25 Dec Team to face Aberavon (A)
Bridgend Ravens head to Aberavon for a Boxing Day derby in their next Indigo Premiership match (2:30pm).
The Ravens have hauled themselves from the bottom of the division in the last fortnight, with victories over Ebbw Vale (15-18) and Swansea (17-3).
Aberavon returned to winning ways last weekend after four consecutive defeats. Ebbw Vale were defeated 26pts to 11 at the Talbot Athletic Ground. Former Raven Lloyd Evans scored one of his sides’ two tries, before Ospreys youngster Reuben Morgan Williams added a second.
The reverse game between Bridgend and Aberavon on the opening day went the Wizards’ way thanks to a last minute penalty from outside half Aled Thomas. Bridgend had led throughout, but a late comeback from the Wizards stole the spoils in an entertaining game.
Ties between the sides are rarely boring. Last season, it was Aberavon who took the spoils at Talbot Athletic Ground and again, it was in dramatic fashion. A last minute score from hooker Luke Davies broke Bridgend’s hearts in May. Bridgend won the clash at the Morganstone Brewery Field by 16pts to 13 thanks to an injury time drop goal from Jamie Murphy.
With the squad in the midst of a busy festive period, Steve Jones shuffles his pack as his squad goes in search of a third consecutive victory. Jamie Murphy is back from illness to take a place at fullback. His back three partners are Caine Woolerton and Andrew Evans. Stuart Floyd Ellis is back to join the skipper Nathan Edwards in the centre. After impressing as a combination last weekend, Jacob Chilcott and Connor Tantum are given the nod at half back for the derby.
Former Wizards Ryan Hall and Rob Dudley Jones are selected in the back row with Joseph Grabham. Ben Jones and James Little are the second row pairing. Rhodri Apsee, Gareth Harvey and Adam Court comprise the front row.
There’s a powerful bench for the Ravens to call upon, including Wales u19 internationals Morgan Strong, Travis Huntley and Brad Roderick.
Bridgend Ravens XV:
15. Jamie Murphy (Pencoed)
14. Andrew Evans (Douglas IOM)
13. Stuart Floyd Ellis (Bridgend Athletic)
12. Nathan Edwards – capt (Maesteg Quins)
11. Caine Woolerton (Bridgend Athletic)
10. Jacob Chilcott (St Joseph’s)
9. Connor Tantum (Kenfig Hill)
1. Rhodri Apsee (Bridgend Athletic)
2. Gareth Harvey (Kenfig Hill)
3. Adam Court (Pontyclun)
4. Ben Jones (Kenfig Hill)
5. James Little (Llantrisant)
6. Rob Dudley Jones (Penclawdd)
7. Joseph Grabham (Bridgend Athletic)
8. Ryan Hall (Dinas Powys)
Replacements: 16. Garin Lloyd (Banwen) 17. Rhys Forse (Dinas Powys) 18. Cai Lewis (Tondu) 19. Jack Pope (Pencoed) 20. Morgan Strong (Tondu) 21. Travis Huntley (Tondu) 22. Chris Williams (Llanharan) 23. Brad Roderick (Resolven)