Friday, 4 October 2013

Swalec Championship Predictions 5/10/13

Following last weekend’s bonus-point win over Cardiff Met, Ebbw Vale seem to be on course for their long awaited promotion to the Premiership even at this early stage of the season.

Their 27-9 defeat of Cardiff Met was impressive even with a man advantage for a large portion of the match after the Students skipper Tom Hall was sent off following a dangerous tackle.

Many believed this would be one of their toughest challenges of the season but the Steelmen came through convincingly.
They take on a Blackwood side this weekend who could be in for another long afternoon after they were thrashed 56-10 by RGC 1404 in their previous fixture.

Bargoed v Beddau

The hosts will want to bounce back after being well beaten by Narberth last weekend. With injuries to key players still disrupting Bargoed’s early season form, Head Coach Jeremy Rogers will be hoping for an exodus out of the treatment room and onto the pitch. Beddau were on the end of a hiding at the hands of Tata Steel in their last game in which they conceded seven tries and lost 49-10 so will also be desperate to put things right this weekend. The Green and Gold’s pack will have to match the intensity that will likely be shown by the home side if they are to come away with anything from the match.

Verdict – Bargoed by 21 points.

Bonymaen v Tondu

Bonymaen have started their Championship campaign with a whimper and are winless without a point following their first four games. But despite this they still managed to take some positives from their loss at Pontypool last Saturday as they were still in the game for a long period and managed to score a couple of decent tries. Tondu on the other hand have bounced back brilliantly from two defeats in their first two games in the division. The first came away at Bridgend Athletic followed by last weekend’s excellent result at home to Llanharan. What Bonymaen would give to get one victory under their belts but I think they will have to wait a bit longer due to the ever improving Waterwheelers.

Verdict – Tondu by 11 points.

Bridgend Athletic v Tata Steel

Tata Steel will feel they finally clicked last weekend after putting Beddau to the sword. They scored seven tries and were dominant in all aspects of the game. The Saints will likely feel they could have scored a few more so will no doubt be in the mood to carry on this form when they travel to The Newbridge Fields. Bridgend Athletic on the other hands have slumped since their narrow opening day defeat of Blackwood. They have lost their following three games since that to Pontypool, Tondu and Newbridge respectively. They will want to nip this mini slump in the bud but Tata and their heavy pack will trample all over them this weekend.

Verdict – Tata Steel by 16 points.

Ebbw Vale v Blackwood

Blackwood suffered one of their heaviest defeats in recent memory when they were hammered 56-10 at home to RGC 1404. So what better way to put things right than travelling to Eugene Cross Park and take on Ebbw Vale! Jason Strange’s side will go from strength to strength following their bonus-point win over Cardiff Met last Saturday and will take some stopping in their pursuit of promotion. Blackwood seem to be in disarray at the moment after only winning one of their four games thus far. It would take a very brave man to bet against Ebbw Vale this weekend.

Verdict – Ebbw Vale by over 30 points.

Llanharan v Newbridge

Both of these sides go into the game with identical records of two wins and two defeats so far this season so I imagine a fairly even, close encounter at The Dairy Field. With the Championships top points scorer pulling the strings at fly-half for Llanharan in the shape of Codey Rees, the Dairymen will always possess enough quality to break through defences. Newbridge were comfortable in their 38-20 win over Bridgend Athletic and will be confident but I think the home side will prevail.

Verdict – Llanharan by 10 points.

Narberth v Cardiff Met

The students were taught a lesson by Ebbw Vale last weekend. They could not handle the physicality and brute force shown by the Steelmen and suffered their first loss of the season as a result. Narberth got back to winning ways after a heavy defeat at Ebbw Vale with a comprehensive win at home to Bargoed. This could be a bit of a cracker as both sides feeling as though they can claim the spoils. Cardiff Met have been scoring tries for fun so far this season so The Otters will have to be on top of their game in defence and attack to stop them. Will be very close at the end of the 80 minutes.

Verdict – Cardiff Met by 6 points.

RGC 1404 v Pontypool

Another game that could prove to be the pick of the weekend. RGC were ruthless in their eight-try demolition of Blackwood with skipper and No.8 Kelvin Davies in rampaging form as he helped himself to a hat-trick. Pontypool have had an impressive start to the season winning all but one and have assembled a strong looking squad at their disposal. Last weekend’s display could be the catalyst for a decent run of results for the North Wales based side and I think the atmosphere at Parc Eirias will see them victorious.

Verdict – RGC 1404 by 5 points.


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