the Trophy)

Challenger Shield
A Challenger Shield will be introduced as part of the regular season. The holding club must defend the shield in all home games during the regular season (but not during Post Season Finals). If the challenger beats them, they will become the new holder of the shield and required to defend it at their next home game.

Super Rygbi Cymru Cup

A cup competition will be introduced during the 6 Nations. There will be four rounds and a Final (the draw will be conducted in season).

There will be two pools of five clubs, each playing two home and two away games. The winners of each Pool will play-off in the Cup Final.

SRC Competition Governance
The SRC governance committee will oversee the effective management, integrity, and adherence to established regulations of the competition and will serve as a sub-committee of the Rugby Management Board (RMB), which is a sub-board of the Professional Rugby Board.  The SRC Governance Committee will have nine members:
– 3 representatives of the WRU Performance team (the WRU’s SRC Competition Manager, Performance Director, and Head of Player Development (who will act as Chair in the inaugural year)
– 2 elected Regional representatives from the RMB
– 2 representatives to be elected from the 10 Licenced Clubs
– 2 representatives of the Community Game, being the Chair of the Community Game Board and WRU Community Director (for the inaugural Licence term of 3 years)

There will also be three sub-committees: SRC Medical Advisory Group; SRC Disciplinary Committee; and SRC Commercial Group

Competition Rules & Regulations

Competition Rules and Regulations are currently in development and will be seeking to align where possible to the URC and the RFU Championship. SRC will adopt the professional game tackle and disciplinary laws. Considerations in the Rules and Regulations also include permit arrangements between the Professional and Community games.

Obligations of participating Clubs are also included as part of the terms of their Licence (for example, Commercial obligations and the Minimum Operating Expectations).

All clubs (and Regions) are required to enter into a mutually beneficial Regional Club Affiliate Partnership. The Regions are already underway, and are at different stages, in allocating their Academy players to their Affiliate clubs for next season. This allocation will be based on factors such as where a player is from, where he played his junior rugby, his specific needs and opportunities.  The Regions are committed to work in a mutually supportive and equitable way with all their Affiliate clubs both regarding players, rugby programmes and systems, coaching and development.

Player Salary Cap

The Player Salary Cap for the 2024-25 SRC season has been set at £150,000pa. However, there is salary cap relief and there are exemptions for recently released Regional Players (at U18 and from a Senior Academy), Dual Contracted Players, and Injuries.  The main idea is to encourage and support the retention of high potential players within Wales and in the competition. That’s why there will be exemptions and relief within the salary cap for certain periods of time.


SUPER RYGBI CYMRU FIXTURES 2024-25

ROUND 1 – 14.09.2024
Carmarthen Quins v Swansea
Ebbw Vale v Aberavon
Newport v Bridgend
Pontypool v Llandovery
RGC v Cardiff

ROUND           2 – 21.09.2024

Aberavon v Carmarthen Quins
Bridgend v Pontypool
Cardiff v Ebbw Vale
Llandovery v RGC
Swansea v Newport

ROUND           3 – 28.09.2024

Carmarthen Quins v Cardiff
Ebbw Vale v Llandovery
Newport v Aberavon
RGC v Pontypool
Swansea v Bridgend

ROUND           4 – 05.10.2024

Aberavon v Newport
Bridgend v Swansea
Cardiff v Carmarthen Quins
Llandovery v Ebbw Vale
Pontypool v RGC

ROUND           5 – 12.10.2024
Aberavon v Bridgend
Carmarthen Quins v Pontypool
Ebbw Vale v RGC
Newport v Llandovery
Swansea v Cardiff

ROUND           6 – 19.10.2024

Bridgend v Ebbw Vale
Cardiff v Aberavon
Llandovery v Swansea
Pontypool v Newport
RGC v Carmarthen Quins

ROUND           7 – 26.10.2024

Aberavon v Llandovery
Cardiff v Bridgend
Carmarthen Quins v Ebbw Vale
Newport v RGC
Swansea v Pontypool

ROUND           8 – 23.11.2024

Bridgend v Carmarthen Quins
Ebbw Vale v Newport
Llandovery v Cardiff
Pontypool v Aberavon
RGC v Swansea

ROUND           9 – 30.11.2024

Aberavon v RGC
Cardiff v Pontypool
Llandovery v Bridgend
Newport v Carmarthen Quins
Swansea v Ebbw Vale

ROUND           10 – 07.12.2024         

Aberavon v Ebbw Vale
Bridgend v Newport
Cardiff v RGC
Llandovery v Pontypool
Swansea v Carmarthen Quins

ROUND           11 – 14.12.2024         

Carmarthen Quins v Aberavon
Ebbw Vale v Cardiff
Newport v Swansea
Pontypool v Bridgend
RGC v Llandovery

ROUND           12 – 21.12.2024 (DERBY ROUND)

Aberavon v Swansea
Bridgend v RGC
Cardiff v Newport
Llandovery v Carmarthen Quins
Pontypool v Ebbw Vale

ROUND           13 – 28.12.2024 (DERBY ROUND)

Carmarthen Quins v Llandovery
Ebbw Vale v Pontypool
Newport v Cardiff
RGC v Bridgend
Swansea v Aberavon

ROUND           14 – 04.01.2025          
Bridgend v Aberavon
Cardiff v Swansea
Llandovery v Newport
Pontypool v Carmarthen Quins
RGC v Ebbw Vale

ROUND           15 – 29.03.2025         

Aberavon v Cardiff
Carmarthen Quins v RGC
Ebbw Vale v Bridgend
Newport v Pontypool
Swansea v Llandovery

ROUND           16 – 05.04.2025         

Bridgend v Cardiff
Ebbw Vale v Carmarthen Quins
Llandovery v Aberavon
Pontypool v Swansea
RGC v Newport

ROUND           17 – 12.04.2025         

Aberavon v Pontypool
Cardiff v Llandovery
Carmarthen Quins v Bridgend
Newport v Ebbw Vale
Swansea v RGC

ROUND           18 – 19.04.2025         

Bridgend v Llandovery
Carmarthen Quins v Newport
Ebbw Vale v Swansea
Pontypool v Cardiff
RGC v Aberavon

Post Season Finals

Wildcard Play Offs – 26.04.2025
7th        v            10th     (WG 1)
8th        v            9th        (WG 2)

Quarter-Finals – 03.05.2025

1st         v            WG 1     (QF 1)
4th        v            5th        (QF 2)
2nd        v            WG 2     (QF 3)
3rd        v            6th        (QF 4)

Semi-Finals – 10.05.2025

Winner of QF1   v            Winner of QF 4
Winner of QF2   v            Winner of QF 3

Grand Final – 17.05.2025

Winner SF 1       v            Winner of SF 2
* Neutral Venue TBC

Super Rygbi Cymru Cup Weekends

ROUND 1 – 25.01.2025
ROUND 2 – 01.02.2025
ROUND 3 – 15.02.2025
ROUND 4 – 01.03.2025
FINAL – 15.03.2025

 

Ebbw’s semi-final heartache

The Steelmen came out second best against a clinical Newport side, on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Newport.

The home side were soon in front when experienced fly half Matt O’Brien kicked a penalty from in front of the uprights.

The visitors were level shortly after, when outside half Evan Lloyd brought the scores level after Ebbw Vale were awarded a penalty from the scrum.

A further penalty by number ten Lloyd saw the away side take the lead, midway through the first half.

The first try of the game was scored by Newport. Good play out wide saw centre Joe Westwood go over in the corner. An excellent conversion from the touchline by O’Brien saw the hosts take a four-point lead.

A lovely break through the centre of midfield, from the halfway line by Ebbw centre Ethan Phillips, saw the centre draw the opposing full back and pass the ball to the supporting Ryan Gardner. With the winger looking likely to score, opposing winger Lloyd Lewis came from nowhere to pull off a try saving tackle for his side.

The black and ambers were to score two quick fire tries down the blind side by winger Elliot Frewen and scrum half Che Hope just before half time. Outside half O’Brien successfully added the two conversions to give his side a twenty-one-point lead going into the break.

