Aberavon
2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Aberavon 14 v 17 Bridgend
12 May 2018 - Talbot Athletic Ground, Port Talbot
Bridgend Ravens

Match Preview

Team to face Aberavon (A)

Bridgend Ravens head to the Talbot Athletic Ground for the final Principality Premiership game of the campaign on Saturday afternoon (2:30pm).

The season ends where it started 260 days ago for Bridgend, visiting their Ospreylian rivals at the TaG in what has been Bridgend's best Principality Premiership campaign in seven years. 

The Ravens remarkable run of form continued on Saturday afternoon with a thumping 68-35 victory over Bargoed at the Morganstone Brewery Field. That was Bridgend's sixth win in seven games which pushed them to within a point of Saturday's hosts in the league standings. The win, Bridgend's twelfth league success of the season, equalled their best season since returning to the division in 2010. 
 
The sides have met twice already this season; the first was won by the home side by 40pts to 15 in the late August sunshine, before Bridgend got their revenge with a 37-21 bonus point success at the Morganstone Brewery Field in October.
 
Aberavon have also picked up some form of late, their last hitout was a narrow 17-18 derby win over Neath at the Gnoll. They have one further game after Saturday, a trip to champions elect Merthyr, who beat them in last season's Principality Premiership final. They've won four of their last five games; the one defeat coming against Pontypridd at the Talbot Atheltic Ground.
 
Bridgend largely stick with the sides which has steered them through their incredible turnaround in fortunes. The former Wizards feature in Bridgend's back three; Jamie Murphy comes in at 15, where he joins Mike Powell and Aaron Grabham. Nathan Edwards and Stuart Floyd Ellis pair up in midfield, with Ryan Evans and Chris Williams the half backs. 
 
In the pack, the back row of Dafi Davies, Zac O'Driscoll and Mathew Donnelly is unchanged. Shaun O'Rourke misses out with injury, and is replaced by Lloyd Ashley in the second row, where he partners Chris John. Rhodri Apsee, Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis are selected in the front row.
 
One new face amongst Bridgend's replacements is back Will Holley. The Mountain Ash product, who has Premiership experience with Ebbw Vale, will be hoping to make his Bridgend debut if he gets an opportunity from the bench. 
 
Bridgend XV: 15. Jamie Murphy 14. Aaron Grabham 13. Stuart Floyd Ellis 12. Nathan Edwards 11. Mike Powell 10. Ryan Evans 9. Chris Williams
 
1. Rhodri Apsee 2. Gareth Harvey 3. Cai Lewis 4. Chris John 5. Lloyd Ashley 6. Mathew Donnelly 7. Zac O'Driscoll (capt) 8. Dafi Davies
 
Replacements: 16. Iestyn Merriman 17. Owen Jordan 18. Neil Elworthy 19. Ashton Evans 20. Matthew John 21. Connor Tantum 22. Jacob Lloyd 23. Will Holley

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