Cardiff gained a losing bonus point against Merthyr at the Arms Park, but it was nearly so much more.
The first half belonged very firmly to the Blue & Blacks. The Ironmen had the better of the opening exchanges but when points were on offer they declined easy kicks to go for the corner. Twice they tried, twice they came away with nothing as the home defence held firm. When Cardiff had the opportunity to get points on the board, they did. Steffan Jones landed a short-range effort to open the scoring before kicking a monster from inside his own half to double the advantage.
When Merthyr were caught offside in mid-field following another attack, the outside-half kicked his hat-trick to edge Cardiff further ahead. The Blue & Blacks now had the upper hand and were pressurising the visitors at every opportunity and with that pressure came mistakes and they were punished with two further penalties by Jones to send Cardiff in at half time 15 points ahead.
The second half went the visitors way though. Within four minutes Merthyr were on the scoreboard. A move down the left side gave space for wing Jay Baker to score. Matthew Jarvis added the conversion and was on target with a penalty three minutes later to edge Merthyr closer.
Cardiff were being forced to defend for long periods of time and with the officials seeming to favour the visitors Cardiff were pinned back with no ball to use. The Merthyr scrum was also starting to dominate and when three scrums in a row went down in front of the posts Ben Whitehouse had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try.
The Blue & Blacks though got back in front with their only score of the second half, Jones again the provider. With three minutes to go they needed to hold on to the ball, but again the whistle went against them and when Merthyr recycled the ball Gareth Davies spotted space on the outside and his pin-point kick was collected by Kyle Evans for the winning try.