Law calls for met­tle against the Steel­men

Western Mail - - SPORT - PRIN­CI­PAL­ITY PREMIER­SHIP Alex By­wa­ter [email protected]­

CARDIFF head coach Steve Law has told his side they must beat Ebbw Vale if they are to stay in touch with Prin­ci­pal­ity Premier­ship lead­ers Merthyr.

The Steel­men sit only two po­si­tions be­hind Cardiff in fifth with the Blue & Blacks des­per­ate to put day­light be­tween the two teams.

But Law has warned his side they are in for a tough af­ter­noon at Eu­gene Cross Park.

“If we want to com­pete against sides like Merthyr for the Premier­ship then we have to go to places like Ebbw Vale and win,” said Law.

“You al­ways get a phys­i­cal chal­lenge against Ebbw Vale. They have a very good set-piece with play­ers like Ash­ley Sweet run­ning the line-out.

“But they’ve also added to their backs and I think they now have a com­plete game.

“They have a very high stan­dard of backs with guys like Rhys Jones and Ja­cob Bot­ica.

“It would be a mas­sive re­sult for us if we could get a win. Not many sides will be able to go to Ebbw Vale and do that.

“It’s go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult and we will have to be at our very best to win at Ebbw Vale.

“We don’t want Merthyr to run away with the league.

“We are play­ing them next week­end and a win against Ebbw Vale would give us a mas­sive con­fi­dence boost.”

The Blue & Blacks wel­come back an old favourite for the game. Tom James, who first ap­peared in Selkirk in 2008 for Cardiff, re­turns to ac­tion.

To­wards the bot­tom of the ta­ble 14th place Brid­gend will be hop­ing to bounce back from last week­end’s heavy de­feat in Llanelli.

But their job doesn’t get any eas­ier as wel­come fourth-placed Aberavon to the Brew­ery Field.

And head coach Matt Silva ad­mits they have to get back to win­ning ways over the next few weeks if they are to avoid get­ting sucked into a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

“We are not hid­ing away from the fact that if we don’t start win­ning we will be in a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle,” said Silva.

“We need to start win­ning and we need to start win­ning fast. Aberavon have found a bit of con­sis­tency and have been go­ing well.

“They’ve beaten some of the big teams which is mak­ing our task a lot more dif­fi­cult.

“But we are look­ing for­ward to it. This game can’t come quick enough af­ter a cou­ple of poor per­for­mances.”

Else­where, sec­ond-placed Pon­typridd will also be look­ing to stay in touch with Merthyr as they host strug­glers Bar­goed.

Llan­dovery will be hop­ing to move into the top half of the ta­ble with a win against New­port, while Swansea host Bed­was and RGC1404 wel­come Cross Keys.

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