Cross Keys v Ebbw Vale Preview & Team News

Cross Keys welcome Ebbw Vale to Pandy Park this Saturday in the latest Principality Premiership clash.

Under the guidance of former Keys coach Greg Woods, The Steelmen have had an excellent season so far and currently find themselves in 4th position in the Principality Premiership standings, although in recent weeks they have lost some ground on the leading pack of 3, consisting of Merthyr, Cardiff and Pontypridd with the prospective Principality Premiership champions likely to come from this group of 3. Vale have played a total of 20 games, and have won 14 of those 20 games with 5 losses and 1 draw the other results.

Earlier this season at Eugene Cross Park it was the Steelmen who came out on top with a 22 points to 7 bonus point victory over Keys. The home side’s points came from tries by Dai Jones, Lewis Young, Ronny Kynes and Joel Harries with former Keys man Rhys Jones adding one conversion. Keys only try came from former Vale winger Wes Cunliffe with Jason Tovey adding the conversion.

The Keys have confirmed their team for Saturday’s game and there are only a couple of changes in personnel to the side that started in the narrow defeat to Cardiff at Ystrad Mynach last Friday evening, although there will be several positional changes in Keys starting lineup. In the pack the front row remains the same with Dragons prop Nicky Thomas again starting on the tight head. The only other change in the pack will see Tom Lampard come in to start in place of Elis Hopkins, that change sees skipper Damian Welch move to the back row with Lampard starting in the second row. In the backs Keys will be without Jacob Botica at outside half so his place will be taken by Iwan Burgwin. The rest of the backline sees a re-jig with Carwyn Penny moving to full back with Leon Andrews making the move in to the centre to partner Dragons centre Tiaan Loots and Srdan Majkic moving from the centre to take Penny’s place on the wing against his old side.

The Cross Keys side in full for Saturday’s game is:-

15. Carwyn Penny
14. Wes Cunliffe
13. Leon Andrews
12. Tiaan Loots
11. Srdan Majkic

10. Iwan Burgwin
9. Josh Guy

1. Richard Cornock
2. Rhydian Jenkins
3. Nicky Thomas
4. Scott Andrews
5. Tom Lampard
6. Damian Welch (c)
7. Garin Price
8. Ieuan Jones

Replacements: 16. Gary Carpenter, 17. Taylor Hansen, 18. Scott Hoskins, 19. Joe Thomas, 20. Elis Hopkins, 21. Dylan Fidler, 22. Owain Leonard, 23. Rory Budina.

Cross Keys v Ebbw Vale Principality Premiership
Date: Saturday 16th February 2019
Venue: Pandy Park
Kick Off: 2.30pm

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Merthyr 30 23 0 7 885 593 117
Cardiff 30 22 1 7 991 660 111
Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
Llandovery 30 21 1 8 856 551 104
Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
Aberavon 30 18 2 10 698 603 90
Newport 30 17 2 11 759 700 88
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 30 14 1 15 852 650 85
Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
Carmarthen Quins 30 13 1 16 637 584 71
Bridgend Ravens 30 12 0 18 689 714 66
Llanelli 30 12 1 17 679 723 63
Bedwas 30 12 1 17 681 830 62
Cross Keys 30 5 1 24 586 1093 36
Bargoed 30 6 0 24 576 1003 35
Neath 30 1 0 29 406 1274 3
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