Preview: Aberavon v Carmarthen Quins

This Saturday, Aberavon welcome Carmarthen Quins to the Talbot Athletic Ground in the Indigo Group Premiership, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

In the Premiership this season, Carmarthen have won four of their six games so far. They kicked off their campaign with a loss at Pontypridd (picking up a losing bonus point), before beating Llanelli (bonus point win) at home, Cardiff away, and RGC 1404 at home. Last month they lost at home to Swansea (picking up another losing bonus point) but then gained a bonus point home win over Bridgend last weekend.

In the Premiership Cup, Carmarthen finished third in their pool after winning six of their ten games. They were knocked out of the competition in the quarter-final stage, losing 7 – 42 at Cardiff.

Looking at the Premiership, in “attack”, Carmarthen have scored 23.5 points on average per game (ranked 7th) and 3.3 tries (ranked 7th). In “defence” they have conceded 21.0 points on average per game (ranked 3rd) and 2.2 tries (ranked 1st). Aberavon have scored 26.5 points per game (ranked 5th) and 3.5 tries (ranked 5th), and conceded 25.0 points (ranked 8th) and 2.5 tries (ranked joint 3rd).

Head-to-head, Aberavon and Carmarthen have met each other 34 times in the Welsh National League, with the Wizards leading the series 20 – 13 with 1 game drawn. At the Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon lead 12 – 4 with 1 game drawn but the Quins won the last time the sides met in the league at the ground, winning 34 – 29 in 2019-20.

When both sides met at the ground during the 2004-05 season, the Wizards narrowly won 25 – 24. In the midweek game, the Quins raced into a 11 – 0 lead within the opening quarter of an hour thanks to a try by Gareth Williams and two penalties by Aled Thomas. The Wizards hit back in the run-up to halftime as Michael Hook kicked a penalty before Liam Gadd scored a try. Hook’s conversion left the Quins with a narrow 11 – 10 lead at the interval. The home side took the lead for the first time after Hook kicked his second penalty, before Thomas’s third saw the lead go back to the visitors. However, a second try by Gadd, converted by Hook, saw the Wizards take a 20 – 14 lead. Back came the West Walians – a penalty by Craig Evans and a try by Gareth King, converted by Evans, gave the Quins a 24 – 20 lead with just seven minutes of normal time remaining. Aberavon had the last word though, as Richard Morris touched down late in the game to secure the win for the Wizards.

The Wizards team that day was: Liam Gadd; Richard Carter, Barry Maddocks, Darren Ryan, Daran Griffiths; Michael Hook (rep Jamie Davies), Adrian Williams; Mike Harris, James M. Jones, Paul Breeze, Paul Morgan, Luke Tait, Steve Phillips (capt), Richard Morris, Chris Kinsey (rep Ian Moore).

The referee for Saturday’s game is Jason Bessant, aided by Richard Brace and Anthony Price.