BEDWAS could do tomorrow what no other team has managed so far this season and beat reigning Principality Premiership champions Merthyr for a second time.

Only Cardiff, Pontypridd and Bedwas have got the better of the Ironmen since the campaign kicked off, with Merthyr suffering all three of those losses in the space of a fortnight in September.

Merthyr did avenge their 37-24 defeat by Bedwas at the Wern by winning the reverse eastern conference fixture in November 23-12.

The Ironmen return to Bridge Field tomorrow for an 11.30am start looking to make the most of Bedwas’ lack of game time in recent weeks.

Head coach Ian Gardner, whose side’s National Cup tie at Beddau last weekend was postponed due to the wet weather, is well aware that his men are slow starters when coming back from a break.

“We always seem to play quite poorly after a break,” said Gardner.

“We’ve had two breaks this season and lost three games (to Pontypridd, Newport and Merthyr) after the first, and then we lost to Ebbw Vale after the second.

“The team definitely performs better when they are playing week in and week out.

“It will be interesting to see how we perform this time.”

He added: “Merthyr are a top team who are firing on all cylinders.

“They beat Cardiff comfortably last weekend and are certainly in a rich vein of form.

“They were going through a bad patch when we beat them early in the season.

“But we know they are going to be a different proposition this time around on a very different playing surface.

“We were able to throw the ball around on a really dry pitch in September – our pitch is going to be a lot softer on Saturday.”

Bedwas will be without prop Dan Preece and wing Mike Hathaway for the match, with the latter being replaced by Pat Lewis, who has re-joined from Cardiff.