Team to face Cross Keys (A)

By Aled Thomas | 01/05/2018

Bridgend Ravens head to Cross Keys on Tuesday evening for a rearranged Principality Premiership fixture (7:30pm).
 
The Ravens have enjoyed a much improved spell of performances lately, resulting in five wins from their last seven games. The latest victory came at Parc y Scarlets on Thursday evening, when a late Shaun O'Rourke score secured all four points for Matt Silva's men. Recent victories against Newport, Neath, Carmarthen Quins and Swansea have boosted Bridgend's league position to eleventh, with a cluster of teams around them fighting for a midtable position and momentum ahead of next season. 
 
Keys sit just two points above Bridgend, although the side from Gwent have two games in hand. Their last outing was an entertaining inter-regional derby against their fellow Dragons side Bedwas. The Was were far too strong for Morgan Stoddart's men, running riot in a 57pts 34 success. Cross Keys previous two outings were victories over Cardiff and over Llandovery, both at Pandy Park. Cross Keys have been successful in four of the previous five meetings between the two sides. 
 
It's the first meeting between the sides in this years Principality Premiership. Last season, it was one win apiece; both sides taking the spoils in their respective home matches. It's all set up for an entertaining clash between two teams that like to play an enterprising game.
 
Bridgend's lineup shows a number of changes from Thursday's win at Llanelli. Bridgend's commitment to development continues, with two local youngsters, Will Barraclough and Caine Woolerton amongst the replacements. Bridgend Sports' Mathew Donnelly, makes his first start for Silva's men. 
 
Amongst the backs, Jonny Phillips continues at full back, alongside Aaron Grabham and Mike Powell in the back three. Joseph Gatt moves to midfield to pair up with Nathan Edwards. Connor Tantum partners Jamie Murphy at half back.
 
It's wholesale changes in the front row, where birthday boy Owen Jordan, Iestyn Merriman and Neil Elworthy line up together. Lloyd Ashley comes back into the second row to partner Chris John. Donnelly, Zac O'Driscoll and Dafi Davies make up the back row. 
 
Bridgend XV: 15. Jonny Phillips 14. Aaron Grabham 13. Joseph Gatt 12. Nathan Edwards 11. Mike Powell 10. Jamie Murphy 9. Connor Tantum
 
1. Owen Jordan 2. Iestyn Merriman 3. Neil Elworthy 4. Lloyd Ashley 5. Chris John 6. Mathew Donnelly 7. Zac O'Driscoll (capt) 8. Dafi Davies
 
Replacements: 16. Gareth Harvey 17. Ollie Evans 18. Cai Lewis 19. Rhodri Apsee 20. Will Barraclough 21. Chris Williams 22. Ryan Evans 23. Caine Woolerton

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