After narrowly missing out on the SWALEC Plate in a dramatic Finals Day clash with Merthyr, Rhiwbina have lifted the Division 2 East trophy after a convincing win at home against Abercynon.
The 57-15 victory was a welcome return to winning form for the side. Just two weeks previously, the battle of the champions at the Millennium Stadium was meant to be a procession for Merthyr who are a league above Rhiwbina. Instead, the Squirrels put in a valiant effort and gave Merthyr a real scare before they were finally beaten, and the dramatic game ended with only three points between the rivals (26-29).
On Saturday, the Rhiwbina boys lost out again in a game of two halves at Llantrisant. Although Rhiwbina led 14-3 at the interval, Llantrisant mounted a magnificent second half fight back to secure the win (14-18).
Despite the recent losses, Rhiwbina have only suffered three defeats all season, and the experience of lifting the trophy is testament to their hard work and perseverance as a team.
Rhiwbina Head Coach, Gareth Linten said: "Almost a year ago we started pre-season, and now here we are having won the league - it's fantastic. In that time, we've also played at the Millennium Stadium at SWALEC Finals Day which was a really tough ask, but it was the highlight of the season for us. Should've won the game? Could've won the game? Who knows, but the atmosphere was amazing, and it's something we've never previously done."
Rhiwbina Club Captain, Nick Howell said: "As a rugby team, this is why we play - it's not for medals and trophies, it's to win the league. We've held our own this season, and that game at the stadium against Merthyr just shows what we could be capable of. Hopefully next season we can push on and do ourselves justice."
WRU representative Russell Howell added: "What Rhiwbina have done is fantastic. They've gone from being a small club to playing for the SWALEC Plate at the Millennium stadium - what an achievement. Congratulations to them for winning the league, they really deserve it."
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