Half Time: Newport RFC 27 Ebbw Vale RFC 6

Newport started the second half just like they finished the first. Centre Westwood scored his second try out wide after the home side’s forwards made inroads into the Ebbw defence. O’Brien again, sent the conversion through the uprights to add the extras.

The Steelmen’s coach Jason Strange replaced the front row. Co-captain Rhys Francis replaced hooker Joe Franchi, in what was to be Francis’ final game and props Morgan Davies and Owen Hatherill came on for Luke Garrett and Adam Court.

The hosts fifth try of the afternoon came when from a lineout, the ball made its way out to centre Westwood, who burst through the Ebbw Vale defence to score a hat trick of tries. O’Brien added the two points.

Further changes by the visitor’s coach Strange saw centre Dominic Franchi come off for Cameron Davies, Owen Conquer replace number eight Ryan Jenkins and flanker Ben Main be replaced by Ewan McIntyre.

With just over ten minutes left in the game the away side were reduced to fourteen men. Flanker Lewis Young received a yellow card for ill-discipline.

However, whilst down to fourteen men, the Steelmen scored their only try of the afternoon. With the forwards going through the phases, young number eight Owen Conquer picked the ball up from the ruck and used his strength to dive over the line to score. Number ten Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.

The final change of the afternoon for the visitors saw Rory Harries came on for Ryan Gardner.

With the game entering injuring time, a lovely cross field kick by outside half O’Brien, just inside the Newport half saw the ball end up in the hands of winger Lloyd Lewis. With two men to beat, the speedster side stepped his man and showed his speed to go over the try line unopposed. O’Brien kept up one hundred percent kicking accuracy by adding the extra two points.

Full Time: Newport RFC 48 Ebbw Vale RFC 13

 

Tries: Owen Conquer (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (1)

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (2)

After the game, we spoke with Ebbw Vale Scrum half Jon Evans, Jon was disappointed with the result. He acknowledged it was not what the squad wanted. However, he praised the side for the effort put in during the season, especially when comparing to where the team ended last year. Jon finished by advising it was tough to play away from home, every player gave everything they possibly could on the field and he was proud of the team.

Ebbw take the spoils against Pontypool

The Steelmen gained revenge for defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, in a game that was again played in front of the S4C Clic cameras on a Thursday evening.

With the hosts gaining the upper hand in the scrum, Ebbw Vale were quick to get the first points of the game, when full back Evan Lloyd kicked a penalty early on.

However, the leagues top point scorer was unable to double his sides advantage soon after, when the referee awarded another penalty to Ebbw.

After the visitors got into the game, a well struck penalty by Pooler outside half Matthew Jarvis brought the game level at three a piece. Jarvis was also off target with a penalty moments later to keep the score level.

A good passage of play by the Steelmen backs, saw centre Ethan Phillip pull of a trademark move by slicing through the away side’s defence. With what looked like just the full back to beat, an excellent ankle tap tackle saw Phillips go to ground and the play came to nothing.

With only minutes left of the first half, Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange was forced into making his first substitution of the evening. Co-captain Rhys Francis was forced off with an injury, on what was likely to be his final home appearance before retiring. Fellow co-captain Joe Franchi replaced hooker Francis.

The first try of the evening came to the home side on the stroke of halftime. Fullback Evan Lloyd excellently caught a clearing kick from the away side around the halfway line. With flyhalf Kieran Meek inside him, Lloyd offloaded to the number ten. With plenty to do, the Ebbw flyhalf carved his wave through the visitor’s defence to pass to the supporting Ethan Phillips. With the centre about to be tackled, Phillips offloaded the ball to winger Harry Rees-Weldon, who showed his pace by beating a defender and going over in the corner. Fullback Lloyd was unable to add the extras.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 8 Pontypool RFC 3

Pontypool came out for the second half with a point to prove. From a lineout inside the Ebbw Vale twenty-two number eight Scott Matthews charged at the hosts defenders. Seeing a gap on the inside the number passed inside to the supporting Morgan Lloyd and the youngster raced over the line unopposed. Jarvis successfully added the conversion to put the away side in front for the time in the evening.

With the game swinging one way, then the other, Ebbw Vale full back Lloyd was successful with another penalty to put the Steelmen back in front by one point.

The away side were given another opportunity to regain the lead through a penalty. However, number ten Jarvis was off target with his effort.

The hosts coach Strange made a raft of changes. Props Morgan Davies, Owen Hatherill, flanker Lewis Young and number eight Owen Conquer replaced Luke Garrett, Adam Court, Ben Main and Ryan Jenkins.

Ebbw were offered a further opportunity to extend their lead further. However, Lloyd was unsuccessful with his attempt at goal.

A further change by Strange, saw the home side’s centre Dominic Franchi be replaced by Cameron Davies.

The decisive score of the game came in the sixty ninth minute. From a lineout just inside the Pontypool half, the ball made its way out to the Ebbw Vale midfield. With plenty of defenders in front of him, flanker Lewis Young charged his way through the defence to offload to the supporting Evan Lloyd. With the full back running into the away side’s twenty-two at pace, only a covering tackle denied Lloyd the try. Ebbw scrum half Jon Evan was quick to pick up the ball, run up the blindside and pass to the overlapping Ethan Phillips, for the centre to barge over the line out wide. Lloyd was unsuccessful with his attempt from the touchline.

The hosts final replacements of the evening saw scrum half Rory Harries and full back Morgan Richards replace Jon Evans and Evan Lloyd.

No further points were added to the scoreline in a game that was likely to be Ebbw Vale’s last home game of the season.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 16 Pontypool RFC 10

 

Tries: Harry Rees Weldon (1), Ethan Phillips (1)

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (2)

 

After the game we spoke with Ebbw Vale winger and try scorer Harry Rees Weldon. Harry thought it was a hard-fought game, which the squad made harder than it should have been. He added the team needed momentum during the game, which they were unable to find, especially in the middle third and believed Ebbw were lucky to come away with the win.

We also spoke with Pontypool and ex-Ebbw vale second row Ashley Sweet. Ashley said it was a very hard game, one which they knew it was going to be. He added Pontypool have had a cracking season. They pride themselves on being physical and staying in battles, which we did during the game. Ashley thought it was a good game.

Discussing his return to the ground, Ashley thought It is fantastic. He added having been at Ebbw Vale for so long, it holds a dear place in his heart. Ashley finished by stating coming back brought back some good memories.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

The Steelmen March On

Ebbw came away from Carmarthen with a win, after playing in front of the TV cameras in a game that was played in tough weather conditions.

Jason Strange made numerous changes to his side, which saw ten players under the age of twenty-one involved.

The visitors were quick out of the blocks. After being awarded a penalty in the Quins half inside the first minute, outside half Kieran Meek kicked to touch. After winning the lineout inside the hosts twenty-two the forwards set up a rolling maul. With the backs joining in, hooker Ieuan Morris was on hand to dive over the line to score the opening try. Fly half Meek was unsuccessful with the conversion.

Inside ten minutes the away side doubled their try tally. With the home side attempting to go through the phases just inside the Ebbw Vale half, winger Hamish Anderson intercepted a pass and ran half the length of the field unopposed to score for the Steelmen. Meek added the extras.

Within a few minutes, Carmarthen immediately hit back. From a lineout inside the Ebbw Vale twenty-two, sloppy play at the lineout saw the hosts centre Iestyn Gwilliam dive on the ball over the try line. Number ten Charlie Titcombe brought his team back to within five points.

The hosts reduced the deficit further from a successful penalty by outside half Titcombe just on the Ebbw Vale five metre line.

On around the thirty minute mark Ebbw fly-half Meek successfully kicked a penalty after good work by the forwards saw the Steelmen nearly score a third try, only for referee Ben Breakspear to penalise Carmarthen.

The Quins were to draw level shortly after. A good take and run from his own twenty-two by outside half Titcombe resulted in full back Rhodri Davies scoring an excellent team try. Titcombe again added the two points to put the home side in front for the first time in the game.

