BONYMAEN GO HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH MAESTEG FOR PREMIERSHIP PLACE
16 May 2006 16:42
ASDA League Division 1 champions Bonymaen will get their chance to challenge for a place in the Principality Premiership next season when they meet Maesteg in the Premiership Play-Off at Aberavon's Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday, 20 May (kick-off 2.30pm)....
At stake for the Swansea-based club is the chance to qualify for a place among the 14 Premiership sides next season if they win the game and meet the criteria laid down by the WRU for inclusion in the top-flight from 2006.
Bonymaen completed their Division 1 programme with a home win over Ystrad Rhondda on Saturday and won the title by a clear 9 points from second placed Whitland with Beddau a further two points behind and finished with 25 wins and two draws in 30 outings.
Maesteg, who themselves were Division 1 winners last season and who reached the semi-finals of the Konica Minolta Cup this season, just beat the automatic drop in the Premiership thanks to a superior try count to Carmarthen Quins (64-52). The Quins will join bottom of the table Pontypool in dropping into the ASDA League system next season.
The Play-Off between the Division 1 champions and the third from bottom team in the Premiership was always due to be played at a neutral venue. The winners will play in the Premiership next season, subject to meeting the necessary criteria, while the losers will play in Division 1 West next winter.
If the game ends in a draw then the rules of the Konica Minolta Cup will be enforced with the winner being the side which has scored the most tries or the most converted tries. If the teams are still tied, then 20 minutes of extra-time (10 minutes each way) will be played.
If the scores are still tied at the end of extra-time, then the winner shall be declared using the same formula as at the end of ordinary time or then by the toss of a coin.
Following a vigorous audit process, the WRU is satisfied that all sixteen Premiership clubs, along with Bonymaen if they are successful in next week's Play-off, will pass the required criteria for entry to the Principality Premiership next season, on condition that any remaining documentation or work that they have signed up to in order to pass the audit is completed within the agreed timescale.
WRU Chief Executive Steve Lewis said, "This has been a hugely important process. All the clubs involved have invested a great deal of time, effort and money into improving the standards of their facilities on and off the field. When the process began, at least 50% of the clubs would not have met the criteria but all the clubs have supplied everything that has been asked of them in recent weeks and months in order to meet the standards required of them."
Chris Clarke, Chairman of the Premier Clubs said, "The WRU and the Premiership clubs have worked hand in hand on the process of setting out and working to a set of criteria to raise the standard of the Principality Premiership both on and off the field and the clubs are in full support of the Union on this matter.
"The cooperation and understanding shown from both sides is a credit to both the clubs and the Union. We wish both teams the best of luck for Saturday's play-off."
Young referee Ben Breakspear is making rapid strides as a referee. In just over a year he has gone from officiating a college game to being a touchline official during last weekend's RBS 6 Nations clash between Wales and Ireland at Principality Stadium.
Grand Slams, Triple Crowns and British and Irish Lions tours - Sir Gareth Edwards did it all. But what are his favourite moments in what was an amazing career? WRU TV finds out - along with his favourite players of today in the third and final instalment of our series with the greatest rugby player ever.
JPR Williams, Gerald Davies and Mervyn Davies were among those in the Welsh ranks when Sir Gareth Edwards began his international career against France nearly 50 years ago, but who was the player who took the young scrum half under their wing?
Wales head coach Rob Howley and captain Alun Wyn Jones are expecting a physical battle against France on Saturday but both are hoping for another impact from the bench as the men in red chase a top-four world ranking.
It's nearly 50 years since the great Sir Gareth Edwards made his debut as a youngster for Wales against France in Stade Colombes. In the first of a series, WRU TV discovers he pocketed a 'special momento' from the game - something he still has today.
This week, Wales squad players Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens took time out to support Operation Net Safe, a joint initiative by the four Welsh police forces to tackle child sexual abuse. The forces are working with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused, on a campaign called Stop it Now!