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WRU Premiership Cup Preview – 3rd December

*Odds will appear on the day of the match

Who needs Qatar, when Colwyn Bay in December can be a group stage hot spot?

A quick reminder:

For the Cup competition, the 12 clubs in the Indigo Group Premiership have been split into four pools with the pool winners then qualifying for the semi-finals.

Each pool consists of three rounds, with each team playing two games in the pool – one at home, one away.

The pools – and current state of play ahead of the final round of games – are as follows:

Pool A – Carmarthen Quins (P2 L2 – 0pts), Ebbw Vale (P1 W1 – 5pts), RGC 1404 (P1 W1 – 5pts) – Final Game: RGC 1404 v Ebbw Vale.

Pool B – Aberavon (P1 W1 – 5pts), Bridgend (P2 W1 L1 – 5pts), Pontypridd (P1 L1 – 2pts) – Final Game: Aberavon v Pontypridd.

Pool C – Llanelli (P1 L1 – 0pts), Newport (P1 W1 – 5pts), Swansea (P2 W1 L1 – 5pts) – Final Game: Newport v Llanelli.

Pool D – Cardiff (P1 W1 – 5pts), Llandovery (P1 L1 – 1pt), Merthyr (P2 W1 L1 – 5pts) – Final Game: Llandovery v Cardiff.

Group A

RGC v Ebbw Vale

So, we’ve got two unbeaten teams with passionate fans about to clash in a lively group and something just has to give before we move onto the knockout stages.

That’s right – RGC host Ebbw Vale on Saturday in the WRU Premiership Cup.

Fake fans? No thanks.

Air con units blasting out from the touchlines? Not much need for those in Colwyn Bay.

But when the lads from Gogledd Cymru welcome the Steelmen at the weekend after three weeks off, it’s still bound to get a bit fiery as they seek a semi-final spot.

Both clubs have beaten the other team in their group, Carmarthen Quins, and both took a bonus point into the bargain.

Head coach Ceri Jones saw his northern boys come down to the Quins and wallop them 37-3, while Ebbw had it slightly more strenuous with a 34-14 win at home.

You would have to fancy RGC here, though, as they recently overcame deposed Indigo Premiership leaders Aberavon with a 34-26 victory

“We are now finding a bit of consistency and this game offers us the chance of a Cup semi-final , so it’s a significant one,” says Jones.

Group B

Aberavon v Pontypridd

Aberavon must still feel a little bruised by that defeat to RGC and the momentum they had at the start of the season – with six successive bonus point victories – seems to have deserted them.

The state of play here is that Aberavon are top of Group B after comfortable beating Bridgend, 49-14, while Pontypridd are bottom after losing at home to the Ravens, 30-26.

The Wizards should prove too strong, even accounting for their recent consistency as Ponty have only won twice in their eight matches in the Indigo Premiership so far this season.

Group C

Newport v Llanelli

Newport can seal a semi-final spot by beating Llanelli and will fancy their chances of doing so.

The Black and Ambers have already beaten Swansea, 45-17, in their first game whilst Llanelli underlined their unconvincing league form by losing to the All Whites, 40-13.

Newport started slowly this season, but last time they played in the Indigo Premiership they continued to move away from the bottom of the table after a second consecutive victory, defeating Carmarthen Quins at the Park.

Outside-half and playmaker Will Reed is in good form for the hosts and should be capable of taking Newport into the last four of the competition.

Group D

Llandovery v Cardiff

Cardiff are the only unbeaten team in the Indigo Premiership at present, but Llandovery are the club breathing hardest on their collar.

But the Drovers were surprisingly defeated by Merthyr in this competition, meaning a home victory at the Arms Park will take Cardiff through to the semi-finals.

With the likes of Dan Fish, Morgan Allen, Scott Andrews and Dewi Cross in their ranks, Cardiff have shown experience counts, although Llandovery fought all the way in a tense league battle a few weeks ago.

The Drovers were edged out 29-26 that day and this contest could be just as close at Church Bank.

*Odds will appear on the day of the match

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