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Llanelli Scarlets - the Welsh Munster ?

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    Llanelli Scarlets - the Welsh Munster ?



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    //->Wales and New Zealand share the distinction of being the only two countries in the world where rugby is the national game. In Wales however they seem to take it one step further and rugby could be rightly classed as the national addiction. Such is the goldfish bowl that is Welsh rugby, the appointment of a new national coach, national captain or CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union would generate more debate and cause more comment than the election of a new First Minister in the Welsh Assembly.


    All of which is quite odd when you consider that the heartland of rugby in Wales is confined to a very small area indeed, namely South Wales on either side of the M4 corridor. Once you cross the Severn Bridge and travel along the M4, the famous rugby names of yesteryear jump out at you every couple of miles. Starting in Newport in the South East, signs for Pontypool, Newbridge, Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Caerphilly stand out before you pass Cardiff and Pontypridd. Moving further west you soon pass Bridgend, Aberavon and Neath before coming to the home of the All Whites, Swansea. All famous names in Welsh rugby in the years before regionalisation. Continue your journey west along the M4 and you soon find yourself passing what some consider the most famous name in Welsh rugby, the town of Llanelli.


    Ahh yes, Llanelli, the home of Llanelli RFC (and more recently, the Llanelli Scarlets), a team that could be quite easily described as the Munster of Welsh rugby such is the passion and pride it generates. Other similarities between both teams only reinforce this point and also show how the histories of both are very much interlinked.


    Founded in 1872 (seven years before the foundation of the Munster Branch), Llanelli RFC have an enviable record in the pre-professional era. The Scarlet jerseys for which they are famous were worn for the first time in 1884 when the full Irish team who were returning to Ireland after an international against Wales made a stop to play the locals. Since their foundation, Llanelli have supplied more than 160 full international players to Wales including famous names like Derek Quinnell, Ray Gravell, Barry John, Scott Quinnell, Deleme Thomas, JJ Williams, Stephen Jones, Jonathan Davies, Ieuan Evans and Phil Bennett. Over fourteen Llanelli players have made the British Lions test team and they also supplied Carwen James, the coach of the 1971 Lions, who remain the only Lions team to win a series in New Zealand.


    Until winning the Heineken Cup in May 2006, Munster were always remembered for beating the All Blacks 12-0 at Thomond Park on 31st October 1978. Six years to the day prior to that, on 31st October 1972, the All Blacks had arrived in Llanelli for the second match of their tour (Munster would draw with New Zealand during the same tour). Twelve points would also be scored that Halloween as Llanelli defeated the New Zealanders 9-3, a score that would be immortalised in song by Max Boyce. The day also became famous as ‘The Day The Pubs Ran Dry’ as the town of Llanelli celebrated a famous win. In 1992, the world champions Australia arrived in both Llanelli and Cork to take on the home teams. Again both Llanelli and Munster were successful leading one to assume that what one does the other seems to follow.


    The introduction of the Heineken Cup during the 1996/96 season brought European club rugby to a new level. To many Munster supporters it became the Holy Grail to reach and again the same could also be said of Llanelli. Munster have taken part in the competition in every year since its inception reaching three f

    #2





    "Carmen James, coach of the 1971 Lions" - indeed!!!! [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
    New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

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      #3


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      Keyboard slip OD...this ZX81 isn't all it's cracked up to be you know...

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        #4





        Sorry 'bout that, Matt - I didn't realise that you had typed it all out yourself - I had assumed that it was an extract taken from a local newspaper.


        An interestingand informative article.


        I'm very jealous of your ZX81, incidentally - I drive a Remington elite myself!


        See - here it is:


        New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

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          #5


          Interesting piece. Thanks Matt.


          Watched the first Cardiff final in the midst of a group of Llanelli supporters - wearing their own jerseys and shouting for Munster. They were not too well disposed to Tigers and their version of what led-up to that match-winning penalty from Stimson.


          I wonder what they rate their chances at this time round?

          Comment


            #6


            Rugby is the national game in South Wales - Much, much different in North Wales.


            When living there, on a number of occasions one had to be tactical about which pub to go to. Usually rugby games would not be on general release...


            But one occasion springs to mind - Wales tour of Argentina. In a university town we were unable to find a pub that would show the game... It was being shown on S4C





            \'For he that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart\'.
            Henry V - Battle of Agincourt 1415

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              #7
              Nothing unusual about that thisYear, Swansea might be a rugby heartland but try finding a pub showing a Heineken cup match if it clashs with some nothing Premiership match on premplus. Walkabout is the only pub in central Swansea that consistently shows rugby matchs

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                #8
                Good read btw CardiffMatt, cheers

                Comment


                  #9


                  Good article.

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                    #10
                    I think the comparison is a very fair and valid one.

                    Should make for a hell of a night at the end of the month.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      good stuff. Mind if I nick it and post it about the place?
                      I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I\'d rather dance with the cows until you come home.

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                        #12


                        Excellent read - well done!

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                          #13
                          Great post!!

                          C'mon SCARLETS!
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                            #14
                            Originally posted by thisyear?


                            But one occasion springs to mind - Wales tour of Argentina. In a university town we were unable to find a pub that would show the game... It was being shown on S4C


                            Would that have been due mainly to hostility to the Welsh language or to rugby do you reckon?
                            New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

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                              #15


                              no, North Wales do speak a different Welsh but they still speak Welsh. It's just that football is the dominant game up there, probably because it's closer to Liverpool and Manchester than it is Cardiff arms park.
                              I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I\'d rather dance with the cows until you come home.

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