Thursday, 23 October 2014

Carl Field's weekend predictions


Bedwas v Newport (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Bedwas return to action after three weeks off and are looking to pick up their first win at the Bridge Field this season having lost their first three home games. Although they will have been buoyed – by the performance at least – against Carmarthen Quins last time out, when they scored two tries inside the first three minutes, before eventually going down 44-29.

Newport have been in Premiership action in recent weeks and, although they’ve suffered defeats at Cardiff and then at home against Gwent rivals Ebbw Vale in the dying moments last week, they have been unlucky not to turn at least one of them into a win – and are due a bit of luck.

Prediction: Newport by 3 points


Pool One – Pontypridd v Bristol (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Premiership powerhouses Pontypridd go into Saturday’s match level on nine points with Bristol at the top of the pool – but with a superior points difference – having hit Connacht for six last weekend.

This match could go a long way to determining both clubs’ destinies in this season’s competition, with the hosts keen to avenge their defeat the last time these two sides met – a 36-25 loss in their B&I semi-final at Sardis Road back in 2010/11.

Prediction: Pontypridd by 7 points

Pool Two – Yorkshire Carnegie v Aberavon (Saturday, 2.30pm)

The Wizards came crashing back down to earth at Rotherham last Saturday having defeated Ulster Ravens the week before – and another tough afternoon is expected for Jason Hyatt’s side at Brantingham Park – home of Hull Ionians – on Saturday.

It’s the second successive season these two sides have been grouped together, with Josh Griffin the star of the show in the corresponding fixture last year as he grabbed a hat-trick in a thumping 72-0 win for Carnegie.

Both sides have four points going into this weekend’s round three fixture, with Carnegie full of confidence after their impressive 22-17 win at Ulster Ravens last time out.

Prediction: Yorkshire Carnegie by 15 points

Pool Four – Cornish Pirates v Cross Keys (Sunday, 3pm)

Cross Keys got their campaign back on track with a narrow 23-22 win at English Championship side Bedford Blues last week – snatching the game in the dying seconds having trailed 19-3 after 16 minutes.

However the group was blown wide open week with the news that Cornish Pirates, who had beaten Bedford 35-34 in their pool opener, had breached the rules related to uncontested scrums which means the result was overturned and a 34-28 victory was latterly handed to Bedford.

Pirates also lost 29-25 at pool leaders Doncaster last week so another win for the Gwent club could really make things interesting – particularly if Bedford also win at Doncaster.

Prediction: Cross Keys by 5 points

Pool Five – Carmarthen Quins v Leinster A (Saturday, 2.30pm)

A Scarlets development XV in everything but name, a composite Quins side ran out 29-16 winners over English Championship side Plymouth at Parc y Scarlets last Saturday and bouncing back having lost at Jersey the week before.

The reigning champions are in town this weekend – with the game being played at Carmarthen Park – and a third straight win for Leinster would see them open up a sizeable lead at the top of Pool 5.

Two hard-fought victories against Plymouth and Jersey puts Leinster on eight points after two rounds. Jersey are second on five, Quins have four and Plymouth two.

Prediction: Leinster A by 10 points


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