Cardiff RFC welcome Carmarthen Quins to the Arms Park this evening (8pm kick-off) as we bid to continue our unbeaten start to the calendar year.
The Blue and Blacks are hot off a derby win over Newport last weekend, after 31 second half points secured a 32-38 win, to make it a total of 135 points scored in three games since the turn of the year.
That has extended the gap in Ebbw Vale in fourth to five points, and kept us on the heels of Pontypridd, just a point ahead in second, and even within striking distance of league leaders Merthyr who are currently nine points clear.
Friday’s game sees Steve Law’s men have a chance at revenge over Carmarthen, with the Quins coming out 19-13 winners at Carmarthen Park back in September, in some poor conditions down West.
At that point the Quins were in the midst of a fast start to the season, winning four of their opening five games and pushing at the top of the table, however that optimism has slowly waned and Carmarthen are now on a run of just two wins in nine games dating back to mid-November.
They did win against Bargoed at home last week though, and have accrued enough points to be comfortably clear of the dread bottom five, with Carmarthen no doubt hoping to kick on in this second half of the season.
Steve Law has made six changes to that team which beat the Black and Ambers last weekend, with Kieron Brown and Peter Lloyd swapping between the starting XV and the bench at tighthead, while one Cardiff Blues player in James Down is not available at lock, but another in Callum Bradbury is.
In the back row Morgan Allen and Sam Pailor return to join Zach O’Driscoll, with James Botham not available and Thomas Daley dropping to the bench.
The only changes in the back line come in the back three as Ioan Davies and Llywarch ap Myrddin join Tom Williams, with the three-quarter line remaining the same as Jack Roberts continues his return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Cardiff: Ioan Davies, Tom Williams, Jack Roberts, Ben Thomas, Llywarch Ap Myrddin, Gareth Thompson, Martin Roberts; Thomas Davies, Joey Tomlinson (c), Kieron Brown, Callum Bradbury, Ben Murphy, Sam Pailor, Zach O’Driscoll, Morgan Allen
Replacements: Fraser Young, Ian Jenkins, Peter Lloyd, James Murphy, Tom Daley, Scott Gibson, Edd Howley, Joe Gatt
With Pontypridd now not having a game this weekend due to the Welsh Rugby Union and BBC Wales messing around, there is a great chance for Cardiff RFC to claim top spot tonight and put pressure on the side up the A470 over the next few weeks.
At home under the lights on our plastic pitch we have the opportunity to show off some of the free-scoring attacking rugby we have played the last few weeks, and hopefully Gethin Jenkins’ work with the defence will make the game a bit less nailing biting for supporters.
Get down to the Arms Park to support the boys if you can, or if not then the game is being shown live on BBC Two Wales. Come on Cardiff!