Bridgend Ravens head East to face Newport on Saturday for another Principality Premiership encounter (2:30pm).
Bridgend returned to winning ways last time out with an impressive 25-20 win over Llandovery at the Morganstone Brewery Field. Even more impressive was that the victory was Bridgend’s first over the Drovers in ten years. They’ll be keen to build on that result as they head to face the Black and Ambers in what’s certain to be an open encounter.
Newport bounced back from their home reversal against Aberavon to shock RGC at Zipworld Stadium. On a miserable day, the visitors dominated proceedings in the first half and put in an assured second half performance to come away victors by 8-15.
The sides met once last season and it was Bridgend who came out on top by 16pts to 12, with Jamie Murphy’s boot the decisive factor in the tie. The victory kick started an impressive run which saw the Ravens win eight of their final ten league matches as Newport also went on their own successful run; reaching the Welsh National Cup final.
There’s currently just four points between Newport and Bridgend in the early season standings. The Gwent side have won 4 of their opening ties but crucially, like the Ravens, picked up much needed bonus points when results have gone against them.
Bridgend largely stick with those that earned them victory last time out. Jamie Murphy, Geraint Roberts and Mike Powell are selected in the back three, with Nathan Edwards and Stuart Floyd Ellis paired in the centre. Last week’s man of the match Connor Tantum is joined by Ryan Evans at half back.
The front row of Rhodri Apsee, Iestyn Merriman and Garyn Daniel are selected with James Little and Chris John the second row picks. Tom Morgan, Adam O’Driscoll and Dafi Davies comprise the back row.
Bridgend XV: 15. Jamie Murphy 14. Geraint Roberts 13. Stuart Floyd Ellis 12. Nathan Edwards (capt) 11. Mike Powell 10. Ryan Evans 9. Connor Tantum
1. Rhodri Apsee 2. Iestyn Merriman 3. Garyn Daniel 4. James Little 5. Chris John 6. Tom Morgan 7. Adam O’Driscoll 8. Dafi Davies
Replacements: 16. Gareth Harvey 17. Ollie Evans 18. Cai Lewis 19. Jack Pope 20. Owain Lloyd 21. Chris Williams 22. Will Holley 23. Morgan Jones