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."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.