Preview: Carmarthen Quins v Aberavon
Posted by Gareth Gange on 01/02/2018
The Quins won their first game of the combined Premiership by narrowly beating Swansea 24 - 23 at home thanks to a penalty try in injury time.
In the WRU National Cup, the Quins had a bye in the first round and met WRU National Championship side Pontypool in the second round last weekend at Pontypool Park where they lost 8 - 23.
During the first half of the season, the Quins won ten of their fourteen games in the Premiership West. They lost their opening two games as they went down to both Llanelli and Neath. They then won three straight as they saw off Aberavon (28 - 12 at the Talbot Athletic Ground), Swansea and Bridgend. They suffered their third loss at the end of September losing 13 - 26 at RGC 1404. The Quins then won seven on the bounce as they beat Llandovery, Llanelli, Neath, Aberavon (21 - 14 at Carmarthen Park), Swansea, Bridgend and RGC 1404. In their final game, the Quins went down 14 - 29 at Llandovery. They remain unbeaten at Carmarthen Park.
Looking at the Premiership West, in "attack" this season, Carmarthen scored 24.5 points on average per game (ranked 3rd) and 3.1 tries (ranked joint 2nd). In "defence" they conceded 19.4 points on average per game (ranked 2nd) and 2.4 tries (ranked 2nd). Aberavon scored 24.6 points per game (ranked 2nd) and 3.5 tries (ranked top), and conceded 24.0 points (ranked 5th) and 2.6 tries (ranked 3rd).
Head-to-head, Aberavon and Carmarthen have met each other 30 times in the Welsh National League with Aberavon leading series 18 - 11 with 1 game drawn. At Carmarthen Park, the Quins lead 8 - 7, and won 21 - 14 at the ground when the sides last met there in November.
Looking back to the 2003-04 season the Wizards won 27 - 18 at the ground. A superb pack and defensive performance helped the Wizards to that win as they took a 17 - 0 lead at half time. Wing Lenny Woodard scored the only try of the half while outside half Jamie Davies slotted over four penalty kicks. At the end of normal time the visitors led 27 - 11 with wing Sam Greenaway scoring a try for Aberavon and Davies converting and adding a fifth penalty. For the home side, centre Emyr Jones touched down while outside half Aled Thomas and replacement Giles Thomas kicked penalties. In injury time, the Quins scored a consolation try by flanker Alan Mason with Thomas converting.
The Wizards team that day was: Ricky Price; Lenny Woodard, Darren Ryan (rep Aled James), David Hawkins (blood rep Mark Davies), Sam Greenaway; Jamie Davies, Daniel Hawkins; Mike Harris (rep Greg Dix), James Jones, Paul Breeze (rep Mark Thomas), Dafydd Owen, Chris Gittins, Steffan Edwards (rep Jamie Summers), Jonathan Purnell (rep Richard Morris), Howard Merrett (rep Paul Breeze).
The referee for Friday's game will be Wayne Davies, aided by Justin Williams and Neil Howells.