Cardiff 20 Merthyr 25

By Ian Tabor | 10/02/2018

Cardiff fought back in the second half to claim a losing bonus point against the league leaders at the Arms Park.

The first half firmly belonged to Merthyr as the Ironmen took control of the game very early on. The home scrum was put under a lot of pressure right from the start and when a penalty from the set piece was awarded the visitors opted for a lineout. Their power pack drove the ball over and Craig Locke was at the back of the maul to score, Matthew Jarvis adding the extras.

Cardiff got their only score of the first half through a James Dixon penalty, but Merthyr soon extended their lead. Kyle Evans bursting through the home defence before linking with hooker Rhys James who scored, Jarvis missed the conversion but added a penalty to extend Merthyr’s lead shortly after.

And things go better for the visitors just before half time. Again a scrum penalty was won and pushed into the corner. The resulting catch a drive had James at the back to score his second and Merthyr’s third. Jarvis was on target his time with the conversion giving the Ironmen a 22-3 half time advantage.

Merthyr came out in the second half looking to secure the bonus point, but changes in the Cardiff side saw the scrum become surer and the penalty count went down from the high numbers it had been in the first half. Cardiff narrowed the gap midway through the half as James Beal made an individual break and when he was hauled down the ball was recycled for Adam Jones to utilise the space to score.

Merthyr though were still on the hunt for try number four. They extended their lead with another Jarvis penalty and looked odds on to score again  when the were camped on the Blue & Blacks line. But the final pass was picked off by Llywarch Ap Myrddin two metres from his own line, the fullback had the pace to go the length of the field for a try that Gareth Thompson converted. Cardiff were determined to keep Merthyr out, and this they did for the last ten minutes. Even better for the Blue and Blacks was that with the last kick of the game Thompson slotted a penalty from near half way to earn a losing bonus point.

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