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Premiership Round-Up: Merthyr's perfect start comes to an end

24th September 2018

All three of the region's Principality Premiership sides faced though tasks on the weekend, as Merthyr looked to continue their 100 per cent.

Pontypridd 18 RGC 32

It was Friday Night Lights at Sardis Road, as Pontypridd welcomed RGC and the BBC Scrum V cameras for a crucial Principality Premiership side.

The home side were certainly fired up for the occasion, taking only three minutes to open the scoring, as Dale Stuckey intercepted a Rhys Williams pass to race in from his own half.

Sweeney added the extras, and extended his side’s lead to 10 points with a penalty three minutes later.

With the half hour mark creeping closer, RGC finally got on the board, as man-of-the-match, Tim Grey, darted over from close range following a dominant 5m scrum from the visitors.

Sweeney and Billy McBride exchanged penalties before the interval, and the hosts were certainly the happier side at the break.

Ian George rumbled over early in the second half to give his side some breathing space on the scoreboard, but the North Wales outfit struck back courtesy of replacement Cam Davies, who slipped past the challenge of two Ponty defenders to dive in.

Flanker, Dan Owen, gave the visitors the lead for the first time after 65 minutes, before George Roberts crashed over to seal their bonus point.

Sam Jones capped off the victory with a run-in from the half way line, following fine interplay from Grey and Davies.

Carmarthen Quins 19 Cardiff RFC 13

Despite a positive start to the game, Cardiff had to settle for a losing bonus point on their trip to The Park, Carmarthen, on Saturday.

Steve Law’s side controlled the opening stages, but were unable to break past the stern Carmarthen Quins defence.

Eventually, Steffan Jones had the opportunity to open the scoring from a penalty and made no mistakes from the tee.

Despite Aled Thomas bringing the scores back level, the Blue and Blacks continued to pile on the pressure, which eventually paid off for the visitors.

Jones, facing a rushing Carmarthen defence, found space behind with the chip, and centre Will Rees Hole was on hand to gather and touch down under the posts.

The outside half added the extras, but Thomas struck two late first half penalties, meaning only a single point separated the sides at the interval.

The weather made it a scrappy affair in the second half, with neither side able to claim a point until the 66th minute, as Nick Reynolds managed to dive over from the base of a rampant maul. Thomas added a further two points to take his tally up to 14 for the afternoon.

Jones narrowed the home side’s lead with a simple penalty, and despite relentlessly piling pressure during the closing stages, the Blue and Blacks were unable to find a late winner.

Merthyr 14 Aberavon 22

Merthyr suffered their first loss of the campaign, as they welcomed Aberavon to The Wern.

Luke Davies opened the scoring for the visitors, stepping in from the right flank, and powering his way over the whitewash.

Kyle Evans proved a handful for his former club, and broke through a tackle in midfield to bring Merthyr back into the game.

Another ex-Wizards wing, Jay Baker, was next on the scoresheet, perfectly reading a long pass in the Aberavon midfield to intercept and race clear.

The sides went in level at half time, thanks to a sensational effort from number eight Andrew Waite, who capitalised on a dominating scrum.

Jacob Flynn pounced on a kick-through to cross for the match-winning score in the second half.