With the half drawing to a close, a lose kick by the visitors, saw a home side player chip the ball over the top of the Steelmen’s defence from the half way line. A handling error on the floor by the covering defence, saw the ball go free for the hosts full back Davies to score his second and Carmarthen’s third try of the game. Titcombe was successful with the conversion to extend the home sides lead to nine points going into the interval.

Half Time: Carmarthen Quins RFC 24 Ebbw Vale RFC 15

The visitor’s coach Strange started to make substitutions. Fullback Morgan Richards was replaced by Ewan Bowden and E Evans came on for Ewan McIntyre.

The first points of the second half came from a penalty to Ebbw. Trying to play out from their own twenty-two, Carmarthen were penalised for holding on, with Ebbw Vale flanker Lewis Young looking to win a turnover.

The Steelmen’s coach Strange made further changes by replacing number eight Owen Conquer with Ben Main and prop Morgan Williams came on for Morgan Davies. Further replacements saw co-captain Rhys Francis replace hooker Ieuan Morris, prop Harry Drane come off for Owen Hatherill and try scorer Hamish Anderson was replaced by Ryan Gardner.

With the forwards going through phase after phase, prop Owen Hatherill drove over the line from a yard out to score the decisive try. Number ten Meek added the two points to put Ebbw in the lead by one point with approximately fifteen minutes to go.

A further change by Ebbw Vale coach Strange saw scrum half Dylan Davies come on  for the injured substitute Ewan Bowden.

With less than five minutes to go, flyhalf Meek scored the final points of the game from with a penalty to extend the away side’s lead to four points.

Despite late pressure, the Quins were unable to get over the tryline and the referee Breakspear blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.

FT: Carmarthen Quins RFC 24 Ebbw Vale RFC 28

 

Tries: Ieaun Morris (1), Hamish Anderson (1), Owen Hatherill (1)

Conversions: Kieran Meek (2)

Penalties: Kieran Meek (3)

 

Ebbw Vale’s next game is at home at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium on Thursday 18th April 2024 against Pontypool RFC in front of the S4C Clic cameras, with kick-off at 7:30pm

 

Written By Alex Kinsella-Evans

Ebbw claim another 5 pointer

Ebbw Vale secured a place in the play offs with two games to spare, after claiming a bonus point victory at home against Aberavon.

The hosts were quick out of the blocks. A penalty within minutes of kick off by full back Evan Lloyd saw the home side take an early lead.

With the Steelmen well on top, a dangerous break by scrum half Rory Harries from around the half way line saw the scrum half carve open the away sides defence. With just the full back to beat, Harries drew the man and attempted to pass inside to support runners, only for Aberavon’s full back Steff Andrews to knock the ball on. Referee Gareth Newman adjudged the away sides full back to have deliberately knocked the ball on and showed Andrews a yellow card and awarded Ebbw a penalty try.

Moments later the home side extended their lead further. An excellent break by winger Ryan Gardner took Ebbw Vale into the Aberavon half. Quick ball out to the backs saw centre Ethan Phillips make a further break and pass to full back Evan Lloyd to cross the line. Lloyd successfully added the two points to put the hosts twenty points in the lead.

With the wind behind them, two successful penalties by Lloyd saw the Steelmen go into the half time interval with a twenty six point lead.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 26 Aberavon RFC 0

The away side came out for the second half and started to gain some time with the ball and territory. Within minutes of the restart Aberavon outside half James Davies got his  sides first points of the game from a penalty.

Ebbw Vale full back Lloyd successfully kicked a penalty for Ebbw to put his side back in front by 26 points.

The Steelmen’s coach Jason Strange replaced scrum half Rory Harries with Jon Evans and moments later the front row of Morgan Davies, Joe Franchi and Adam Court were replaced by Luke Garrett, Ieuan Morris and Owen Hatherill. Further changes by Strange saw centre Dom Franchi come off for Cameron Davies and Morgan Richards came on for Kieran Meek.

Midway through the second half Aberavon scored their first try of the afternoon. A good team break saw winger Chris Banfield finish off the move in the corner. Fly half Davies was unable to add the extras.

Ebbw responded within ten minutes. Quick ball from a ruck inside the Aberavon twenty-two saw the ball go out to Lewis Young on the wing. With supporting players inside him, Young dived over the line to score his sides third try of the afternoon. Lloyd was unsuccessful with the conversion from out wide.

Further changes by Ebbw saw second row Dylan Bartlett leave the field to be replaced by Jakub Malecki and flanker Ben Main came off for Rhys Francis, who was playing in an unfamiliar position.

With the final play of the game, Ebbw had control of the ball just inside the visitor’s half. Quick ball out to Ethan Phillips saw the centre make a clean break and go over the try line under the posts unopposed to score the Steelmen’s bonus point try. Evan Lloyd kicked the conversion with the final kick of the ball.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 41 Aberavon RFC 8

 

Man Of The Match: Curtis Gregory

 

Tries: Penalty try, Evan Lloyd, Lewis Young, Ethan Phillips

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (3)

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (5)

 

After the game we spoke with Ebbw Vale centre Cameron Davies. Cameron thought it was a good game overall, the squad worked really hard under pressure. Cameron thought the team pressured and squeezed Aberavon and was happy to come away with the win.

Ebbw Vale’s next game is away to Carmarthen Quins in front of the S4C Clic camera’s on Thursday 11th April 2024, with kick off at 7:30pm.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Ebbw claim five points on the road

The Steelmen came away from St Helens with a bonus point victory after an entertaining game was played in weather conditions that changed during the afternoon.

The visitors surged into an early lead, after good play by the forwards in the hosts twenty-two, saw scrum half Jon Evans send the ball out wide for winger Ewan Bowden to go over out wide for the games first try. Full back for the day Evan Lloyd was unsuccessful with the conversion.

The away side soon doubled their try tally. From first phase ball off the top of the lineout just outside the All Whites twenty-two, the Ebbw Vale forwards took the game to the home side. With each forward surge making inroads inside the hosts twenty-two, second row Dylan Barlett collected a pass and barged over the try line to score. Full back Lloyd added the extras.

With the Swansea backs starting to get some ball, an excellent break by full back Harri Houston from inside his own half, saw the number fifteen glide through the Ebbw defence. With one man to beat, the fullback drew his man and passed to supporting winger Llien Morgan to go over unopposed for a well taken try. Outside half Luke Scully successfully kicked the conversion.

However, the Steelmen were to respond immediately. With an improved lineout going well, the ball made its way out to outside centre Ethan Phillips. With a lot still to do, the centre showed his gas to go over the try line untouched from around the halfway line to score an excellent individual try. On this occasion Lloyd was unable to add the two points.

The final score of the half was to come from the boot of the All Whites fly half Luke Scully to bring his side within seven points of the away side. With the hosts looking likely to score a try in the visitors twenty-two, referee Ben Connor awarded the hosts a penalty and showed Ebbw Vale scrum half Jon Evans a yellow card for ill-discipline.

Half Time: Swansea RFC 10 Ebbw Vale RFC 17

The second half started with both sides taking it to each other. Referee Connor awarding penalties to both sides. However, neither side were able to take advantage and add to the scoreline.

The Steelmen’s coach Jason Strange decided to replace Co-captain Rhys Francis and prop Morgan Davies with fellow co-captain Joe Franchi and Luke Garrett.

With Swansea seeing more and more of the ball and territory, Ebbw coach Strange made further changes with prop Owen Hatherill replacing Adam Court and flankers Ewan McIntyre and Lewis Young coming on for Ben Main and Cameron Regan.

The All Whites soon brought the game level. Patient play by the home side saw centre Tom Florence score the first try of the afternoon. Fly half Scully levelled the score.

The Ebbw Vale replacements were starting to make their mark, especially in the scrum. After a good team move in the hosts twenty-two, referee Connor awarded Swansea centre Florence a yellow card for stopping what looked like a certain try illegally.

