As it is the big West Wales derby today between the Ospreys and the Scarlets we have a guest article from none other than Ray Gravell the Llanelli Scarlets president. I hope you enjoy the article and tonights game.
Noswaith dda i chi gyd a shw mae?
Yes a very good evening to you all and may I as a former 'Scarlet' myself and of course President convey the warmest of greetings and good wishes to all our friends in 'Osprey land'.
Crossing the Loughor in an easterly direction for these encounters is always slightly tinged with a hint of apprehension. Will there be heavy traffic on the other side? and what of the Loughor itself, the ebb and flow of the river being powered by tidal strength of nature that in itself is as inspirational as it is awesome.
Tonight by the way is a full tide and one would like to think of that as a potent and unstoppable surge weaving it's way slowly but surely to its journey's end. Of course all the roads by whatever means of transportation lead to the Liberty Stadium at Landore, Swansea.
My first visit here was at the beginning of this current season, indeed the opening game against the Wasps. What I saw when I arrived literally took my breath away because when I entered the Stadium I stepped onto and into the future.
We in the region of Llanelli Scarlets applaud and admire what you have achieved in building this magnificent Stadium of yours; a truly wonderful modern arena that befits and fulfils all the demands that any professional sport may ask. One day soon we will have our own ‘Scarlet Stadium’ taking us well and truly into the twenty first century and providing professional rugby players and supporters alike with the best possible facilities on offer. Progress at times can be a slow process but ultimately it will prevail.
Now then what of tonight’s game? Well undoubtedly it’s going to be a cracker! Ten thousand tickets had already been scooped up like hot cakes as far back as week last Monday. The atmosphere undoubtedly will be electric and likewise that will motivate and inspire the players to strive for a performance level that befits such an occasion.
The rivalry between both regions is as intense as it was when we were all playing for our respective clubs, yes a history and tradition that is very much remembered and respected, indeed a past that must never be forgotten for it formed the solid base and bedrock for future generations to uphold and enhance.
But back to tonight, the Ospreys versus the Scarlets! I tell you I’m getting rather excited just thinking about the occasion let alone savouring the delights of actually watching the game itself. It should be and undoubtedly will be a ‘thriller’, talented players striving and wanting to make an impression.
Professional people going about their job of work? It’s more that that I think, much more it’s about passion, hunger, determination, sense of belonging and pride.
Good luck boys and do us all proud.
President Llanelli Scarlets