Bridgend Ravens were denied a losing bonus point at the death in a scrappy encounter with Carmarthen Quins at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field.
Arthur Ellis put the home side in front with his first score of the season but both sides struggled to put together any meaningful possession in a game dogged by error. A brace of penalties from Quins’ full back Dan Newton and the first of two tries from wing Jason Harries ensured the visitors led at the break.
Darren Daniel scored soon after the break for Carmarthen and James Dixon added another to stretch the lead to 13 points before Luke Morgan ignited hopes of a comeback for Bridgend. But it was too little too late and Harries grabbed his second on the stroke of full-time, as the Ravens tried to break out of defence.
The victory sends Carmarthen Quins up to seventh in the Principality Premiership whilst the Ravens will be desperate for a result when they entertain Newport next weekend. Bridgend head coach Ben Rose said before the game that he wanted his side to start with a bang and they did just that.
A great catch and return by Jamie Murphy set up a chance for Glen Lewis but the wing was unable to hold on to the pass which would’ve seen him cross between the sticks. The home side kept up the pressure though and forced the Quins to send two clearance kicks straight into touch. It was after the second of these that the visitors infringed at the breakdown and flanker Ellis took the initiative, taking a quick tap penalty and barrelling his way past four defenders to touch down.
Newton kicked two penalties in the following ten minutes to claw the deficit back to a single point before the Ravens had a spell of heavy pressure in the Quins’ 22 but ended up with nothing. And they were made to pay moments before half-time when the visitors chose to kick for the corner twice rather than take an easy three points. This pressure soon turned into a scrum five metres out and the ball was spread left to Harries who had a simple finish in the corner.
HALF-TIME: Bridgend Ravens 7 – 11 Carmarthen Quins
Carmarthen carried their pre-interval momentum in to the second period and took just three minutes to extend the lead with some more great wing play, resulting in a try for Daniel.
The game started to open up as both
sides kicked away possession and replacement Quins’ flanker James
Davies charged through a gap in the Ravens defence, looking certain to
score until a superb covering tackle by Lewis stopped him in his tracks.
Support arrived quickly though and Dixon was on hand to cross in the
Several substitutions were made by both sides with twenty minutes to go and a simple draw and pass move from the backs saw Ravens’ wing Morgan finish strongly for his first try of the season.
This score was sandwiched between penalties from Ben Thomas and Jamie Murphy which meant Bridgend were just five points adrift with a few minutes remaining. Not content with a losing bonus point, the home side pressed on to try and snatch the points but, as they tried to break from within their own 22, the ball was intercepted by Harries for his second of the afternoon, sealing the bonus point victory for the Quins.
FULL-TIME: Bridgend Ravens 18 – 28 Carmarthen Quins
Bridgend Ravens: Tries: A Ellis, L Morgan Con: B Thomas Pens: B Thomas, J Murphy
Carmarthen Quins: Tries: J Harries 2, D Daniel, J Dixon Con: D Newton Pens: D Newton 2
Bridgend Ravens: J Murphy, L Morgan, R Thomas, G Howells, G Lewis, B Thomas, K Barrett, M Thomas, M Dwyer, D Suter, O Lloyd, L Davies, J Vaughan (c), A Ellis, S Hicks
Subs: O Williams for D Suter (53), J Thomas for M Thomas (60), A Waite for A Ellis (57), S Campbell, C Williams for K Barrett (60), R Williams for G Lewis (77), A Evans for B Thomas (60) L Peers for L Davies (45)
Carmarthen Quins:D Newton, D Daniel, A Pickersgill, A Banfield, J Harries, J Dixon, R Wells, G Thomas, G Robinson, I Jones (c), C Jones, H Pugh, A Laxton, L Joseph, E Lloyd
Subs:T Davies for G Thomas (65), A Beaujean for I Jones (59), R Wilkes for G Robinson (58), J Davies for E Lloyd (49), R Thomas, H Rees for R Wells (75), C Banfield for J Dixon (75), A Thomas for L Joseph (75)
Man of the Match: Jamie Murphy
Attendance: 850 Referee: Neil Hennessy