Preview: Pontypridd v Aberavon
This Saturday, Aberavon travel to Sardis Road to take on Pontypridd in the Indigo Group Premiership, kick-off at 2:30 pm.
Ponty have won one of their three league games this season. They kicked off their campaign with a 12 – 26 loss to Cardiff before beating Bridgend 40 – 8 with both games at Sardis Road. Last weekend, at Swansea, they went down 22 – 45 but picked up a try bonus point.
Pontypridd are in the same pool as Aberavon in the Indigo Group Premiership Cup, with them losing 26 – 30 at home to Bridgend in their first pool match last month.
Looking at the Premiership, in “attack”, Pontypridd have scored 24.7 points on average per game (ranked 5th) and 3.0 tries (ranked joint 6th). In “defence” they have conceded 26.3 points on average per game (ranked 9th) and 3.0 tries (ranked joint 8th). Aberavon have scored 37.0 points per game (ranked 1st) and 5.8 tries (ranked 1st), and conceded 19.8 points (ranked 4th) and 2.5 tries (ranked 5th).
Head-to-head, Aberavon and Pontypridd have met each other 41 times in the Welsh National League, with Ponty leading the series 25 – 15 with 1 game drawn. At Sardis Road, Ponty lead 16 – 4 with 1 game drawn with the Wizards winning on their last two visits to the ground (16 – 15 in 2019-20; 25 – 16 in 2021-22).
Looking back to the 2011-12 season when the sides met at the ground, it was a top-class Aberavon performance that brought a rare home loss for Pontypridd. In wet conditions, the Wizards were down 6 – 0 after 15 mins having had flanker Darryl Thomas sin-binned and former Ponty captain Nathan Strong helped off after getting a rib injury that would keep him out for a month. Ponty’s points came from the boot of outside half Dean Gunter. Halfway through the half, the Wizards scored their first try when wing Richard Carter touched down. Two penalties by outside half Jamie Davies put Aberavon ahead 11 – 6 at the interval. It took until the hour mark for the next score to come when Carter scored his second try with Davies adding the extras. Two further penalties by Davies made the final score 24 – 6 to the Wizards.
The Aberavon team that day was: Howard Thomas; Richard Carter, Ben John, Will Price, Richard Thomas (rep Darren Ritchie); Jamie Davies (rep James Donovan), David Pritchard; Lloyd Howell (rep Rowan Jenkins), Marc Breeze, Anthony Edwards (rep Will Taylor), Ian Moore (rep Nathan Brown), Sam Williams, Darryl Thomas (rep Gareth Harvey), Nathan Strong (rep Richard Morris), Chris Davies (capt).
The referee for Saturday’s game is Aled Evans, aided by Rhys Jones and Wayne Davies.