With the visitors getting the upper hand in the scrum and the referee awarding the away side penalty after penalty, the Steelmen were to score the decisive try. With a dominant pack pushing the scrum, quick ball out to the backs by scrum half Evans saw outside half Kieran Meek put in a lovely chip kick into space out wide for returning winger Ryan Gardner to catch the ball and score Ebbw’s bonus point try. Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion from a difficult angle.

With Swansea camping themselves in the Ebbw Vale twenty-two and pushing to try and bring the game level, the away side’s coach Strange made his side’s final change of the afternoon by replacing scrum half Jon Evans with Rory Harries.

Despite late sustained pressure by the All whites, the home side were unable to take advantage and referee Connor brought the game to a close.

Full Time: Swansea RFC 17 Ebbw Vale RFC 24

 

After the match we spoke with Ebbw Vale winger and try scorer Ryan Gardner. Ryan acknowledged it was a tough contest. He thought the team started well and built up a lead, but credit to Swansea as they managed to claw themselves back into the game. However, the winger was happy the team were able to hold Swansea out at the end.

Finally, Ryan was happy to have scored a try. He stated it had been a long road to recovery over the past 15 months after injury. However, he said it was good to be back with the boys and get over the line in the game.

 

Tries: Ewan Bowden (1), Dylan Bartlett (1), Ethan Phillips (1), Ryan Gardner (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (2)

 

Ebbw Vale`s next game is at home against Aberavon RFC at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium in the Indigo Premiership on Saturday April 6th 2024 with kick off at 14:30pm.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Newport Win Gwent derby 

The Steelmen came agonizingly close to doing the double over their Gwent rivals on what was a fresh Saturday afternoon.  

The home side came out with the bit between their teeth and were awarded a penalty within the first few minutes. Top points scorer Evan Lloyd successfully kicked the first points of the afternoon. However, moments later the young outside half missed an attempt to put the hosts six points ahead.  

The first try of the afternoon was scored by the Black and Ambers. From a lineout just inside the away side’s half, a break through the centre by winger Lloyd Lewis, saw the speedster draw the last man and pass to scrum half Che Hope to dart over the line from just inside Ebbw’s twenty-two. Number ten Matt O’Brien added the extra two points.  

Ebbw Vale scored their first try when from good forward play, a quick flat pass inside the Newport twenty-two by Evan Lloyd put winger Jordan Thomas in at the corner. Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.  

The away side were soon level when fly half O’Brien kicked a penalty from around the hosts twenty-two, after the referee awarded a penalty for ill-discipline. 

The Steelmen were reduced to fourteen men, when the referee adjudged second row Dylan Bartlett to have taken an opposing player out on the floor. However, worse was to follow, with the Black and Ambers trying everything to get over the try line, Ebbw Vale scrum half Jon Evans was shown a yellow card for playing the ball on the floor to reduce the Steelmen to thirteen men.   

With a two man advantage and in the hosts twenty-two, quick thinking by fly half O’Brien, saw the number ten kick the ball out to winger Elliott Frewen, who stepped inside his man to score the try. O’Brien added the two points to put his team ahead by seven.  

However, Ebbw were to score the last points of the first half, when the referee awarded the home side a penalty at the scrum inside the Newport half. Flyhalf Lloyd successfully kicked the penalty to make it a four point game going into the interval. 

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 13 Newport RFC 17  

The visitors came out for the second half and within minutes had scored a third try. From a penalty, outside half O’Brien kicked to the corner. Winning the lineout, the away side’s forwards got up a head of steam and ended with hooker Henry Palmer crossing the line. O’Brien again sent the kick through the middle of the posts.  

Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange decided to make changes to the front row. Prop Morgan Davies and co-captain Joe Franchi replaced Luke Garrett and hooker Ieuan Morris. Moments later, further substitutions by Strange saw flanker’s Kobi Rees be replaced by Ben Main and Ewan McIntyre come on for Cameron Reagan.  

The substitutes were to make an instant impact. From a penalty in the away side’s half, outside half Lloyd kicked to the corner. Winning the lineout, the home side forwards flexed their muscle and ended with hooker Joe Franchi barge over the try line out wide. From the touchline Lloyd was unable to add the extra’s.  

The Steelmen’s coach Strange brought on Owen Hatherill for Adam Court and moments later centre Dom Franchi replaced Morgan Richards.  

Ebbw Vale were to go into the lead when hooker Franchi scored his second and the team’s third try of the afternoon after good play by the forwards. Lloyd successfully added the conversion to put the Steelmen one point ahead going late into the game.  

Another change for the hosts saw Ryan Gardner come on for try scorer Jordan Thomas.  

With the game going deep into injury time, a lost Ebbw Vale lineout saw the Black and Ambers score the match winning try. With the forwards going through phase after phase inside the Ebbw twenty-two, a quick pass out to winger Elliott Ferriman, saw the replacement forward touch down in the corner. O’Brien successfully added the conversion.  

The hosts coach Strange emptied the bench in the final moments when scrum half Rory Harries replaced Jon Evans.  

With the game drawing to a close, the referee awarded a penalty from the scrum to the Steelmen and saw Lloyd put in an excellent kick to give the home side a lineout on the Newport twenty-two. However, Ebbw were unable to find their target at the lineout and the referee brought the game to a close.  

FT: Ebbw Vale RFC 25 Newport RFC 31  

 

Tries: Jordan Thomas (1), Joe Franchi (2)  

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (2) 

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (2)       

After the game we spoke with Ebbw Vale Hooker Ieaun Morris. Ieuan thought the home side played well, However, Newport played in the right areas and lived off the Steelmen’s mistakes. Ieaun finished by acknowledging the team expected to have played better.  

The Steelmen’s next game is away to Swansea RFC at St Helen’s in the Indigo Premiership on Saturday 30th March 2024, with kick off at 14:30. 

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans 

Llandovery make it to the final

An uncharacteristic performance by the Steelmen saw the Drovers win the game and reach the Premiership Cup Final at the Millenium Stadium in April.

From the off Llandovery got on the front foot and never let up. Their first points came from the boot of number ten Ioan Hughes, who successfully sent a penalty through the uprights.

Within two minutes of the restart, the Drovers scored their first try. A great bit of play by Jac Davies, saw the full back score a fine solo try. On this occasion Hughes was unable to add the points.

Llandovery’s second try was to follow five minutes later. After good play, outside half Hughes rounded off a good team try. Hughes converted his own try.

The Drovers were to score their third try of the game ten minutes later. A cross field kick by scrum half Lee Rees, saw the ball end up in the hands of Adam Warren, who went over in the corner. Hughes extended the lead to twenty-two points.

With the Llandovery forwards enjoying the occasion, more forward domination ended with prop Jamie Hughes cross the line to score Llandovery’s fourth try of the afternoon. Hughes successfully kicked the conversion to extend the lead further.

Within the last few moments of the first half, Ebbw flanker Lewis Young was shown a yellow card.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 0 Llandovery RFC 29

Ebbw came out for the second half with pride at stake. Not long into the half coach Jason Strange replaced Luke Garrett with Morgan Davies, Alex Howes came off for Ryan Jenkins and full back Morgan Richards was replaced by Reece Dunne.

The first try of the second half came twelve minutes after the restart. A kick from his twenty-two by Jac Davies, saw the full back collect the ball and race over to score his second try of the afternoon. Hughes sent the conversion through the posts.

In the aftermath, Ebbw Vale centre Ethan Phillips was shown the yellow card, to spend ten minutes in the sin bin.

Ebbw coach Strange made further changes, with centre Dom Franchi replaced by Kieran Meek. Moments later, prop Harry Drane came on for Adam Court, scrum half Rory Harries replaced Jon Evans, Co-captain Rhys Francis came on for fellow captain Joe Franchi and flanker Cameron Reagan was replaced by Ewan McIntyre.

Ebbw’s only try of the afternoon came on seventy-six minutes, when replacement Reece Dunne intercepted a pass and raced over from the half-way line to score his first try for the club. Kieran Meek successfully added the two points.

