Bridgend Ravens suffered a fourth straight Principality Premiership defeat, this time at St. Helens against Ospreylain rivals Swansea.
The All Whites, with only one win to their name in the Principality Premiership heading into the match, produced a fine second half comeback, coupled with an excellent defensive display to keep the Ravens scoreless in the second half to see them claim their second win of the season.
Whites Fullback Jac Wilson and Bridgend’s Joseph Scrivens traded early penalties before Swansea stuck for the first try of the match. Phil Jones managed to slip through attempted tackles out wide and dive over, the touchline conversion was off target.
Swansea indiscipline let Bridgend work their way into the game. Will Jones was shown a yellow card for a dangerous challenge in the air following an up-and-under into the wind from Swansea. Whilst the attempt at goal was sent wide, Bridgend managed to take the lead with the man advantage. The Ravens mounted the pressure on the Swansea line and the breakthrough came after a wide move saw Tom O’Flaherty crash through. The wide conversion from Scrivens was good to hand Bridgend a slender two point lead heading into the final 15 minutes of the half.
Swansea found themselves again down to fourteen following another tackle in the air, this time at the lineout. Jay Williams was sent to the bin and Bridgend again controlled the game with the man advantage. Kyle Maiden was able to disrupt a Swansea lineout and steal possession in the Hosts half, and in form Wing Ryan Griffiths was able to glide through the Swansea defence to grab his fifth try in five games and extend the Ravens lead.
A late try at the end of the half following a maul in the Bridgend 22 for Swansea narrowed the gap to four before late indiscipline from the Hosts handed Scrivens a long range penalty effort. The referee marched Swansea back 10 metres, making the kick slightly easier for Scrivens, who slotted to push Bridgend back into a seven point lead as the Halftime whistle arrived.
HT Swansea RFC 13-20 Bridgend Ravens
A disappointing second half display from the visitors saw Swansea score 10 unanswered points and down the Ravens who struggled against a solid second half defensive display from the Hosts.
An early yellow card in the half with barely 2 minutes played saw Nicky Boyce sent to the bin following a maul drive from Swansea within their own 22. Bridgend were able to keep the Hosts out during their spell down to fourteen men but Swansea would eventually make their pressure tell. Jac Wilson added a penalty before Swansea took the lead five minutes later. Replacement Prop Mitchell Walsh powered over from close range, the successful conversion handed the Hosts a 3 point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Despite Bridgend’s best efforts, the Swansea defence managed to cling on to secure their second win of the season. Mike Powell, Ryan Griffiths, Joseph Gatt and Adam O’Driscoll all made breaks late on as Bridgend threw everything they had at the final ten minutes.
A scoreless second half from the Ravens proved costly as Regional rivals Swansea claimed the win to lift them from the foot of the table.
Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of the Match - Kyle Maiden,