Preview: Aberavon v Carmarthen Quins

Aberavon (1st – 35 points) welcome Carmarthen Quins (3rd – 21 points) to the Talbot Athletic Ground this Friday evening in the Indigo Group Premiership Cup, kick-off at 7:30 pm.

The Quins have won 5 of their 8 games this season. They kicked off their campaign with a bonus-point win at Bridgend (38 – 15) before losing at home to Llandovery (10 – 21). A win followed at Swansea (21 – 6) before Carmarthen lost at home again, this time to Aberavon (3 – 26). Two back-to-back wins followed as the Quins won at Llanelli (27 – 23) and then at home to Bridgend (27 – 12). At the start of this month, they lost at Llandovery (0 – 16) whilst, last weekend, they beat Swansea (24 – 21) at home.

Looking at the Premiership Cup, in “attack”, Carmarthen Quins have scored 18.8 points on average per game (ranked 5th) and 2.3 tries (ranked 6th). In “defence” they have conceded 17.6 points on average per game (ranked 3rd) and 1.9 tries (ranked joint 2nd). Aberavon have scored 29.0 points per game (ranked 2nd) and 4.0 tries (ranked 2nd), and conceded 16.3 points (ranked 2nd) and 1.9 tries (ranked joint 2nd).

Looking back at the first time both sides met in the league at the Talbot Athletic Ground (August 2000) the Wizards started well and had a lot of possession. However, some poor decision making meant that Aberavon failed to make the most of this possession and went into halftime just 6 – 3 up – two penalties for outside half Jamie Davies to a penalty by his opposite number Giles Thomas. In the second half, the visitors scrummaging improved and drew level on the hour through a second Thomas penalty. In the last 10 minutes of the match, both outside halves exchanged penalties. In injury time Davies kicked a fourth penalty only to be cancelled out by a drop goal by Thomas from near the touchline. However, two minutes into injury time, Davies slotted another penalty. As if it was an action replay from before, Thomas again levelled the matters on 15 all with his second drop goal. Final score Aberavon 15 – 15 Carmarthen Quins.

The Wizards team that day was: Ricky Price; Sam Greenaway, Paul Morgan, Barry Maddocks, Grant Radford; Jamie Davies, Daniel Hawkins; Mike Harris, Jason Hyatt, Mark Thomas (rep Lloyd Howell), Mervyn Meredith, Mark Evans (capt), Kevin Evans, Ian Moore (rep Richard Morris), Andrew Thomas (rep Howard Merrett).

The referee for Friday’s game is Simon Mills, aided by Aaron Parry and Anthony Price.