Preview: Bridgend v Aberavon

Aberavon (1st) travel to the Brewery Field on Saturday to take on Bridgend (4th) in the Indigo Group Premiership Cup, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

Before the cancellation of the 2019-20 season, Bridgend were twelfth in the Premiership after winning three of their eighteen games, whilst Aberavon were third after winning eleven of their sixteen games.

This season, the Ravens have won one and lost one.

In their opening game of the season, they lost 15 – 38 at home to Carmarthen Quins. The Ravens led 10 – 7 at the interval with them outscoring their visitors by 2 tries to 1. Bridgend’s first-half tries were scored by centre Tom Morgan and outside-half Jamie Murphy. The Quins hit back in the second half scoring a further 5 tries before the home side scored their third try late on through full-back Edd Howley.

Last weekend, Bridgend took on Llanelli at Parc y Scarlets where the home side led 10 – 5 at half-time with the Ravens scoring a 38th minute try by hooker Lee Murphy. The visitors took the lead just two minutes into the second half when wing Tom Florence scored a try that outside-half Matthew Jones converted. Both sides then traded penalties before a second Jones penalty saw Bridgend go into an 18 – 13 lead with half-hour to go. Llanelli tied the game with an unconverted try ten minutes later before Jones kicked his third penalty in the 72nd minute to win it for Bridgend 21 – 18.

Looking back to when the sides met at the ground in February 2006, Aberavon made a sensational start as they raced into a 21-point lead in the opening 11 minutes thanks to tries from Anthony Edwards, Richard Morris and Darryl Thomas. Jamie Davies added the extras. Bridgend hit back at the end of the first quarter with a try by Adam Whitney before Davies and Gareth David traded penalties. The Wizards were awarded an injury-time penalty try and Davies’s conversion gave the visitors a 31 – 8 interval lead.

Davies kicked his second penalty early in the second half before the home side fought back. In the last half hour, the Ravens scored tries through Roger Davies and Mike Powell and were awarded a penalty try themselves. David converted all three while Davies kicked a third penalty for the Wizards to make the final score 37 – 29 to Aberavon.

The Wizards team that day was: Liam Gadd; Richard Carter, Paul Bamsey, David Hawkins, Daran Griffiths; Jamie Davies, Daniel Hawkins; Lloyd Howell (rep Mike Harris), Chris Wells (capt), Anthony Edwards (rep James Jones), Paul Morgan (rep Chris Kinsey, rep Christian Richards), Andrew Fisher, Ian Moore, Richard Morris, Darryl Thomas.

The referee for Saturday’s game is Aled Evans, aided by Elliott Mayer and Kristoff Young.