18 Oct Team to face Llandovery (A)
Bridgend Ravens travel to Llandovery this Saturday for their first away game of the new Indigo Premiership campaign (2:30pm).
The Ravens head West in buoyant mood after a fine victory over reigning league champions Merthyr in their last game. The outing was Bridgend’s first in 5 weeks following a humiliating defeat at Beddau in the cup and a narrow home reverse to Aberavon. There are no illusions from the Ravens camp of how difficult the trip to Church Bank will be, with Bridgend’s only victory in the last ten years at the ground coming last season.
Llandovery tasted defeat last time out when they were beaten by Ebbw Vale at Eugene Cross Park. The Steelmen romped to a bonus point success by 37pts to 21. Llandovery’s other league game to date was against RGC, where they deservedly triumphed 29pts to 20. They started the season a week later than Bridgend, postponing their league opener with Carmarthen Quins, with their first outing a 42-0 Specsavers Cup victory over Championship side Ystalyfera.
The head to head between Bridgend Ravens and Llandovery had been painfully one sided until last season. Bridgend had failed to taste victory against the Drovers for ten years, with Llandovery emerging victorious on each occasion, aside from one draw. Bridgend turned the table in dramatic fashion last year, winning 25pts to 20 at the Morganstone Brewery Field and 19pts to 10 at Church Bank.
Bridgend are forced into changes, with injuries to Ben Mayers Davies and Adam O’Driscoll picked up in Saturday’s efforts against Merthyr. Owen Howe makes his 50th appearance at full back in a back three with Tyler Williams, who has three tries in his last two games and Andrew Evans. Stuart Floyd Ellis and Nathan Edwards continue their partnership in the centre. Jacob Chilcott, who impressed from the bench, replaces the injured Jamie Murphy at 10. Chris Williams pairs up with him at half back.
There’s a few changes to Bridgend’s pack; Dafi Davies continues at 8 in a back row with Joe Grabham and Jack Pope. James Little comes into the second row along with Ben Jones. The front row of Owen Jordan, Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis is unchanged.
Amongst Bridgend’s replacements is Ospreys and Wales u20 hooker Garin Lloyd. He will be hoping to make his Bridgend Ravens debut should he enter the field.
Bridgend Ravens XV: 15. Owen Howe 14. Tyler Williams 13. Stuart Floyd Ellis 12. Nathan Edwards (capt) 11. Andrew Evans 10. Jacob Chilcott 9. Chris Williams
1. Owen Jordan 2. Gareth Harvey 3. Cai Lewis 4. James Little 5. Ben Jones 6. Jack Pope 7. Joe Grabham 8. Dafi Davies
Replacements: 16. Garin Lloyd 17. Rhodri Apsee 18. Ben Warren 19. Will Barraclough 20. Travis Huntley 21. Dan James 22. Ryan Evans 23. Brad Roderick