Cardiff gained a bonus point from a tough trip to the Champions on Saturday.
On a bright day the Blue & Blacks started the game with an intent to play. Will Rees-Hole and Dan Fish showing a willingness to run at the opposition from near anywhere on the pitch. With the pack also joining in Cardiff were making good headway against the home side, the last pass though wasn’t going to hand. An injury to Dan Crimmins disrupted the first half though, the No8 being carried off to be replaced by Luke Crocker.
The first points of the afternoon came courtesy of Gareth Thompson as he landed a penalty following an offside. And it got even better for the Blue & Blacks a few minutes later as Rhys Carre went charging up the field. When he was stopped the ball was whipped wide and Dan Fish stepped his way through to score. Thompson added the extras. He though also left the field with an injury shortly after to be replaced by Ben Thomas and Lewis Reece came on as Jack Phillips left the field with a serious hamstring injury. Merthyr struck back with a try of their own with the clock on forty minutes as Kristian Phillips exploited an overlap. Matthew Jarvis added the wide-out conversion.
The Ironmen came out with all guns blazing in the second half, but it was Cardiff that went further ahead as Thomas added two penalties. Merthyr were not to be denied and Kyle Evans grabbed the first of a brace when he slipped through a gap in the midfield. Cardiff added to their own problems with some very loose kicking. This allowed the home side to gain a foothold in the Cardiff half and when they won a scrum penalty they opted for the touchline rather than three. The lineout drive was stopped by the Blue & Blacks but when the ball went wide Evans was able to squeeze over as the defence seemingly thought tackling was optional. Jarvis added the extras to both to put Merthyr ahead for the first time.
Jarvis was also on target with two penalties that seemed have secured the points and denied the Blue & Blacks anything. But Cardiff did not give up and deep into added time they won a penalty that was shunted into the corner. The driving line out was halted but the resulting pick and drives saw James Greenfield plough over for a losing bonus point. Ben Thomas added the conversion as the referee blew for no side.