Ebbw Vale v Pontypridd – match preview
Pontypridd travel to face Ebbw Vale in a Premiership East tie on Friday 1st September, the match at Eugene Cross Park kicking off at 7:30pm.
Just one round into the new league campaign and the two opposing teams have experienced differing fortunes. On the previous weekend Ebbw Vale won away at Bargoed by 20pts to 24 whilst Ponty lost at home to Bedwas by 27pts to 39, leaving them pointless at the bottom of the table.
Early days as it might be, Pontypridd will hope to pick up momentum with a win at Ebbw, and in doing so replicate their success of the previous season, when they came away from the Gwent stronghold with a 13pts to 20 victory claimed in monsoon conditions.
The teams met on four occasions over the course of that campaign, with Ponty registering another two victories, home and away in the Challenge Cup but losing at home to the Steelmen in the league by 25pts to 41.
Sidelined through injury for Ponty are full back Gary Williams (thigh), prop Keelan Marney (foot), lock Lee Evans (hamstring), flankers Jake Thomas (knee) and Ross Morgan (arm) and no8 Hemi Barnes (shoulder). Winger Alex Webber is given game time with Ystrad Rhondda recovering from a long standing groin strain, and lock Sean Moore is away on holiday.
Prop Jon Elley makes his senior debut, with fellow prop Huw Owen and back rower Mason Roderick called up on the bench.
The Pontypridd team selected to face Ebbw Vale is as follows:
15.Lloyd Rowlands. 14.Lewis Williams. 13.Cameron Lewis. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Dale Stuckey. 10.Ceri Sweeney. 9.Dane Blacker.
1.Chris Phillips. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Jon Elley. 4.Josh Hawkins. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Shane Lewis-Hughes. 7.Rhys Shellard. 8.Morgan Sieniawski.
Subs: 16.Wayne Evans. 17.Diggy Bird. 18.Geraint Walsh. 19.Joe Page. 20.Mason Roderick. 21.Callum Bradbury. 22.Huw Owen. 23.Will Davies-King.