HAVING been forced to forfeit their WRU Plate game against Llantrisant three weeks ago by a combination of wholesale injury and absenteeism, Penarth RFC senior XV enjoyed a welcome respite last weekend (October 28), free from either League or cup commitments.

There was only one league match in the Division Two East Central played at the weekend, with the fifth-placed Llanishen defeating narrowly 29-23 CR Cymry Caerdydd, who walked away with a losing bonus point that moved them up into the eighth place in the table. The break should help the Seasiders to concentrate on the weekend match, as they travel to Newport Road for their first clash this season with St.Peters. Last season Penarth have recorded the double over their Roath arch-rivals, the first time they managed to win both the home and away matches in recent memory.

Currently, the Rocks are ninth in the table with 12 points from six matches, and are making considerable progress under the management of Head Coach Mark Ring and his new forwards coach Steve Facey, a former UWIC regular. Two weeks ago Penarth recorded their first win of the season against the high-flying Cilfynydd, who are now second in the table, thanks to the losing bonus point they collected at the Athletic Field. Without doubt, the Seasiders seemed to have turned the corner after several inadequate displays at the beginning of the season, but work commitments prevent their new back-row marvel Ritchie Bowen from turning up on Saturday, which may well undermine the visitors’ attacking potential.

The newly-formed centre partnership between skipper Tom Luck and young prodigy Rhys Beynon was very productive against Cilfynydd and one hopes that they could recapture their appetite for attack this Saturday. It was however, the newly-found defensive bottle of the Seasiders that bodes well for the future. It was that very assertive and effective defence that secured Penarth the unexpected and thoroughly deserved win last Saturday, and it should help the Seasiders give the Rocks a good run for their money, in their first clash this season.