Bridgend Ravens

Team to face RGC (H)

Bridgend Ravens welcome North Walian powerhouse RGC to the Morganstone Brewery Field on Saturday in an Indigo Premiership match (2:30pm).

It was another gruelling finish for Bridgend Ravens in their last outing; an 85th minute try from replacement prop Alex Jeffries breaking Bridgend hearts and stealing victory for Llanelli by 30pts to 26. The defeat follows consecutive reverses to Llandovery, Pontypridd, Newport, Cardiff and Llanelli,  and with Bridgend at the bottom of the table, they know that they will need to turn some promising performances into positive results sooner rather than later.

RGC are currently sitting in sixth place in the Indigo Premiership, with four wins from their eight games. Their last outing was a 23pts to 31 home defeat to Ebbw Vale at Stadiwm Zipworld. They have wins over Merthyr, Swansea, Pontypridd and Llanelli so far, with their defeats coming against Cardiff, Ebbw Vale, Carmarthen Quins and Llandovery. Their Head Coach is former Bridgend Ravens supremo Matt Silva, although the club have recently announced that Matt is taking a break for personal reasons. All at Bridgend Ravens wish Matt the very best.

The last meeting between the sides was a memorable one to say the least. Bridgend, fighting for their lives in the midst of a relegation battle, came away victorious for the first time in their history against the Gogs. After an early Billy McBryde penalty, Bridgend cut loose and scored four quick fire tries through Tom Morgan (twice), Ben Jones and James Little. Gheorghe Gajion and Gareth Harvey added second half scores for the hosts but RGC came back with five second half tries to almost steal the spoils. Bridgend held out to win the epic 43pts to 39 – a result that was instrumental in them avoiding the dreaded drop to the Specsavers Championship.

Bridgend are without a number of players through injury, unavailability or age grade international call ups so opportunity knocks for the wider squad looking to put their name forward for selection during the busy festive period. The ranks are boosted with Caine Woolerton, who had been away with Wales 7s, but returns from duty ready for action.There’s also a first start for Ryan Hall, a recent addition from Dinas Powys, who has impressed with a number of cameos from the replacements bench.

Owen Howe keeps his place in the back three with Caine and Tyler Williams. Stuart Floyd Ellis and Nathan Edwards partner up again in midfield, but there’s a change at half back; Jamie Murphy is away which sees Ryan Evans given the number 10 jersey next to Chris Williams.

Bridgend’s front row sees Owen Jordan back from a knock, named alongside Gareth Harvey and Cai Lewis. James Little takes a place in the second row with Jack Pope. It’s a first start for the aforementioned Ryan Hall with Joseph Grabham and Dafi Davies in the back row.

Bridgend XV:

15. Owen Howe (Maesteg Quins)
14. Caine Woolerton (Bridgend Athletic)
13. Stuart Floyd Ellis (Bridgend Athletic)
12. Nathan Edwards (capt) (Maesteg Quins)
11. Tyler Williams (St Joseph’s)
10. Ryan Evans (Llanharan)
9. Connor Tantum (Kenfig Hill)

1. Owen Jordan (Glynneath)
2. Gareth Harvey (Kenfig Hill)
3. Cai Lewis (Tondu)
4. James Little (Llantrisant)
5. Jack Pope (Pencoed)
6. Ryan Hall (Dinas Powys)
7. Joseph Grabham (Bridgend Athletic)
8. Dafi Davies (Llantwit Major)

Replacements: 16. Garin Lloyd (Banwen) 17. Rhys Forse (Dinas Powys) 18. Adam Court (Pontyclun) 19. Ben Jones (Kenfig Hill) 20. Ollie Young (St Joseph’s) 21. Dan James (Bridgend Athletic) 22. Jacob Chilcott (St Joseph’s) 23. Morgan Jones (Pencoed)