Cross Keys face the long trek North to Colwyn Bay on FRIDAY as they take on RGC1404 to kick off a busy Easter weekend of fixtures, which sees Keys also in action on Monday afternoon at Pandy Park when they take on Llanelli in the Principality Premiership.
Keys have yet to beaten by RGC1404 in a competitive fixture. Last season the 2 sides met just once in the Principality Premiership and an entertaining clash at Pandy Park in November 2016 saw Keys emerge victorious by 24 points to 17. Points for Keys on that occasion came via tries by Adam Powell, Tom Lampard and Barney Nightingale, with Josh Prosser kicking all 3 conversions and adding a first half penalty. RGC's points came from tries by Jacob Botica and Aron Evans, whilst Botica also kicked both conversions and a penalty for his side. The only other competitive clash between the sides came back in February 2015 when they went head to head in the 2nd round of the 2014/15 season's WRU National Cup at Colwyn Bay. Keys won that game in style against the, then Championship side RGC, Keys ran out winners by 47 points to 14. The home side crossed for 2 tries via Thomas Blackwell and Tallis Karaitiana with James Lang adding both conversions. Keys points came from a total of 6 tries by Nathan Trowbridge, Leon Andrews, Jack Condy, Scott Matthews, Elliott Jones and a penalty try. Ethan Davies kicked a total of 17 points via 4 conversions and 3 penalty goals to seal Keys place in the quarter finals.
The Gogs' finished top of the West conference of the Principality Premiership earlier this season, when they lost 2 of their 14 games and since the merger of East and West they have gone on to record 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat from their 6 games played so far. That sole defeat came last week at the training ground in the shadow of Parc y Scarlets when Llanelli impressed with a 24 points to 6 victory. Their 4 wins have come in home games over Bridgend (47-14), Neath (66-3) and Swansea (50-21) and away from home they also defeated Aberavon by 16 points to 12. Their draw also came at home when they couldn't be separated from Carmarthen Quins with a 20 points all result.
Back to Friday's trip to Colwyn Bay and a depleted Keys have named their side to take on RGC1404. It shows several changes to the side that edged out Bargoed last weekend. Up front Darren Hughes moves back to hooker having appeared in the back row last week, whilst Tom Lampard moves to the back row with Ynysddu product Harvey Reader coming in for a first start for Keys in the second row. In the backs Keys bring in Owain Leonard at scrum half whilst Dragons centre Jarryd Sage comes back in to start in the centre having previously appeared at Swansea a few weeks back. On the bench Keys bring in Dragons academy back row man Garin Price and also welcome Samoan wing/centre, Amosa Nove who appears from Monmouth, having been with Keys over the pre season last summer.
The Cross Keys side in full is:-
15. Leon Andrews
14. Mathew Powell
13. Barney Nightingale
12. Jarryd Sage
11. Nathan Trowbridge
10. Josh Prosser
9. Owain Leonard
1. Luke Garrett
2. Darren Hughes
3. Scott Evans
4. Harvey Reader
5. Scott Andrews
6. Tom Lampard
7. Joe Thomas
8. Scott Matthews (c)
Replacements: 16. Zac Hewlett, 17. Corey Hewlett, 18. Richard Cornock, 19. Ashley Gibson, 20. Garin Price, 21. Corey Shephard, 22. Amosa Nove, 23. Lewis Barnett.
RGC1404 v Cross Keys Principality Premiership
Date: Friday 30th March 2018 (Good Friday)
Venue: Stadiwm Zipworld, Parc Eiras, Colwyn Bay LL29 7SP
Kick Off: 2.30pm
**Should any Keys supporters be making the trip to North Wales then they are welcome to attend the Fanzone which is located at the Stadium between the South Stand and the car park at Gate C.**