Bridgend Ravens soared to the top of Pool 4 of the Foster's Challenge Cup with a comprehensive bonus point win over Cardiff at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.
It was a third straight win for a young Bridgend side which finished the game with five 18 year olds on the field. The game was really won in the first half, with Marc Bennett and Ashton Evans crossing for tries, and the boot of Jamie Murphy putting Bridgend into a 15-0 lead.
The second half saw more of the same as Ashton Evans and Connor Tantum crossed for further scores to secure an impressive bonus point victory.
A clinical display from a young Ravens outfit handed the hosts a fifteen-nil half time lead, Jamie Murphy notched the first points of the match from the tee, and just moments later Marc Bennett finished a deep move for the first try. Will Baird broke away from just outside his 22 before the ball was sent wide. Garin Lougher made good ground and quick recycling saw Bennett crash over in the corner.
Bridgend kept an incredible defensive workrate up to hold the visitors out, the only pressure Cardiff could manage throughout the first half, as the half-hour mark arrived.
The Ravens, keen to take full advantage of their opportunities, opted to kick to the corner and maintain their dominance. A powerful maul took Bridgend to within 5 metres where the forwards were asked to continue working towards the line. Ashton Evans was able to drive over under the posts to further the Bridgend advantage. Murphy added the conversion for a 15 point half time lead.
HT Bridgend Ravens 15-0 Cardiff RFC
A lightning start to the second half saw the Ravens pick up where they left off at the end of the first. Michael Powell broke away out wide and the speedster put boot to ball, forcing the Blue and Blacks to dot the ball down over their own line. Bridgend again built through the forwards and Ashton Evans again broke through the Cardiff defence to grab his second score of the match.
Cardiff built some pressure on the Ravens 22 as the final quarter approached. Replacement Fly half Diggy Bird dabbed down under the posts and converted for what would be the Blue and Blacks only score of the match.
Bridgend took little time to again extend their lead. A powerful maul from the pack was eventually halted but Bridgend were on the front foot. Connor Tantum’s snipe from close range saw the teenager grab the bonus point try for the hosts.
A clinical display from a young Ravens outfit brought a third straight win for the Ravens faithful to savour. Bridgend top pool 4 of the Fosters Challenge Cup with two wins in the opening two rounds.