As preparations get underway for a week-long celebration of community rugby at the Principality Stadium, we caught up with WRU Plate Finalists, Bonymaen ahead of their game.
Speaking ahead of their game against Brecon in the WRU National Plate final, Chairman of the club, Richard Scannell said: “It’s brilliant! We’re really happy with how we’ve performed, and we’ve had a superb season. We’ve been pushing hard for the league, which since reaching the final has been derailing a little bit, but everyone at the club is really looking forward to the final at the Principality.”
Bonymaen have picked up some impressive wins in their Cup run, including an 11-3 win over Aberystwyth in one of the opening rounds, before going on to beat Cambrian Welfare in the Quarter-Finals and soaring to a 28-19 over Treorchy in the Semi-finals to secure them a spot in the Finals.
Scannell added: “We’re looking to be taking around 350 to 400 supporters up with us up to the capital which will be an awesome turnout. We probably don’t get that many supporters in a month up to watch our first team, but it just shows the support and impact reaching the finals has had for both the club and community.”
But the sides journey to the Principality has been all but plain sailing after a tough couple of seasons.
“We’ve been through a tough eight-year period as a club. Everyone has worked incredibly hard to batten down the hatches and make sure we remain as a club in the Swansea area. Reaching the finals has brought a huge amount of positivity to the club and everyone involved across the board through all sections.”
He added: “It’s as though a cloud has been lifted off us! Everyone has been really upbeat and it’s a real reward for all the hard graft everyone’s put in over the years.”
Bonymaen’s hard work and performances have also impressed the coaching setup, which includes a familiar face for the Ospreys.
“We started the year with a brand-new coaching team. We took a calculated chance with our Head Coach and the two assistant coaches but its paid off dividends. Our Head Coach, Stuart Allen and his assistant coaches, Chris Moore and Rory Thornton, have had a great response off the players and have certainly brought out the best in them.”
As well as making it to the National Plate Final, Bonymaen have had a successful run in their league- the National League 1 West Central. The side currently sit in second place in the table on 69 points, winning 15 games out of 19 all season.
“The cup run has played an integral part in the whole setup of the team. Everyone has wanted to play a part in that, meaning training numbers have been fantastic and competition for places has been the best its been for a very long time. The coaches have had, and probably still have, many sleepless nights over team selection!”
“It’s a testament to those who have worked tirelessly to keep rugby being played at the club. Before the success of the cup, our junior numbers were increasing, our junior section coaches were increasing, it’s really pulled everyone together. Hopefully we can use it to move onwards and upwards with participation numbers at the younger ages and get us right back on the map!”
Commenting on the side’s opponents in the Final Brecon, he added:
“We don’t know a lot about them, we haven’t had much of a chance to do the analysis. But we all understand that it is a Cup final and everyone will be hoping to raise their game and that anything can happen on the day. We have a level of confidence and we’re not there to just make up the numbers and we really can’t wait for the day to come!”
Catch the squad in action on Sunday 28th April, at the Principality Stadium, K.O 3:15pm.