THE top two clash in the WRU Championship tomorrow afternoon as Pontypool attempt to avoid more promotion anguish at the hands of Bargoed.

The Gwent rivals meet at Pontypool Park tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 2.30pm) with the visitors bidding to become the first team to beat their hosts in the league since Cardiff Met in March, 2017.

Leighton Jones’ men have won 57 straight games, 49 of them with bonuses, but there are plenty at the club who still have the scars inflicted by the Bulls.

In 2015/16 the clubs, along with Merthyr, Swansea and RGC, were chasing promotion to the Premiership before it was ring-fenced.

The final spot came down to an April clash at Bargoed Park and it was the Bulls that ran out 17-8 winners, leaving Pooler to lick their wounds and rebuild in the Championship.

Pooler have started the season with 10 bonus-point wins but Bargoed are just eight points back with a game in hand after responding strongly to dropping points in an opening-day draw at Cardiff Met.

The Bulls have retained plenty of Premiership experience – notably former Dragons fly-half Steffan Jones – and an away win would throw the title race wide open, with the potentially vital return fixture at Bargoed Park in April.

"In any league when those at the top meet, taking the points off each other is massive," said Pooler head coach Jones.

"We are at home and that puts us under pressure, because Bargoed Park is their fortress.

"We have to be on money because they have had some good results and are putting up pretty decent scores.

"There is no doubt that this is our toughest game of the season and it was a game that we all looked at when the fixtures came out.

"The clubs know each other well, the players know each other well and it's going to be a massive test.

"I think that Bargoed have gone back to their traditional style of taking people on up front, putting their stamp on the game with the set piece.

"We've tried to be a bit more expansive this season but we know that it is going to be a big challenge up front first."

Pooler have a strong squad and are tipped by most to finally return to the top flight, but Jones is keen to have the underdog tag.

"Bargoed are one of the teams that came down from the Premiership and they are going into this as favourites," he insisted.

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Bedwas need to ensure they don't waste an opportunity to close the gap on one of their Gwent rivals when they protect their winning record against Glamorgan Wanderers.

Stefan Sankala's men are eight from eight thanks to last week's 29-0 win at Maesteg Quins.

With a trip to Bargoed to finish 2019, Bedwas will be keen to avoid coming a cropper against a dangerous Wanderers side who have performed strongly after promotion from Division One.

The men from Ely sit fourth with seven wins from 10 games, their losses coming against Bargoed, Ystalyfera and Pooler.

At the other end of the table, Cross Keys head to bottom club Ystrad Rhondda in fine fettle thanks to a superb win against Trebanos at Pandy Park.

Morgan Stoddart's men are in a relegation scrap but climbed out of the drop zone with that home success and have games in hand against their rivals.

The trip to the Gelligaled Park presents the chance to increase their buffer before the tough challenge of Pontypool at Pandy Park at the end of the month.

Championship fixtures: Bedwas v Glamorgan Wanderers, Cardiff Met v Maesteg Quins, Narberth v Ystalyfera, Neath v Tata Steel, Pontypool v Bargoed, Trebanos v Beddau, Ystrad Rhondda v Cross Keys