Friday, 23 October 2009

Ponty motivated for challenge

Pontypridd go into their first return league tie of the season, playing hosts to Newport with revenge as their motivation for an earlier defeat down at Rodney Parade. (KO 2.30pm)

It was just over a month ago on 22nd September that Ponty travelled to face Newport, and in a game generally accepted as being well below par, were consigned to a 13pts to 6 loss, albeit with a losing bonus point salvaged from the night’s work.

Ponty have recovered from that experience, having since strung together a winning run of four matches to currently claim second place in the table, with Newport back in fifth place.

Eager as they will be to preserve a long standing unbeaten record at the “House of Pain”, and to maintain their momentum at the top of the Premiership, Ponty have good news and bad on the selection front.

The flu virus has paid a visit to Sardis Road, with outside half Aaron Bramwell and lock Chris Martenko laid low. Also ruled out are long term injury victims flankers Kristian Dacey (shoulder) and Rhys Lloyd (sternum), outside half Dai Flanagan (back) and scrum half Gavin Morris (knee).

On the plus side, the club’s contingent of Blues European squad members are back in the frame, with a strong front row unit of Sam Hobbs, Rhys Williams and Pat Palmer taking the field. Prop Stuart Williams is also back from injury, and named on the bench.

Also back fit are centre pairing Gavin Dacey and Daf Lockyer, with Adam Thomas reverting to the full back role. Dean Gunter and Rhys Downes resume their half back pairing.

Pontypridd: 15.Adam Thomas. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Rhys Downes; 1.Sam Hobbs. 2.Rhys Williams. 3.Pat Palmer. 4.Grant Harrington. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Nathan Strong (capt).

Replacements: Stuart Williams; Ryan Harford; Huw Dowden; McCauley Cook; Darren Waters; Kristian Baller; Matthew Nuthall.


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