The following unattrubuted article appeared in the match programme for Newport v Caerphilly on 30th October 1999.
"NEXT AWAY GAME"
"If you are a Newport supporter and intend visiting Bridgehaugh in Stirling on Bonfire Night, I'm going to have to take my hat off to you. That is dedication beyond the call of duty as one now has to ask the question as to whether there is any merit in introducing Glasgow and Edinburgh into the Welsh League ... to date they have contributed very little, for from 16 fixtures played the two district clubs have only managed five wins between them, one of those being when Glasgow beat Edinburgh, so it can safely be said that the Scottish sides have made no immediate impact on league proceedings. Edinburgh, at home, have conceded over 50 points to both Newport and Cardiff, and Glasgow have lost at home to both Bridgend and Ebbw Vale, neither of whom, it has to be said, are likely to be in contention for the league title at the end of the season. To date, and at this moment in time, Newport supporters are far more likely to turn out to see Pontypool and Newbridge on the receiving end as opposed to Glasgow. Fans in Scotland seem to be feeling the same way towards them as, don't forget, Glasgow Caledonian and Edinburgh Reivers have no tradition whatsoever, with no home base, and hence it is not surprising that they have no hard core support. If one took a similar position in Wales, it would be like Gwent comprising the best of Ebbw Vale, Pontypool and Newport playing in a strange strip at Abertillery Park and expecting supporters who have followed Newport all their life to attend wearing scarfs of Gwent and roaring on players whom they have come to detest over the years. It is almost akin to setting up a Lancashire County football side and asking Liverpool fans to hail David Beckham, with the game being played at Everton. It just would not happen, and when Paul Williams, Newport's Supporters Club chairman, stated in his recent programme article that Newport supporters out-shouted their Edinburgh Reivers counterparts at Kelso (some 75 miles from Edinburgh}, it is not difficult to understand why. Glasgow and Edinburgh are transporting their league fixtures around Scotland, with most of the games being played in the evenings and before pitiful crowds. They have no away support, and if you were a club treasurer in Wales you would ask the W.R.U, to reinstate Aberavon and Pontypool to your fixture list for their 200 diehard supporters would turn up to support their side wherever they played in Wales, which is more than can be said for Glasgow and Edinburgh. The W.R.U. chose to include them because they considered it a step towards the British League, but can you reasonably expect the likes of Leicester and Northampton to be rushing to include the Scottish District sides in their league when they presently sit in a table below Bridgend and Ebbw Vale, who themselves would be absolutely no attraction at Welford Road or Franklin Gardens."
"I'm a great believer in tradition and believe the Scottish Rugby Union would have done better to promote the likes of Hawick and Heriots F.P., who have in-bred support, as opposed to artificially made district sides. These clubs may have been on the receiving end of some tasty defeats but they would have learnt form their experiences and at least the supporters could identify with the team. However, it may be a little premature to judge the strength of the district sides as with the World Cup over as far as Scotland is concerned the likes of Glen Metcalfe and Shaun Longstaff (Glasgow} and Alan Tait and Martin Leslie (Edinburgh) will be on view to strengthen the sides ... but if I were a betting man I would be of the opinion that both the Scottish Districts will not finish in the top five in the league this season, and on that basis is their inclusion in the same really justified."
From the match programme:-
"Chief Executive's Message"
"TODAY we welcome Newport to Bridgehaugh which will be our tenth game in the Scottish Welsh League. Last weekend's win against Dunvant was our fourth win of the season and I hope we can add to that tonight."
"Our involvement in this first-ever official cross border league has exposed our players to a regime of playing intense and highly competitive rugby on a weekly basis. In the past few years the professional teams in Scotland have, with the exception of the European Cup, generally played friendly matches. In these games the result did not have any bearing on league points or league positions. Now that league points do matter it is essential that our players learn to play a style that will command a win."
"It has been very noticeable how good the Welsh sides are in imposing a style of play that matches their strengths. There is no doubt that the Welsh sides are more streetwise and have been able to dictate a pattern of play that suits their game."
"Our recent victories have shown that we are beginning to adapt to this rigorous regime and play much more tactically to achieve the right result. With a season consisting of a minimum of 30 competitive matches in three highly intense competitions - the European Cup, the Scottish/Welsh Celtic League and our own Tri-Series - this exposure to highly competitive rugby should add a different dimension to the professional Rugby player in Scotland."
"I wish all our players, coaches and support staff good fortune for this season and in particular for today's match."
"I would like to thank our team sponsor - Scotland On Line - for all their support. As the largest provider of internet services Scotland On Line have put together our new Web Site: www.scottishrugby.com/thereds which I believe will become one of the most exciting rugby web sites in Scotland."
"Finally, I would also like to thank Stirling County Rugby Club for all their hard work and all the supporters that attend tonight's match."
"Head Coach's Message"
"IT WILL be a disappointment to the RWC players from both sides who have lost out at the Quarterfinal stage. However, I am sure their colleagues tonight will have played a big part in helping them overcome that disappointment and they will all be 'up' for this particular match tonight."
"It has taken our players a 'wee while' to come to terms with week-in week-out league rugby. Newport, in contrast, have been making good progress up the league table. They were most impressive on their first visit to Scotland this season when scoring 50+ points versus Edinburgh Reivers."
"Indeed they certainly have been putting points on the board - last weekend scoring 46 - all in the second half against Caerphilly. On the same day, we were struggling to overcome a very spirited Dunvant side by 28 - 24."
"Tonight, 'the Reds' and Iain Jardine in particular are looking forward to playing here at Bridgehaugh for the third time this season. Along with Hughenden in Glasgow, Bridgehaugh is certainly where our players enjoy playing."
"As many of you will remember, along with Iain, I enjoyed many exciting times here when Stirling County were on the march upwards."
"I sincerely hope tonight's teams; both of whom include many exciting talented players, can produce an encounter which reinforces the positive aspect of our game."
"Thank you for your support tonight and I hope you will return again to Bridgehaugh to roar on THE REDS and your local club Stirling County."
" - Richie Dixon"