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News article - Style G 2656

21st February 2007

Defending champions Pontypridd have been drawn away against Welsh Cup kings Llanelli in the quarter-finals of the Konica Minolta Cup - a repeat of the outstanding 2005 final between the clubs.

The draw for the quarter-finals, which will be played on the weekend of 24 March, sees Swansea, Aberavon and Bedwas enjoying home advantage over Cardiff, Bridgend and Llandovery respectively.

Officials at the Cardiff and Swansea Rugby Football Clubs have agreed a revised day and kick-off time for their quarter-final tie.

The match is now scheduled to be played at St Helen’s Ground, Swansea on Sunday 25 March with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Blue & Blacks tem manager Keith Morgan said, “Like all Principality Premiership clubs and their members we are firmly committed to regular Saturday afternoon rugby.

However on this particular Konica Minolta Cup weekend we recognise that there are unusual circumstances.

“With both clubs’ respective regional representatives, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys, involved in the semi-final of the EDF Energy Cup at the Millennium Stadium on the Saturday evening, we have agreed to stage our own match on the Sunday.”

The only possible further amendment to the arrangements would be if the television broadcasters chose to transmit the game live at a later time on the Sunday.

This season’s match will be the tenth time the two clubs have met in the Welsh Cup since the competition was re-introduced in modern times in 1971-72. Cardiff have won six of the previous nine ties, including the cup final of 1997 that brought down the curtain on the National Stadium.

Keith Morgan added, “We benefited from tremendous travelling support in our first-ever cup success at the Gnoll against Neath last Saturday. By playing the quarter-final on the Sunday we hope that the supporters of both clubs and regions involved will have the opportunity to watch two big cup encounters on the Saturday and Sunday.”

Cup holders Pontypridd believe they got the short straw of the draw as they have to travel to Stradey Park to take on the 13-times cup winners Llanelli who beat them 25-24 in a thriller at the Millennium Stadium two years ago.

"Getting Llanelli at Stradey Park was the toughest possible draw for us," said Pontypridd backs coach Paul John.

"We played them before Christmas and they gave us a bit of a hammering so I guess we will be the underdogs but we always have good games against Llanelli as both sides like to play open rugby.

"We are already looking forward to what will be a big challenge for us and we will have to work hard on making sure we win as much possession as possible on the day."

Llanelli won through to the last eight with a 17-3 win at Newport last weekend and Gren Cole, the Llanelli General Manager, declared: "A home draw is all we could have asked for at this stage, it just gives you that little edge.

"It should be a great spectacle between two young sides and we would love to go back to the Millennium Stadium for another final."

Swansea, who made light of being away in winning 18-16 at high-flying Ebbw Vale in the last round, welcomed the fact that Cardiff are the ones having to travel this time.

"We are happy to be at home but Cardiff had a very good win at Neath last weekend and hopefully this will be another memorable cup game between Swansea and Cardiff," said Team Manager Ian Hopkins.

Cardiff, lifted by their 12-10 victory at Neath last weekend, will be looking for another away day special in their bid to reach the semi-finals.

"It was a good win at Neath, which surprised most people outside of our squad, and the boys showed a lot of bottle," said Team Manager Keith Morgan.

"Playing anyone away at this stage is difficult but I think we are in for an exciting quarter-final with plenty of points being scored.

"We have had two high scoring and free flowing games with Swansea already this season and, as they have won both, I think we are owed one."

Bedwas, who pipped Glamorgan Wanderers 20-19 in Round 6, have been rewarded with a home tie against Llandovery, the latter going out in last season's quarter-finals to Cardiff.

Bridgend, who ended St Peters' cup hopes last weekend, are on the road for the first time in this season's tournament when they travel the short distance to Aberavon.

(Matches to be played weekend of 24 March)

Aberavon v Bridgend
Swansea v Cardiff
Llanelli v Pontypridd
Bedwas v Llandovery


CARDIFF - Principality Premier Division.
Winners in 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1994 and 1997.
Finalists in 1973, 1977 and 1985.
Rd 5 - bt Narberth 69-14 (h), Rd 6 - bt Neath 12-10 (a).

PONTYPRIDD - Principality Premier Division.
HOLDERS - Winners in 1996, 2002 and 2006.
Finalists in 1979, 1991, 1995 and 2005.
Rd 5 - bt Newbridge 25-0 (a). Rd 6 - bt Maesteg 37-9 (h).