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Rugby Festival Weekend A Great Success

The weekend-long festival of rugby at Rodney Parade last weekend gave all who attended reason to smile.

Martyn Bicknell | 21/05/2018

Clear blue skies, baking sunshine and sweltering temperatures greeted players and supporters at the home of the Dragons for a weekend rugby festival celebrating community rugby in the region.

Markham RFC, Abersychan RFC and Pontypridd Youth grabbed the spoils to leave the ground with the widest smiles after Saturday’s competitive action.

First up, Markham ended their WRU National League Division 3 East B fixtures against Brynithel in a one-sided affair, triumphing 50-5, before Abersychan secured their spot in the Reg Buttress Shield final against West Mon RFC on Thursday to be played at Pontypool Utd RFC after defeating Usk 20-16.

These matches were the first to take up the Dragons offer to every club in the region to play any outstanding fixtures they had at Rodney Parade, free of charge, after the season was extended by a week following bad weather affecting the schedule.

Pontypridd Youth finished their campaign and the action on Saturday on a real high by being crowned as WRU National Champions. Ponty enjoyed a 29 points to 12 victory over Bridgend Athletic and duly returned to Sardis Road to receive a rapturous late night welcome.

Sunday’s schedule at the famous ground was even more varied with a girl’s cluster rugby festival across the main pitch and training pitch in the morning, followed by a X7 Rugby tournament and community touch rugby 7s competition.

The inaugural X7 or Crossfield rugby pilot was a great success as a pilot for clubs with a number of players grabbing the opportunity and incentive to play on Rodney Parade as a carrot to play the game after a number of years away.

Talywain, Caerleon, Ebbw Vale Development, SOHK, Dragons Homeless, WRU Select, SOHK Puffins, Rogerstone were all involved in the Sunday afternoon rugby, which also included a spur of the moment attempt at the world record for the largest number of touch rugby players in one game, which exemplified the participative nature of the day.

With free admission for all, it was a great way to end the rugby season in the Dragons region, with the Rodney Parade pitch now set for renovations ahead of the new campaign.

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