Bridgend Ravens host Bargoed at the Morganstone Brewery Field tonight in a massive Principality Premiership clash (KO 7:30pm).
Bridgend sit three places and sixteen points above tonight’s visitors with a game in hand on the Men of Gwent. Both sides come into the game on the back of impressive wins last weekend. An Owen Howe inspired Bridgend downed Carmarthen Quins at the Brewery by 19pts to 17 while Bargoed upset all odds to defeat North Wales powerhouse RGC 21pts to 17.
The Ravens have games in hand on their relegation rivals; with games against Cross Keys, Pontypridd and the reverse fixture against Bargoed still to be arranged. They'll also face huge fixtures against Llanelli at the Morganstone Brewery Field and Bedwas at the Bridge Field with their destiny very much in their own hands after improved recent results.
Bridgend's last outing against Bargoed was a narrow 36-38 reverse in a pre-season game at the Morganstone Brewery Field. They met just a few months earlier as Bridgend ran riot in a 68-35 victory. Bargoed's recent record against Bridgend is a good one though with three wins in their last five dating back to 2013.
Bridgend stick largely with the squad that played out Friday's win over Carmarthen. Owen Howe continues at full back in a back three alongside Mike Powell and Wales U20 star Dewi Cross. Morgan Jones and Nathan Edwards are paired in midfield and Jamie Murphy and Chris Williams are again selected at half back.
Owen Jordan and Gheorghe Gaijon prop either side of Iestyn Merriman who made a long awaited return from injury in Friday's win. Jack Pope and Ben Jones continue their flourishing relationship in the boiler house. Jordan Collier, Adam O'Driscoll and Dafi Davies make up a powerful back row unit.
With a busy run in ahead, Bridgend's replacements bench is bolstered by Shaun O'Rourke and Cai Lewis who both return from injury.
Bridgend Ravens XV: 15. Owen Howe 14. Dewi Cross 13. Morgan Jones 12. Nathan Edwards (capt) 11. Mike Powell 10. Jamie Murphy 9. Chris Williams
1. Owen Jordan 2. Iestyn Merriman 3. Gheorghe Gaijon 4. Jack Pope 5. Ben Jones 6. Jordan Collier 7. Adam O'Driscoll 8. Dafi Davies
Replacements: 16. Gareth Harvey 17. Ollie Evans 18. Cai Lewis 19. Shaun O'Rourke 20. Owain Lloyd 21. Connor Tantum 22. Stuart Floyd Ellis 23. Caine Woolerton