Bridgend Ravens faced perhaps their toughest Principality Premiership test with a trip to Stadiwm ZipWorld to face Premiership West winners RGC in the opening match of the merged East and West Divisions.
Both sides battled in a fairly tight first half encounter though it was RGC who controlled most of the opening 30 minutes. Jacob Botica landed an early penalty for the hosts before the fly half produced a beautifully disguised pass to send Tiaan Loots bursting through the Ravens defence for the first try of the match, Botica added the conversion. The Home Side added three more points from the boot of Botica before Bridgend began firing on offence.
Bridgend struck for a try with their first meaningful attack of the half, Supporters Man of The Match Gareth Harvey raced over after breaking from the back of a ruck to score under the posts. Ryan Evans narrowed the gap to 6.
Bridgend will have been disappointed not to head in at the break with a six point deficit, but indiscipline from the visitors handed RGC great field position and the North Walians’ maul did the damage with Former Raven Henri Williams driving over. The successful conversion saw Bridgend trail by 13 at halftime.
HT RGC 20-7 Bridgend Ravens
The consistent Botica added three more points from the tee before Bridgend struck with a well worked try. The angle taken by Joseph Gatt saw the centre burst through the resolute RGC defensive line. Gatt beat the last defender and was able to round under the posts. Evans’ conversion saw Bridgend close the gap to nine points as the final ten minutes approached.
A final blitz from the hosts quickly ended Bridgend's hopes of leaving North Wales with anything as RGC ran in four tries and totalled 24 points in under 10 minutes. The Ravens will be disappointed with how the match ended, conceding so many points late in the match, however the effort and endeavour from the visitors leaves and plenty of room for optimism as the league takes a break for the first round of National Cup fixtures.
Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of The Match - Gareth Harvey