Bargoed were looking to back up a good away win at Newport last week in similar fashion at Bargoed Park but suffered a mauling at the hands of a rampant Merthyr side. The signs were ominous from the outset with the Bulls’ scrum under the sort of pressure normally applied to the opposition. Merthyr’s backs played with pace and width and it was to the home side’s credit that their defence held against a relentless attack.
A scrum was called from a penalty under the Bargoed posts followed by two further blasts on Jason Bessant’s whistle before he indicated a penalty try. No conversions now after the rule change and it was 0-7 after just 10 minutes. Matthew Lewis closed the gap for Bargoed with a well struck 40 metre penalty three minutes later.
The home side defended well throughout the first quarter but were having a torrid time in the scrums and had no real possession or territory. The second try for the Ironmen came on 27 minutes. Fullback Matthew Jarvis spotted outside half Richard Powell out on the right wing, put in a cross kick and he duly collected and ran in unopposed to make it 3-14 with Jarvis’ conversion.
Jarvis and Lewis swapped penalties and the Bargoed crowd breathed a sigh of relief when the half time whistle went with the score a reasonably respectable 6-17.
The Bulls looked more composed from the start of the second half and a David Evans turnover on the Bargoed twenty two was moved quickly to outside half Ian Smerdon who put in a precision kick for right wing Ashley Norton to take one-handed and run in from the half way. Lewis’ conversion drifted wide but Bargoed were back in the game at 11-17.
The respite however was short-lived. Rhys Downes went over for Merthyr’s third from a dubious tap and go penalty at a ruck under the Bargoed posts which Jarvis converted and the bonus point try came just as the game entered the final quarter with Ben Murphy benefitting from a catch and drive close to the Bull’s line. Jarvis continued his fine kicking display as Merthyr led 11-29.
Bargoed replacement prop Keiron Brown got yellow carded on 67 minutes for a scrum infringement on the Bulls’ line before replacement Justin James made it 11-38 shortly after coming on with Jarvis adding the extras.
The home side battled away and struck back with a great solo effort from Calum Jones. Jones had come on as a replacement for Ian Smerdon and took a short pass at pace from substitute scrum half Matt Bancroft carving through the Merthyr backline and rounding under the posts. Lewis converted to add a degree of respectability to the 18-38 scoreline. However Merthyr weren’t finished and replacement scrum half Aaron Pinches finished it off with Merthyr’s sixth try, again converted by Jarvis to round it off 18-45.
7 October 2017
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