As it happened, the derby between Ospreys and Dragons was not the only Welsh Rugby in-fighting witnessed this week.
Talk about the optimum number of professional sides that the country puts forward for United Rugby Championship duty is nothing new and, indeed, it was just only a little over three years ago that a merger between Scarlets and Ospreys was last mooted.
Still, a report in The Times that a recommendation had been made to cut one of the four regions brought all sorts of ire down upon the WRU.
The response from the governing body was less than convincing and did little to help douse the flames — something of a ‘it’s not that there’s nothing to see here, but we can’t tell you what IT is yet’.
Lower than desired crowd numbers and a season where not one of the sides will qualify for the next Champions Cup on merit next year, not to mention such a poor Six Nations from the national side, have made stark the need for a solution moving forward.
Indeed, Dragons coach Dean Ryan insisted that the need for “clear direction of travel and the direction Wales and the regions are going” was long overdue.
Ryan, while also insisting that the proposal was just one of many being considered, pointed out that a sport benefits from increasing, not reducing, pathways to the top.
And the Welsh don’t have to look far for a prominent example. It is still fewer than 20 years ago that, in the first decade of professionalism on this island, the IRFU engaged in a dramatic about-turn after intending to wind up Connacht as a cost-saving exercise.
Thirteen years later, not only were the westerners crowned league champions – still a more recent piece of silverware than enjoyed in both Ulster and Munster – but the benefit of their existence was keenly felt in the national side.
Robbie Henshaw, originally of Connacht, is the province’s biggest success story in terms of underage development, while the avenues afforded to the likes of Ulster star John Cooney, who made a career away from their native province, are well documented too.
To think of Irish rugby with just three teams now feels even more unpalatable than it did then.