EBBW Vale head coach Jason Strange insists his side won’t be taking anything for granted when the runaway Swalec Championship leaders host struggling Bonymaen today, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
The Steelmen are already 19 points clear at the summit as the league campaign is about to enter the halfway stage.
But the reigning champions, unbeaten this season after ruthlessly securing 58 points out of a possible 60 with 12 straight wins, aren’t approaching Bonymaen lightly.
The Swansea side, who have produced some grizzly forwards over the years which include British and Irish Lions and Wales pair Richard Webster and Alun Wyn Jones, may be one from bottom but they pulled off an upset last week.
RGC 1404 returned to North Wales with their tails between their legs after a shock 7-5 defeat on their travels.
It took Bonymaen off the base of the Swalec Championship where they were replaced by Gwent Valleys side Blackwood.
On Vale’s 36-10 bonus point win away at Llanharan last week, Stange complimented his players on their performance but insisted there will be no complacency at Eugene Cross Park this afternoon.
"The boys played some superb rugby, particularly given the conditions and the rather stop-start nature of the game,” he said. “I thought some of the tries they created were excellent.
“Bonymaen are always passionate and committed, and always give us a hard game. We're looking to get the busy Christmas period off to a good start, and are looking forward to home games for the next three Saturdays."
The club have signed wing Tom Watkins from Nantyglo. He previously played for the club four seasons ago before joining Newbridge.
Ebbw Vale starting XV for Bonymaen: Dan Haymond, Wes Cunliffe, David James, Carl Meyer, Luke Davies; Ian Smerdon, Chris Thomas; Ross Jones, Mathew Williams (capt), Robert Sevenoaks; Joe Bartlett, Rhys Clarke; Gareth Rusby-Davies, Ronny Kynes, Cameron Reagan.
Today’s Swalec Championship fixtures (all kick-offs 2.30pm): Blackwood v Beddau, Cardiff Met v Bridgend Athletic, Ebbw Vale v Bonymaen, Narberth v Llanharan, Pontypool v Tata Steel, RGC 1404 v Bargoed, Tondu v Newbridge.