Cross Keys
2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Cross Keys 19 v 34 Merthyr
28 October 2017 - Pandy Park, Cross Keys

Match Preview

Cross Keys v Merthyr Preview & Team News

The Principality Premiership enters it’s second quarter this weekend as Cross Keys welcome champions Merthyr to Pandy Park following a 3 week break for British & Irish Cup action to take place.

After a mixed start to the season the big spending Ironmen appear to have got their act together over recent matches. They have secured 3 comfortable victories in their last 3 league games, but prior to that their only victory in the opening 4 games came on the opening day when they hosted Keys at The Wern. That win was followed by 3 defeats , on the road at Cardiff and Pontypridd and at home to Bedwas.

In that opening day fixture at the Wern the Ironmen launched a late surge to edge out a resistant Keys side by 31 points to 29. For Merthyr tries came from Phil Rees, Ben Jones, Ben Murphy, Matthew Dwyer and  Ed Siggery. Matthew Jarvis added 3 of the 5 conversion attempts. Keys scorers, as they secured a pair of bonus points were Lewis Barnett, Scott Matthews, Mathew Powell and Nathan Buck. Josh Prosser was on target with 3 conversions and a penalty for Keys.

The Cross Keys team for Saturday’s game has been announced. There are a total of 6 changes to the side that started in the last game, when Newport defeated Keys at Pandy Park 3 weeks ago. In the front row Will Griffiths will make his first start for Keys at hooker whilst Richard Cornock starts at tight head in place of Nathan Buck. Scott Andrews makes his first appearance of the season for Keys following his return to action from a shoulder injury in the British & Irish Cup in recent weeks, Andrews replaces Josh Skinner in the second row as Skinner moves back to blindside flanker after a string of excellent performances in the boiler-house.  In the backline Lewis Barnett returns in the centre after his injury at Cardiff 6 weeks ago and Nathan Trowbridge also starts on the wing. Barnett and Trowbridge replace Barney Nightingale and Lloyd Lewis respectively as they are both called up to the Wales sevens squad for a tournament in Spain this weekend. On the bench Keys call up on David Richards, whose only other appearance so far this season came at the Wern on the  opening day and summer signing from Risca, Corey Nicholls could make his debut from the bench after recovering from a knee injury sustained in pre-season.

The Cross Keys side in full is:-

15. Leon Andrews
14. Mathew Powell
13. Lewis Barnett
12. Phil Williams
11. Nathan Trowbridge

10. Josh Prosser
9. James Leadbeater

1. Corey Hewlett
2. Will Griffiths
3. Richard Cornock
4. Tom Lampard
5. Scott Andrews
6. Josh Skinner
7. Scott Matthews (c)
8. Adam Powell

Replacements: 16. Rob Jones, 17. Lewis Smout, 18. Gary Carpenter, 19. Dan Mock, 20. Taine Basham, 21. David Richards, 22. Ross Pritchard, 23. Corey Nicholls.

Cross Keys v Merthyr Principality Premiership East
Saturday 28th October 2017
Venue: Pandy Park
Kick Off: 2.30pm