Cross Keys face the tough task of a trip to Sardis Road to take on Pontypridd this Saturday in the Principality Premiership.

As expected Ponty are currently amongst the front runners in the Principality Premiership table as they occupy 3rd place behind the top 2 of Merthyr and Ebbw Vale. Ponty have lost just 2 of their 8 games played so far. Those defeats came on successive weekends in September when they lost at Aberavon by 25 points to 19 and they followed that with a disappointing home defeat at the hands of RGC1404 who were triumphant by 32 points to 19. Since those defeats they have gone on to record 4 victories on the spin to add to the victories they recorded in the opening 2 games of the season when they defeated  Bedwas (33-22) and Llanelli (43-0).

Last season the 2 sides met on no fewer than 4 occassions with Ponty winning all 3 league fixtures but Keys claiming the victory in the opening round of the WRU National Cup back in January at Pandy. In the first of those league victories last September Ponty won at Sardis Road in the East conference by 26 points to 12 with points for Ponty coming via tries by Rhys Shellard, Diggy Bird and Morgan Sieniawski, with Bird also adding a conversion and 2 penalties together with a penalty for former Wales outside half Ceri Sweeney. The Keys points came from tries by Taine Basham and Leon Andrews with Josh Prosser adding one conversion. The return fixture in the East conference last December saw Ponty again claim the victory when they won by 16 points to 7. In January Keys then gained revenge for that defeat by getting the win in the WRU national cup fixture at Pandy Park winning by 21 points to 16 before Ponty ended their season with 56 points to 28 victory at Pandy Park in May in the full Principality Premiership fixture between the 2 sides.

The Keys have announced the team that will take on Ponty this Saturday which again shows several changes to the side that started last week in the defeat at home to Bedwas. Up front the entire front row is changed as Taylor Hansen and Scott Hoskins come in to replace Ryan Bevington and Richard Cornock respectively at prop. In the middle of the front row, Zac Hewlett starts in place of Connah Vaughan at hooker. The second row sees Todd James coming in to start in place of skipper Damian Welch whilst the back row sees Joe Thomas move to the blindside with Chris Johnsey starting at open side flanker. In the backs Leon Andrews moves back to full back with Declan Williams starting in the centre. On the wing Ian Newbury starts in place of Joe Goodchild whilst Owain Leonard starts at scrum half in place of Dan Babos and with Jason Tovey’s much publicised call up to the Dragons squad on permit from Keys, there is a change at outside half where Will Kelly, who started at full back for Keys last week moves in to the number 10 slot. On the bench wing/centre Josh Adams could potentially make his Keys debut after he joined the club from Chepstow over the summer.

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

15. Leon Andrews (c)
14. Rory Budina
13. Srdan Majkic
12. Declan Williams
11. Ian Newbury

10. Will Kelly
9. Owain Leonard

1. Taylor Hansen
2. Zac Hewlett
3. Scott Hoskins
4. Todd James
5. Tom Lampard
6. Joe Thomas
7. Chris Johnsey
8. Garin Price

Replacements: 16. Connah Vaughan, 17. Richard Cornock, 18. Scott Evans, 19. Izaak Duffy, 20. Joe Carlin, 21. Ben Snell, 22. Morgan Evans, 23. Josh Adams.

Pontypridd v Cross Keys Principality Premiership
Saturday 27th October 2018
Venue: Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Kick Off: 2.30pm

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