Bridgend Ravens are back in Principality Premiership action when they travel to Cardiff this evening (7:10pm).
Bridgend were dumped out of the WRU National Cup last weekend, enduring an attritional 100 minute extra time defeat at Pontypool Park. The Ravens fought valiantly against the runaway Championship leaders, playing 80 minutes down to fourteen players after tighthead Cai Lewis was red carded, ultimately undone by 21pts to 11. Attentions now switch to survival in the Principality Premiership; with Bridgend having eight games left and their fate firmly in their own hands.
With the constant changing of the Premiership structure, the game at the Arms Park will be Bridgend's first at the ground against the Blue and Blacks since 2016. That day it was the home side that came out on top by 18pts to 12. All of Bridgend's points were scored by Joseph Scrivens, who slotted four penalties. Bridgend have won three of the last five clashes between the sides - although Cardiff have won the last two.
Games don't come much tougher than Friday's opponents. Cardiff are in impeccable form; with 20 wins, 1 draw and just 1 defeat in their last 22 outings. One of their victories was a comprehensive 36pts to 0 success over Bridgend at the Morganstone Brewery Field in November. Their last outing was a 43 pts to 12 victory over Bedwas in the WRU National Cup quarter final, securing a semi final with Llandovery to be played next weekend.
After a gruelling 100 minutes, down to 14 men for 80 of those, against Pontypool last weekend, Matt Silva shuffles his squad for what is a vital fixture in Bridgend's season. Owen Howe, cup tied last weekend, comes back in at full back in a back three with Ospreys starlet Caine Woolerton and Aaron Grabham. Morgan Jones and Nathan Edwards, making his 145th Bridgend appearance, are the midfield pick. Jamie Murphy and Connor Tantum are the half backs.
Bridgend's front row comprises Ollie Evans, Gareth Harvey and Moldovan Gheorghe Gajion. James Little replaces the injured Jack Pope alongside Ben Jones in the second row. Owain Lloyd, Adam O'Driscoll and Jordan Collier make up a dynamic back row division.
There's a new face amongst Bridgend's replacements; Kenfig Hill's Owen Davies will be hoping to make his club debut having been around the senior training squad for a few months.
Bridgend XV: 15. Owen Howe 14. Caine Woolerton 13. Morgan Jones 12. Nathan Edwards (capt) 11. Aaron Grabham 10. Jamie Murphy 9. Connor Tantum
1. Ollie Evans 2. Gareth Harvey 3. Gheorghe Gajion 4. James Little 5. Ben Jones 6. Owain Lloyd 7. Adam O'Driscoll 8. Jordan Collier
Replacements: 16. Iestyn Merriman 17. Owen Jordan 18. Cai Lewis 19. Shaun O'Rourke 20. Tom Morgan 21. Chris Williams 22. Owen Davies 23. Stuart Floyd Ellis