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Indigo Premiership Preview 29/09 & 01/10

Ken Owens shone a bit of stardust on the Indigo Premiership last week when the Wales hooker made his long-awaited comeback from injury.

Owens played for Carmarthen Quins, but this week the spotlight falls on Bridgend v Merthyr, which is live on S4C Clic on Thursday night.

Bridgend are looking to open their account for the season with the win, after two straight losses against Aberavon and Pontypridd.

Merthyr themselves are coming off the back of a disappointing 36-12 loss to Llandovery, having beaten RGC 22-15 in the opening weekend.

Last year’s champions, Cardiff, who currently sit in second place in the table, take on a born-again Ebbw Vale side. Jason Strange’s side have hit the ground running this year and will take some stopping.

The Steelmen caused the shock of the season in the opening round, beating WRU Cup winners Newport 25-22 and followed up their impressive victory by beating Carmarthen 24-8 last weekend.

Llandovery host Newport in a mouth-watering clash at the Churchbank this Saturday. The Drovers, who are yet to play at home this season and will be looking to improve their inconsistent home form from last year.

Whereas Newport will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing start to the season. They lost a close game against Cardiff last time out and will be looking for their first win of the season this weekend.

A much-improved Llanelli side will host a winless RGC side at Parc y Scarlets. Swansea will host a resurgent Pontypridd side at St Helens, with both sides are coming off their first win of the season last week.

It is a case of top versus bottom when Aberavon host Carmarthen Quins at the Talbot Athletic Ground. Aberavon sit top, having won their three games convincingly, securing three bonus points along the way.

The Quins have struggled so far this season, having lost their opening two games against Llandovery and Swansea, as they sit at the bottom of the table. It will take something special against the league leaders this week, for a side who have struggled in the second half of games this year.

After a difficult week for the club, Carmarthen will be looking to take inspiration from the ‘Sherriff of Carmarthen’ Owens, who played for his local team last week on his return to rugby following almost a year out with a back injury.

Owens said: “It was great to back in Carmarthen, a lot of people came out, which is always nice to see. It has been a while since I’ve been out on the pitch, so it was great to play again after a long lay off.

“It is disappointing we couldn’t get the result against Swansea, but I am hugely thankful to the Quins for helping me and giving me an opportunity to get help get my fitness back.

“It was a good 40 minutes, I was blowing a little bit, it’s been a while. I feel alive again, getting hit, putting hits in, being hit and just being back on the field was great.

 “It has been a frustrating time; recovery has certainly been slow at times. At times I have been questioning whether I would get back to playing. I have been close to making that decision at times.

“I always wanted to give myself the best opportunity to get back on the field through this process, because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do that in years to come.”

Owens enjoyed the experience of playing back in the Premiership, having last played for the Quins in 2010 against Llanelli.

“It was a good standard. I trained with the youngsters in the week, there was a lot of quality around. There is definitely a lot of quality young players coming through around here.”

September 29, 2022

Bridgend           v              Merthyr

October 1, 2022

Aberavon           v              Carmarthen Quins

Cardiff                v              Ebbw Vale

Llandovery         v              Newport

Llanelli                v              RGC

Swansea             v              Pontypridd 

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