08 October 2019 / Club News

Club Rugby Update - Sep 19

So the first month of the season has come and gone and it probably feels a good time to take a step back and take stock of whats been going on from a rugby perspecitve - with so much going on its hard to know where to start!


Senior Section

The 1st team kicked off the season with back to back league wins against Div1 new boys Monmouth (40-8) and local neighbours Nelson (42-19) before a clinical display in the National Plate against Caerleon (64-0) saw us safely into the hat for the next round where we have been handed a home draw against fellow Div 1 East side  and old friends Dowlais.

The first big test of the season came against last years league champions and Plate winners – Brecon. In a remarkable game that saw 4 red cards dished out (3 for us…ouch) the boys showed remarkable resolve to play the entire second half with only 12 men and lose out in the dying minutes to a couple of late Brecon scores. Despite this first loss of the season – the positives were there in abundance to take into the rest of the year, a year that will no doubt hold many more twists and turns (and hopefully less red cards).

The Troop have had a tough start to the season with 1st team call ups, injuries and holidays all conspiring to see us having to rearrange our opening game of the season against Bargoed before suffering league losses against Rumney (17-22) and Cardiff Met (7-67). The players and coaches have done a brilliant job in getting a squad together in testing circumstances and getting these games played - with players returning no doubt numbers and performances will pick up.

Last but not least, the Youth have made a fantastic start to the season. With the enthusiasm of last years u16’s players/coaches having a noticeable affect and adding to the impressive talent already in the youth setup – the team have started with a bang in the league – registering wins against Pill Harriers (35-0), Whiteheads (54-0) and Croesyceiliog (38-0) whilst also impressively coming through a tough 1st round National Plate game against Caernarfon (11-10). With the boys 4 out of 4 on the pitch its also great to see them really enjoying each others company in the clubhouse afterwards – reminding us all what rugby is about at this level.

From a coaching perspective its been great to see Steve Lang settling in so well into his role as Senior 1st Team Backs coach. Steve has a wealth of playing experience in the club game and starred at outside half for Merthyr in their rise to the dizzy heights that they currently enjoy – picking up, amongst other things, the National Plate along the way. He joined us late in pre-season but has already made a big impression and is really starting to get his feet under the table – most importantly buying into the ethos of the club around player development and enjoyment first and foremost. Whether he’s still going to be as buoyant and enthusiastic after another few months of managing Tucco and Dai Hooper remains to be seen.


M&J Section

The mini and junior Pitmen continue to go from strength to strength – once again this year we are proud to be fielding teams at every age group within the official WRU structure (u7 through to u16).

Furthermore, for the first tie int he clubs history we will also be running an u6's this year. Following the launch of our hugely successful Mini Miner program (rugby classes for 3-5 year olds) last year ( with over 45 kids taking part) it quickly became apparent that we needed to give those youngsters graduating from the program a pathway into the u7’s team and tag rugby – with over 30 kids and 6 coaches signing up, this new age group has really hit the ground running and its fantastic to see them taking their 1st steps on their rugby journey.

As mentioned above – the mini miners have also started back this month for their first 10 week block of the year, with 3 classes running on Saturday mornings catering for over 45 kids (3-5 years old). Its fantastic to see the coaching team being made up of volunteers from across the club – and particularly pleasing to see several of the current players from our junior and youth teams.

Amazingly this now see us providing rugby for over 300 kids every week – a testament to all the people who give up their time across the club – coaches, 1st aiders, team managers, referees as well as the caterers/bar staff/committee behind the scenes. A real team effort. Bravo.

On the pitch – as well as all the age groups getting their regular seasons under way, September also saw the club host another hugely successful Mini’s tournament for u7 to u10’s – with some great rugby being played across all the age groups and more importantly over 400+ kids having a great time. We also hosted our inaugural 7’s tournament for the u14 and u15 age groups which went down a storm and will hopefully go from strength to strength in the years to come.

This month also marked the District team selection process and Penallta players are featuring prominently – our u11’s have provided 10 players to the Rhymney Valley District and 2 to Islwyn whilst the u15s have 9 boys selected. A testament to the hardwork put in by the players and coaches. Well don’t to those selected and to those who missed out – keep working hard and enjoying your rugby.

As always - we always welcome new players, whether they are new to the game or have experience. If you want your child to get involved then please get in touch with M&J Chairman Dai Roberts (07581 226082) who can point you in the right direction.


So a fantastic month across the cub to kick off the season, lets hope for more of the same for the rest of the year. As always – your support is massively appreciated!

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