Friday, 11 October 2013

Swalec Championship Predictions - 12th October

First plays second this weekend as Pontypool host Ebbw Vale with the Steelmen looking to extend their lead at the top of the Swalec Championship.

Jason Strange’s men have gone from strength to strength so far this season and after last week’s hammering of Blackwood, they will be confident of a sixth straight win.

Elsewhere Cardiff Met host Bargoed in what could be a thriller whilst Bonymaen travel to Newbridge looking to build on their first win of the season last weekend.

Beddau v Bridgend Athletic

With Beddau and Bridgend Athletic lingering towards the wrong end of the division, both sides will be hoping for an all-important win that could go a long way towards fending off possible relegation.

Bridgend Athletic have yet to win since their opening day defeat of Blackwood and have not really looked capable of causing much damage to oppositions since.

Beddau have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats in the past few weeks conceding 94-points in their last two games.

I think home advantage will be the deciding factor in the match with the Green and Golds coming out on top of a tight affair.

Verdict – Beddau by 8 points.

Blackwood v Narberth

Blackwood have had a wretched start to the campaign and only have a solitary win against basement boys Bonymaen to show for it.

But despite losing 45-6 to Ebbw Vale last weekend, it does not tell the whole story as Blackwood were only 12-6 down at half time and were competitive.

Narberth have been too inconsistent thus far and will want to change that if they are to be competing at the top end of the table.

They played out a thrilling 36-all draw at home to Cardiff Met last weekend and showed they are capable of playing some fantastic running rugby when they want to.

All things considered, I think the Otters will come away with the result.

Verdict – Narberth by 10 points.

Cardiff Met v Bargoed

Even at this early stage of the season, another defeat for either of these sides could severely harm their attempts at challenging for the title.

Bargoed were more like the side of last season when they thrashed Beddau last weekend and will hope to continue that excellent display when they travel to Cyncoed tomorrow.

The Students of Cardiff Met were involved in the cracker with Narberth last weekend but allowed the Otters to nick a late draw.

This could be the game of the weekend with the Students flair going up against Bargoed’s physicality but at the final whistle I think Cardiff Met will just edge it.

Verdict – Cardiff Met by 6 points.

Newbridge v Bonymaen

Bonymaen will have been delighted to finally get off the mark last Saturday when they edged Tondu at home.

They will undoubtedly feel that a weight has been lifted from their shoulders and can go out there without the stress of wondering where their first victory is going to come from.

Newbridge were unsuccessful in toppling Llanharan at the Dairy Field in their last outing and are another that have been too inconsistent for their own liking.

Despite Bony’s heroics at Parc Mawr last weekend, in my opinion Newbridge will have too much for their opponents at the Welfare Ground.

Verdict – Newbridge by 17 points.

Pontypool v Ebbw Vale

The ominous thing about Ebbw Vale so far during the current campaign is that they have seen off all challengers rather comfortably but have not yet played to their full potential.

Pontypool are the next team to try and have beat the Steelmen and will be confident after winning four of their opening five games.

Last week’s away win at RGC 1404 was their best so far but they will have to perform a whole lot better and hope the Eugene Cross Park outfit have somewhat of an off day if they are to have any chance of coming away with a result.

Verdict – Ebbw Vale by 22 points.

Tata Steel v Llanharan

The battle of the bulge this weekend with both sides heavy forward units likely to decide the outcome.

Llanharan’s only defeats so far have been to Cardiff Met and Tondu but some satisfaction for them will be to know that they were games they could have just as easily won.

They hit their strides against Newbridge last weekend and are another with a great squad capable of having a very good season.

Tata Steel were fancied by many to be challenging at the top throughout the year but have not yet clicked.

The Saints will need their formidable pack to be at their rampaging best against Llanharan but the Dairymen will eventually churn out the result.

Verdict – Llanharan by 5 points.

Tondu v RGC 1404

The North Wales outfit’s only success so far in their debut season in the Championship has been away from home which is very surprising considering the fortress that was Parc Eirias last year.

They will be hoping of a repeat of their previous away fixture when they ran riot at Blackwood winning 56-10.

Tondu will want to bounce back from their tight loss to Bonymaen last weekend and send the Colwyn Bay side back north with no joy.

The Waterwheelers will have to be strong at the set-piece if they are to get anything from the game but I don’t think they are capable of doing so.

Verdict RGC 1404 by 10 points.


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