Friday, 11 October 2013

Principality Premiership Predictions - 12th October

As the group stages of the British and Irish Cup get underway, there are only two fixtures set to take place tomorrow afternoon in the Principality Premiership.

Those matches see Cardiff, who narrowly missed out on the B&I Cup after a 22-19 loss to Pontypridd in the final play-off, host Newport whilst Neath travel to Llandovery.

Cardiff v Newport

The Blue and Blacks will finally introduce the Arms Park’s new artificial pitch to the Principality Premiership on Saturday when they welcome Newport for their first home game of the season.

It will also be the 415th meeting between the two old rivals according to the home team’s website.

Since their narrow loss in their opening game of the season away at Llandovery, Cardiff have been unbeaten.

Away victories at Bedwas, Aberavon and Neath have pushed Martyn Fowler’s men to fourth in the table and with their next five Premiership matches scheduled at home, they could set themselves up for quite a successful year.

With the likes of Wales Under 20’s captain Ellis Jenkins and Jonathan Edwards in the back row and classy fly-half Ceiron Thomas and in-form centre Luke Ford in the backline, Cardiff are capable of beating any side in the league on their day.

Even though victory was gained last weekend, the Arms Park side may have switched off during the second half as Neath were allowed a way back into the match with an unsuccessful conversion attempt in the dying moments robbing them of a draw so that will give coach Fowler food for thought.

Newport on the other hand will be buoyed by their first result of the season against Swansea last Saturday and will be full of confidence when they travel to the capital city.

Geraint O’Driscoll, who was superb against the Whites last week scoring 22-points from the tee, misses out through injury as the Black and Ambers have been forced to make numerous enforced changes.

With it being Cardiff’s first game at the Arms Park, they will want to put on a show and what better way to do it than a derby versus Newport so I fully expect them to continue their recent winning ways.

Verdict – Cardiff by 13 points.

Llandovery v Neath

Llandovery were robbed of a memorable victory last weekend as Pontypridd once again struck late to snatch a draw at Church Bank.

Added to their loss at Cross Keys, the Drovers have failed to register a win their last two fixtures and will be desperate to come away with a result tomorrow.

Some may think that this is the perfect match for them to achieve this as they host a struggling Neath side who are the only team in the Principality Premiership this season who have yet to taste success.

With relegation on the cards this season, Neil Edwards men will want to start picking up points sooner rather than later.

They have Wales international Dafydd Howells making his first appearance of the season against Llandovery as well as influential flanker Matthew Rees taking his place in the back row so will be hoping for the best at Church Bank.

Unfortunately though I think it won’t be this weekend when Neath claim their first scalp.

Verdict – Llandovery by 11 points.


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