Preview: Aberavon v Merthyr (Final)
Posted by Gareth Gange on 18/05/2017
The Ironmen finished third in the first phase of the Premiership after winning ten of their fifteen games with their wins coming against Cardiff, Ebbw Vale, Neath, Swansea, Bargoed, Cross Keys, Pontypridd, Newport, Llanelli & Llandovery. The Wizards and Ironmen met at the Talbot Athletic Ground in the final game of first phase with Aberavon winning 24 - 17. The Wizards finished phase one in first place.
Looking at the first phase of the Premiership, in "attack" this season, Merthyr scored 29.5 points on average per game (ranked 2nd) and 3.9 tries (ranked 2nd). In "defence" they conceded 21.4 points on average per game (ranked 9th) and 2.4 tries (ranked 7th). Aberavon scored 31.7 points per game (ranked top) and 4.5 tries (ranked top), and conceded 18.5 points (ranked 2nd) and 2.1 tries (ranked joint top).
In the second phase of the Premiership, Merthyr finished first after winning six of their seven games with their only loss coming at RGC 1404. The 24 - 25 in North Wales was followed by wins over Bedwas (40 - 20), Llandovery (75 - 14), Pontypridd (17 - 3), Carmarthen Quins (30 - 21), Aberavon (34 - 23) & Ebbw Vale (35 - 26). The Wizards finished in second place.
In the second phase, in "attack", Merthyr scored 36.4 points on average per game (ranked top) and 4.6 tries (ranked top). In "defence" they conceded 18.9 points on average per game (ranked top) and 2.4 tries (ranked joint 2nd). Aberavon scored 24.9 points per game (ranked 3rd) and 3.3 tries (ranked 2nd), and conceded 20.0 points (ranked 2nd) and 2.4 tries (ranked joint 2nd).
Last weekend, Merthyr beat RGC 1404 35 - 7 in the Playoff Semi-Final at the Wern. In that game, visiting captain Andrew Williams powered over for a try that Jacob Botica converted to give his side a 7 - 3 lead. But then flanker Ed Siggery crossed for a try after half hour that gave Merthyr the lead and they never looked back. It helped the home cause that RGC had lock Henri Williams sent to the sin-bin for persistent offending and while he was away the home side scored a further three tries - No 8 Phil Rees converted a five metre driving line out and then full back Josh Flye put wing Kyle Evans over with some great hands. Matthew Jarvis, who kicked 12 points, converted both tries and the Ironmen were 24 - 7 ahead at the break. That lead grew before Williams returned as another driving line-out was turned into a try for hooker Rhys Williams. Jarvis couldn't convert that one, but did kick a penalty. Dean Gunter rounded things off with another penalty.
Head-to-Head, Aberavon and Merthyr have met each other 10 times in the league with the Wizards leading the series 7 - 3. At the Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon lead 4 - 1.
The referee for Sunday’s game is Dan Jones, aided by Simon Rees, Wayne Davies, Dewi Phillips and Mark Davis, along with TMO Sean Brickell.
Premiership Final. Aberavon V Merthyr at the Talbot Athletic Ground on Sunday 21 May kick off 3.30pm. Entry fee is set at £10 and £8 for senior citizens. U16 free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. No need for tickets in advance.