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West Wales Cup Preview

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THERE are a number of exciting fixtures in the West Wales Cup this weekend (Saturday, December 2), as teams from Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire go head to head.

One of the ties of the round sees Carmarthenshire League Champions Trostre Sports taking on Pembrokeshire Senior Cup holders Merlins Bridge.

The Wizards are yet to lose a league game this season and currently sit third in the table and come into this game on the back of a 3-1 win over rivals West Dragons.

Trostre have endured a difficult start to their season and have two wins, two draws and three defeats to their name so far in the league.

In their last league game they drew 1-1 with leaders Loughor and they will still provide a tough test for the Wizards.

Pembrokeshire league Champions Hakin United will also be looking to make it through but standing in their way will be Carmarthenshire side Seaside.

They currently sit fourth in the Premier Division and will also provide a good test for the Vikings.

Hakin have played only six games in the league so far this season but have won five of them and they also beat Carmarthenshire side Dafen in the last round.

Former West Wales Cup winners Goodwick United face Swansea Senior league side CRC Rangers.

The Pheonix boys will we well versed with their Swansea counterparts having played a number of other teams in that division already this season and they beat Swansea league side Kilvey Fords 3-0 in the second round.

Carew, who have proved a tough team to play against this season, welcome Carmarthenshire league side Evans and Williams.

The Rooks have won four of their nine league games so far this season but also held Merlins Bridge to a 3-3 draw and they will be keen to beat their Carmarthenshire opponents.

Evans and Williams also have four wins to their name so far this season and come into this game with confidence after a 2-0 win away to Pontlliw in their last game.

Bwlch, who are currently unbeaten so far this season, face a tough test as they travel to former finalists Morriston Olympic.

Carmarthenshire League leaders Loughor Rovers are at home and they take on Swansea side Maltsters Sports.

Gorseinon who are top of Division 1 of the Carmarthenshire league travel to Mumbles Rangers.

Finally, Pwll Athletic, who are third in the Premier Division of the Carmarthenshire League take on Swansea side Ystradgynlais.

All games are set to kick off at 2pm. Good luck to all sides involved and may the best teams win.

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Nigel Owens hosts virtual rugby quiz for Pembroke Panthers

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PEMBROKE Panthers RFC enjoyed a rugby return during lockdown after winning a competition which saw international referee Nigel Owens host their own virtual clubhouse quiz, thanks to Principality Building Society.

The women’s squad at the Pembroke club beat more than 1000 entries to win Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz competition. With many clubs affected by widespread flooding at the start of this year and now closed indefinitely due to coronavirus, the building society is continually looking for ways to support grassroots rugby clubs in Wales.

Pembroke Panther Lucy Neale, 30, entered her team with the hope of bringing the players together online. She said: “We’d usually see each other up to five times a week between training sessions, matches and socials, so it’s been a really strange time. I thought I’d enter the club thinking it would be a nice pick-me-up for us all, but never actually expected to win so it was an amazing surprise.”

The team were tested on their rugby knowledge by world cup referee Nigel Owens over video conferencing platform Zoom, where players won tickets to Welsh internationals at Principality Stadium, signed rugby shirts and balls, and tickets for a tour around Principality Stadium. The quiz included a guest appearance from former Welsh international Tom Shanklin.

Lucy continued: “It was such a memorable and special evening for us all. We’re usually quite a lively bunch but we behaved well for Nigel. We’re so thankful to Principality for putting on the quiz and allowing us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as a team.”

As sponsors of Principality Stadium and the National Youth Leagues for grassroots clubs in Wales, Principality has a strong relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and knows how much rugby means to communities across the country. With matches on hold currently, the building society wanted to be able to bring the buzz of the clubhouse to the home.

Clubhouse Quiz host, Nigel Owens, said: “Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz was a fantastic way to bring one team closer together and Pembroke Panthers really showed off their rugby knowledge. Rugby plays such an important role in Welsh communities and I know they’ll be missing the action on the field right now, so it was lovely to have been part of this experience to bring this team together. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sin bin any of them either.”

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Many rugby clubs across Wales have had a really difficult year, with flood damage to pitches and clubhouses now followed by coronavirus. This was our chance to recreate the camaraderie of the clubhouse for one team and we hope that it brought plenty of laughs and memorable moments for Pembroke Panthers at this challenging time.”

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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