Cardiff held on for a win at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park last night in a scrappy game.
The Blue & Blacks flew out of the blocks as they had done the previous week and within three minutes they were ahead. Bridgend were guilty of not rolling away at the tackle and Gareth Thompson stepped up to land the penalty. And as the attacks became more frequent so did the whistle. The Ravens committed several offences that gave the home side field position. From one attack close to the tryline the Blue & Blacks scored the first try of the game. Joe Tomlinson, leading Cardiff for the first time, hit James Down in the lineout, and by the time the ball was transferred to the back of the maul it was already close to the Ravens line. As it ploughed over Seb Davies was credited with his first Cardiff try. Thompson added the extras as Cardiff scored ten points in ten minutes.
Bridgend had been into the Cardiff half twice in that period and that was from kick offs, but their next visit yielded points as this time Cardiff were guilty of off side, Joe Scrivens with his side’s first points. And he doubled that a few minutes later with an expertly guided kick from wide out. Cardiff though were still looking to attack. Jarrad Hoeata had a great chance to increase the lead as he burst through from a ruck close to the touchline. As the big second row galloped towards the line he was just shunted out. On the other side of the field Thompson spotted space during another attack. His long pass gave Harri Millard a two on one but as he drew the fullback the pass to James Beal went forward. But it was the Ravens who managed to claw themselves closer just before half time with another Scrivens penalty.
The second half was scrappier than the first. Both sides tried to play but nothing seemed to work. At scrum time the referee could decide who was really causing the problem so the penalties switched from one side to the other. The main source of ball for Cardiff was from the lineout. James Down – who was playing his 100th game in Blue & Black – didn’t lose a ball on his own throw and was disruptive to the Ravens ball too. Cardiff managed to secure their second try mid-way through the half. A scrum penalty just outside the visitors 22 was taken quickly by Tavis Knoyle and when he was illegally stopped Rhun Williams spotted the opportunity to take another quick tap. This time the fullback was fast enough to avoid the defence and squeeze over in the corner.
Diggy Bird extended the lead with a penalty a few minutes later but with ten minutes still left there was still all to play for. Scrivens made it a one score game again when his penalty from half way went over and the Ravens should have won the game late on. Two chances went begging both for the wingers. But it was the Blue & Blacks who secured their second win as the whistle blew for no side.
After the game match sponsor ISTL presented the man of the match to James Down. That celebration was added to when he was also presented with his club blazer for his 100th game.