- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; First Edition edition (10 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780576374
- ISBN-13: 978-1780576374
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.4 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Rise and Fall of Pontypool RFC Hardcover – 10 Oct 2013
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What makes the book so compelling and readable is the window it opens
on to the rugby of that period and the imperatives, still as relevant
today, behind great teams and institutions ... Fascinating and affecting" (Paul Ackford The Times)
"...absorbing work that aims to get to the heart of what made the club tick." (Iwan Gabe Davies South Wales Argus (Newport))
"... immensely readable and enjoyable second book ... tells the history of the great club through the voices of former greats ..." (Iwan Gabe Davies Free Press (Pontypool))
The story of one of the founding member clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union, Pontypool RFC, from the 1970s to the present daySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The second half jumps swiftly, and I think appropriately past the management issues on and off the field at Pooler - just a few facts covered in enough detail to not leave gaps, now we're onto professionalism in Welsh Rugby. From the outset, it seems like the WRU focused on the Welsh team, then the big clubs, then the players when implementing professional rugby. No mention of supporters. Just a basic analysis to say 30 elite players = 2 or 3 regions. A few parochial arguments later and we end up with 4 regions with the same supporter base that they always had. As long as the national team does well, then all is rosy in Welsh Rugby. This book explains the physics and economics of why this is unsustainable and a doomed plan. We can see it today with elite players following the money to the big English/French clubs.
All in all an easy read with contributions from great players and minds in valleys rugby - its great to know that the glaringly obvious solution to professional rugby in Wales is simple and known to everyone in Wales except the WRU.
One of its strengths is that you get to see the club from so many aspects and that there are so many individual views and experiences expressed in people's own words.It is also the more informative because it is not just a glorification,a hagiography if you can have such a thing of an institution,but because those who were part of it but who found that there were things they did not like have a fair say.It also feels that everyone in it is being open and honest without exaggerating their own part or being embittered by resentment.We are given the virtues and shortcomings of the club and prominent individuals,often by the same witnesses without rancour orresentment.
This is a really good book on a club who rose and declined in a comparatively short time without ever being as well known or glorified as some of the other clubs in Wales,and therefore with some mystery to many of us.It is astory vividly conveyed here by those who were part of it,and very will written and organised between a great deal of information and intelligent themes by people who use their enthusiasm and inside knowledge to make a perceptive and penetrating book.
He gives great insight to what made the legendary coach Ray Prosser have coaching methods 20 years ahead of its time, of how the training techniques broke many a player's mental state, of how Pooler were the most feared club throughout Britain beating the likes of Leicester, Munster, Cardiff, Bath, etc on a regular basis and of how the bubble burst with the advent of leagues, professionalism and regionalisation.
Sadly he has not gone into too much detail as to the inner turmoil that beset the club during the early 90s onwards, the club's decision to give the captaincy to Mark Ring which led to over half the team leaving and eventually relegation, the change of ownership of the club on numerous occasions that caused financial problems from one season to the next, the way in which the court case that led to Pooler almost going out of existence came about. Maybe Carter wasn't too willing to upset the applecart but many of the inner problems at Pontypool RFC were as much to blame for the club's decline other than the introduction of leagues, etc.
That said this is a real tale of how a mighty force in sport can fall if things go pear shaped off the field, it should heed as a warning to others that if things aren't managed well that serious problems will occur and that despite all the success failure could be just around the corner. Bubbles do burst, in the case of Pontypool it certainly did, big time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anybody from the valley would love it, not for those who align with Newport or the WRU leadership.
A very comprehensive account of the rise and fall of a great Rugby Club, a terrific read if you are follower of Welsh Rugby.Published 5 months ago by R A Jones
For those who were involved in Welsh rugby during this era a remarkable insight into both club rugby and the importance of rugby to the communities. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jon Everett