Swansea v Cross Keys Preview & Team News

Cross Keys head to St. Helens this evening (21/02/19) to take on Swansea in a crucial rearranged Principality Premiership clash,  with kick off at 8.00pm.

After a disappointing start to the current season, the Whites have really turned things around with a fine run of form seeing them win 8 of their last 10 league games, since November which has seen them pull clear of the danger zone and all but guarantee their place in the Premiership for next season, something which during the opening weeks of the season looked doubtful to say the least. Their only defeats in the last 10 league games have come on the road at high flying Cardiff in November and at Pontypridd last weekend, so Keys will know that this will no doubt be a tough task this evening.

In the fixture between the 2 sides at Pandy Park back in September it was the Whites that came out on top as they secured a 34 points to 29 victory thanks largely to a length of the field breakaway try in the closing minutes. Tries for Keys on that day came from Dylan Fidler, Damian Welch, Jason Tovey and Leon Andrews with Tovey also adding 3 conversions and a penalty goal. The Whites points came via a pair of tries for hooker Paul John and one each for Andrew Claypole and Luke Griffiths who also added all 4 conversions and a pair of penalties for his side.

The Keys have confirmed their team and it shows a number of changes to the side that started in the disappointing defeat to Ebbw Vale last Saturday. Up front Taylor Hansen will start in place of Richard Cornock at loose head prop alongside hooker Rhydian Jenkins and tight head Nicky Thomas, who again appears on permit from the Dragons. Skipper Damian Welch will move back in to the second row as Elis Hopkins will come in to start in the back row. In the backs there are several changes where scrum half Owain Leonard comes back in to the starting lineup and he will partner Dragons outside half Jacob Botica who missed the defeat to Ebbw Vale last time out. In the centre Tiaan Loots continues on permit from the Dragons and he is joined in midfield by Adam Jones, who again appears for Keys on permit from Cardiff. Leon Andrews will start at full back with Carwyn Penny moving on to the wing and Rory Budina starts on the other wing after his try scoring appearance from the bench against Ebbw.

The Cross Keys side in full is:-

15. Leon Andrews
14. Rory Budina
13. Adam Jones
12. Tiaan Loots
11. Carwyn Penny

10. Jacob Botica
9. Owain Leonard

1. Taylor Hansen
2. Rhydian Jenkins
3. Nicky Thomas
4. Damian Welch (c)
5. Tom Lampard
6. Elis Hopkins
7. Garin Price
8. Ieuan Jones

Replacements: 16. Gary Carpenter, 17. Richard Cornock, 18. Scott Hoskins, 19. Scott Andrews, 20. Joe Thomas, 21. Dylan Fidler, 22. Iwan Burgwin, 23. Mason Williams.

Swansea v Cross Keys Principality Premiership
Date:
 Thursday 21st February 2019
Venue: St. Helens, Swansea
Kick Off: 8.00pm

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Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
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Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
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Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
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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
FIXTURES