Preview: Aberavon v Llanelli

Aberavon (6th – 10 points) welcome Llanelli (8th – 5 points) to the Talbot Athletic Ground this Saturday in the Indigo Group Premiership, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

In the Premiership this season, Llanelli have won one from four games so far. They kicked off their league campaign with defeats away to Carmarthen Quins (13 – 30) and at home to RGC 1404 (8 – 41). Their win came at home to Bridgend at the end of last month (26 – 14 bonus point win). In their last outing, Llanelli lost at Ebbw Vale (12 – 22).

In the Premiership Cup, Llanelli lost all ten of their pool games and lost to Aberavon 43 – 17 at the Talbot Athletic Ground back in September, and 28 – 22 at Parc y Scarlets in October.

Looking at the Premiership, in “attack”, Llanelli have scored 14.8 points on average per game (ranked 9th) and 2.0 tries (ranked joint 8th). In “defence” they have conceded 26.8 points on average per game (ranked 10th) and 3.5 tries (ranked joint 8th). Aberavon have scored 26.0 points per game (ranked 4th) and 3.3 tries (ranked joint 5th), and conceded 19.7 points (ranked 3rd) and 1.7 tries (ranked top).

Head-to-head, Aberavon and Llanelli have met each other 43 times in the Welsh National League (including play-off games), with the West Walians leading the series 25 – 16 with 2 games drawn. At the Talbot Athletic Ground, the Wizards lead 12 – 7 with 2 games drawn with Llanelli winning the last time the sides met at the ground (16 – 11 in 2019-20).

Looking back eighteen seasons ago to when the sides met on January 3rd 2004, the visitors scored early in the game when Welsh International wing Mark Jones sprinted 80 metres for a try under the posts. Centre Cerion Thomas added the extras. The Wizards clawed their way back into the game with three successive penalties by outside half Jamie Davies making the score 9 – 7 to Aberavon at the end of the first quarter. Thomas retook the lead for Llanelli with a try he converted but Davies reduced their lead to just two points with his fourth penalty of the afternoon. At the end of the half, Aberavon went back ahead when Davies scored a try to make the score 17 – 14. Thomas and Davies traded penalties early in the second half before wing Sam Greenaway crashed over for a try in the 68th minute to make the score 25 – 17. Thomas kicked a penalty late on but the Wizards came away with the 25 – 20 win.

The Wizards team that day was: Richard Lewis; Sam Greenaway, Darren Ryan (rep Aled James), David Hawkins, Ricky Price; Jamie Davies, Daniel Hawkins; Mike Harris, James Jones, Mark Thomas (rep Greg Dix), Dafydd Owen, Chris Gittins, Ceri Thomas (rep Jamie Summers), Richard Morris (rep Steffan Edwards), Howard Merrett.

The referee for Saturday’s game is Rhys Jones, aided by Wayne Davies and Dai Cambourne.