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Premiership Round-Up: Merthyr open campaign with derby win at CAP

3rd September 2018

The Principality Premiership got back underway this weekend, and it kicked off with a thrilling inter-region derby between Cardiff and Merthyr at the Arms Park, while Pontypridd faced a tough away trip to Bedwas.

Cardiff RFC 18 Merthyr 24

Dale McIntosh's Merthyr began their defence of the Principality Premiership with an inter-regional derby against Cardiff RFC at the Arms Park.

And it was the home side that came out of the starting block, building a 15-point advantage at half time, following an impressive display from the boot of new outside half, Steffan Jones.

The former Dragons number 10 put over five penalties for the hosts, as Merthyr failed to open their account during the first 40 minutes of action.

However, McIntosh's side were revitalised after the break, and took only four minutes to register on the scoreboard. A neat move down the left hand side paved way for debutant Jay Baker to touch down. Matthew Jarvis' conversion was followed up by a penalty, and Merthyr were well and truly back in the contest.

Merthyr took the lead for the first time, after a series of scrums resulted in a penalty try for the visitors. 

A penalty from Jones regained the lead for Steve Law's side, but there was a late blow for the Blue and Blacks.

Gareth Davies' pin-point cross-field kick found the hands of last season's top try scorer, Kyle Evans, who duly dotted down for the match-winning score.

Cardiff, who had to settle for a losing bonus point, will look to bounce back when they visit Llandovery's Church Bank next week, while Merthyr will welcome Bedwas to The Wern.

Bedwas 23 Pontypridd 33

Justin Burnell's side faced a tough trip to The Bridge Field on Saturday, and made a bright start to the encounter.

However, it was Bedwas who got the scoreboard ticking first, as Joe Scrivens converted a long distance penalty. Eight minutes later, Scrivens doubled his side's tally with another penalty, after Pontypridd were penalised at the set piece.

Ponty continued to look dangerous, and experience outside half, Ceri Sweeney, pulled back a penalty for the visitors, but Scrivens would soon add his third of the afternoon to regain the six-point lead.

Despite Pontypridd enjoying the majority of possession and territory during the first half, Bedwas continued to look dangerous, and wing Jordan Rees found himself on the end of a clinical counter-attack to touch down and extend his side's lead. Scrivens converted as the hosts ran in for the interval with a 16-3 lead.

Sweeney added another penalty early in the second half, and Ponty were back in contention as a Morgan Sieniawski break created space for Alex Knott to cross in the corner.

Alex Webber crossed the whitewash to bring the scores level, and Sweeney's conversion was on-target to give the visitors the lead for the first time.

This kick-started a stunning 10-minute spell for Pontypridd, as Knott dotted down for his second try of the afternoon, before scrum half Huw Rees sealed the bonus point on the hour mark.

James Thomas did strike back for the hosts, but Pontypridd had the last word as Sweeney slotted another penalty, taking his personal tally to 13-points.

Pontypridd will host Llanelli at Sardis Road in their first home game of the season on Saturday.