Cup boost for Knights

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LAST Saturday the Knights travelled to West Wales to play Welsh Premiership side Llandovery in the British and Irish Cup and what an eye opener it was for our players.

We stayed the night before in Swansea and travelled to the Drovers' ground at lunch time.

We took the scenic route over the top of the mountain and I think some of our players were apprehensive as we went around some of the hairpin bends in our coach - it was just like some of the Alpine roads.

What made it even more worrying was the driving rain that started to fall as we went up into the sky. And then we got to the ground - a ground that would have probably been one of the most picturesque we have played at but for two things - the howling gale that blew straight down the ground and the stair rods of rain that it brought with it.

The conditions at Llandovery totally mitigated against running rugby, but Knights pack dominated the encounter to control the game throughout.

The pack totally denied the Drovers virtually any meaningful possession even in the second half when Knights faced the horrendous elements. As an estimate I would say that 90 per cent of the first half was played in the Llandovery half and upwards of 60 per cent in the second.

Not perhaps a game for the faint hearted but a wonderful match for the rugby purist!

On Saturday Knights entertain Welsh Premiership leaders Pontypridd in their next B & I Cup Pool D clash (2.30). Although Knights won 24-11 away at Sardis Road last season, Ponty are unbeaten at the top of the group with three wins out of three including a 21-12 victory over Rotherham Titans last Saturday having previously beaten Ayr at home 33-12, and Llandovery 28 -18.

What adds spice to the game is that Lynn Howells, our director of rugby, used to be the Pontypridd coach and Brett Davey, our assistant coach, used to be their full-back at the time when the valley side were one of the top clubs in Wales in the days before provincial rugby was introduced. Up to 400 away supporters are expected so there promises to be a great atmosphere at Castle Park.

I think what is frightening Lynn and Brett most of all is the amount they are going to have to drink when they meet up with their friends who are travelling up!

A great match is in prospect as Knights need to win it to keep alive their aim of reaching the knock out stages.

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