Preview: Bridgend v Aberavon

This Saturday, Aberavon travel to the Brewery Field to take on Bridgend in the WRU Premiership Cup, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

For the Cup competition, the twelve clubs in the Indigo Group Premiership have been split into four pools with the pool winners then qualifying for the semi-finals. Each pool consists of three rounds, with each team playing two games in the pool – one at home, one away.

Aberavon are in Pool B along with Bridgend and Pontypridd. The Ravens had a bonus point 30 – 26 win at Ponty in the first round of the competition last month whilst the Wizards had a free weekend. Ponty picked up two bonus points.

The pools – and current state after last month’s first round of games – are as follows:
Pool A – Carmarthen Quins (L1 – 0pts), Ebbw Vale (W1 – 5pts), RGC 1404.
Pool B – Aberavon, Bridgend (W1 – 5pts), Pontypridd (L1 – 2pts).
Pool C – Llanelli (L1 – 0pts), Newport, Swansea (W1 – 5pts)
Pool D – Cardiff (W1 – 5pts), Llandovery, Merthyr (L1 – 0pts)

The final round of pool games takes place on December 3rd with Aberavon home to Pontypridd.

In the league this season, Bridgend have won one of their four games. They started their league campaign with two away games where they lost to Aberavon (14 – 45) and Pontypridd (8 – 40). They’ve since had two home games with them losing to Merthyr (10 – 34) before getting a bonus point win (29 – 27) against Ebbw Vale last weekend.

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 Ian Davies, aided by Mike English and Jon Hardy.