Cardiff RFC travel to Neath RFC’s The Gnoll on Saturday afternoon to face Llandovery in the WRU National Cup, with whispers of a league and cup double growing louder among supporters.
The incredible form that the Blue and Blacks are currently experiencing is worth mentioning once again, as they are now 13 games unbeaten and have won every game in 2019 across all competitions.
Steve Law’s men continue to sit second in the Principality Premiership table, just two points behind reigning champions and big spenders Merthyr, and are just two wins away from lifting the WRU National Cup, with this Saturday’s Semi-Final a chance to switch focus to knockout rugby once again.
So far in the competition there has been a comfortable 73-43 win away at Championship side Tata Steel, before another win on the road came with a 15-27 victory against RGC in North Wales.
Then it was back to the Arms Park where a six-try rout of Bedwas two weeks ago secured Cardiff’s entry into a first Cup Semi-Final since 2010.
On that occasion it was a 25-46 loss at the hands of Llanelli during a period of the season where the Blue and Blacks had to play seven games in 26 days, meaning the wait for another WRU National Cup triumph extended to now, 22 years after the last win in 1997.
Llandovery on the other hand have recent experience of success in the competition, lifting the trophy back in 2016 when they beat Carmarthen in the Final.
The Drovers currently sit third in the Principality Premiership table, 10 points behind Cardiff, and are in good form having won their last four games culminating in the 48-24 victory over Pontypridd last weekend.
To meet their threat Steve Law brings back two key players into the Blue and Blacks starting XV who did not play against Bridgend last week, with fly-half and the season’s top points scorer Gareth Thompson returning to wear 10, and Joey Tomlinson making his 100th appearance and leading the side at hooker.
Elsewhere there is a change in the back row as Tom Daley replaces Sam Pailor at blindside, and in the backline Ben Thomas returns to start with Max Llewellyn shifting to the wing and Mathew Powell dropping out.
Llywarch ap Myrddin is named on the bench, as is Cardiff Blues loosehead Rhys Carre, Aled Cockwell and Ioan Davies will travel as reserves.
Cardiff: Edd Howley, Max Llewellyn, Ben Thomas, Will Rees-Hole, Joe Gatt, Gareth Thompson, Martin Roberts; Thomas Davies, Joey Tomlinson (c), Peter Lloyd, Kieran Martin, Callum Bradbury, Tom Daley, Zach O’Driscoll, Morgan Allen
Replacements: Rhys Carre, Ian Jenkins, Fraser Young, James Murphy, Sam Pailor, Scott Gibson, Steffan Jones, Llywarch Ap Myrddin