Preview: Aberavon v Bargoed

Aberavon (7th – 63 points) welcome Bargoed (15th – 18 points) to the Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday in the Principality Premiership, kick off 2:30pm.

The Bulls have won three of their twenty games this season but have lost all eleven of their games played away from home.

They started off with three straight losses as they went down to Llandovery, Newport and Carmarthen. They did pick up a losing bonus point in the Quins game. Their first win came in the third week of September when they beat Cross Keys at Bargoed Park. They then went down to both Cardiff and Bedwas, with the Bulls picking up two points in the loss to Bedwas. The Bulls then recorded back-to-back bonus point wins as they defeated both Llanelli and Aberavon (38 – 18) in October. Since the bonus point win over the Wizards, Bargoed have lost twelve straight games, losing to RGC 1404, Neath, Swansea, Ebbw Vale, Pontypridd, Llandovery, Newport, Merthyr, Carmarthen, Cross Keys, Bedwas and Llanelli. During this run, they have only picked up one bonus point, and that was in their narrow loss to Cross Keys in January.

Looking at the Premiership, in “attack”, Bargoed have scored 18.1 points on average per game (ranked 15th) and 2.2 tries (ranked 15th). In “defence” they have conceded 34.2 points on average per game (ranked 15th) and 4.4 tries (ranked 15th). Aberavon have scored 22.0 points per game (ranked 9th) and 2.9 tries (ranked 8th), and conceded 19.1 points (ranked 6th) and 2.7 tries (ranked 8th).

Head-to-head, Aberavon and Bargoed have only previously met three times in the Welsh National League. Two seasons ago when the sides met at the Talbot Athletic Ground, the Wizards won 45 – 25. Last season, at Bargoed Park, the Bulls won 16 – 14 on the day a 4.4 magnitude earthquake hit South Wales, whilst this season, Bargoed had a bonus point win when they beat Aberavon 38 – 18 in October.

The referee for Saturday’s game is Dewi Phillips, aided by Tom Spurrier and Mark Jones.

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 30 23 0 7 885 593 117
Cardiff 30 22 1 7 991 660 111
Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
Llandovery 30 21 1 8 856 551 104
Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
Aberavon 30 18 2 10 698 603 90
Newport 30 17 2 11 759 700 88
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 30 14 1 15 852 650 85
Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
Carmarthen Quins 30 13 1 16 637 584 71
Bridgend Ravens 30 12 0 18 689 714 66
Llanelli 30 12 1 17 679 723 63
Bedwas 30 12 1 17 681 830 62
Cross Keys 30 5 1 24 586 1093 36
Bargoed 30 6 0 24 576 1003 35
Neath 30 1 0 29 406 1274 3