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Premiership Round-Up: Bonus point wins all-round for the leading pack

26th November 2018

With all three teams in fine form, Merthyr, Pontypridd and Cardiff occupied the top three positions in the Principality Premiership ahead of another crucial weekend of league action.

Neath RFC 17 Cardiff RFC 59

The Blue and Blacks travelled to The Gnoll on Friday, looking to extend their run of seven consecutive victories in the Principality Premiership.

Steve Law’s side sat in third place in the table and went about their business in devastating fashion, and within the 15 minutes they already had the bonus point in the bag.

Joe Gatt and Will Rees-Hole registered on the scoresheet early, before the centre turned creator, as his break paved the way for Max Llewellyn to touch down.

Gareth Thompson, who remained accurate from the tee, went over for the bonus point try, with the experienced Martin Roberts and Morgan Allen adding further punishment on the Welsh All Blacks.

While James Roberts did power over for the hosts, the capital city side went into the break with a 42-7 lead.

The home side were chasing a bonus point of their own in the second half, as tries from Ben Uphill and Ian Ellis put them on three scores for the evening.

However, Cardiff displayed their ruthlessness, crossing the whitewash three times during the second half, through Tom Daley, Gatt and former Neath full back, Ed Howley, who marked his debut with a try.

The All Whites, Swansea, will be the visitors to Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

Pontypridd 43 Newport 25

Pontypridd welcomed Newport to Sardis Road on Friday, as the hosts aimed to narrow Merthyr’s lead on the top of the table.

While the visitors opened the scoring with an early penalty, it didn’t take long for Ponty to get the wheels in motion, as speedster, Alex Webber, crossed for the opening try of the game.

Newport regained the lead through a Jon Morris try, but the advantage wouldn’t last long. Two minutes later, Cardiff Blues academy wing, Corey Howells, powered through the Black and Amber defence to touch down against his former side.

Further tries from Rob Jones, Will Davies King and Dale Stuckey saw Justin Burnell’s side take a 33-13 lead into the interval.

Early second half tries from Elliot Frewen and Joe Bartlett threatened a stunning comeback for the visitors, who had failed to win at Sardis Road since 2006.

However, after a yellow card to Newport’s Haydn Simons, Pontypridd soon took control once again.

Stuckey went over for his second try of the game, while fellow back three, Webber, went one better, sealing his hat-trick.

A tough trip to West Wales is on the cards for Ponty this weekend, as they take on Carmarthen Quins on Saturday.

Merthyr 34 Llandovery 24

Merthyr champions looked to maintain their lead on the top of the table as they welcomed sixth placed Llandovery to The Wern.

Wing Lewis Williams opened the scoring for the hosts, but the Drovers soon replied with a try of their own, through Ryan Evans.

The Ironmen took by control by half time, however, thanks to a try from Jay Baker, which was created following a stunning Matthew Jarvis break, with the full back celebrating his 100th appearance for the club.

While Merthyr opened up a 24-7 lead after the break, with a penalty try, Llandovery sparked a comeback, narrowing the hosts’ lead to three points.

However Dale McIntosh’s side sealed the win, and the bonus point, as skipper Craig Locke powered over from close range.

Newport are the next visitors to The Wern, with the Black and Ambers visiting Merthyr on Saturday.