Bargoed entertained local rivals Cross Keys at a damp Bargoed Park in their fifth National Championship game, looking to build on their positive start to the season.
The playing surface was very wet but in good condition considering the recent weather, and a pat on the back here for Referee John Darcy, who managed the game well in difficult conditions.
Bargoed’s Matt Thomas pulled out in the warm up and Adam Powell stepped up to take his place on the bench.
Bargoed started well and Steff Jones put them into the lead after 3 minutes after a scrum penalty. They scored again after 15 minutes again through scrum dominance with Grant Rogers scoring to lead 8-0.
They missed a great opportunity to score from a driving maul when they infringed and slowly Cross Keys got themselves out of the stranglehold and back into the game with a converted try after 25 minutes.
Bargoed managed to increase the lead after 38 minutes when Grant Rogers got his second with another pushover try to lead 13-8 at half time.
The hosts started the second half with a bang and after good approach work, Darren Humphries offloaded for Ronny Kynes to crash over, Jones added the extras to make it 20-7.
They increased their lead after 48 minutes when Rhys Buckley steered the driving line-out to get over the whitewash, Jones again converted.
Bargoed lost back rowers Ronny Kynes and Lewis Johnson to injuries during the second half, with Adam Powell and Wade Langley stepping into the back row.
Bargoed got the bonus point try after 67 minutes with another replacement Rhys Morgan making an impact and scoring from another effective driving line-out, and Josh Prosser converted.
Bargoed scored two further tries one from another pushover scrum from Adam Powell, and one from a kick and chase as Rhys Buckley got his second try, converted by Prosser, just before the final whistle to win 46-7.
The Coaching and Management staff will be pleased with the result but not the performance as they failed to capitalise on a number of opportunities, and made a series of errors. They will be pleased with the impact of the bench but concerned regarding the particularly nasty injury to Lewis Johnson, who it’s hoped will have a speedy recovery.
Cross Keys worked hard throughout but ultimately failed to match the power of the Bargoed pack.
Bargoed remain in third place with Bedwas a point ahead, and Pontypool topping the league three points ahead of the Bulls.
The depth of the squad will be tested this week though with games on Wednesday at home against Treorchy in the Mid District Cup (7.30 kick off) before they face Beddau away on Saturday in another National Championship Match (2.30 kick off)