12 May 2017 / Club News

Focus on our Opponents - Treorchy

Treorchy is a village in Wales, once a town, retaining the characteristics of a town. Situated in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf in the Rhondda Fawr valley. Treorchy is also one of the 16 communities of the Rhondda, together with the villages of Cwmparc and Ynyswen.

Prior to industrialisation, most of the land was owned by one of the great families of Glamorgan with Treorchy coming under the domain of the Marquess of Bute Estate. The discovery of coal transformed the area. The period following 1851 saw Treorchy becoming an industrial town. The town grew around the coal mining industry during the late 19th and early 20th century, but by the end of the 20th century all the local pits had closed, creating an economic downturn in the community.

Treorchy had been established when the Abergorki Colliery, situated in Cwm Orci to the north, was opened as a level in 1859 by a Mr Huxham, a former manager of the Bute Merthyr Colliery. This was sold to J. H. Insole of Cymmer in 1862. The first deep mine in Treorchy was sunk in the 1860s by David Davies of Llandinam who would later own the Ocean Coal Company. The initial development of the town was linear, based on the main road through the valley, but by 1875 a grid pattern of streets was emerging.

Treorchy RFC

Treorchy Rugby Football Club is a rugby union team from the village of Treorchy, in the Rhondda Valley. Nicknamed the Zebras, they formed in 1886 and play their home games at The Oval. At present, Treorchy are coached by recent Wales internationals Ian Evans (forwards), Andrew Bishop (backs)

Club history
With the industrialisation of the Rhondda, the game of rugby spread through the valley as the growing population looked for social activities to become involved in. Although not the first club to form in the Rhondda, Treorchy provided the first international player to represent Wales while still playing for a valley club. In the opening game of the 1886 Home Nations Championship, Treorchy provided the first ‘Rhondda forward’ when Sam Ramsey was selected to face England. Although Ramsey would only win two caps, and the second took a wait of eight years, Treorchy would provide several players throughout their history, including Billy Cleaver who would eventually play for the British Lions In 1907, Treorchy was accused of throwing a rugby game against Aberdare, which gave Aberdare the Glamorgan League title. The resulting enquiry by the WRU saw the permanent suspension of Treorchy’s entire committee.

As Treorchy finished in the top four of the WRU premier division during the 1994/95 season they were given the privilege of hosting that year’s touring international team Fiji.

Club honours
• 1992/93 WRU Division Three – Champions
• 1993/94 WRU Division Two – Champions
• 2008/09 WRU Division Three South East – Champions
• 2016/17 WRU Division One East Central – Champions

Notable former players
The following players have played for Treorchy and have also been capped at international level.

• Wales Andrew Bishop (16 caps)
• Wales Morgan Stoddart (8 caps)
• Wales Chris Bridges (7 caps)
• Wales Gus Broughton (2 caps)
• Wales Billy Cleaver (14 caps)
• Wales William Cummins (4 caps)
• Wales Kevin Ellis
• Wales David Wyn Evans
• Wales Luc Evans (1 cap)
• Wales David Rees James (2 caps)
• Wales David Morgan Jenkins (4 caps)
• Wales Emlyn Jenkins
• Wales Lyn Jones (5 caps)
• Wales Percy Jones (8 caps)
• Wales Paul Knight (5 caps)
• Wales Mark Lewis (1 cap)
• Wales S. H. Ramsey (2 caps)
• Wales Lewis Rees

2006-07 – Division 3 South East 6th 36 points
2007-08 – Division 3 South East 5th 354 points
2008-09 – Division 3 South East 1st 98 points

2009-10 – Division 2 South East 2nd 72 points (Gilfach 1st, Rhydyfelin 3rd -1pt)
2010-11 – Division 1 East 10th 28 points
2011-12 – Division 1 East 7th 45 points
2012-13 – Division 1 East 7th 56 points
2013-14 – Division 1 East 10th 33 points

2014-15 – Division 1 East Central 4th 59 points
2015-16 – Division 1 East Central 7th 47 points
2016-17 – Division 1 East Central 1st 92 points

Played 22 Won 18 Drew 2 Lost 2 
Points for 685 against 320 (+365) 
Tries for 91 against 31 
Points 92 (8 points above Ystrad Rhondda)

Treorchy started the season with a perfect 100% record in September; an opening day win against what turned out to be a poor Llantwit Fardre side was backed up with very good home victory over a much improved Mountain Ash. Wins away at Cardiff Quins and in the local derby with Porth followed, before kicking off October in spectacular style winning 52-17 v Llanharan. The first major test of the Zebras title challenge came away at Ystrad, one of the favourites for promotion, and the 9-9 result proved Treorchy would be towards the top come May. Wins again St Josephs, Heol y Cyw and Rhiwbina cemented their place at the top of the table. As Christmas approached Treorchy faced a rejuvenated Rumney side and had to battle to maintain their unbeaten record with a 11-11 draw at the Oval. The Christmas break was a on the horizon and a superb 14-29 win away at early league pace setters Dowlais was just the injection of confidence the Zebras needed.

In early 2017 they started where they left off completing league doubles over Mountain Ash, Cardiff Quins, Porth, St Josephs and Llantwit, however a defeat to Division 1 east Penallta ended their hopes of a visit to the Principality Stadium in the WRU Plate competition. With Ystrad Rhondda’s form improving March was a big month for Treorchy and it didn’t start well, a first defeat of the season away at Rhiwbina pulled them back toward the chasing pack. With the big Ystrad derby looming a win at Llanharan kept spirits high. The big derby at the Oval could have gone either way but it was Ystrad who took the spoils with an 11-17 win, ensuring any further slip ups by the Zebras would open the door for a late Ystrad title bid. Treorchy regrouped and in the final few games of April never looked like letting the title slip. A big win at home to struggling Heol y Cyw was followed up with an impressive 7-38 victory at the Riverside where they gained revenge for the earlier draw at the Oval. An Ystrad defeat elsewhere meant the title was secure, but another win at home to Dowlais crowned a superb season and a place in the playoff.

Sat 19th Sep 09 Treorchy RFC 41 – 14 Rhydyfelin RFC
Sat 27th Feb 10 Rhydyfelin RFC 29 – 13 Treorchy RFC

Sat 8th Dec 12 Treorchy RFC 12 – 10 Rhydyfelin RFC
Sat 20th Apr 13 Rhydyfelin RFC 36 – 5 Treorchy RFC

Sat 21st Dec 13 Treorchy RFC 35 – 17 Rhydyfelin RFC
Sat 19th Apr 14 Rhydyfelin RFC 36 – 32 Treorchy RFC

Sat 6th Sep 14 Rhydyfelin RFC 18 – 30 Treorchy RFC
Sat 17th Jan 15 Treorchy RFC 27 – 0 Rhydyfelin RFC

Thu 9th Feb 17 Treorchy RFC 16-10 Rhydyfelin RFC
Sat 6th May 17 Rhydyfelin RFC 42-24 Treorchy RFC

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