Bridgend Ravens travel to Ystrad Mynach for a huge Principality Premiership clash in the race for the playoffs on Saturday (2:30pm).
* Please note that the game will now be played at Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly Rd, CF82 7EP *
Bridgend sit just outside the end of season play off places – level on points with Neath and one point behind Llanelli, but have a game in hand on the West Walians who play their final game of the campaign at leaders Newport on Saturday. Bridgend’s destiny is in their own hands, and two wins from their final two games will help cement their chase for silverware.
Bargoed are also in with an outside chance of making the playoffs. A 79th minute defeat to Newport last time out dented their hopes, and they know that they must win both of their games to even have a possibility of qualifying. The Bulls are a dangerous side, particularly at home and already have one win against the Ravens to their name this campaign. Their recent victories at Swansea and a hugely impressive comeback win at the Gnoll (29-36, having trailed 26-7) show that they are a force to be reckoned with at this level.
Bridgend stick largely with the squad which has earned them five wins in the past six matches. Mathew Edwards, Tom O’Flaherty and Ryan Griffiths, who makes a return to competitive action after over three months out comprise the back three. Joseph Gatt and captain Jamie Murphy pair up in midfield with youngsters Jacob Lloyd and Connor Tantum selected at half back.
Up front, it’s Eddie Drake, Iestyn Merriman and Garyn Daniel who again get the nod. Wales U20s star Jack Pope partners Owain Lloyd in the second row and Ashton Evans, Gareth Beer and Matthew John line up in the back row.
Bridgend Ravens XV: 15. Mathew Edwards 14. Tom O'Flaherty 13. Joseph Gatt 12. Jamie Murphy (c) 11. Ryan Griffiths 10. Jacob Lloyd 9. Connor Tantum
8. Ashton Evans 7. Gareth Beer 6. Matthew John 5. Owain Lloyd 4. Jack Pope 3. Garyn Daniel 2. Iestyn Merriman 1. Eddie Drake
16. Lewis Francis 17. Jake Lewis 18. Cai Lewis 19. Chris John 20. Adam O'Driscoll 21. Will Baird 22. Garin Lougher 23. Daniel Howells