24 Jan Team to face Pontypridd (A)
Bridgend Ravens head to the scene of their most famous victory last season when they face Pontypridd at Sardis Road on Saturday afternoon (2:30pm).
The Ravens are hoping for a performance to stir up a resurgence as we head into the final third of the current campaign. They head into the game on the back of four straight defeats; to Aberavon, Newport, Merthyr and Llandovery, four points adrift of safety.
Pontypridd come into the game on the back of a 15pts to 5 defeat at Eugene Cross Park against Bridgend’s relegation rivals Ebbw Vale. They currently sit in 5th place in the Indigo Premiership, having won 8 of their 15 games so far.
The game between the sides earlier this season was a nailbiter and another that slipped through the fingers of Bridgend. Leading by 5 points with just seconds to go, wing Dale Stuckey scored out wide with Diggy Bird breaking Bridgend hearts by converting the score to take victory 21pts to 23. Bridgend’s tries that day were scored by Chris Williams and Nathan Edwards with the rest of the points coming from the boot of fullback Owen Howe.
Games between the sides are scarcely boring and the corresponding fixture last season was no different. Bridgend knew that three league points would secure their survival in the Premiership and they duly delivered in a scintillating 34pts to 31 victory. Another similar success would go along way towards contributing to the achieving of a similar feat this time around.
Owen Howe keeps his spot at full back alongside Dewi Cross and Caine Woolerton in the back three. Nathan Edwards and Jamie Murphy are selected in the centre and after impressive cameos from the bench last time out, Jacob Chilcott and Connor Tantum are the half backs.
The back row comprises Rob Dudley-Jones, Adam O’Driscoll and Joseph Grabham. James Little gets an opportunity from the start in the boiler house alongside Ben Jones. Rhodri Apsee, Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis are the front row of choice.
Amonsgt Bridgend’s replacements is Adam Jones, recently signed from Newport.
Bridgend Ravens XV:
15. Owen Howe (Maesteg Quins)
14. Caine Woolerton (Bridgend Athletic)
13. Nathan Edwards – capt (Maesteg Quins)
12. Jamie Murphy (Pencoed)
11. Dewi Cross (Pencoed)
10. Jacob Chilcott (St Joseph’s)
9. Connor Tantum (Kenfig Hill)
1. Rhodri Apsee (Bridgend Athletic)
2. Gareth Harvey (Kenfig Hill)
3. Cai Lewis (Tondu)
4. James Little (Llantrisant)
5. Ben Jones (Kenfig Hill)
6. Adam O’Driscoll (Heol y Cyw)
7. Joseph Grabham (Bridgend Athletic)
8. Rob Dudley-Jones (Penclawdd)
Replacements: 16. Garin Lloyd (Banwen) 17. Owen Jordan (Glynneath) 18. Rhys Forse (Dinas Powys) 19. Jack Pope (Pencoed) 20. Dafi Davies (Llantwit Major) 21. Chris Williams (Llanharan) 22. Adam Jones (Blackwood) 23. Stuart Floyd-Ellis (Bridgend Athletic)