The second game of the Cardiff A campaign comes up on Saturday with a trip to face London Welsh at Old Deer Park. After last weekend’s draw in extremely tricky conditions at CAP, fingers crossed that the wind is more settled this time and there is more of a chance for the young and fringe players to actually play rugby.
Richard Hodges freshened up the team somewhat after last week’s slog with seven changes to the starting line-up. Aled Summerhill returned from his ban to replace Harry Davies at full-back while Owen Lane and Will Rees-Hole were picked ahead of Richard Smith and Adam Thomas in the backs. Up front, Thomas Davies and Joe Tomlinson joined Scott Andrews, while in the back row, fit-again Cam Dolan took first teamer Macauley Cook’s place, and James Sheekey started ahead of Ben Roach, with captain Jevon Groves switching to flanker. On the bench, Cardiff RFC half-backs Chris Williams and James Thomas took their places as the Blue and Blacks were better represented this week.
With no prior head-to-head form to go on, we have to look at London Welsh’s form to get an idea of how the game might go. Fair to say it’s been an up and down season for the Exiles, as they sit 9th place in the English Championship. A decent start with three wins in the first four games, has been followed by a slump to one win in the last six, culminating in a 28-21 loss to the Cornish Pirates in their opening BIC encounter. As the second lowest points scorers in the league, perhaps their offence might not be the biggest threat, and judging by their 10-30 loss to Nottingham a few weeks ago, they may be the weakest team in the group, but whisper it quietly.
Cardiff A team v London Welsh: 15 Aled Summerhill, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Will Rees-Hole, 11 Geraint Walsh, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones; 1 Thomas Davies, 2 Joe Tomlinson, 3 Scott Andrews , 4 Miles Normandale 5 Chris Dicomidis, 6 Cameron Dolan ,7 Jevon Groves (c), 8 James Sheekey
Replacements: 16 Bradley Thyer, 17 Joe Jones, 18 Shane Lewis Hughes, 19 Jordan Viggers, 20 Chris Williams, 21 James Thomas, 22 Harry Davies
So a massive chance to stay unbeaten and grab some important points on the road against, with respect, probably the weakest team in the pool. A big opportunity for a number of Cardiff RFC and young players to put their names in Danny Wilson’s smaller squad hat. Safe travelling to any Cardiff A ultras going up to Old Deer Park, come on Cardiff!
Cardiff A form: WD
London Welsh form: WLWWLLWLLL
Cardiff A top try scorer: Ben Roach (2)
London Welsh top try scorer: Guy Armitage (5)
Cardiff A top points scorer: Gareth Davies (10)
London Welsh top points scorer: Joe Carlisle (46)