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Merthyr RFC 42 Bargoed RFC 26


Bargoed visited The Wern to take on Premiership league leaders Merthyr, who were smarting after a midweek defeat to Llandovery.

There was added interest with the S4C cameras covering the game and Bargoed appearing for the first time in a live game this season.

Bargoed started well with a solid set piece and plenty of territory and possession to work with.

Bargoed’s scrum was particularly dominant and when they put the hosts scrum under pressure close to the line impressive scrum half James Leadbeater took advantage and scored an early try that Josh Prosser converted.

Bargoed created a number of chances by working hard off the ball, pressurising the Merthyr attack and forcing errors. However they failed to capitalise on this.

Merthyr struck back after 25 minutes when Andrew Murphy profited from a driving line-out opportunity and Richard Powell converted.

Bargoed were working hard defensively and reaped the rewards of good line speed and pressure when Jordan Howells intercepted and scored their second try to make it 12-7.

Merthyr managed to take the lead in this ding dong affair on 34 minutes from a Bargoed error. James Leadbeater did well to recover a high ball and broke into the Merthyr 22 but the final pass went down with the line begging.

Merthyr’s Tom James gathered the ball and moved it quickly into space and Kyle Evans benefitted with a try at the other end converted by Powell.

Merthyr went in 14-12 up at half time, but there was plenty more to come from this game.

The second half saw Merthyr kick to the corner after Bargoed needlessly conceded a penalty near the half way line. The Ironman drove the line-out and then patiently went through the phases before putting second row Ben Murphy over for a try, converted by Powell to give them a 21-12 lead.

Merthyr back rower Jack Perkins was yellow carded for an illegal clear out and Bargoed took advantage by applying pressure through their driving line-out.

When Merthyr infringed again Bargoed took the scrum and from a set move saw Ashley Norton go over for a try which Prosser converted to make it 21-19 with 55 minutes gone.

Merthyr were restored to 15 and made a host of changes after 62 minutes, and when Bargoed kicked loosely Merthyr and Cardiff Blues wing Tom James went on a weaving run and created the space for Josh Martin to score a try converted by Powell to lead 28-19.

Bargoed made some changes but momentum was with Merthyr, and the hosts increased their lead five minutes later when poor defence saw Aaron Pinches break through and after Merthyr got quick ball James again was on hand to offload for Josh Martin to get his second try, converted by Powell to lead 35-19.

Bargoed got themselves into the Merthyr 22 but then conceded a soft try as they missed a couple of tackles and Adam Thomas scored at the other end, converted by Rhys Davies.

The game had really opened up now with both sides looking to run the ball at every opportunity. Bargoed weren’t done as they chased a bonus point and they camped in the Merthyr 22 for the last five minutes and got a deserved bonus point as Jordan Howells crashed over for his second of the day, and Prosser converted to make the final score 42-26.

Bargoed showed great commitment throughout but they’ll rue a couple of missed opportunities in a game that could have gone either way.

Next week they look forward to the visit of Bridgend to Bargoed Park, and with three home games to come, Bargoed will be looking to improve accuracy and get some rewards for their hard work.

Bargoed RFC

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