Bargoed travelled to the House of Pain at Sardis Road, to face Pontypridd in another Principality Premiership fixture, coming away with a heavy defeat and scratching their head on how such a positive first half performance ended in such a comprehensive defeat.
Bargoed dominated territory and possession early on but stout defence from Ponty repelled their attacks.
Bargoed’s first opportunity came after 10 minutes when scrum pressure saw Ponty concede a penalty. The Bulls kicked to the corner to drive the line-out. However Ponty managed to defend it and when Bargoed were penalised for holding on, the home side relieved the pressure.
The Sardis Road outfit started to get more possession and looked dangerous in attack playing with a lot of width. Bargoed gave away a penalty for offside and Ceri Sweeney stepped up to kick the first points of the game after 30 minutes.
Ponty now had clear momentum and when Bargoed conceded a series of penalties in their 22 a quick tap and pass saw Dale Stuckey crash over for the first try converted by Sweeney for a 10-0 lead.
Bargoed worked hard in defence but then managed to get a penalty from a breakdown situation near half way after good work by Rhys Buckley. Bargoed then drove the line-out and got a position just outside the Ponty 22.
They moved the ball into midfield and executed a great strike move with experienced centre Darren Humphries getting the try which was converted by Josh Prosser.
Bargoed then failed to take the kick off and more pressure from Ponty resulted in Ceri Sweeney kicking a penalty on the stroke of half time for a 13-7 lead.
The second half started with Ponty on the attack and a missed tackle allowed Alex Webber to run 40 yards before being hauled down close to the line. However when Ponty got a scrum five yards out surprisingly they got the nudge on The Bulls allowing Alun Lawrence to score as they drove over the line, Sweeney again converted.
Bargoed kicked off but a poor chase with a disconnected defensive line allowed Dale Stuckey to cut through and again get the home side on the front foot They recycled the ball and Lawrence scored his second try on the opposite flank with a close range effort, Sweeney again converting for a 27–7 lead.
Bargoed fought back and managed to retain possession after being on the back foot to work the ball through a number of phases for James Leadbeater to score, converted by Prosser.
The home side extended their lead on 54 minutes through a try from Dale Stuckey, and with Bargoed’s defence tiring further tries came from Alex Webber and Huw Rees to give the home side the spoils with a 51-14 victory.
This was a disappointing result for Bargoed after a positive first half, but the 14 points conceded in 8 minutes after half time changed the game. The home side grew in confidence and The Bulls struggled to stay with them as the ramped up the tempo on the front foot.
Bargoed need to put an eighty minute performance together as there were some positive signs here, but ultimately poor defence and a failure to take opportunities are costing them.
They fell away too easily in that second half and the review this week will focus on making it more difficult for the opposition when Bargoed haven’t got the ball. On Saturday they travel to Llandovery and will look to build on the positives of the first 40 at Sardis Road, as they face the challenge of The Drovers.