Bridgend Ravens go in search of a semi final spot in the Foster’s Challenge Cup when they welcome Neath to the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field on Wednesday (7:15pm).
Bridgend sit on top of Pool 4 with four wins from five fixtures to date. It’s a straight shoot out between Bridgend and Aberavon for qualification, with the Wizards sitting one win and one point behind the Ravens. Bridgend know a win will be good enough, as if the team finish level on points then the deciding criteria is number of wins. The Ravens continued their bid for qualification with an impressive 15-24 win at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Neath’s chances of qualification were ended with a 31-33 defeat at home to Aberavon last time out. Although they can finish level with Bridgend or Aberavon on a maximum of 18 points, their total of wins will be inferior to that of Bridgend or the Wizards which would see them miss out on qualification. It’s all about momentum for the Welsh All Blacks who will be looking to steal a win to build momentum ahead of the second half of the season.
Bridgend use the Foster’s Cup to give opportunities to youngsters whilst aiming for that all important spot in the knockout stages. Two prospects identified by the club during the Foster’s Challenge Cup, Daniel Howells and Matthew Edwards start in a back three alongside Mike Powell. Joseph Gatt and Jamie Murphy continue their flourishing partnership in the centre, with Joseph Scrivens and Will Baird at half back.
Up front, Cai Lewis moves to loose head, alongside Bridgend Athletic product Iestyn Merriman who gets the nod at hooker. Garyn Daniel is rewarded after a good performance at Cardiff with a start in the front row. Kyle Maiden and Owain Lloyd comprise the second row, with an unchanged back row of Gareth Beer, Tom Morgan and captain Adam O’Driscoll.
The Ravens give youngsters Jordon Liney, Connor Tantum and Garin Lougher positions on the bench, and they’ll all be hoping to get on for what could be a memorable night for the Ravens.
Bridgend XV: 15. Daniel Howells 14. Matthew Edwards 13. Joseph Gatt 12. Jamie Murphy 11. Michael Powell 10. Joseph Scrivens 9. Will Baird
1. Cai Lewis 2. Iestyn Merriman 3. Garyn Daniel 4. Owain Lloyd 5. Kyle Maiden 6. Tom Morgan 7. Gareth Beer 8. Adam O’Driscoll (capt)
Replacements: 16. Jordon Liney 17. Nicky Boyce 18. Keiron Jenkins 19. Jonny Kenny 20. Matthew John 21. Connor Tantum 22. Ryan Evans 23. Garin Lougher
Admission to the game is just £5 for adults, £4 for concessions with Under 16’s admitted free of charge. Will you be #backingbridgend