Cross Keys will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing result and performance against Merthyr on the opening weekend of the season when they head to the Brewery Field to take on Bridgend, who themselves also went down to an opening weekend defeat last week against a newly promoted team when RGC1404 secured a 20 points to 3 win over the Ravens, at the Brewery Field.
Both teams are not only looking for their first win of the season but will also be looking for their first try of the season. With the new mid-season split coming in this season neither side can really afford too many more defeats between now and the midway stage so this game, even at this early stage of the season already has a lot resting on it.
Last season Keys met Bridgend 3 times in total and secured the treble over the Ravens, winning in the Principality Premiership at Pandy Park last October by 18 points to 0 when James Leadbeater crossed for a try with a converted penalty try and a conversion by Ethan Davies and penalty by former Raven Owen Howe securing the points for Keys. At the Brewery Field back in February Keys faced the Ravens in back to back Cup then league fixtures. In the 2nd Round of the Swalec Cup, Keys knocked the then holders of the Cup out with a 20 points to 13 victory. Scott Andrews and James Leadbeater crossing for tries, with Owen Howe kicking a pair of conversions and a pair of penalties, on his old stomping ground. The Ravens replied with tries by Ashton Evans and Matthew John, with Joseph Scrivens adding a penalty. Just a fortnight later Keys were back at the Brewery Field for a rearranged Principality Premiership fixture and they again secured the win and the league double with a 24 points to 12 victory. Tries for Keys came from Ethan Davies, Mathew Powell and Scott Matthews with Owen Howe kicking all 3 conversions. Michael Powell crossed for a brace of tries for the home side.
Back to Saturday’s game and the Keys have announced the side to take on the Ravens. There are a total of 5 changes to the starting lineup that started against Merthyr last week. Up front Tom Lampard and Simon Williams form a new second row partnership replacing Danny Hodge and Josh Skinner. Skinner is moved in to the back row as he replaces Ieuan Jones who, like Hodge is named amongst the replacements. In the backline Keys change the centre pairing with former skipper Leon Andrews returning to fitness to replace Lewis Barnett at outside centre and Barney Nightingale coming in for Phil Williams at inside centre.
The Cross Keys side for Saturday’s game in full is:-
15. Ethan Davies
14. Mathew Powell
13. Leon Andrews
12. Barney Nightingale
11. Nathan Trowbridge
10. Josh Prosser
9. James Leadbeater
1. Lewis Smout
2. Darren Hughes
3. Richard Cornock
4. Tom Lampard
5. Simon Williams
6. Josh Skinner
7. Scott Matthews (c)
8. Adam Powell
Replacements: 16. Ellis Shipp, 17. Corey Hewlett, 18. Gary Carpenter, 19. Danny Hodge, 20. Ieuan Jones, 21. Nathan Williams, 22. Ross Pritchard, 23. Jacob Unwin.
Bridgend v Cross Keys Principality Premiership
Date: Saturday 10th September 2016
Venue: Bridgend Ford Brewery Field, Bridgend
Kick Off: 2.30pm
Referee: Adam Jones Assistants: Matthew Davies & Steve Smith