Bridgend Ravens’ first trip to the Wern Sports Park in the Principality Premiership ended in defeat despite the Ravens’ gallant efforts at the home of the champions.
Bridgend took the lead through the boot of Jamie Murphy, the outside half should have added a second penalty shortly after, but pushed his effort wide.
Late in the half Merthyr plied the pressure but continued to make mistakes. The first try of the match eventually arrived as the impressive Phil Rees drove over from the back of a maul.
HT Merthyr RFC 5-3 Bridgend Ravens
A dominant second half performance saw the hosts add three tries, including two counter attacks from deep that were both finished by the Premiership’s all time top try scorer Richard Carter. Merthyr also added a penalty try as their pack dominated with Bridgend losing Jack Pope to the bin. The hosts’ advantage in the scrum saw the pack claim the score following a succession of powerful scrum drives that also saw Cai Lewis sent to the bin, leaving Bridgend with 13 men for a short period.
A late rally from Bridgend closed the gap between the sides. Nathan Edwards carried hard, as he did all game, and broke the into the Merthyr 22. The centre timed the pass perfectly to send Aaron Grabham over under the posts. Ryan Evans converted.
With little time remaining, Bridgend showed they had a powerful maul of their own, resulting in Dewi Lake touching down out wide. It would prove to be too little too late however, leaving Bridgend to rue a couple of missed opportunities earlier in the match.