Bridgend Ravens travelled to the Gnoll on a bitterly cold
evening, facing Regional rivals Neath, hoping to claim a second win of the
season at the ground following the Ravens Fosters Cup win earlier in in the
Joseph Scrivens and Ed Howley traded early penalties as both sides struggled to break down one another. Neath pounced for the game's first try, feeding off a Bridgend mistake. A wide pass didn't go to hand and Neath danger man Aaron Grabham hacked through, the wing managed to control the ball to score. Howley added the conversion for a seven point Neath lead heading into the final ten minutes of the first half.
Joseph Scrivens kept the Ravens within touching distance with a second penalty before the Fly Half, playing at fullback, helped set up Bridgend's first try. A loose kick allowed Scrivens to launch the stinging counter attack, Bridgend worked the ball out to in-form wing Ryan Griffiths and the speedster was able to beat his man to score. The missed conversion left just a one point difference between the sides at half time.
HT Neath RFC 10-11 Bridgend Ravens
A dominant second half from the hosts ensured a home victory, with Bridgend struggling to maintain any possession. Ed Howley landed a penalty before Neath bagged their second try.
Neath's scrum dominance led to the third try of the match, as a yellow card for replacement Nicky Boyce meant a dominant scrum just got stronger and the penalty try arrived. Howley added the conversion for a 9 point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Neath should have scored more tries but for the stubborn Bridgend defence as well as Neath’s poor execution. Scrivens narrowed the gap to 6 points with his third penalty of the match but it was the hosts that would land a late penalty to extend their lead and leave the Ravens empty handed. Ed Howley added a penalty with the clock in the red to extend the Welsh All Blacks lead to 9, leaving Bridgend out of bonus point range.