Friday, 25 October 2013

Principality Premiership Weekend Predictions

The Principality Premiership has been rocked this week by the very sad news of the sudden and tragic passing of Pontypridd prop Stuart Williams last Monday. The club’s match with Neath that was scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until further notice. Everyone at All Wales Sport would like to express our condolences to Stuart’s family, friends and colleagues, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

Bedwas v Carmarthen Quins
Neither of these sides have been in action since the beginning of the month but this should be a great battle. Bedwas saw off Llanelli at home last time out and are always a tough nut to crack at the Bridge Field. Steve Law’s side, however, can only field 5 of the players that saw off Llanelli three weeks ago.
Early pace setters Carmarthen Quins will also be hoping that the break will not mean a loss of momentum on the park. Quins, who are the only team left in the division with a 100% record, will be without hooker Rhodri Clancy (ankle) and powerhouse flanker Sion Bennett, who has starred for them this season, after he dislocated his shoulder representing Llanelli in the B and I Cup last week.
I think the clash will be a closely fought affair but I think Quins will do just enough and extend their advantage at the summit.
Verdict-Carmarthen Quins by 5 points
 Cross Keys v Bridgend
Cross Keys have been busy in B and I Cup action claiming two wins on the bounce, and will be hoping to keep the momentum going when they switch to league action tomorrow. The Keys have made a whole host of changes to the side that won at Ealing, but the valleys side, who completed the double over their Ospreylian visitors last season, have still named a strong squad for tomorrow’s clash.
Unlike their hosts, Bridgend have had a three week lay-off and Ben Rose’s troops should be raring to go; however, I feel they will face an upward battle on Saturday. If the Ravens don’t maintain parity up front, it could be a long afternoon for the visitors.
Verdict-Cross Keys by 8 points
 Llandovery v Newport
Both sides have had a two week break going into this round of fixtures, with Llandovery looking to build on their position of fourth while Newport really need to kick their season into gear after recording just one win out of five so far.
The Drovers, who are unbeaten at home since Boxing Day last year, have once again made an impressive start to their league campaign and they should have seen off last season’s champions Pontypridd at Church Bank a few weeks ago.
Newport have really struggled to get going so far and despite running away to victory against Swansea at the start of the month, they really failed to put in a performance last time out at Cardiff.
With Newport missing a few key personnel, I think the hosts will take the points from this one.
Verdict-Llandovery by 9 points
 Llanelli v Aberavon (6.45pm kick-off - live on S4C)
The postponement of the Pontypridd v Neath match has seen this clash switch to the later time of 6.45. Although Llanelli have impressed in the B and I Cup and currently sit on top of their group (despite going down at Bedford), their last league performance wasn’t one to write home about as they slipped to their second defeat of the season at Bedwas.
Anthony Buchanan will be hoping his side can get their league program back on track when they welcome Aberavon, who currently occupy bottom position in the table.
The Wizards will be hoping to dig themselves out of a hole when they travel west tomorrow; although they have looked good in the cross border competition, their league form will definitely be a worry for the club’s supporters.
I expect a much better performance from both sides since their last league offerings but I can’t see past a home win here.
Verdict-Llanelli by 7 points
 Sunday 27 October
Cardiff v Swansea
This fixture was originally scheduled for Saturday, before the Rugby League World Cup put paid to that. The hosts then switched it to Friday night, but I’m not sure they informed their visitors who consequently appealed to the WRU, who in turn decided it should be played on Sunday.
Cardiff currently sit third in the table and really do look an impressive unit, both up front and behind. Their only loss this season came on the opening day at Llandovery in horrendous conditions and even that match they should have won.
Swansea, who finished bottom of the pile last term, will need to continue to improve this season if they are not to become embroiled in a relegation battle with the rest of their Ospreylian rivals. I’m sure the All Whites will be determined to better their last league outing where they were trounced at Rodney Parade, but even if they do, in my opinion, I can only see one team taking the points.
Verdict-Cardiff by 12 points


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