Preview: Bargoed v Aberavon
Posted by Gareth Gange on 16/02/2018
Since the Premiership combined, the Bulls have won one and lost one. In their first game they beat Neath 40 - 17 at the Gnoll, scoring six tries in the process. At the start of February, they lost 8 - 22 at Swansea as the Whites pack took control. Last weekend, Bargoed were due to play Llandovery at home but the game was postponed due to the weather.
In the WRU National Cup, the Bulls beat Trebanos 38 - 27 at home in the first round, and Rhydyfelin 40 - 0 at home in the second round. They will face Ebbw Vale at home in the quarter-finals at the start of next month.
In the first half of the season, Bargoed finished eighth in the Premiership East after winning two of their fourteen games. They lost their opening game at home to Ebbw Vale, picking up a losing bonus point, before beating Cross Keys 34 - 23 at Pandy Park, outscoring their hosts 4 tries to 2 to secure a bonus point win. The Bulls then lost three straight, going down to Cardiff (losing bonus point), Bedwas and Pontypridd. At the start of October they beat Newport 35 - 14 at Rodney Parade, scoring 4 tries in the process to get a bonus point too. They then lost their remaining eight Premiership East games, picking up losing bonus points in their losses against Ebbw Vale and Bedwas.
Looking at results since the Premiership merged, in "attack", Bargoed have scored 24.0 points on average per game (ranked 8th) and 3.5 tries (ranked joint 4th). In "defence" they have conceded 19.5 points on average per game (ranked 9th) and 2.5 tries (ranked 10th). Aberavon have scored 9.7 points per game (ranked 16th) and 1.3 tries (ranked joint 15th), and conceded 23.3 points (ranked 11th) and 2.0 tries (ranked joint 7th).
Head-to-head, Aberavon and Bargoed have only met once before in the Welsh National League, and that was last season when the sides met at the Talbot Athletic Ground with the Wizards winning 45 - 25.
The referee for Saturday's game will be Dan Jones, aided by Aled Liddington and Gareth Butler.