Wales are close to securing their place in the netball tournament at the Commonwealth Games after boosting their world ranking. Head coach Sara Moore’s team beat the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Gibraltar at the weekend in a tournament played at Ebbw Vale to secure the Wendy White trophy. It was the first international matches Wales have been able to host since 2019 and the victories have put them on the threshold of confirming their place at the Birmingham Games later this year.
The fans are back in Welsh sport – sort of. A host of smaller football and rugby clubs were able to welcome up to 500 supporters through their gates this weekend and it’s doors fully open everywhere next weekend. It meant some strange comparisons on Saturday, as Owen Morgan discovered when he went to watch Bonymaen RFC. Strange sporting anomalies have become the norm across the globe over the past two years due to Covid regulations. Grand Slam tennis champions deported, fanless FA Cup finals, and an Olympic Games stadium where the only noise was the pounding of the sprinters’ running shoes.
Russell Martin has spoken of his pride in Swansea City for the way they stopped the rot at in-form Huddersfield. The Swans head coach had plenty of praise for his players who earned a 1-1 draw away from home to end a run of four straight defeats. "We could have probably had the three points and I don't think anyone could have complained,” said Martin, whose team remain 17th in the table, 14 points off the play-offs but with three matches in hand.
Steve Morison has warned his misfiring Cardiff City strikers they must start scoring – or else they will be shipped out. The ultimatum was given after the Bluebirds manager saw him team lose 1-0 at home to Blackburn – their eighth defeat in their last nine at home in the league. Cardiff drew a blank at home for the seventh time this season and have scored one goal in their last three Championship matches.
Dai Young has refused to be down-hearted by what appears to be the end of Cardiff’s hopes of making progress to the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup. The head coach has chosen, instead, to look on the bright side of his team’s 36-33 defeat to Harlequins - even though victory was offered up to the English champions in the closing seconds. A mistake by Wales wing Josh Adams, who gave away a penalty when he tried to run the ball from deep with the scores tied at 33-33, was punished by the mercurial Marcus Smith, who had earlier scored a scintillating try to bring his team level.
Sam Davies reckons he has never felt fresher in January and aims to prove it when the Dragons resume their season on Saturday after a month-long break. After four weeks of inactivity, the Newport region finally get back on the rugby field when they travel to Treviso to take on Benetton in the European Challenge Cup. For their playmaker and No.10, it’s an opportunity to show the benefits of a mid-season break and a chance for his team to end a six-match losing sequence, in a must-win clash that is live on S4C.
Home Nations Vets
Table Tennis Wales carried out a good dry run ahead of hosting the European Veterans Championships in 2021 by successfully staging the Home Nations Vets tournament at the weekend. It proved to be a profitable competition for the Wales national coach Ryan Jenkins as he captured three gold medals on... Read More