As the business end of the Principality Premiership season approaches, regional rivals Bridgend Ravens and Neath clash at the Morganstone Brewery Field on Tuesday 3rd April (7:30pm).
Buoyed by improved recent performances, Bridgend welcome the Welsh All Blacks, who have also come close to an elusive victory with some much better outings of late. Their last game saw them gain two losing bonus points in a humdinger with Newport at Rodney Parade, losing 48-36.This followed a 30-34 defeat to Pontypridd, when the Valley commandoes staged another impressive comeback to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Bridgend already have two victories over the Welsh All Blacks to their name so far this season. The game at the Morganstone Brewery Field ended 28-20 in favour of the 14 man Ravens, with wing Aaron Grabham haunting his former side with two devastating scores. The other clash, a narrow 8-15 victory at the Gnoll, was won courtesy of a try of the season contender from Mike Powell and a close range finish from Adam O’Driscoll.
The Ravens largely stick with the squad which has seen them through the improved run of form of late. Jonny Phillips and Aaron Grabham are joined by Mike Powell in the back three. Stuart Floyd Ellis and Nathan Edwards continue their blossoming midfield partnership, with Jamie Murphy and Chris Williams at half back.
The back row of Dafi Davies, Zac O’Driscoll and Adam O’Driscoll is selected once again with Chris John and Jack Pope selected in the boiler house. Owen Jordan, Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis comprise the front row.
If he comes off the replacements bench, Ryan Evans will make his 100th appearance for Bridgend Ravens.
Bridgend XV: 15. Jonny Phillips 14. Aaron Grabham 13. Stuart Floyd Ellis 12. Nathan Edwards 11. Mike Powell 10. Jamie Murphy 9. Chris Williams 1. Owen Jordan 2. Gareth Harvey 3. Cai Lewis 4. Chris John 5. Jack Pope 6. Adam O’Driscoll 7. Zac O’Driscoll (capt) 8. Dafi Davies
Replacements: 16. Dewi Lake 17. Ollie Evans 18. Rhodri Apsee 19. Ashton Evans 20. Matthew John 21. Connor Tantum 22. Ryan Evans 23. Dylan Moss