Champions Cross Keys, having been given a bye in the 1st round of the
Swalec Cup travel to Neath to begin their quest to retain the Swalec Cup
in the 2nd round on Saturday afternoon.
The Keys were of course convincing winners last time out against the Welsh All Blacks when they traveled to the Gnoll last Friday evening in the Principality Premiership. The Keys overwhelmed their hosts with an outstanding 35 points to 7 bonus point victory. Neath will surely be out for revenge last week's result, so Keys cannot be complacent and must produce the same sort of performance if they are to progress to the quarter finals. Neath are a dangerous side and Keys know that.
The two sides last met in the Welsh cup back in the 2008/09 season when they met in the quarter final at Pandy Park. The Welsh All Blacks triumphed on that occassion by the narrowest of margins, 32 points to 31 and went on to win the trophy later that season. For The Keys on that occasion Will Johnstone (x2), Rhys Peebles, James Egan and Canadian Steven Woodward crossed for tries whilst Woodward kicked 3 conversions. Neath's scores came from David Evans, Kevin James, Neil Edwards (now Neath's forwards coach) and Luke Ford, now of Keys. Former Wales fly half Arwel Thomas kicked 3 conversions, a penalty and a vital drop goal for the Welsh All Blacks.
The sides also met in the group stages of last season's British & Irish Cup with Key coming out on top by 45 points to 18 at Pandy Park. Keys tries coming via Kristian Baller (x2), Rhys Dyer, Nathan Trowbridge, Gerwyn Price and Marc Jones, now donning Neath's jersey. Ex- Wales cap Matthew Jones kicked 15 points for Keys through 6 conversions and a penalty goal. Neath scored tries by Rhodri Clancy and Jamie Davies with Dai Langdon kicking 2 penalties and a conversion.
Whatever has happened previously can stay in the past as far as Keys are concerned. The road for a return to the Millennium Stadium begins this week and Keys want to be in the hat for the quarter final draw and do not plan on letting go of the cup any time soon!!
Neath v Cross Keys Swalec Cup 2nd Round
Venue: The Gnoll, Neath
Date: Saturday 16th February 2013
Kick Off: 2.30pm