A barren period over the festive break for Pooler fans as there was no match after the Newbridge fixture on the 17th of December. Perhaps it is my age, but I get little joy out of going out in the cold to watch some other person’s favourite team play somebody else’s favourite team. So I tend to take to the couch and watch miscellaneous matches on the TV – at least you can flick to another channel if it becomes too much like hard work. It is probably just as well that Pontypool didn’t play as if they had played, say, a couple of matches there would only have been five league games left for the remaining four months of the season. As it is, there are only seven to look forward to. Let’s hope we can do a job on Llanelli and have a bit of cup rugby to supplement our meagre diet. The bad news for me is that I am going away for a couple of weeks and will miss three, yes three, of those precious seven matches. Aargh! Championship rugby has become a rare resource indeed.
Meanwhile on the couch I did watch quite a lot of the Welsh Regions battling it out in the much trumpeted local derbys. Rugby was a pretty rare resource in all four matches too as the Regions seemed to have adopted the style of the national team in the autumn internationals. Plenty of endeavour but skill levels lacking for large swathes of the time. Yes of course there were some bright spots and if you packaged a twenty minute combined highlights from the four matches it might look good but overall it was pretty disappointing stuff. The kicking duels in the Dragons v. Ospreys with crowd chanting “Ole” put the tin hat on a dismal series of matches. If the other games were turkeys then this was the parson’s nose. East Wales definitely came off second best overall with Ospreys the pick of the four regions in an eminently forgettable quartet.
As you can gather, these matches didn’t really make sparkling entertainment so quite a lot of channel hopping was the order of the day. Rugby from England and Ireland looked to be a couple of notches up in terms of skill and speed of thought and deed. Rugby in Wales is definitely seems to be drifting inexorably off the Northern Hemisphere pace let alone the Southern Hemisphere pace. I did watch a bit of Pontypridd v. Cross Keys in the Premiership and that was quite impressive at times so perhaps it is not all bad – clutching at straws here. Perhaps the plastic pitch at Sardis Road helped to make it a more open game. It must have been a lot easier to play on than the mud flats of Rodney Parade yesterday.
I just reread this and it is quite a depressing way to start the New Year. On a positive note Pontypool are sitting at the top of the Championship with an unbeaten record and have been playing some good rugby. Long may that continue.
Wishing all in Pontypool and beyond a successful and peaceful 2017.