14 Feb Team to face Llanelli (H)
Bridgend Ravens return to Indigo Premiership action when they welcome Llanelli to the Morganstone Brewery Field on Saturday afternoon (2:30pm).
It’s been a monumental few weeks for Bridgend Ravens off the field, with club members voting in favour of a takeover which has seen the club return to local ownership. The first game of the exciting new era is this weekend. With plenty of positive foundations being laid off the field, a victory on the field would be the perfect boost to everybody at the club.
The Ravens have enjoyed a two week enforced rest period as they look to finish the season in style with six huge league games to come. It all starts with the visit of the Scarlets on Saturday with Steve Jones’ side looking to avenge a last minute defeat at Parc y Scarlets in November. Bridgend are on a run of five straight defeats and know that results will need to change if they are to retain their top flight status for another season.
Bridgend’s last outing saw them lose their fifth game to a last gasp play of the season. This time, it was at Sardis Road with a 80th minute score from Lloyd Rowlands stealing victory for the Valley Commandos. Bridgend looked certain to take victory after Caine Woolerton’s try followed three Owen Howe penalties. A late Jacob Chilcott three pointer put Bridgend in control but they couldn’t hold out. Last season taught Bridgend that every point is vital and upon reflection, the losing bonus point picked up on the road could have huge significance come the end of the campaign.
Llanelli last played on 31st January, when they picked up a late victory over Llandovery at Parc y Scarlets. Despite surrendering a 17pts to 7 half time lead to trail the game, it was an 81st minute try from Eray Wilson which ensured the home side took the spoils on derby day by 24pts to 21.
The game between the sides earlier this season went Llanelli’s way, with an 80th minute Alex Jeffries try giving Llanelli victory. Bridgend had scored tries through Chris Williams and Jamie Murphy, with Owen Howe’s boot putting them within a minute of victory. It wasn’t to be though, as the Ravens again lost in the dying embers of a league encounter. It finished 30pts to 26 in Llanelli’s favour.
There’s plenty of competition in Bridgend’s squad with players gradually returning from injury. Amongst the backs, there’s little change from the side that lined up at Sardis Road. Owen Howe, Andrew Evans and Dewi Cross comprise the back three, with Jamie Murphy and Nathan Edwards continuing in the centre. Jacob Chilcott will look to continue his impressive form, retaining the number 10 jersey, pairing up with Chris Williams at half back.
There’s some welcome news for Bridgend Ravens as Ben Mayers Davies returns from long term injury to make his first start since the win over Merthyr in October. He’s joined by Adam O’Driscoll and Rob Dudley Jones in the back row. James Little and Ben Jones are the second row selection, and it’s Owen Jordan, Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis in the front row.
Bridgend Ravens XV:
15. Owen Howe (Maesteg Quins)
14. Andrew Evans (Douglas IOM RFC)
13. Nathan Edwards – capt (Maesteg Quins)
12. Jamie Murphy (Pencoed)
11. Dewi Cross (Pencoed)
10. Jacob Chilcott (St Joseph’s)
9. Chris Williams (Llanharan)
1. Owen Jordan (Glynneath)
2. Gareth Harvey (Kenfig Hill)
3. Cai Lewis (Tondu)
4. Ben Jones (Kenfig Hill)
5. James Little (Llantrisant)
6. Ben Mayers Davies (Bonymaen)
7. Adam O’Driscoll (Heol y Cyw)
8. Rob Dudley Jones (Penclawdd)
Replacements: 16. Iestyn Merriman (Bridgend Athletic) 17. Rhodri Apsee (Bridgend Athletic) 18. Rhys Forse (Dinas Powys) 19. Jack Pope (Pencoed) 20. Dafi Davies (Llantwit Major) 21. Connor Tantum (Kenfig Hill) 22. Adam Jones (Blackwood) 23. Stuart Floyd Ellis (Bridgend Athletic)