Bridgend Ravens
2016/2017 Fosters Challenge Cup
Bridgend 29 v 7 Cardiff
19 October 2016 - Morganstone Brewery Field, Bridgend

Match Report

Bridgend Ravens 29 Cardiff 7

Cardiff visited the Brewery Field for the second group game of this seasons Challenge Cup with a side showing a number of changes from the one that had secured a last gasp win against Aberavon the previous week. Without their Blues and Blues Academy players Cardiff fielded a largely experimental side with a number of new faces in the squad. There was further disruption to the original squad with the news that Tom Lucas had been called into the Premiership Select squad, playing in Jersey on Friday, so would be restricted to 40 minutes and Liam Free had withdrawn due to a hand injury.

 Cardiff opened strongly and dominated much of the first quarter, although without creating any scoring opportunities. As the quarter ended the Ravens started to apply pressure and opened the scoring when centre Jamie Murphy slotted a penalty from near half way. With the confidence that came from taking the lead Bridgend now dominated play, mainly through the work of an experienced pack that was giving the Cardiff eight a tough time in tight and loose play. Rather than spreading the ball out wide Bridgend were content to pick and drive around the fringes of rucks and mauls. Having sucked the Cardiff defence in the ball was then spread wide with full-back Marc Bennett-Jones being put over in the corner. The conversion kick was missed by Murphy but having found a tactic that worked Bridgend continued with the play that had proved so rewarding. The result was that from a series of drives by the forwards second row Ashton Evans was able to score a second try near the posts making a simple conversion for Murphy and a confident Bridgend side leading 15-0 going into the break. The Blue and Blacks tried to get back into the game but were unable to release the Bridgend stranglehold and the half ended with the home side in control.

The second half started in the worst possible fashion for the Blue and Blacks with any hopes of a fightback being hampered as Bridgend continued from where they had left off in controlling the play. Within two minutes of the restart Owain Lloyd had emulated his second row partner and scored near the posts, Murphy again adding the simplest of conversions to increase the lead. With the result no longer in question both sides took the opportunity to give valuable game time to players on the bench, resulting in a much closer affair for the last half an hour than had previously been the case. The Cardiff forwards were able to gain parity and from a series of drives near the Bridgend line finally scored. Rob Lewis and Joe Page made the initial drives before the third member of the front row, Will Davies-King, finally drove over for the  try, with Diggy Bird adding the conversion. Bridgend fought back, however, got their bonus point try when replacement scrum half Connor Tantum crossed, Murphy again adding the conversion.

 In the final quarter both sides had opportunities to add to the but the defences were in control and the game finished with the Ravens gaining maximum points.     

Attendance: 723

Official : Aled Evans (Wales)

Bridgend Cardiff