Pembrokeshire rugby previews for Saturday, September 30th (2.30pm):


Pontypool v Narberth

By all accounts, The Otters were not at their best last week in beating Rhydyfelin - but it is perhaps a measure of their standards set in recent years they still won with 11 points to spare.

Young winger Ryan Davies underlined his potential with a try, and it is of little surprise he starts again tomorrow.

Captain Alex Jenkins returns to the second row - and Sean Gale's men will need his leadership in their toughest test to date this season.

Pontypool are reigning champions and sit top of the table with four wins from four, and only Trebanos have come close to toppling them in those games.

I suspect this clash won't define Narberth's season, but any kind of result would be a real statement.

Narberth: Nick Gale, Ryan Davies, Kieran Jones, Paul Davies, Jack Parkinson, Jonathan Rogers, Rhys Lane, Bradley Davies, Dan Smith, Ryan Rees, Jake Simm, Alex Jenkins (captain), Rich Rees, Sean Jenkins, Steffan Phillips.

Replacements: Rhys Davies, Rhodri Owens, Pat Roberts, Lewys Gibby, Kieran Griffiths.

Division One West:

Crymych v Llanelli Wanderers

The Preseli Men host the only other side without a win to their name in Division One West - which already tells you how crucial this clash is today.

At Tycroes, Crymych at least showed their threat out wide, with Lawrence Headlam and Nick Bevan crossing for tries.

But they need to produce a much better collective display against a Llanelli team whose solitary point came when they scored four tries at Tenby on the opening day.

It is still early days, but lose this, and The Preseli Men are already playing catch up in their bid to avoid the drop.

Tenby United v Aberystwyth

A repeat of last season's Pembrokeshire KO Cup final, and it could be every bit as close.

The Seasiders need a win after three straight league defeats, and while scoring tries has not been a problem, they are leaking too many points in defence.

Aber meanwhile, have shown their ability to grind out wins thus far, typified by their 7-0 success over Gorseinon last time out, and a 15-3 at Crymych earlier in the campaign.

With the likes of Johnny Morgan out wide, the Tenby backline will always cause problems, but with heavy rain forecast, I suspect it is their pack that will need to dig deep at Heywood Lane.

Division Two West:

Loughor v Whitland - postponed.

Llanybydder v St Clears

St Clears at least went down with a fight against Carmarthen Athletic last week, while Llanybydder did anything but with a 96-0 loss at Whitland.

But Mike Jones and his men will not be fooled by that - Bydder are notoriously more difficult to face on their own patch.

It could be tight and scrappy, and The Saints, like Fishguard did at the same venue two weeks ago, will have to dig this one out to win.

Yr Hendy v Fishguard

I thought it would be Fishguard's home form that would carry them through this campaign, but ironically, their only win thus far as come away.

But the scorelines in their two defeats suggest they are not far away from clicking, although the fact influential flanker Chris Shousha is named at 12 today, indicated they are down on backline cover.

And they will have their work cut out against an Hendy team with three league wins from three. 

The Seagulls will test any side up front, and if the scheduled rain comes in, that may play into their hands. But there will be little room for error from Gavin Walsh and co if they are to end the home side's winning streak.

Fishguard squad: Edward Bendall, Mathew George, Mike Jenkins, Chris Shousha, Thomas George, Alun George, Andrew Williams, Ryan McVeigh, Liam Wilkes, Neil Perkins, Richard Hunter, Gwil Evans, Gavin Walsh (captain), Luke Freebury, Mark George.

Replacements: Jason Davies, Owain Richards, Jac Evans, Ryan Langman, Mathew Harries.

Division Three West A:

Laugharne v Llangwm

Having watched them on the opening day of the season, I was taken aback with how badly Laugharne were beaten at Aberaeron last week.

In their defence, it was their first game since they started with a thrilling draw at Milford Haven, and the three week gap did them no favours.

They will look to bounce back this afternoon against a Llangwm side that battled far harder than the final score against Haverfordwest suggested.

But The Wasps will need to travel with their strongest possible squad to take anything from this one.

Neyland v Aberaeron

Neyland were not in action last Saturday, but they go into this one buoyed by their Bowl win at Llandovery the week before.

And by all accounts, for the first time this season they have something near to their strongest squad available.

Young centre George Williams impressed last time out, and it will be interesting to see if Steve Martin continues at No 10 - with the All Blacks likely to attack out wide against an Aberaeron team that has appeared strong up front thus far.

Pembroke v Tregaron

Up until half time last Saturday, the season was going perfectly for Pembroke, but losing a 24-10 lead to Milford and suffering a last minute defeat would have been a huge wake up call.

They will still start favourites today against a Tregaron team beaten by The Quins last Saturday, and Geraint Lewis will be aware of the need to get back on track quickly for what is shaping up to be a tight battle for the title.

The Scarlets have had four try bonus points in every game so far, and I suspect they will target another one here, but this time with a win to boot.

St Davids v Pembroke Dock Quins

It could be a tight one in adverse weather at St Davids, who have shown signs of improvement lately with a win over Llangwm and strong first half display in Cardigan.

The Saints were boosted by the return of Scott James last week, albeit on permit from Tenby, but will have their work cut out against a Quins side that already appears more accomplished and competitive than last season.

Ossie Boswell has young talent at his disposal, with one of last week's try scorers Aaron James adding a cutting edge to the back line, while scrum half Jake Griffiths and skipper Thomas Doyle are also in good form.

If both teams are at full strength, expect a good old fashioned Pembrokeshire derby battle.

WRU National Bowl Round 1:

Ferryside v Cardigan

No away trip is ever easy in the National Bowl, but The Teifisiders have good reason to be confident for their re-arranged game against Division 3 West Central team Ferryside.

The hosts have won two of their first three league games, but Cardigan remain unbeaten and seemingly travel with a near full strength squad.

In an interesting move, last week's two try flanker Sion Hughes is named at 13, suggesting a direct approach in midfield from the visitors.

Cardigan: Llyr Jones, Sion James, Sion Hughes, Emyr Harries (captain), Ben Rogers, Dion James, Tomos Jones, William Brice, Luke Palmer-Davies, Gethon Jones, Rob Connolly, Sion Phillips, Tom Taylor, Kieran Hurley, Colin Davies.

Replacements: Blair Hogan, Gruffydd Lewis, Justin Noble, Daffydd Watkins.