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18 May 2017 / Club News

Focus on our Opponents - Tondu RFC

Tondu is a village in Bridgend County Borough, located about 3 miles north of Bridgend on the A4063 to Maesteg.  Tondu was established in the late 18th century as a coal mining village servicing the Parc Slip Colliery.

 

Tondu Rugby Football Club:

A rugby union team from the village of Aberkenfig, South Wales. They presently play in the Welsh Rugby Union Championship and is a feeder club for the Ospreys.

During the early 1990s Tondu RFC dominated the Glamorgan County Silver Ball competition, winning the trophy in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Tondu are the joint leading winners of the competition having now won it on four occasions.

 

Club badge:

The club badge consists of a shield housing three Celtic crosses and a waterwheel symbolising the water mill that once stood on the River Ogmore.

 

Club honours:

Glamorgan County Silver Ball Trophy - 1986-87 Winners

Glamorgan County Silver Ball Trophy - 1990-91 Winners

Glamorgan County Silver Ball Trophy - 1991-92 Winners

Glamorgan County Silver Ball Trophy - 1993-94 Winners

Division 1 West - 2012-13 Winners

Division 2 West Central – 2016-17 Winners

 

Notable former players:

The following are former Tondu players who have been capped at international level.

Wales Keith Bradshaw

Wales JPR Williams

Wales Neil Boobyer

Wales Gavin Thomas

Wales Lee Byrne

 

This Season:

The season began back in September with the Waterwheelers trying to stem the tide of back to back relegations, and a solid 3 wins from 4 in the opening month was just the tonic.  The only reverse of the month came away to eventual title challengers Maesteg Celtic in a narrow 19-15 defeat.  After a narrow 2 points wins against Brynamman and Morriston a 2nd defeat on the road came away at Ystradgynlais, again by a just 3 points (20-17).  The following week Tondu exited the Plate competition with a disappointing defeat away at division 1 east central side Llanharan.  With the autumn internationals and poor conditions Tondu only played another 4 games in the remainder of 2016, winning all 4 against Resolven, Nantymoel, Aberavon Green Stars and Pencoed, to finish the year on a high. 

2017 began as 2016 had ended with a run of results that began to put the Bridgend side right in the mix for a title challenge.  Comfortable wins at Cwmavon and Brynamman were either side of revenge as they put Maesteg Celtic to the sword 36-9 in mid January.  The results kept coming through February and March having stretched the unbeaten league run to 12 games when Ystradgynlais were dispatched 40-3 at Pandy Park at the end of the month.  With the title in sight Tondu needed only a win away at struggling Cwmgors, which they secured with ease, to seal the Division 2 West Central title.  A 3rd defeat of the season, away at Pencoed, along with wins v Cwmgors and away at Nantymoel completed the formalities of a superb league campaign. 

In the Silver ball competition Tondu were late qualifiers as a high try count along with 8 wins and 2 defeats secured a place in the last 8.  The quarter final pitted Tondu against Dinas Powys and having been behind for most of the game a late rally claimed a narrow 22-23 victory.  A place in the semi final v Treorchy was the prize and against the odds it was the Waterwheelers that came out on top.  In a tense match played at the Constructaquote Stadium (Caerphilly RFC) Tondu were victors by 12-7.

 

Last Decade:

Looking back at the last decade (or so) there never seems to be a dull moment following Tondu RFC, with, 2 title wins, 4 promotions, 7 top 3 finishes, 2 relegations and 2 near misses in the past 11 years! Back in 2006-07 the Waterwheelers were playing in division 3 south west, where they finished a respectable 3rd place.  The following season there was another 3rd place finish, behind Aberavon Quins on games won only.  It was again Quins the following season who proved to be their nemesis as Tondu finished 2nd, 4 points behind their rivals.  Having consistently been a top 3 side for the past 3 seasons promotion was on the agenda in 09-10 and although a title would have been preferred another 2nd place finish, this time 5 points behind Skewen, resulted in promotion to division 2 west. 

  • 2006-07 – Division 3 South West – 3rd – 48 points
  • 2007-08 – Division 3 South West – 3rd – 68 points
  • 2008-09 – Division 3 South West – 2nd – 81 points
  • 2009-10 – Division 3 South West – 2nd – 92 points

 

The stay in division 2 was short and sweet, another 2nd place this time 19 points behind runaway leaders Ammanford resulted in promotion to division 1 west.  2011-12 was a season of consolidation finishing in 9th position but that ground work paid dividends 12 months later as the 2012-13 season Tondu were crowned division 1 west champions.  They won the title a full 12 points clear of nearest rivals Cwmllynfell.  Now at championship level it was again a season of consolidation with a 9th place finish in 13-14, however the following season didn’t quite go to plan.

  • 2010-11 – Division 2 West – 2nd – 77 points
  • 2011-12 – Division 1 West – 9th – 47 points
  • 2012-13 – Division 1 West – 1st – 85 points
  • 2013-14 – Championship – 9th – 53 points

 

After a tough start to the season Tondu were unable to pull them clear of relegation, finishing just 3 points short of nearest rivals.  Relegation saw the start of a rebuilding process and unfortunately the first season back at division 1 level went the same way.  A total of 37 points put thm level with relegation rivals Builth Wells however a single win more by the mid Wales club meant it was Tondu who dropped back to division 2.  All’s well that end’s though, as this season has been another highlight on the rollercoaster that is the last decade of Tondu RFC.  A total of 90 points has secured a place back in division 1, and a place in the Silver Ball final gives the Waterwheelers a shot at a record 5th competition win on Saturday.

  • 2014-15 – Championship – 13th – 30 points
  • 2015-16 – Division 1 West Central – 11th – 37 points
  • 2016-17 – Division 2 West Central – 1st – 90 points

 

*Information from -

www.wru.co.uk, 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tondu_RFC, 

http://tondu.rfc.wales/

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