Justin Tipuric still coaches Trebanos Youth. Pic: Getty Images.
They may have started playing ruby in Trebanos 110 years ago, but the village will never have experienced anything quite like their first WRU Championship home fixture when they welcome Pontypool this weekend.
In the past it would have been viewed as a classic ‘David v Goliath’ contest, but while Pontypool will arrive as the reigning champions, Trebanos will at least be able to start the day looking down on them from the lofty position of top of the table after Round 1.
One of only two teams to pick up a try bonus on the opening weekend, when they beat Bedlinog 28-0 on their Championship debut, last year’s Division 1 West champions sit a point ahead of the champions and are relishing the chance to test themselves against one of Welsh rugby’s most iconic clubs.
“The whole village is excited about this game – it will be the biggest day in our history,” said former fixture secretary Steven Card. “We had a dream start at Bedlinog last weekend and now we simply can’t wait for our first home game.
“Trebanos is steeped in rugby tradition, but we are a village of only 1400 playing against a town like Pontypool that boasts 35,000. It is a classic minnows against giants contest.
“Bleddyn Bowen, Rob Jones and Arwel Thomas all became internationals from our club and they all still live in the village – along with Duncan Jones, Derek Bevan and Andy Lloyd. We don’t pay anyone a penny and these days we don’t lose anyone to other clubs because we are playing such a great brand of rugby.”
Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric used to coach the first team, but has had to step down to the youth side because of playing commitments. But the coaching reins are still in very capable hands in the shape of his fellow Osprey, Ashley Beck, and two other former team mates at the Liberty Stadium, Dan Suter and Kristian Phillips.
Second half tries from Sean Hopkins, Llyr Davies and Tom Lucas pushed Trebanos to their bonus point after their pack had secured a penalty try in the opening period. Now they will be looking for a repeat performance to try to stay ahead of Narberth, who were the only other team to pick up a bonus point on the opening day.
WRU Championship Round 2
Cardiff Met v Narberth
Glynneath v Bedlinog
Newbridge v Beddau
Newcastle Emlyn v Tata Steel
Rhydyfelin v Skewen
Trebanos v Pontypool
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