Cross Keys make the trip to the capital this Saturday to take on Cardiff at the Arms Park in the Principality Premiership.
The Blue and Blacks and the Keys have an identical record of 2 wins and 3 defeats from their 5 games played so far this season but with Keys having claimed one more bonus point than the blue and blacks then they currently sit in 9th place in the table with Cardiff 2 places behind in 11th. So far this season Cardiff have claimed victories over Newport (29-27) and last weekend over Bargoed (43-21) both victories coming at The Arms Park. Their defeats have come at home to reigning champions Merthyr (24-18) and on the road at Llandovery (20-3) and at Carmarthen Quins (19-13).
Last season the two sides met on 3 occasions. In the geographic phase on the Principality Premiership east conference the honours went the way of the home side on each occasion with Cardiff winning by 46 points to 19 at the Arms Park last September, despite Keys leading at half time. Then at Pandy Park Keys gained revenge for that heavy defeat by winning by 35 points to 27 last November. The 3rd fixture in the regular phase of the Principality Premiership was also played at Pandy Park and saw Keys produce one of their best performances of the season when they defeated the Blue and Blacks by 42 points to 10 in April. Points for Keys came from tries by Garin Price, Joe Thomas, James Leadbeater, Darren Hughes and Mathew Powell, who is likely to now be lining up against Keys for the Blue and Blacks on Saturday. Josh Prosser added 17 points with the boot. Cardiff’s points came from a try by Will Rees-Hole and a conversion and penalty from Gareth Thompson.
This Saturday the Keys have made a whole host of changes to their starting line-up compared to the side that took to the field in the defeat at home to Swansea last weekend. Up front only Tom Lampard starts in the same position he started in last week whilst Joe Thomas is the other survivor although he moves across the back row to number 8. The entire front row is changed with Corey Hewlett, replacing the injured Gary Carpenter on the loose head and Taylor Hansen coming in in place of Richard Cornock on the tight head. They will be either side of hooker Connah Vaughan who starts his first game for Keys as he swaps places with Rhydian Jenkins. Harvey Reader comes into the second row, replacing skipper Damian Welch who is unavailable. The back row sees Joe Carlin and Chris Johnsey come in on the flanks, the latter making his first start for Keys. In the backs there is just one change as Joe Goodchild appears for Keys for the first time this season following his involvement for the Dragons A in the Celtic Cup. He starts on the wing in place of the injured Mason Williams. On the bench back row man Garin Price could appear for the first time this season as he is included again after his involvement with the Dragons A in the Celtic Cup. In the absence of club captain Damian Welch the side is captained by full back Leon Andrews.
There will again be some familiar faces in the opposition line-up this Saturday with former Keys favourites Mathew Powell and Steffan Jones starting on the wing and at outside half respectively. On the bench former Keys youth prop Ross Davies will lineup for the blue and blacks.
The Cross Keys side in full is:-
15. Leon Andrews (c)
14. Wes Cunliffe
13. Srdan Majkic
12. Dylan Fidler
11. Joe Goodchild
10. Jason Tovey
9. Dan Babos
1. Corey Hewlett
2. Connah Vaughan
3. Taylor Hansen
4. Harvey Reader
5. Tom Lampard
6. Joe Carlin
7. Chris Johnsey
8. Joe Thomas
Replacements: 16. Rhydian Jenkins, 17. Scott Hoskins, 18. Richard Cornock, 19. Todd James, 20. Garin Price, 21. Declan Williams, 22. Owain Leonard, 23. Ian Newbury
Cardiff v Cross Keys Principality Premiership
Date: Saturday 6th October 2018
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Kick Off: 2.30pm