Close this search box.
Close this search box.

So, where to start with the Welsh sporting performance of the weekend? | The Dragon Round Up

So, where to start with the Welsh sporting performance of the weekend?

Cardiff City throwing away a two-goal lead at Ipswich Town to lose 3-2? Nah!

Swansea City doing similar after being a goal up at home to Bristol City? Nope.

There are arguments for Newport County battling back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Wimbledon, or for Wrexham’s gritty 1-0 win away at Tranmere Rovers.

Then, there were the victories on the first weekend of Welsh rugby’s new Indigo Premiership season for champions Llandovery, Bridgend, Aberavon, Merthyr and Newport.

But the best performance of the weekend has to be a joint prize awarded to Corey Domachowski and Dan Biggar on their arrival with Wales in France for the Rugby World Cup.

Firstly, Dan showed he’s the lingo man as he addressed the welcome reception in Versailles in fluent French after his season with Toulon.

Then, choirboy Corey led a magnificent rendition of Calon Lan that had the French hairs on French necks standing to attention as they felt the full force of the Cardiff prop’s vocal power.

Hats off to Corey and Dan.

Now, all they need to do is hold up the scrum and kick all the goals against Fiji on Sunday when the tournament starts for Wales.

Underpinned by a World Cup record with Wales of two semi-final appearances and one quarter-final, head coach Warren Gatland knows the ropes and he is unquestionably relishing the task that lies ahead.

“I think if I look back on the Six Nations and all the things that were going on, I probably needed to let things unfold a bit and not be as direct or demanding as I might have normally been,” he said.

“The fact that things have settled down and a lot of new players have come in, the way that we’ve been so much more accountable for how we do things and demanding standards, that has been brilliant.

“As a group, we are in a good place. I promise you now, we will surprise some people.

“It is one step at a time. It’s about getting out of your pool first, and then see where you are. You don’t look too far ahead.

“I think every team is focusing on that – get out of your pool and take it one step at a time.”

Wales will prepare against a backdrop of sadness following the death of Welsh rugby legend David Watkins over the weekend.

Blaina-born Watkins, known affectionately as “Dai”, played rugby union for Newport and was part of the team which famously beat the touring All Blacks in 1963.

He was the only player to captain the British and Irish Lions in rugby union and also Great Britain in rugby league.

Meanwhile, Welsh club rugby returned at the weekend, when the Indigo Premiership kicked off across the country.

Champions Llandovery showed they will be a force again this year with a 54-31 hammering of Carmarthen Quins away from home.

Cardiff drew 19-19 at Pontypridd, Bridgend won a thriller at Swansea, 28-27, and there were victories for Aberavon over Neath (27-14), Merthyr over Ebbw Vale (24-17) and Newport over Pontypool (38-27), where there was a minute’s silence in tribute to their former player and club president, Watkins.

Here’s a concerning statistic if you’re a neutral Welsh football fan hoping both of the country’s biggest clubs would have a crack at promotion to the Premier League this season.

When Cardiff City host Swansea City in next week’s first Welsh derby, they will have a combined total of just one win in 10 matches.

Of course, it’s still very early days to be writing anyone off and both clubs have undergone major squad rebuilding that will take time to settle.

But both head coaches were left frustrated at the weekend as they threw away winning positions and ended up losing.

Swansea head coach Michael Duff is still looking for a first league win after five games and his team sit in 22nd spot, two points adrift of the safety zone.

The former Barnsley boss accused his team of being “pedestrian” in their 2-1 home defeat to Bristol City and suggested the problems pre-date his arrival this summer.

He said: “I thought we were poor. I thought we were slow, we were pedestrian, with and without the ball and we didn’t do the basics well enough.

“We started the game well on the front foot, went 1-0 up but then went passive. We gave two poor goals away.

“It’s a difficult game if you don’t do the basics properly. We didn’t get on the front foot at all, we weren’t aggressive enough.”

It was the same story for Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut, whose team went 2-0 up away at Ipswich Town, but finished as 3-2 losers.

Cardiff have picked up just one victory from their opening five matches, but that is one more than rivals Swansea.

“In the second half, some of my players were not involved in the game,” was the blunt and damning assessment of Bulut after the game.

“If you cannot keep the ball, you get pressure. I think the break now will be good for us to analyse our issues defensively.”

Newport County are still in the League Two top six places after they battled back to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Wimbledon, having been 2-0 down.

Wrexham moved up to 13th place in the table after Aaron Hayden’s header gave them a 1-0 win at Tranmere Rovers.

In cricket, promotion-chasing Glamorgan went from excitement to frustration in their vital County Championship Division Two match against Worcestershire at New Road.

The Welsh County had Worcestershire clinging on at 103 for 5 in their first innings, but a top score of 74 not out from Brett D’Oliveira meant the hosts recovered to make 284 all out on Sunday.

Seamers Jamie McIlroy and James Harris claimed three wickets apiece for Glamorgan, who need a victory to keep up their hopes of promotion to Division One.

Social Share

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Posts

Scroll to Top