Bridgend Ravens will look to build on last weekend's spirited near-comeback against Pontypridd when they entertain Carmarthen Quins at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field this Saturday 29th September (KO 2.30pm).
The Ravens showed the fight and determination within the ranks when they refused to lie down at Sardis Road last weekend and will be hoping to stretch that performance over 80 minutes in front of a supportive home crowd.
Their rivals are Carmarthen Quins who finished a place above the Ravens last season and won both of the sides' fixtures in the 2011/12 campaign. The Quins have also had a disappointing start to the season with one win from five; but they sit higher than Bridgend thanks to scoring four tries in their 35-25 victory over Cardiff, as well as losing bonus points in three of their four losses.
Ravens head coach Ben Rose is confident that after testing out several different combinations, his squad have finally found their place and the good results will soon come:
“The start of the season is often when sides have to find their feet. You have to try out new players and different combinations to discover what works best for the Ravens brand of rugby. Although we've had some disappointing results, we're confident that we have found ourselves as a squad and will be more competitive in the games to come.
We've been slow out of the blocks in the games that we've lost this season so we want to start this one with a bang and turn last week's second half effort in to something that lasts for 80 minutes. If we can get that right then we're a match for any side in this division.”
The Ravens have named a mostly unchanged XV from the side that faced Pontypridd last weekend. Ben Thomas starts ahead of Ross Jones at outside half and prop Dan Suter gets the nod ahead of Jonathan Thomas, who is among the substitutes.
The home side are also missing some key players through injury but they have depth in their squad and players desperate to prove themselves. Alex Jones is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a small fracture and ligament damage whilst Tom Habberfield is soon to start walking without the aid of a surgical boot, after the nasty injury sustained in the first game of the season against Llanelli. Adam Hillier-Rees is also out with a shoulder strain.
It's not all bad news in the Ravens camp though. Shaun O'Rourke and Ken Dowding have both made great recoveries from injuries sustained against Cardiff and will soon be fit to play again.
Ravens squad to face Carmarthen Quins:
15. Jamie Murphy
14. Glen Lewis
13. Rhys Thomas
12. Gareth Howells
11. Luke Morgan
10. Ben Thomas
9. Kyle Barrett
8. Scott Hicks
7. Arthur Ellis
6. Jonathan Vaughan
5. Lee Davies
4. Owain Lloyd
3. Dan Sutter
2. Matthew Dwyer
1. Marc Thomas
16. Owen Williams (Front Row)
17. Jonathan Thomas (Front Row)
18. Ashleigh James (Front Row)
19. Lloyd Peers
20. Andrew Waite
21. Ashley Evans
22. Sam Campbell
23. Chris Williams