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PontyPridd must travel to Stradey Park

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Defending champions Pontypridd have been drawn away against Welsh Cup kings Llanelli in the quarter-finals of the Konica Minolta Cup – a repeat of the outstanding 2005 final between the clubs.


The draw for the quarter-finals, which will be played on the weekend of 24 March, sees Swansea, Aberavon and Bedwas enjoying home advantage over Cardiff, Bridgend and Llandovery respectively.


But cup holders Pontypridd believe they got the short straw as they have to travel to Stradey Park to take on the 13-times cup winners who beat them 25-24 in a thriller at the Millennium Stadium two years ago.


“Getting Llanelli at Stradey Park was the toughest possible draw for us,” said Pontypridd backs coach Paul John.


“We played them before Christmas and they gave us a bit of a hammering so I guess we will be the underdogs but we always have good games against Llanelli as both sides like to play open rugby.


“We are already looking forward to what will be a big challenge for us and we will have to work hard on making sure we win as much possession as possible on the day.”


Llanelli won through to the last eight with a 17-3 win at Newport last weekend and Gren Cole, the Llanelli General Manager, declared: “A home draw is all we could have asked for at this stage, it just gives you that little edge.


“But we appreciate that Pontypridd have turned their season around and are right up there in contention again and we know they will bring a huge attitude to the quarter-final.


“It should be a great spectacle between two young sides and we would love to go back to the Millennium Stadium for another final.”


Swansea, who made light of being away in winning 18-16 at high-flying Ebbw Vale in the last round, welcomed the fact that Cardiff are the ones having to travel this time. “We are happy to be at home but Cardiff had a very good win at Neath last weekend and hopefully this will be another memorable cup game between Swansea and Cardiff,” said Team Manager Ian Hopkins.


“Both sides like to throw the ball around so it should be a very entertaining match and hopefully we can come out on top.”


Cardiff, lifted by their 12-10 victory at Neath last weekend, will be looking for another away day special in their bid to reach the semi-finals.


“It was a good win at Neath, which surprised most people outside of our squad, and the boys showed a lot of bottle,” said Team Manager Keith Morgan. “Playing anyone away at this stage is difficult but I think we are in for an exciting quarter-final with plenty of points being scored.


“We have had two high scoring and free flowing games with Swansea already this season and, as they have won both, I think we are owed one.”


Bedwas, who pipped Glamorgan Wanderers 20-19 in Round 6, have been rewarded with a home tie against Llandovery, the latter going out in last season’s quarter-finals to Cardiff. Bridgend, who ended St Peters’ cup hopes last weekend, are on the road for the first time in this season’s tournament when they travel the short distance to Aberavon.


KONICA MINOLTA CUP 2007 QUARTER-FINALS


(Matches to be played weekend of 24 March) Aberavon v Bridgend


Swansea v Cardiff Llanelli v Pontypridd Bedwas v Llandovery KONICA MINOLTA CUP 2007 QUARTER-FINALISTS


ABERAVON – Principality Premier Division.


Finalists 1974 and 1975. Rd 5 – bt Cwmllynfell 39-14 (a), Rd 6- bt Cross Keys 27-15 (a). BEDWAS – Principality Premier Division.


(Lost in round three last season at Cross Keys). Rd 5 – bt Pontypool 15-11 (a), Rd 6- bt Glamorgan Wdrs 20-19 (a). BRIDGEND – Principality Premier Division.


Winners in 1979 and 1980. Finalists in 1981, 1982 and 1990. Rd 5 – bt Abercynon 53-19 (h), Rd -6 by St Peters 66-3 (h). CARDIFF – Principality Premier Division.


Winners in 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1994 and 1997. Finalists in 1973, 1977 and 1985. Rd 5 – bt Narberth 69-14 (h)

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