by Thomas Pritchard
Date: Wednesday 15 November 2017 (14:00)
Venue: Dings Crusaders RFC
UNIVERSITY of South Wales Men’s 1st travel to UWE in Bristol on Wednesday, looking for their third win in a row following recent victories against the University of Exeter 2nd and the University of Bath 2nd respectively.
USW currently lie 4th in the league, with three victories and three defeats from their opening six games. The meetings between the sides last season were intriguing to say the least. UWE romped to a 56-3 win at Clifton RFC, scoring seven tries in the process. However, in the return fixture at the USW Sport Park in Treforest, the home side were able to avenge the defeat earlier in the season and edged a close game to win 20-17.
The 2016-2017 season was one where both USW and UWE were evenly matched, with the latter finishing one place higher in 5th, on 29 points. USW actually recorded one more win than their English counterparts, but UWE’s bonus points tally meant that they were able to finish two points above the team that now play at Sardis Road in Pontypridd.
The Bristol-based University have found it tough going so far this season, having lost each of their opening six games. They currently sit bottom of the BUCS Rugby Union South A table without a point to their name and a worrying points difference of -222.
One of USW’s star performers thus far has been open-side flanker Sion Edwards, whose stand out performance came when he scored a hat-trick of tries in his teams’ win against Swansea University in October.
USW Head Coach Ben Daniels will be hoping that his side can maintain their recent run of good form with a win on Wednesday, and head into the game against Hartpury College 2nds at Sardis Road with some real momentum as they look to climb the table.
USW: 1. Connor Lewis, 2. Will Haly, 3. Joe Popple, 4. Alex Meeson, 5. Ross Barnes, 6. Alun Lawrence, 7. Sion Edwards, 8. Gareth Jones (C) 9.Jamie Hill, 10. Foard Cooksley, 11. Jordan Evans, 12. Jacob La Roche, 13. Eddie Francis, 14. Elis Wyn Benham, 15. Rhodri Smith
Substitutes: 16. Luke Griffiths, 17. Connor Davies, 18. Tom Mabley, 19. Marcus Jones, 20. Tom Geere, 21. Harry Rumens, 22. Sam Davies, 23. Tom Bradley