Bridgend Ravens
2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Bridgend 13 v 23 Cardiff
02 February 2018 - Morganstone Brewery Field, Bridgend
Cardiff

Match Preview

Team to face Cardiff (H)

After over a month without league action, Bridgend Ravens will face Cardiff at the Morganstone Brewery Field on Friday evening (7:15pm).
 
The Ravens' last league encounter was actually last year on 30 December against RGC. Since then, they've played once in an impressive 0-48 win at Glynneath. There was a short break for British and Irish Cup action, and last weekend the last sixteen National Cup clash with Ebbw Vale was washed out so Friday's game represents a first competitive hit out in nearly a month. 
 
B
ridgend finished the first half of the season in sixth place to carry three points through to the merged division. Cardiff finished two positions higher in the Eastern conference but suffered defeat at Rodney Parade in the first game of the merged league 17-29. Since that game, they narrowly edged past Neath in the first round of the WRU National Cup before being dumped out by their regional rivals Merthyr last weekend 12-37. 

​The sides faced off four times last season with Bridgend coming out on top in ​three of them - including a double in the Foster's Challenge Cup which saw the Ravens progress as group winners. The last time the teams played was in April at the Brewery Field, and despite a first half red card for Tom Morgan, Bridgend overcame a strong Cardiff side 33-26. Five tries for Bridgend sealed an important bonus point victory with Eddie Drake, Connor Tantum, Mike Powell, Jamie Murphy and Tom O'Flaherty all on the scoreboard in an open encounter. 
 
Bridgend are without U20 internationals Jack Pope, Cai Evans, Harri Morgan and Dewi Lake who are representing Wales in Friday's game with Scotland at Zipworld Stadium. Joseph Gatt and Kieran Martin get an opportunity to step up to full regional action when they line up for the Ospreys this weekend. 
 
Jonny Phillips will make his home debut at 15 with Aaron Grabham and Ryan Griffiths joining him in the back three. Garin Lougher and Nathan Edwards pair up in midfield with Ryan Evans and Chris Williams selected at half back.
 
The front row sees Ollie Evans, Iestyn Merriman and Rhodri Apsee picked. The second row comprises Owain Lloyd and Chris John. Zac O'Driscoll leads the side in the back row alongside Ashton Evans and Tom Morgan.
 
Dafi Davies makes his long awaited return from injury to take his place amongst the replacements. 
 
Bridgend Ravens XV: 15. Jon Phillips 14. Aaron Grabham 13. Garin Lougher 12. Nathan Edwards 11. Ryan Griffiths 10. Ryan Evans 9. Chris Williams
 
1. Ollie Evans 2. Iestyn Merriman 3. Rhodri Apsee 4. Chris John 5. Owain Lloyd 6. Tom Morgan 7. Zac O'Driscoll (capt) 8. Ashton Evans
 
Replacements: 16. Gareth Harvey 17. Owen Jordan 18. Cai Lewis 19. Matthew John 20. Dafi Davies 21. Adam O'Driscoll 22. Connor Tantum 23. Jamie Murphy

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