Merthyr
2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Merthyr 29 v 15 Bridgend
24 March 2018 - The Wern, Merthyr Tydfil
Bridgend Ravens

Match Preview

Team to face Merthyr (A)

Bridgend Ravens travel to Principality Premiership champions Merthyr on Saturday, looking to build on the impressive win against Newport last time out (2:30pm).
 
It's been a mixed bag for Bridgend since the league merged, but it's safe to say that performances and results have been better of late. The 16-12 win over Newport followed a narrow 38-37 reverse at Sardis Road, giving the Bridgend faithful plenty to look forward to in the final ten games of 2017/18. 
 
Merthyr have continued their dominance of the Welsh semi-professional game. Top of the Premiership, and through to the semi-final stage of the WRU National Cup, Nigel Davies' side will be targeting a famous double to cement their place in folklore. They held an unbeaten record since the league merged, but Newport stole a last minute win at the Wern a fortnight ago. They'll be keen to extend their lead at the top of the division, but know that Bridgend, on form, pose a dangerous threat.
 
The sides have met twice in the last few seasons. With the Ironmen still in the Championship, Bridgend navigated a seriously difficult SWALEC Cup semi final by 20-17 at the Brewery Field, en route to winning the tournament for the third time in the club's history. Another memorable clash was to take place last season, with the Ravens again downing the Ironmen, this time by an impressive 40-10. Tries that day were scored by Ryan Griffiths, Owain Lloyd, Mike Powell and Joseph Gatt as the Ravens put in their finest performance of the season.
 
This year's squad which goes in search of victory at the Wern shows a few changes from the one which disposed of Newport last time out. Fresh from scoring his fifth try in six starts for the club, Jonny Phillips keeps his place at full back alongside flier Aaron Grabham and the ever improving Joseph Gatt. Youngster Stuart Floyd Ellis gets another opportunity alongside Nathan Edwards. The keys to number 10 are retained by Jamie Murphy, partnered by Chris Williams at half back.
 
After making an impressive cameo at Number 8 last time out, Dafi Davies takes the starting jersey this weekend. The side is led by captain Zac O'Driscoll, who partners his brother Adam on the flanks. Jack Pope returns from international duty with Wales' Under 20 squad to pair up with Chris John in the second row. Ollie Evans, Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis comprise Silva's front row selection.
 
Bridgend supporters will be delighted to see Dylan Moss back amongst the replacements. Dylan sustained a nasty injury whilst on regional duty earlier this season after an impressive start to his Bridgend career. He's joined in reserve by Dewi Lake, Owen Jordan, Neil Elworthy, Owain Lloyd, Matthew John, Connor Tantum and Ryan Evans. 
 
Bridgend XV: 15. Jonny Phillips 14. Aaron Grabham 13. Stuart Floyd Ellis 12. Nathan Edwards 11. Joseph Gatt 10. Jamie Murphy 9. Chris Williams
 
1. Ollie Evans 2. Gareth Harvey 3. Cai Lewis 4. Chris John 5. Jack Pope 6. Adam O'Driscoll 7. Zac O'Driscoll (capt) 8. Dafi Davies
 
Replacements: 16. Dewi Lake 17. Owen Jordan 18. Neil Elworthy 19. Owain Lloyd 20. Matthew John 21. Connor Tantum 22. Ryan Evans 23. Dylan Moss
 

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