01 Apr Cardiff 39 v 30 Bridgend
Bridgend Ravens came tantalisingly close to beating table toppers Cardiff at the Arms Park in front of the Scrum V cameras on Friday night.
Bridgend’s performance deserved something from the game but even a bonus point evaded them following a fine performance against Cardiff who sent themselves top of the Principality Premiership with the victory.
Backed by vociferous support, the Ravens led by a point at halftime, but a second half fightback from the Blue and Blacks downed the spirited Bridgend side.
The boot of Owen Howe opened the scoring, notching a third minute penalty.
Cardiff hit back as a grubber kick was fumbled in the in goal area and Will Rees-Hole got to the ball first. Edd Howley converted.
Bridgend struck back with a well worked try out wide. Owen Howe made good ground into the 22 and found Aaron Grabham who had more than enough pace to score. Howe added an excellent conversion to stretch the Ravens lead to three.
At the half hour mark, the Ravens bagged their second try following some great work by Jamie Murphy. Murphy dummied and ghosted through the Cardiff defence, breaking into the 22. Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of the Match Gareth Harvey broke away and scrambled over the line for the try. Howe converted.
Cardiff struck for two quick fire tries in the final 5 minutes of the half, Edd Howley racing away as Bridgend attacked for the first. Matthew Powell squeezed over with time up to narrow the gap to a point, as Howe landed a penalty for Bridgend between the Cardiff scores.
HT Cardiff RFC 19-20 Bridgend Ravens
A quick start to the second half for the hosts saw an early Howley penalty plus a try out wide for former Raven Joe Gatt.
As the hour mark approached the Ravens levelled thing up as flyer Aaron Grabham bagged a second. A hack upfield from flyhalf Jamie Murphy was chased down by by Grabham who was able to beat the chasing defence to score. Howe again converted.
Cardiff headed to the power game late on, and a yellow card for Adam O’Driscoll didn’t help Bridgend’s cause. Two late Maul tries wrapped the game up with just an Owen Howe penalty in reply from the Ravens, who will have been disappointed having left the Arms Park with nothing, given such a strong showing against the side who claimed top spot in the Premiership with their victory.