In a game left over from January 3, Merthyr and Aberavon brought the Indigo Premiership to its end and the result had a favourable bearing on Llandovery’s final position in the league table writes Huw S Thomas.

Aberavon’s narrow 44-43 win at The Wern meant that the Wizards finished in third place and it was good news for Euros Evans and his men.

Merthyr’s loss did Llandovery a huge favour as it meant the Drovers finished in fourth place out of 12, the Ironmen having eventually to accept two losing bonus points and a sixth place finish.

Despite finishing on the same 31 points as RGC and Merthyr, Llandovery owed its fourth position to the fact that they lost just five games as opposed to Merthyr’s six and also scored nine more tries than RGC (47-38).

WRU regulations state:

National League placings will be decided on the basis of League points gained during the season. Where teams have gained equal numbers of League points, the team with the most wins shall be given preference. If the number of wins is equal, the team with the fewest losses shall be given preference. If the number of losses is equal then the Club having recorded the most tries in the Season shall be given preference. If the number of tries is equal the points ‘for’ shall be divided by the points ‘against’ and the team with the highest factor shall be declared to have the better record.

Sadly, at the time of writing, the WRU web site contradicts its own rules as their table has put the Drovers on 30 points, not 31 and moved them below RGC, Merthyr and Pontypridd!

Let us hope that by the time you read this, the parent body will have rectified its blatant mistake.

A remarkable statistic from this year’s Premiership reveals that the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth teams all finished within one single point of each other on either 30 or 31 points.

It showed the competitive nature of the league in that Llandovery, RGC, Merthyr, Pontypridd and Carmarthen Quins were so closely locked together.

They finished clear of Bridgend, Swansea, Ebbw Vale and bottom side Llanelli and the Parc Y Scarlets based club will be mightily relieved that there was no relegation from the Premiership this season.

There promises to be the same 12 teams in next year’s Premiership but there is doubt hanging over the future of the Premiership in season 2023-2024.

Rumours abound that WRU might reduce the league to eight South Walian teams or nine teams to accommodate RGC in North Wales.

But who might that eight be? - and if there were to be just two teams per region how would that affect the future of some famous clubs like Swansea, Llanelli or Ebbw Vale.

In the Scarlets region who might lose out between Llanelli, Llandovery and Carmarthen Quins?

Who in the Ospreys would lose their place? – Swansea, Aberavon or Bridgend?

On the other hand the WRU might look at performances over the last five years say and select the most consistently high league finishers?

And what criteria would there be for such things as quality of playing and non playing facilities in the establishment of the new order?

It is all in the lap of the Gods and/or the WRU!