Pre-season Fixture, 1stXV v Bridgend, Sat Aug 20, k.o. 15:00, Match Preview
Ampthill’s 1stXV host Bridgend Ravens this weekend for the second pre-season fixture of the new season.
Bridgend can trace their history back to 1878, their annual meeting recorded a played 11, won 6 record in the 1879-90 season and an operating profit of of £3 9s 3d. The Quarella ground was their pre-WW1 home, however, 1920 saw them move to the Brewery Field, a couple of temporary homes followed before the club returned in 1957 to the Brewery Field which has been their home ever since.
The club have played several International touring sides including, most famously, a 12-9 victory over Australia in 1981.
Bridgend have featured in 6 Welsh Challenge cup finals since it’s inauguration in 1972, winning 3. The club won the Welsh Premiership title in 2003, the last year before regional rugby was introduced in the Principality. 2014-15 saw them secure the Swalec cup beating Pontypridd in the final, last year they finished 10th of the 12 teams in the Welsh Premiership.
Last week they secured a 50-8 victory over Beddau in their first pre-season fixture of the new season.
Ampthill’s first pre-season match saw them go down 35-22 away against Championship opposition in Jersey. The try count (5-4), however, was more representative of the competitiveness of the game.
Both Director of Rugby Mark Lavery & Head Coach Paul Turner are looking forward to this weekend and have selected a squad with a more familiar look to start the game.
Forwards:- Sturgess, Lutui, Collins, Hehea, Braband, Molitika L, Bercis, Molitika M
Backs:- Barratt, Tarrant, Baker, Goodge, Reeder, Weightman, Wilson
Replacements:- Ma’asi, Muncaster, Gulliver, Walker, Bell, Calder, Jones, Hanks
Forwards:- Boyce, Merriman, Lewis , Pope, Bilton, Evans , O’Driscoll, John
Backs:- Williams, Scrivens, Davies, Gatt, Jones, Griffiths, Bennett
Replacements:- Wilkes, Francis, Apsee, Evans K, Kenny, Beer, Lougher, Edwards, Baird
Travelling supporters will receive the warmest of welcomes, however, you should be aware that there is no shelter on the 1st Team pitch, if the current poor forecast proves accurate, please wrap up well.