The final try of the game came with two minutes left, when Llandovery number eight Joe Powell crossed the line. Replacement Jack Maynard scored the final points of the afternoon.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 7 Llandovery RFC 43

 

Try: Reece Dunne

Conversion Kieran Meek

 

Ebbw Vale’s next game see’s the Steelmen return to league action, in a Gwent derby against second placed Newport RFC on Saturday 23rd  March 2024 at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium, with kick off at 2:30pm.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Ebbw Vale RFC vs Llandovery RFC cup semi-final preview

Ebbw travel to the Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon on Saturday 2nd of March 2024 to play their hotly anticipated Welsh cup semi-final against Llandovery RFC.

Having beaten Cardiff RFC in the quarterfinals at the start of December 2023 and winning away to Bridgend Ravens RFC last time out, Ebbw will be looking to reach the final in the Millennium stadium in April.

With honours even in the league this season, the Steelmen`s coach Jason Strange will be hoping for a strong performance from the team on Saturday which will lead to a win and their first appearance in a Welsh cup final since 1998, when they travelled across the Seven Bridge to Ashton Gate, Bristol to play Llanelli RFC.

One change to the starting lineup from the Bridgend game sees the experienced centre Dom Franchi replace Kieran Meek. Hard working hooker Joe Franchi captains the side with fellow co-captain Rhys Francis on the bench.

The Ebbw Vale team is as follows:

15 Morgan Richards 14 Ewan Bowden 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Jordan Thomas 10 Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1 Luke Garrett 2 Joe Franchi (CAPT) 3 Adam Court 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Cameron Regan 7 Lewis Young 8 Alex Howes

Replacements from

Morgan Davies, Rhys Francis, Harry Drane, Ewan McIntyre, Ben Main, Ryan Jenkins, Rory Harries, Kieran Meek and Reece Dunn

The winners of the game will play the winners of the Merthyr RFC vs Swansea RFC semi-final at the Millennium Stadium in April 2024.

The Steelmen look forward to hearing the vociferous support of the Addicts on Saturday at the Talbot Athletic Ground. The Welfare will be open from 9am for breakfast. The Addicts buses will be leaving the Welfare at 12.30pm.

For those travelling to TAG by car the postcode is: SA13 1AB

The full address is: 39 Manor St, Port Talbot SA13 1AB

 

Ebbw claim another away victory

The steelmen came away from the Dunraven Brewery Field with a bonus point victory, in a hard-fought game that was played in terrible weather conditions.

The away side came out and immediately took the game to their hosts. A huge push by the pack in the scrum saw the referee award an early penalty to Ebbw Vale. Outside half Evan Lloyd was successful with the penalty to put his side three points to the good.

The home side soon got into their stride. With the forwards going through phase after phase, flanker Iestyn Merriman drove over the try line to score the first try of the game. Fly half Jamin Hodgkins successfully added the two points.

Five minutes later, Bridgend number ten Hodgkins extended the lead further after successfully slotting over a penalty to put his team seven points ahead.

With the Ravens forwards having the grit between their teeth, the referee awarded a penalty to Bridgend inside the Ebbw Vale twenty-two. The Steelmen’s number eight Alex Howes was shown a yellow card for going off his feet at the ruck. Hodgkins again kicked the penalty to put the home side ten points ahead.

However, the momentum was about to swing in favour of the visitors when with minutes left of the first half, Ebbw’s experienced scrum half Jon Evans saw a gap in the defence. With the ball at the bottom of the ruck, inside the Raven’s twenty-two, Evans picked up the ball, ran at the try line and successfully beat off defenders to score the try. Lloyd was successful with the conversion to make it a three-point game going into the break.

Half Time: Bridgend Ravens RFC 13  Ebbw Vale RFC 10

Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange made a half time change. Ewan McIntyre replaced flanker Cameron Regan.

With the Steelmen still down to fourteen men, a lovely bit of play by the away side’s Lloyd, saw the number ten set up a second try for the visitors. Seeing the hosts defence up flat, fly half Lloyd put in a grubber kick, which he managed to collect himself unopposed. Seeing winger Ewan Bowden in space, Lloyd put in a lovely, weighted chip for Bowden to collect the ball and dive over the line to score out wide. Marksman Lloyd slotted the conversion from out wide to extend Ebbw Vale’s lead to four points.

Ten minutes later, Ebbw were on the scoresheet once again. From a scrum inside the home side’s twenty-two, number eight Alex Howes picked up the ball and ran at the home side’s defence. Being brought down close to the line, the forwards inched closer and closer. Scrum half Evans saw the space and dived over the line to score his second try of the afternoon. Lloyd sent the ball through the posts to add two points.

Ebbw Vale coach Strange decided to ring the changes, replacing the front row of Luke Garrett, Joe Franchi and Adam Court with Morgan Davies, Rhys Francis and Harry Drane and number eight Alex Howes came off for Ryan Jenkins. This was closely followed by Cameron Davies and Rory Harries replacing Kieran Meek and Jon Evans. Also, Reece Dunn came on to make his debut for Jordan Thomas.

With the game entering injury time, the Steelmen scored their fourth try of the game. From a lineout in the hosts half, the forwards gained metres and went through phase after phase. Replacement Harry Drane was the last to collect the ball and drove over the line to secure the Steelmen a try bonus point. Lloyd again hit the target with the conversion.

With time running out Bridgend were reduced to fourteen men after flanker Iestyn Merriman was sent to the sin bin for the remainder of the game, after giving away a penalty inside the Ravens twenty-two. Outside half Lloyd kicked the penalty to the corner. From the lineout, the forwards set up a driving maul, which ended with hooker Rhys Francis crashing over the line with the final play of the game.  Fly half Lloyd was unable to add the two points with the final kick of the game.

 

Full Time: Bridgend Ravens RFC 13 Ebbw Vale RFC 36      

 

Tries: Jon Evans (2), Ewan Bowden (1), Harry Drane (1), Rhys Francis (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (4)

Penalty: Evan Lloyd (1)

 

The Steelmen’s next game is against Llandovery RFC at The Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon in the semi final of the Indigo Premiership cup, with kick off at 14:30.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

New Signing…Welcome to the Steelmen
Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted to announce the signing of Reece Dunn from Gloucester RFC.
Reece, who can play at full back and wing, will bring another exciting option to the Steelmen backline.
The club would like to thank Gloucester RFC for giving Reece the opportunity to join the Steelmen for the rest of the season and appreciate their support in allowing this signing to take place.
All at the club look forward to watching Reece play for the Steelmen during the exciting end to the 2023/24 season.

We are delighted to have been informed our application to join the newly formed EDC has been successful.  Thank you to everyone involved in the process over the past 6 months, particularly Head Coach Jason Strange and Club Commercial Director Andrea Smart.

As a club, we now look forward to preparing for the start of the new season, while at the same time focusing on the business end of the current league season.  Over the coming months, we will continue to share our plans for club and ground development with our supporters at every opportunity.

We are committed to ensuring we continue to act in the best interests of the club and our community by playing rugby at the highest possible level. We are a club with a rich history, and we have to protect this and want to build on it for many years to come.

 

 

Steelmen Selected for Wales U20s Squad

Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted that both Harry Rees-Weldon and Owen Conquer have been selected to play for Wales U20s against Scotland U20s on Friday.

Owen, a product of Llantwit Fadre, joined the Steelmen as part of the Elite Player Pathway link up with Christ College, Brecon this season. Owen, who doesn’t have a regional academy contract, , has taken his own pathway to international honours developing under the coaching setup at Ebbw Vale RFC this season.

Harry, a member of the Ebbw Vale Youth team last season, has broken into the senior squad this year. He has taken the transition from youth to senior rugby with ease having signed an academy contract with the Dragons at the start of this season and previously representing Coleg Gwent.

Jason Strange commented, “All players and coaches are so proud of the achievements of Owen and Harry this season. These two young players epitomise the culture and values of the club both on and off the field and they have both played an important role in the success on it. It is great that our own club player pathway has seen Harry transition from the Youth team to the Senior squad and onto the Wales U20s and that Owen’s performances for the Steelmen this season, having been identified through the elite player pathway link up with Christ College,  has led to his call-up to the national U20s squad.”

