Cross Keys v Merthyr Preview & Team News

Cross Keys face a tough task in their bid to pull away from the very real threat of relegation from the Principality Premiership as they welcome current league leaders and last season’s double champions Merthyr to Pandy Park this Saturday.

Earlier this season at the Wern, The Ironmen claimed a 52 points to 28 victory over Keys, who got a well-deserved 4 try bonus point for a brave effort but ultimately Merthyr were just too good for Keys across the park. The Keys points came via tries for Scott Evans, Garin Price, Rory Budina and Rhydian Jenkins. Jason Tovey kicked all 4 conversions. The Ironmen’s points came from 2 tries apiece for Nathan Trevett and Adam Hoskins with one try each for Lewis Williams, Jay Baker, Rhys Williams and Joseph Williams with 6 conversions from Richard Powell.

After last week’s disappointing, crushing defeat at fellow strugglers Llanelli, Keys will now be needing to pick up victories from some tough looking fixtures on paper. Keys have often thrived as underdogs in the not so distant past and will need to do the same over the coming weeks to stand any chance of staying in the Principality Premiership.

The Keys have confirmed their starting line-up for this Saturday’s game and shows a number of changes, several of which are positional to the side that started in the defeat at Parc Y Scarlets last Saturday. In the backs Carwyn Penny starts at full back after starting at outside half last week. Penny’s inclusion at full back sees Leon Andrews move in to the centre to partner Tiaan Loots with Srdan Majkic moving on to the wing to replace Rory Budina. Owain Leonard comes in to replace Dan Babos at scrum half whilst Jacob Botica takes Carwyn Penny’s place in the number 10 shirt. Up front Richard Cornock keeps his place at loose head prop as he is joined by Ellis Shipp and Scott Hoskins in the front row at hooker and tight head prop respectively. The second row sees Scott Andrews keep his place as he joined by Tom Lampard with skipper Damian Welch moving in to the back row to join Joe Thomas at openside and Garin Price who moves across to replace the injured Ieuan Jones at number 8. The Keys are yet to confirm their replacements for Saturday’s game.

The Cross Keys side in full is:-

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

10. Jacob  Botica
9. Owain Leonard

1. Richard Cornock
2. Ellis Shipp
3. Scott Hoskins
4. Scott Andrews
5. Tom Lampard
6. Damian Welch (c)
7. Joe Thomas
8. Garin Price

Replacements: To Be Confirmed

Cross Keys v Merthyr Principality Premiership
Date:
Saturday 30th March 2019
Venue: Pandy Park
Kick Off: 2.30pm

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TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
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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