Squad and Fixture update 2018/19

By Ian Tabor | 27/06/2018

With the rugby season now officially over we take a look back at the Head Coach’ first season in charge and his thoughts on the coming season.

Steve Law told us “it was a challenging season that had plenty of ups and downs. The season started well with some good wins but following those ups the downs kicked in. The Merthyr game especially sticks in my mind. To lose two of the back row through injuries that were to keep them out for the rest of the season was a tough blow on us and them. Reuben (Tucker) and Dan (Crimmins) had been playing well until that point, and added to that Gaz (Thompson) was injured and out for 6 weeks in the same game. There was worse to come. Skipper Joey Tomlinson and Miles Normandale were also ruled out for the season in the next few weeks. Half the pack out meant we had to look to other options. Later in the season we lost James Beal and Rory Pitman to long term injuries, not how we had planned it to be. ”

“The players we managed to find though worked extremely hard to get us going again and the overall position of eight wasn’t a bad reflection on the way things went. We had good days and bad along the way. The RGC televised game being a bad day, the trip to Carmarthen and the result there a good day. As a coaching group we were also finding our feet in our first season together and I think we worked well as a group and learned from each other.”

“That will put us in a good place to start next season and with the quality of the players we have attracted, and those who have stayed with us, we can now push on. The league next year will be a very different place to play in. Four sided being relegated has meant touch competition for players as every team will be looking to stay in the league. We have recruited well and kept hold of a majority of the players we wanted to retain too, plus the injured troops should be ready to start again.”

“On the recruitment front we have added experience and quality to the squad.  In the backs we welcome the experience of Welsh International Martin Roberts. The former Ospreys and Scarlets scrum half has also played for Northampton, Bristol and Bath and returns from his most recent experiences in France to join the Blue & Blacks.  He will also have a potential new partner at half back with prolific outside half Steffan Jones joining from Bedwas. Jones is also a Welsh sevens international and has Pro 14 experience with the Dragons. He has also played for Cardiff twice before in the 2009/10 season. Matthew Powell, who has been scoring tries for fun at Cross Keys and Morgan Griffiths come in on the wing. Full Back Jack Evans joins us from Llandovery, and the experienced Joe Gatt joins from the Ravens”

 

“Up front we have secured the services of Morgan Allen, former Scarlet and Ealing back row will pack down with Zac O’Driscoll in the very experienced back row. The former Bridgend flanker is joined by Kieron Martin, another Raven recruit Kieron has also had experience at Pro14 level with the Ospreys.”

“All this recruitment has been done with the new Development League in mind too where the Blues have been looking at who they want to sign and where we can be joined up in our thinking.”

“We will of course continue to look to strengthen our squad and any further signings will be announced when they are made. The squad has started training and the whole group is very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I would also like to thank all the players who were with us last season who are moving on and wish them all the very best in their next ventures”

 

Next season’s fixtures should be known shortly, but the Blue & Blacks have already arranged three pre-season friendlies

Saturday Aug 11th Clifton (A)

Saturday Aug 18th Old Albanians (H)

Saturday Aug 25th Tata Steel (A)

All games are 2:30 kick off.

 

At the end of season dinner caps were presented to

Llywarch Ap Myrdin

Will Rees-Hole

Ian Jenkins

Ben White

Fraser Young

Peter Lloyd

Rhodri Cole

 

Other awards on the night included

 

The Player of the Season – Luke Crocker

 

Most Promising Player – Peter Lloyd

 

Chairman’s Award – Ben White

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