Match Preview v Merthyr RFC

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Match Preview v Merthyr RFC

Ebbw Vale RFC vs Merthyr RFC preview

Ebbw Vale RFC face Merthyr RFC in their final home game of the year at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium on Saturday with a 2.30pm kick off.

Ebbw Vale will be looking for an improved performance against the Ironmen following the loss to Merthyr on the opening game of the season in September where a poor first half  by the Steelmen led to Merthyr winning the match by 24-17.

Jason Strange has picked a strong squad for the game with Dom Franchi, Jon Evans and Joe Franchi returning to the starting XV. Harry Rees-Weldon and Owen Conquer also return to the starting lineup after representing Wales U20s against Scotland last weekend. On the bench, Owen Hatherill and Ewan McIntyre retain their places following good performances against Carmarthen Quins.

The full Steelmen line-up is:

15 Morgan Richards 14 Carrick Mcdonough 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Harry Rees-Weldon 10 Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1 Luke Garrett 2 Joe Franchi (CAPT) 3 Adam Court 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Owen Conquer 7 Lewis Young 8 Alex Howes


16 Ieuan Morris 17 Owen Hatherill 18 Harry Drane 19 Jakub Malecki 20 Ewan McIntyre 21 Rory Harries 22 Kieran Meek 23 Amir Jiwa-Walji

During the week we caught up with co-captain Rhys Francis.

Reviewing the season’s opening game, Rhys commented the team started slowly and gave Merthyr a big advantage going into the second half, which unfortunately the team were unable to claw back.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Rhys said the squad are looking forward to it, especially after the close hard fought opening game of the season against them. He acknowledged the squad has come a long way since then and are looking forward to putting things right in front of the Addicts at the Ciner Glass Community stadium this Saturday. The squad are aware the set piece will be crucial, they will have to start fast, the forwards will need to dominate up front, especially as Merthyr have got a heavy pack and ensure the set piece is functioning correctly, if they want to come away from the game with anything.

Discussing this week’s training, Rhys advised the two areas the squad focused on was the maul and edge defence after conceding four tries in the second half last time out against Carmarthen.

As the match is the last home game before Christmas, it will be the annual Christmas Jumper Day at the Welfare.

Finally, Rhys, squad and management would like to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the supporters, families and friends.

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