Preview: Bridgend v Aberavon
On Monday afternoon (Boxing Day), Aberavon (2nd – 35 pts) travel to the Brewery Field to take on Bridgend (12th – 5 pts) in the Indigo Group Premiership, kick-off at 2:30 pm.
The Ravens have won one of their seven league games this season so far. They lost their opening three games as they went down to Aberavon, Pontypridd and Merthyr before they had a bonus point win over Ebbw Vale at the Brewery Field in the middle of October. Since then, Bridgend have lost to RGC 1404, Cardiff and Llandovery.
Looking at the Premiership, in “attack”, Bridgend have scored 14.7 points on average per game (ranked 11th) and 1.7 tries (ranked 11th). In “defence” they have conceded 34.9 points on average per game (ranked 10th) and 4.4 tries (ranked 9th). Aberavon have scored 31.3 points per game (ranked 2nd) and 4.5 tries (ranked 2nd), and conceded 24.0 points (ranked 7th) and 2.9 tries (ranked 7th).
Head-to-head, Aberavon and Bridgend have met each other 42 times in the Welsh National League, with the Wizards leading the series 21 – 19 with 2 games drawn. At the Brewery Field, Bridgend lead 12 – 8 with 1 game drawn with the Ravens winning the last time the sides met in the league at the ground (17 – 13 last season).
Looking back to the 2006-07 season, the Wizards won the fixture 24 – 16 taking the spoils in a scrappy encounter in which tries were scored by Robbie Morgan and James Pike. Jamie Davies landed a penalty goal and a conversion, while replacement Gareth Knox landed three penalties to put the game beyond doubt after the home side had threatened to claw their way back into contention. The Ravens points came from a Rhys Webb try, with Gareth David kicking three penalties and a conversion.
The Wizards team that day was: Liam Gadd; Richard Carter, Paul Bamsey, Darren Ryan, James Pike; Jamie Davies (rep Gareth Knox), Chris Morgans (rep Dan Hawkins); Mike Harris, Marc Breeze (rep Christian Richards), Anthony Edwards (rep Ceri Jones), Andrew Fisher, Chris Gittins (capt), Darryl Thomas, Robbie Morgan, James Davies (rep Simon Peters).
The referee for Monday’s game is Tom Spurrier, aided by Carwyn Williams and Anthony Price.