Good luck to both players on Friday evening!

The club would also like to congratulate Cameron Davies and Kobi Rees who have also been part of the Wales U20s training camps this season.

 

 

 

Ebbw Score Try Bonanza

The Steelmen ran in eleven tries in a one-sided contest in a game where Cameron Regan captained Ebbw on his 200th appearance.

The hosts came out on the front foot and scored their first try within the opening four minutes. An excellent chip through, saw full back Morgan Richards collect the ball and score out wide. Outside half Evan Lloyd was unsuccessful in adding the two points.

Ebbw soon scored their second try of the afternoon. Good work by the forwards, saw second row Dylan Barlett pick up the ball and drive over the line. Fly half Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.

With the home side having total dominance, Ieuan Morris got his name on the scoresheet after a catch and drive from a lineout within the Neath twenty-two in the twenty third minute. Lloyd again added the two points to make the score 19-0 to the Steelmen.

The Steelmen collected a try scoring bonus point moments later. After good play by the forwards, a chip over the defence by outside half Lloyd saw centre Ethan Phillips collect the ball and hand off three players before powering over the line to score. Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.

With Neath unable to get out of their own twenty-two, the hosts scored their fifth try of the afternoon a minute before the break. From a scrum on the away side five metre line, scrum half Rory Harries picked up the ball from the back of the scrum, ran at the defence and stretched his arm out over the line to score his first try of the afternoon. Lloyd was unable to add the extras from out wide.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 31 Neath RFC 0

Within five minutes of the restart, Ebbw Vale’s Rory Harries added to his try tally. After being awarded a penalty on the halfway line, quick thinking by the scrum half, saw Harries take a quick tap and run in under the posts unattended. Number ten Lloyd added the two points.

Minutes later the hosts were reduced to fourteen when outside half Evan Lloyd was sent to the sin bin by English referee Jack Moorhouse for ten minutes after a no arms tackle.

The Steelmen’s coach Jason Strange made his first changes of the afternoon after fifty-two minutes. Joint club captain Joe Franchi replaced hooker Ieuan Morris, flanker Ben Main came off for Lewis Young and number eight Ryan Jenkins came on for Alex Howes.

The visitors took advantage of their numerical supremacy by scoring a well taken try. Inside the hosts twenty-two quick passes out wide to Louis Rees, saw the winger speed over in the corner. However, the conversion was unsuccessful by no.10 Steff Williams.

Substitute Joe Franchi made an instant impact. Within a minute of coming on, the hooker added his name to the scoresheet. From a lineout in the Neath half, a catch and drive ended with Franchi diving on the line to score his sides seventh try of the afternoon. With Lloyd off, Kieran Meek was successful with his first kick of the afternoon.

Ebbw Vale scrum half Harries scored his hat trick of tries in the fifty-six minute. A break by hooker Franchi, saw the co-captain pass to the scrum half, who used his strength to go over. Meek again added two extra points.

Home side coach Strange replaced props Luke Garrett and Adam Court with Morgan Davies and Owen Hatherill, Ewan McIntyre replaced captain Cameron Regan and moments later Dom Franchi came on for winger Jordan Thomas.

Five minutes later, a precise kick through saw home centre Phillips collect the ball, draw the covering defender and send Harries over the line who popped the ball to Evan Lloyd to score. Fly half Lloyd added the two points.

With Neath throwing the ball out to the wing on the halfway line, centre Keiran Meek intercepted the ball and showed a clean pair of heels to go under the posts un to score the hosts tenth try of the afternoon.

Scrum half Jon Evans replaced Rory Harries for the Steelmen’s last change of the game.

With four minutes left on the clock, the experienced scrum half saw a gap down the blind side. With winger Ewan Bowden on his shoulder, the scrum half passed to the winger. With two defenders in front of him, Bowden put in a well weighted kick to out pace his opposite number, get to the ball before the covering full back and chip ahead to dive on the ball over the line. Outside half Lloyd scored the last two points of the game.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 73 Neath RFC  5

 

Tries: Rory Harries (3), Joe Franchi (1), Ieaun Morris (1), Morgan Richards (1), Ewan Bowden (1), Ethan Phillips (1), Dylan Bartlett (1), Kieran Meek (1) Evan Lloyd (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (7) Kieran Meek (2)

 

Man of the match: Rory Harries

 

After the game we spoke to Ebbw Vale winger and try scorer Ewan Bowden. Ewan was pleased with the team’s performance, especially considering Neath’s current league position. He thought it would have been easy to become complacent, however, the team kept to their basics and DNA really well and was happy to come away with the victory.

Finally, Ewan paid tribute to Cameron Regan after the flanker made his 200th appearance for the club. Ewan congratulated Cameron and said he put his heart and soul into his performance on the pitch and led the team to a very good victory.

 

Ebbw Vale’s next league game is away to Bridgend RFC at the Dunraven Brewery Field on Saturday 17th February 2024 at 2:30pm.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Everyone involved with Ebbw Vale RFC wish to congratulations Cameron Regan on making his 200th appearance for the Steelmen on Saturday when he captained the team for the first time in the 73-5 victory over Neath. Cam, in his 10th season at the club, epitomises the Steelmen ethics and values of hard work and commitment whenever he takes the field and is a real leader both on and off it.

Cameron first joined the Steelmen for the 2011/12 season and played for 9 seasons before joining Pontypool RFC in 2021. He was an integral member of the Division 1 and Championship winning squads as well as the Welsh Premiership winning team in 2015/16. Cam has always been popular with both players and supporters and won many accolades for his performances on the field during his first spell at the club, winning the Addicts Most Promising Player in 2013/14, the Addicts Player of the Year twice in 2014/15 and 2017/18 and also being voted the Denzil Williams Players Player of the Year in 2013/14.

Cameron returned to the Steelmen at the start of this season and has once again become a firm favourite with the Addicts and players within the squad.

On making his 200th appearance for the Steelmen, Cam commented,

“It is a privilege to play rugby for Ebbw Vale and a massive honour to get to 200 games. Never did I think I would get to 200 when I first came to the club, but it’s been a hell of a ride and without the support of my family and friends this wouldn’t have been possible. 200 not out!” 

Congratulations Cam! A True Steelman!

#200NotOut

Jason Strange has made a number of changes to the starting lineup for the visit of Neath RFC to the CINER GLASS Community Stadium on Saturday with Luke Garrett and Ieuan Morris starting in the front row, Rory Harries partnering Evan Lloyd at half back and Kieran Meek replacing Dom Franchi at centre.

The team will be captained by Cameron Regan who will be making his 200th appearance for the Steelmen against Neath.

This will be the 3rd meeting between the sides this season with the Steelmen having already beaten Neath twice this campaign at the Lextan Gnoll; 40-19 in the Premiership Cup and 35-17 in the Indigo Premiership.

The Ebbw Vale Team:

15. Morgan Richards 14. Ewan Bowden 13. Ethan Phillips 12. Kieran Meek 11. Jordan Thomas 10. Evan Lloyd 9 Rory Harries

1. Luke Garrett 2. Ieuan Morris 3. Adam Court 4. Dylan Bartlett 5. Curtis Gregory 6. Cameron Regan (CAPT) 7. Ben Main 8. Alex Howes

Replacements will be confirmed on Saturday before kickoff.

 

On making his 200th appearance for the Steelmen, Cam commented,

“It is a privilege to play rugby for Ebbw Vale and a massive honour to get to 200 games. Never did I think I would get to 200 when I first came to the club, but it’s been a hell of a ride and without the support of my family and friends this wouldn’t have been possible. 200 not out!” 

Get along to the Ciner Glass Community Stadium on Saturday at 2.30pm to celebrate Cam’s 200th game and cheer on the boys against the Welsh All Blacks.

 

Ebbw Vale RFC v Neath RFC

Saturday 27th January

Ciner Glass Community Stadium

Kick Off: 2.30pm

 

Tickets can be purchased at the following link: https://www.evrfc.co.uk/product/27th-january-ebbw-vale-v-neath-rfc/

 

 

Steelmen Selected for Wales U20s Squad

The Steelmen wish to congratulate Harry Rees-Weldon and Owen Conquer for their selection in the Wales Under 20s squad for the 6 Nations tournament this year.

