Pontypridd play hosts to Llanelli in what has all the makings of a cracker of a Premiership tie at Sardis Road on Saturday 1st October, the game kicking off at 2:30pm.
The current autumn heatwave should provide the perfect conditions for running rugby, which is the credo of two clubs fully committed to nurturing young talent schooled in the ways of creative play.
From a Ponty perspective there is also the small matter of putting right a hard hitting defeat to the same opponents in the Premiership Play Off Final last May which cost them the league crown. Despite all efforts to erase that setback from the collective memory at Sardis Road, it lingers on.
Ironically that Play Off defeat was the only one endured by Pontypridd in four meetings between the two clubs last season, with the Valley Commandos taking the plaudits in both league encounters and the British & Irish Cup quarter final.
Ponty will be eager to claim a win as they once more face up to Llanelli, with a view to climbing the table from their current sixth position and with their focus on the future rather than the past.
“Losing to Llanelli in the title decider last May was a huge disappointment” explained Pontypridd team manager Richard Langmead, “but it was their night and full credit to them for the achievement.
“Our players are now excited at the prospect of taking on Llanelli again with some points to prove, and with the need to gather momentum with a home win. Llanelli are a quality side who will provide another huge challenge, but one which we must meet full on.”
Pontypridd have suffered a number of injury set-backs in the build up to the big game. Wing Lewis Williams and prop Pat Palmer are both ruled out with hand injuries, full back Harley Thomson with a shoulder strain and outside half Dean Gunter with a dead leg, but the latter due to be given a late fitness test for a place on the bench.
There is meanwhile a welcome return to action for centre Dafydd Lockyer following a summer shoulder operation.
15.Gareth Wyatt. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Adam Thomas. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Owen Williams. 10.Lewis K Williams. 9.Rhys Downes.
1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ken Knaggs. 4.Ryan Savage. 5.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 6.Dan Godfrey. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Owen Sheppeard.
Subs: Gareth Williams; Dean Gunter / Lewis Reece; Matthew Nuthall; Tom Hetherington; Calum Thomas; Jordan Sieniawski; James Howe
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