Cross Keys v Pontypridd Match Preview & Team News
By David Glastonbury | 01/12/2017
Cross Keys end the latest block of fixtures, before a 3 week break as they welcome Pontypridd to Pandy Park this evening (01/12/2017) in the Principality Premiership. This is the second of what will be 4 meetings between the two sides this season.
In the first of those 4 clashes at Sardis Road back in September it was the men from the House of Pain that triumphed as they secured a comfortable 26 points to 12 victory over Keys. Tries for the home side in that win came from Rhys Shellard, Diggy Bird and Morgan Sieniawski whilst Bird also kicked a conversion and a pair of penalties for Ponty, with former Wales fly half Ceri Sweeney also on target with a penalty. Keys’ points came from second half tries by Taine Basham and Leon Andrews with Josh Prosser kicking one conversion.
Ponty have become familiar opposition for Keys in recent years and this season will be no exception to that with the 2 meetings in the Principality Premiership East conference, being followed up later in the season with a WRU National Cup 1st Round clash at Pandy Park in the first week of January before the 2 sides meet again at Pandy Park in the final clash of the season in the amalgamated Principality Premiership in May 2018.
The Keys have again made several changes to the side for this evening’s game. Keys are still being hit with a heavy injury list together with a number of players being absent due to Wales Under 20s call-ups. In the backs, Leon Andrews moves back to full back for Keys with Phil Williams returning to the starting lineup to make his 150th competitive appearance for Keys in the centre. Nathan Trowbridge also comes back in on the wing, he will be joined in the starting lineup by Owain Leonard who starts at scrum half. Up front Keys change 2 of their front row with Corey Hewlett coming back on the loose head and his namesake, Dragons academy hooker Zac Hewlett will make his debut for Keys in the middle of the front row. Dan Mock, who withdrew from the starting lineup for the Bedwas game due to illness is fit again so a back five re-shuffle sees Josh Skinner move back to blindside flanker and sees Adam Powell return to the number 8 jersey. On the bench Keys have bought in second row Kris Smith, a try scorer against Keys for Cardiff a fortnight ago and former Pontypool captain Luke Dyckhoff, who covers the back row.
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. Owain Leonard
1. Corey Hewlett
2. Zac Hewlett
3. Richard Cornock
4. Tom Lampard
5. Dan Mock
6. Josh Skinner
7. Scott Matthews (C)
8. Adam Powell
Replacements: 16. Rob Jones, 17. Lewis Smout, 18. Gary Carpenter, 19. Kris Smith, 20. Luke Dyckhoff, 21. Corey Shephard, 22. James Leadbeater, 23. Barney Nightingale.
Cross Keys v Pontypridd Principality Premiership East
Date: Friday 1st December 2017
Venue: Pandy Park
Kick Off: 7.30pm