Harry, who was a member of the Steelmen Youth team last season, has broken into the Ebbw Vale Senior Squad this season making 10 appearances on the wing, scoring 3 tries in the process.

Owen joined the Steelmen this season after our link up with Christ College, Brecon in the summer and has made a huge impact in the back row making 10 appearances and scoring 2 tries.

Both players have become an integral part of the Steelmen team this year and everyone at the club is proud of their selection for the Welsh U20s squad.

Good luck, boys! Enjoy the experience.

Drovers Take the Spoils in Top of the Table Clash

The Steelmen narrowly lost to the Drovers in a physical hard-fought top of the table clash at Church Bank on Saturday by 17 -15.

Playing against the elements in the first half, the Steelmen dominated territory and possession but were unable to turn their dominance into points on the scoreboard, leading by only 3-0 from an Evan Lloyd penalty after 25 minutes.

The Drovers then scored two tries through a close-range effort by Hooker Craig Thomas and a penalty try following an illegal tackle by full back Morgan Richards on winger Adam Warren as the first half came to its conclusion to give Llandovery a 14 points to 3 lead at half time.

Half Time Score

Llandovery RFC 14 Ebbw Vale RFC 3

Despite the half time score, the Steelmen, playing with the elements, were confident of overturning the half time deficit. However the first points of the 2nd half were to come from Llandovery kicker Jack Maynard to extend the Drover’s lead to 14 points (17-3)

The Steelmen started to get a foothold in the game again putting pressure on the Drovers team upfront through scrum and driving maul. After 51 minutes, Jason Strange made his first change with Harry Drane replacing Adam Court in the front row. The Steelmen were soon awarded a penalty try of their own after Llandovery collapsed a driving maul before Dylan Bartlett also crashed over the line to make the score 17 -15. Evan Lloyd was unable to add the conversion to make the scores level.

Further changes for the Steelmen were Luke Garrett replacing Morgan Davies and Cameron Regan coming onto the field of Ewan McIntyre after 58 minutes and Ryan Jenkins and Ieuan Morris replacing Alex Howes and Joe Franchi for the final 10 minutes.

The Steelmen continued to pile on the pressure in the Drover’s half and were awarded successive penalties which unfortunately kicker Evan Lloyd was unable to send through the uprights to give the Steelmen the lead.

The Drovers were able to hold on for victory with the Steelmen picking up a bonus point for their efforts.

Full Time Score

Llandovery RFC 17 Ebbw Vale RFC 15

Scorers:

Tries: Dylan Bartlett, Penalty Try

Pens Evan Lloyd

 

Both league games between the Drovers and the Steelmen have been close, physical encounters this season with each side winning one game. The sides will meet again at the start of March at Aberavon in the Premiership Cup Semi-Finals

 

The Steelmen will be back in action on Saturday 27th January when we entertain Neath RFC at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium with a 2.30pm kick off.

Jason Strange has made two changes to the starting lineup for the game against Llandovery RFC at Church Bank on Saturday with Ewan Bowden coming into the team to replace Carrick Mcdonough and Adam Court starting at Tight Head in place of Harry Drane.

The Steelmen will be looking to complete the league double over Llandovery after beating them 25-17 earlier in the season at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium.

Joe Franchi continues to captain the side at hooker while youngsters Ewan McIntyre and Ben Main keep their starting places in the back row after excellent performances in the victory of RGC the previous week.

Ebbw Vale Team

  1. Morgan Richards 14. Ewan Bowden 13. Ethan Phillips 12. Dom Franchi 11. Jordan Thomas 10. Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1.Morgan Davies 2. Joe Franchi 3. Adam Court 4. Dylan Bartlett 5. Curtis Gregory 6. Ewan McIntyre 7. Ben Main 8. Alex Howes

Replacements to be confirmed before kick off on Saturday.

 

EA TRAVEL

The Welfare will be open on Saturday morning for bacon rolls.

The Addicts will be leaving for Llandovery at 12pm from the Welfare and will return at 5.30pm.

 

For those making their own way to Church Bank, the postcode for your SAT NAV is: SA20 0BA

Llandovery RFC
Church Bank Playing Fields
Llandovery
Carmarthenshire
SA20 0BA

The Steelmen look to return to winning ways when they make the trip to North Wales to face Ceri Jones’ RGC team in what is sure to be a tough, physical battle. The Steelmen came out on top earlier in the season when they beat RGC 26 – 10 at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium.

Jason Strange has made a number of changes to the team for the game with Jordan Thomas returning on the wing following injury and exciting young prospects Ewan McIntyre and Ben Main starting in the back row alongside Alex Howes. Joe Franchi continues to captain the side. Replacements will be confirmed before kick off

The Ebbw Vale starting XV is as follows:

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

1. Morgan Davies 2. Joe Franchi 3. Harry Drane 4. Dylan Bartlett 5. Curtis Gregory 6. Ewan McIntyre 7. Ben Main 8. Alex Howes

Replacements are from: Rhys Francis, Ieuan Morris, Luke Garrett, Adam Court, Owen Hatherill, Lewis Young, Jakub Malecki, Kobi Rees, Rory Harries, Kieran Meek, Ewan Bowden and Amir Jiwa-Walji

 

Ebbw Addicts

The Addicts are leaving the Welfare at 8.45am. The Welfare will be open from 8.00am for breakfast before leaving for RGC.

For those making their own way to North Wales, the address is: Parc Eirias, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL29 7SP

 

Ebbw’s unbeaten home run comes to an end

Cardiff brought the Steelmen’s unbeaten home run this season to an end on a cold winter’s day.

The home side took the lead early on through an Evan Lloyd penalty. However, the visitors soon brought the game level through outside half Harrison James.

The Rags were reduced to fourteen men just before the half hour mark, after flanker Nathan Hudd was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes.

With the home side trying to get a foothold in the game, scrum half Jon Evans saw a gap in the away sides defence. With a two man overlap outside him, the experienced scrum half decided to go alone. However, the play came to nothing.

With no further scores being added to the scoreboard, the referee Ben Breakspear blew his whistle to make it all square at half time.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 3 Cardiff RFC 3

The hosts were soon back in front shortly after the restart, after marksman Lloyd was successful with a penalty.

The away side soon drew level again with a penalty. However, Lloyd was again on hand to kick his third penalty of the afternoon to put Ebbw back in front.

Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange started to make the changes and replaced props Harry Drane and Morgan Davies with Adam Court and Luke Garrett.

The first try of the game was scored by the away side. A breakthrough the defence by the Rags centre and offload led to the ball being passed to replacement scrumhalf Jamie Hill, who went over out wide. The visitors were unable to add the extra two points.

The hosts coach Strange made further changes. Winger Amir Jiwa Walji was replaced by Ewan Bowden, forwards Ewan McIntyre and Kobi Rees replaced Cameron Regan and Owen Conquer, Rory Harries came on for Jon Evans, hooker Ieuan Morris replaced Joe Franchi and Kieran Meek replaced centre Dom Franchi.

With Cardiff having the momentum and a scrum in the Steelmen’s twenty-two, quick possession from the scrum saw the home defence hold tight. Quick recycling of the ball, saw it land at the hands of Ethan Phillips, who powered through the defence and over the try line to extend the visitors lead. Jacob Lloyd successful kicked the conversion.

Deep into injury time the away side scored their third try of the game. From a driving maul in the Ebbw twenty-two, the ball went through the hands and out wide to winger Dewi Cross who crossed for the final points of the game.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 9 Cardiff RFC 23  

Ebbw Addicts Man Of The Match: Dom Franchi

Scorers :Penalties: Evan Lloyd (3)

 

Ebbw Vale’s next game is away to RGC on Saturday 13th January 2024 at Park Eirias, with kick off at 14:30.

