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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TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 23 18 0 5 651 393 91
Cardiff 23 18 1 4 696 469 89
Pontypridd 21 16 0 5 730 374 79
Llandovery 24 16 1 7 652 408 79
Newport 25 15 2 8 629 551 77
Ebbw Vale 24 16 1 7 541 423 76
Aberavon 22 14 2 6 485 415 69
Swansea 24 13 0 11 537 451 65
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 22 11 1 10 552 456 64
Carmarthen Quins 25 11 1 13 526 469 61
Bedwas 24 8 1 15 515 667 43
Bridgend Ravens 22 8 0 14 427 517 43
Llanelli 25 7 1 17 503 632 40
Cross Keys 23 5 1 17 464 734 34
Bargoed 23 4 0 19 400 756 22
Neath 24 1 0 23 350 943 3
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