Keys and Bedwas ready for first match of 'series'
9:02am Friday 24th January 2014 in Gwent Rugby
IT may not have the billing of The Godfather, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings or Toy Story but part one of the Cross Keys versus Bedwas trilogy takes place at Bridge Field tomorrow afternoon.
The two Gwent rivals meet three times over the next four weekends – twice in the Premiership and once in the Swalec Cup.
They have already met once this season when Keys triumphed 45-13 in a British and Irish Cup qualifier at Bridge Field but it promises to be a lot tighter when they return to Bedwas this weekend.
The visitors will be attempting to get back to winning ways after being overpowered at Moseley in the cross-border tournament last Saturday.
The fourth-placed outfit make the short trip on the back of six successive Premiership victories and with little margin for error in their scrap for a play-off place with Pontypridd, Llandovery, Carmarthen Quins and Llanelli.
"We suffered a disappointment at Moseley but have to get back on the horse," said team manager Mark Prangell.
"Clubs will always suffer blips, it's how you react to defeat and training has been intense this week ahead of another tough game.
"Bedwas are always one of the most physical teams in the Premiership but we are used to that thanks to our British and Irish Cup games.
"It's almost like a Test series against them and hopefully we can get off to a good start."
Bedwas have been in good form to climb to seventh in the league table, winning four of their last five Premiership outings.
They also enjoyed a hard-earned 16-15 away win in heavy conditions at Bargoed to earn a home tie with Keys.
"It was an excellent game and all credit to Bargoed, we wouldn't have been able to grumble if they had won," said head coach Steve Law.
"We've enjoyed some good results recently and have picked up some form since Keys gave us a right old going over earlier this season.
"We are definitely looking forward to a far more competitive game but know we will have to be on top of our game against Keys, who have been going so well in the league and cups."
Keys are without lock Ollie Hodge because of a back problem but are boosted by the return from injury of scrum-half Rhys Dyer.
Bedwas will be without combative back row forward Deri Mattravers, who is likely to be out for a month with a rib injury.
- There is a massive clash in the battle to avoid the drop at the Talbot Athletic Ground tomorrow when basement outfit Aberavon host one-from-bottom Swansea.
The Wizards have been busy in the recruitment market as they attempt to retain their top-flight status with experienced fly-half Ceiron Thomas signing from Cardiff, back row forwards James Bija and Andrew Gwynne from Swansea and a pair of loan signings from Cornish Pirates in Rheon James and Tom Duncan, a centre and number eight respectively.
Aberavon have won just two games this season while Swansea, who are one point above their rivals from the Ospreys region, have a solitary victory against Neath to their name and have lost their last 10 games.
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