 

Written By Alex Kinsella-Evans

 

Ebbw Vale RFC play Cardiff RFC for the 3rd time this season when they entertain them at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium. The Steelmen will be looking to make it 3 wins in a row against Cardiff having beaten them in the league 36-20 at the Arms Park in September and 27-15 in the Premiership Cup in December at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium.

Jason Strange makes several changes to the Steelmen squad with Amir Jiwa-Walji and Jon Evans returning to the starting XV in the backs, while Morgan Davies and Cameron Regan start in the pack. Ewan Bowden, Kieran Meek, and Adam Court return to the squad on the bench.

The full Steelmen squad is:

15 Morgan Richards 14 Carrick Mcdonough 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Amir Jiwa-Walji 10 Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1 Morgan Davies 2 Joe Franchi (CAPT) 3 Harry Drane 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Owen Conquer 7 Cameron Regan 8 Alex Howes

Replacements

16 Ieuan Morris 17 Luke Garrett 18 Adam Court 19 Ewan McIntyre 20 Kobi Rees 21 Rory Harries 22 Kieran Meek 23 Ewan Bowden

 

The match sees both Evan Lloyd and Jon Evans pass 50 games for the Steelmen.

Ebbw Vale RFC would also like to wish Harry Rees-Weldon the best of luck with the Wales U20s squad this weekend.

 

Match Details

Ebbw Vale RFC v Cardiff RFC

Saturday 6th January

Ciner Glass Community Stadium

Kick Off 2.30pm

 

Match Day Tickets

You can purchase tickets for the game at the following link: https://www.evrfc.co.uk/product/6th-january-ebbw-vale-v-cardiff-rfc/

 

Ebbw do the Double Over Ponty

Jason Strange’s team put in a terrific last twenty minutes to make the unlikeliest comeback possible against a fully committed Pontypridd team.

The away side made a fast start. From a strong rolling maul, co club captain Joe Franchi touched down inside the first ten minutes to score the games first try. The league’s top points scorer Evan Lloyd was unable to add the extra’s.

Ponty hit back straight away. A miss-pass by the hosts number ten Ben Burnell inside the Steelmen’s twenty-two saw winger McCauley Rowley go over the line to score the home side’s first try of the afternoon. Full Back Josh Phillips added the two points to put his side into the lead.

Pontypridd extended their lead further when from a grubber kick in the centre of the field, an awkward bounce of the ball, saw the covering defence beaten. Home winger and ex Ebbw player Liam Lloyd collected the ball to touch down unopposed. Phillips successfully kicked the conversion.

The hosts full back Phillips extended his team’s lead to fifteen points by kicking two penalties within minutes of each other.

Against the run of play, the visitors started to apply pressure. Despite running good angles and lines, the away side were unable to score any further points in the first half due to a solid Pontypridd defence holding firm.

Half Time: Pontypridd RFC 20 Ebbw Vale RFC 5

The second half started like the first half ended, with the away side spending time in Ponty’s twenty-two. Again, good defence and turnovers of the ball resulted in the home side ensuring no further points were initially scored.

Ebbw Vale coach Strange, started to ring the changes. Scrum half Rory Harries was replaced by Jon Evans, Prop Morgan Davies came on for Luke Garrett and Kobi Rees replaced Lewis Young.

The home side extended their lead to twenty points within minutes. A kick through from the halfway line saw the ball evade the Steelmen’s defence. Pontypridd winger McCauley collected the ball, drew the last man and sent centre Ryan Wilkins over to score the hosts third try of the game. However, on this occasion Phillips missed the conversion.

With the away side having nothing to lose, the forwards started to take the game to their opponents. Despite being inside the home side’s twenty-two, experienced scrum half Jon Evans saw the space out wide and threw a pass to winger Carrick McDonough. With plenty still to do the winger side stepped his opponent and sped over the line to score Ebbw’s second try of the game. Fly half Lloyd successfully added the two points.

Further changes to the Ebbw Vale side saw hooker Joe Franchi replaced by Ieuan Morris, Prop Harry Drane came off for Owen Hatherill, Ewan McIntyre came on for Owen Conquer and the final substitution saw centre Dom Franchi be replaced by Amir Jiwa-Walji.

With ten minutes left in the game, the visitors turned the game on its head. With an improvement in the lineout, the forwards set up an unstoppable rolling maul, ending with replacement Ieuan Morris touching down. Number ten Lloyd kicked the conversion to bring the game to within a score.

Within five minutes the decisive try was scored. With the grit between their teeth, the Ebbw forwards kept applying pressure and nearly scored themselves. Just short of the tryline and at the ruck, experienced scrum half Jon Evans saw a gap and dived over to score a well taken try and the away side’s forth try of the game. Lloyd added the two points to put the Steelmen one point ahead.

However, the drama had not finished there. From a penalty at the scrum inside the visitor’s half, Pontypridd full back Phillips stepped up with only minutes left. On this occasion the kick went wide and Ebbw saw out the game to come away with what looked like the unlikeliest of wins after sixty minutes.

Credit to both teams, who never gave up and served an excellent final game of the year for both sides.

Full Time: Pontypridd RFC 25 Ebbw Vale RFC 26

 

Tries: Joe Franchi (1), Carrick McDonough (1), Ieuan Morris (1), Jon Evans (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (3)

 

After the game we spoke with prop Morgan Davies. Morgan informed the team made a slow start, taking forty minutes to get into the game. Morgan believed the replacements who came off the bench made an impact, and the team picked it up a gear and were delighted to come away with the win.

 

Ebbw Vale’s next game is Saturday 6th January 2024 at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium against Cardiff, with the kick off at 2:30pm.

 

Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

The Steelmen play their final match of 2023, when they visit Sardis Road on Saturday to play Pontypridd RFC with a 2.30pm kick off.

The Steelmen will be looking to complete the double over Pontypridd RFC, after victory over Ponty earlier on in the season at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium, where an explosive start to the match saw Pontypridd take a 15 – 0 lead, before the Steelmen took control of the match to come out victors, 38-21. On the last visit to Sardis Road, a late penalty by Kieran Meek gave the Steelmen a 23-22 victory over Pontypridd.

There are just 2 changes to the Steelmen starting lineup with Rory Harries coming into the team at scrum half and Harry Drane starting in the front row. Joe Franchi continues to captain the team at hooker. Morgan Davies and Kobi Rees come into the match day squad, while Owen Hatherill and Ewan McIntyre will  continue to look to make an impact from the bench.

The Ebbw Vale team is

15 Morgan Richards, 14 Carrick Mcdonough 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Harry Rees-Weldon 10 Evan Lloyd 9 Rory Harries

1 Luke Garrett 2 Joe Franchi (CAPT) 3 Harry Drane 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Owen Conquer 7 Lewis Young 8 Alex Howes

Replacements

16 Ieuan Morris 17 Morgan Davies 18 Owen Hatherill 19 Jakub Malecki 20 Kobi Rees 21 Jon Evans 22 Amir Jiwa-Walji 23 Ewan McIntyre

 

EA Travel

The Addicts will be providing transport to the match, leaving the Welfare at 12.30 pm and returning from Sardis Road at 5.30pm.

For those travelling by car, the postcode for Sardis Road is CF37 1HA

Pontypridd Rugby Football Club
The Clubhouse
Sardis Road
Pontypridd
Rhondda Cynon Taf
CF37 1HA

 

Ebbw Vale RFC would like to wish all our incredible sponsors, Vice Presidents, season ticket holders and anyone who spends their money buying match day tickets a very Merry Christmas. We truly appreciate and are very grateful for your support.
To our players, coaching team and backroom staff, we hope you have a well earned break over the Christmas period and enjoy time with your families and friends.
To our bar, kitchen and cleaning staff, thank you for helping us make The Welfare EVRFC a place where people want to come and enjoy themselves. What we’ve achieved in the last 6 months is incredible and we couldn’t have done it without you.
And finally to the men, women and children who give their time freely on match days and pretty much every other day of the week – you are the reason all of this is possible. We really couldn’t do this without you giving your time up and putting in the hours you do. You will never know how much we appreciate everything you do for the club you love.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year