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."
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.