Preview: Aberavon v Bridgend

Aberavon (1st – 30 points) welcome Bridgend (4th – 13 points) to the Talbot Athletic Ground this Saturday in the Indigo Group Premiership Cup, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

The Ravens have won 3 of their 7 games this season. They started with a 15 – 38 loss at home to Carmarthen before winning 21 – 18 away to Llanelli. The Wizards won 24 – 15 at the Brewery Field at the start of last month before Bridgend had an impressive 25 – 19 win at Llandovery. Back-to-back losses then followed as the Ravens lost 17 – 35 at home to Bridgend and 12 – 27 away to Carmarthen. In their last outing, at home to Llanelli, Bridgend had an emphatic 43 – 16 bonus-point win.

Looking at the Premiership Cup, in “attack”, Bridgend have scored 21.1 points on average per game (ranked 4th) and 2.4 tries (ranked 5th). In “defence” they have conceded 25.3 points on average per game (ranked 5th) and 3.4 tries (ranked 4th). Aberavon have scored 28.0 points per game (ranked 1st) and 3.9 tries (ranked 1st), and conceded 16.4 points (ranked 2nd) and 1.9 tries (ranked joint 2nd).

Looking back at the fixture during the 2007-8 season, a scrappy, forward-dominated opening half saw the Wizards take an 8 – 0 lead thanks to a try from Marc Breeze and a penalty by Jamie Davies. Davies kicked two further penalties in the third quarter as Gareth David got points on the board for the visitors. Leading 14 – 3, the Wizards home pack were increasingly dominating their counterparts resulting in a brace of tries for Chris Wells, both converted by Davies, and an unconverted try by James Garland. Final score, Aberavon 33, Bridgend 3.

The Wizards team that day was: James Garland (rep Ricky Thomas); Richard Carter, Paul Bamsey, Liam Gadd, Steve Davies; Jamie Davies, Gavin Hooper (rep Chris Morgans); Neil White (rep Mike Harris), Marc Breeze (rep Chris Wells), Paul Breeze, Ian Moore (capt), Chris Gittins (rep Andrew Fisher), Darryl Thomas, Richard Morris (rep Simon Peters), Chris Davies.

The referee for Saturday’s game is Simon Rees, aided by Simon Mills and Aaron Parry.