Reasons to be cheerful for high-flying Aberdare Local rugby
ABERDARE have had plenty of reasons to be cheerful in the last few years and it’s all down to a strong identity.
In the last three seasons, the club have earned two promotions and a league title as well as enjoying a comfortable midtable finish in Two East Central last season.
But not a club to stand still, the Snakes have slithered their way up the table and took top spot with their 19-13 victory over St Peter’s at the weekend.
And rugby co-ordinator Darryl Williams believes Aberdare are exactly where they want to be as they seek another promotion up to Division One.
“We’re pretty consistent the moment,” said Williams.
“It’s progress on what we were trying to build on last year.
“This year we’d like to go up the division and see where we are because the two clubs that went up last year we had really good games against and they are holding their own.
“We’d like to test ourselves against the other sides that are up there.
“You’ve got to have a little bit of ambition.”
Matthew Rafferty and Ben Bowen grabbed the tries at the weekend while full-back Jordan Coles smashed over the rest. And Williams was full of praise for kicker Coles.
“Coles converted from football about a year or two ago,” said Williams.
“He’s one of the older players and has become our goal kicker.
“That’s made a huge difference to us as we now have someone who is reliable.
“He’s also a very intelligent runner, great on the counter attack. He just sees things others don’t.”
Williams believes that targeting a third promotion in four years is realistic because of the youth policy at the club and vibrant brand of rugby that Aberdare are gaining a reputation for.
“We decided to put the emphasis on bringing our younger players through,” he explained.
“They have all come through our mini and junior section. at
“We’ve got two youth teams running and we’re not relying on other clubs to bring players forward.
“We had a coaches’ meeting a number of years ago over the style of rugby we wanted to play.
“The youth play a very similar pattern to what we do and we’re asking the mini and juniors to become as skilful as they can and not worry about winning.
“At youth level we want them to be competitive but if they come up into the seniors we want them to be comfortable with the style of rugby that we aim to play.
“It’s quite frenetic, high risk and open. Fitness is a big thing.
“If you look at our bonus points, I think there’s only one game, which was Saturday, where we haven’t taken any bonus points.
“Even when we’ve lost we’ve come away with a bonus point.
“We have a good following home and away.
“Over the last three or four years our support has increased because they know, win or lose, they will be enjoyable games.”
Their rise up the leagues has coincided with their switch to a more “entertaining” style of rugby and the Snakes’ first test as league leaders is a top-oftable clash with second-placed Llanishen.
“We’ve had some really good games with Llanishen over the years,” added Williams.
“They play a similar brand because Ben Rose is in charge there and he’s involved with the WRU.
“They’ve got a very good style about them and they’ve got a young side too.”
Victory over Llanishen would see the Snakes pull clear at the top ahead of the two-week break for the Autumn Internationals, which would put them in a strong position to achieve their promotion target.