WRU Board member Richard Gwynn presents Penlan captain Ian Scrine with the trophy after winning SWALEC League 5 South West.
Can there ever have been a more consistent, clinical and successful side in SWALEC National League history than the newly crowned Division 5 South West champions Penlan?
In a mere five seasons in the WRU system they have played 99 league matches, won 93, drawn one and lost only five times. They have been crowned champions three times in those five seasons, lost a fourth title in controversial circumstances after failing to complete their final fixture following an unbeaten run in their previous 21 games and finished third in the other campaign.
Not content with having a 94% success rate since joining SWALEC Division 6 West in 2007/08, they have run in an incredible 594 tries and conceded only 75. The sharpest attack and the meanest defence in the business!
Skipper Ian Scrine, in his eighth season in charge at the club, was delighted to be able to cast aside the memories of just missing out on promotion last year while his team marched inexorably to the SWALEC Division 5 South West this season. The title was safely secured with a 43-6 home win over Baglan last weekend and there is one final fling to look forward to on Saturday.
The season will come to a close at Mynydd Newydd Playing Fields with Llandybie the visitors. Penlan were 35-14 winners in the away game and in their 100th SWALEC National League match will be looking to maintain their proud record of having scored 100 or more tries in every league season.
They have scored 97 so far this season - the club motto is, rather aptly, 'To Try is to Succeed' - and they will also be seeking to notch 100 league points for the first time in their history. A bonus point victory will take them to the century mark and end their 45th year in style.
"The attitude of the boys has been a lot better this year. We've had a lot more out training every week and a squad has been stronger," said skipper Scrine, whose dream has always been to lead the club into SWALEC Division 4.
"I think we're really confident about going up, but we know we'll be the underdogs next season. Hopefully, we can attract some new players and, if we can do that, I believe we can do quite well.
"Kurt Velardo has had a brilliant season for us. He's only 23, and has played mainly in the second row, but his game has really improved. He's only been with the club for two years but he hasn't missed a training session, is one of our main ball carriers and there has been a lot of improvement in his game."
Head Coach Mark Llewellyn has enjoyed his debut season in charge at the club, but doesn't want the players to rest on one promotion. He wants to use this season as a catalyst for further rises through the SWALEC ranks.
"I'm hoping that promotion will increase our chances of attracting new players. I've already had at six phone calls from players who are interested in playing for us next season and I know there are a lot more," said Llewellyn.
"Our defence has played a huge part in our success this season and we've had a lot of push over tries even though we have quite a small pack. But we all know we've got to hit the ground running next season if we are going to push for another promotion. The key thing is we don't want to stand still."
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