Bridgend 12-34 Cardiff RFC

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Cardiff RFC continued the remarkable unbeaten start to the season by overcoming Bridgend and a slot start to grab a bonus point win at the Brewery Field.

Steve Law had been forced into a number of changes to the team that took apart Ebbw Vale in the Specsavers Cup the previous week, with James Ratti, James Botham, Ben Thomas and Dan Fish called up to the Cardiff Blues squad, while Barney Nightingale was ruled out through injury.

The chopping and changing of the squad impacted the opening of the game, with proceedings remaining scoreless for the first quarter until the hosts broke the deadlock through Stuart Floyd-Ellis.

However, Cardiff hit straight back with Gareth Thompson scoring and converting his own try after a fine break from Max Llewellyn, and the fly-half notched a penalty before the break to make it 5-10 at half-time.

Bridgend saw themselves reduced to 14 just before the break as try scorer Floyd-Ellis was penalised for a deliberate knock on, and another Thompson penalty after the break helped extend the lead by three more points.

Max Llewellyn Bridgend RFC

Despite the hosts returning to a full complement of players Cardiff had begun to shake off a poor first half and a driving maul saw the Blue and Blacks grab a second try with Evan Yardley the beneficiary.

A few minutes later a well-worked multi-phase attack saw the visitors move down the field once again and replacement centre Sam Beard, who announced he was leaving for America’s MLR next month, cut a fine line to go over for the third try of the game.

Bridgend tried to stay in the game when Iestyn Merriman scored and Jacob Chilcott converted to make the score 12-27, but Cardiff had the last say in the final few minutes when an attack down the blindside of a scrum saw Beard go over for a second try, and the grab a bonus point for the Blue and Blacks.

Thompson converted all three second half tries to take his personal tally for the day to 19 points, and the lead that Steve Law’s men hold at the top of the Indigo Group Premiership table extended to 11 points after seven games.

That is ahead of a first v second clash against Aberavon at the Arms Park next Friday night, with the Wizards having lost to Llanelli last weekend but still holding a game-in-hand. Be sure to get down to CAP to support the Blue and Blacks this weekend!

Images courtesy of Viv Jones.

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