Merthyr 28 Cardiff 34

On a cold crisp night Cardiff defeated the league Champions at the Wern

The half started brightly for the Blue & Blacks as they took the attack to Merthyr, and they were rewarded when Gareth Thompson landed an early penalty. And they continued to apply pressure against the Ironmen’s attack. The first try came from a lineout in the Blue & Black half. Off the top ball was taken up by Max Llewellyn and when it was recycled and moved wide a show and go from Ben Thomas saw him slice through. And the centre popped the ball to Edd Howley who strolled over for a converted try.

Merthyr though were getting more ball and they looked likely to score but as the ball was shifted out Ben Murphy was alert to it and grabbed the ball to race down field and feed Ben Thomas. He linked with Matthew Powell who rounded the winger and headed for the line when he was pulled down a few metres short Max Llewellyn was on hand to score. The rest of the half was spent mostly defending, and new defensive coach Gethin Jenkins would have been pleased with what he saw as Cardiff shut out the home side to go in 15-0 ahead. But Cardiff have been there before as that was the half time score at the Arms Park earlier in the season.

The second half started with a bang for Cardiff. A bit of aerial ping pong ended with the ball in Edd Howley’s hands. The full back fed Tom Daley who made great ground before picking out captain Joey Tomlinson to score, Thompson concerted. Back came Merthyr as they got their side of the score-board moving. Arron Pinches feeding Justin James to score.

That seemed to spur Merthyr and within ten minutes they had scored again, this time provider turned scorer as Pinches went over. But Cardiff extended the lead, and added a bonus point, with 20 minutes left. A line-out on half way came off the top and Max Llewellyn went straight through the defence, before drawing the fullback and sending Ben Thomas over for a converted try

When Cardiff were harshly reduced to fourteen men the inevitable Merthyr score came. This time through a penalty try. Cardiff though would not give up and Martin Roberts was denied by the video referee a few minutes later. A scrum shortly after though brought Cardiff try number five. Thomas putting Howley over for the full back’s brace. Merthyr didn’t give up Joe Williams was able to score to bring Merthyr within a converted try of victory, and one last throw of the dice. But they didn’t roll a six and Cardiff went home 34-28 winners.

Viv Jones

Viv Jones

Merthyr 18 15 0 3 534 302 76
Pontypridd 18 14 0 4 638 338 68
Cardiff 18 13 1 4 551 379 67
Ebbw Vale 18 13 1 4 397 292 62
Newport 18 12 0 6 470 430 57
Llandovery 18 11 1 6 506 321 57
Aberavon 17 11 1 5 402 355 53
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 17 9 0 8 444 354 50
Carmarthen Quins 18 9 0 9 394 340 47
Swansea 17 8 0 9 371 349 41
Cross Keys 17 4 1 12 379 562 28
Bridgend Ravens 16 5 0 11 316 424 27
Llanelli 18 4 1 13 337 499 25
Bedwas 17 4 0 13 341 527 23
Bargoed 17 3 0 14 327 574 17
Neath 16 1 0 15 261 622 3