A try from Scott Hicks could not prevent Bridgend exiting the SWALEC Cup
Bridgend Ravens were dumped out of the SWALEC Cup at Championship side Bargoed on Saturday.
In a see-saw encounter, both teams scored two tries apiece but it was the home side who progressed to the next round with a narrow 17-13 victory.
Despite the eventual result, it was the Ravens who started the tie the livelier of the two sides with No. 8 Scott Hicks and his back row partner Andrew Waite testing the resolve of the hosts. Bargoed stood firm in the face of this pressure but were unable to prevent Lewis Williams kicking the visitors into the lead.
The pressure from Bridgend continued as Glen Holloway and Williams began to peg back the Championship outfit. Crucially though, they missed a number of glaring opportunities to spread the ball wide and Bargoed took full advantage.
With their forward pack to the fore, hooker Lee Meads crashed over from short range to the delight of the partisan home crowd. The conversion was added by the impressive Josh Prosser.
And after Williams missed another penalty effort, it got better for the home side as their dominance at scrum time led to a penalty try as the pack drove rapidly towards the try line. Prosser again added the extras to give Bargoed control of the tie.
At 14-3 down at the start of the second half, the visitors needed an improved performance to get back into the game.
Backed by a fantastic travelling contingent, the Ravens played their way back into the contest with some sensible territorial kicking. And they got their reward when Hicks crashed over though Williams put the conversion wide of the uprights.
The try seemed to rejuvenate the visitors and they began to play with intelligence and flair. This saw a lovely backs move finished off by winger Rhys Ward-Jones. Again, Williams put the conversion wide but it seemed only a matter of time before the Ravens got on top.
Bargoed deserve the utmost credit for the way they responded. The Championship outfit held out well in the face of adversity, forcing errors from their Premiership visitors.
And on a rare flurry into the oppositions half, they earned a penalty which Prosser slotted to secure the upset.
WRU National Match Officials Manager Nigel Whitehouse tells WRU TV's Liz Jones what makes Nigel Owens the world's top referee after the whistler received a special award for officiating in 100 Celtic league fixtures.
WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie and Alex Bywater have a ringside seat as Tonga prepare for the international clash against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Under duress, the duo speed through this week's Principality Premiership games.
The launch of the Dove Men's International Series in this week's Princiipality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We preview South Africa with Sam Warburton, Rob Howley, George North and Adam Jones. Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens go along to Dyffryn Taf school in Whitland to launch the educational side of Scorch the Dragon. WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis was also there, while we speak to head Robert Newsome and pupils. Russia coach Kingsley Jones looks ahead to facing Japan in Colwyn Bay.
Wales hero Jonathan Davies took time out from Test match preparations to join a unique literacy lesson at his former school, Dyffryn Taf in Whitland, Carmarthenshire. British and Irish Lions and Scarlets centre Davies was joined by his international and Regional team-mate Ken Owens, back in the classroom, to help introduce the Welsh Rugby Union's new mascot Scorch to pupils.
We build up to South Africa, Wales Women's World Cup draw and John Dawes goes back to school in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Sam Warburton, Ken Owens and Rhys Patchell in the Wales squad, Wales Women Rachel Taylor and Jenny Davies, while it was a special day at Lewis Boys when Wales and Lions legend John Dawes returned to his old school.
We hear from Wales coach Warren Gatland looking forward to the Dove Men's Series on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. New Blues defence coach Dale McIntosh talks about the wrench of leaving Pontypridd,Wales Sevens captain Adam Thomas, plus we hear from Rhymney, Pontllanfraith and Monmouth about their clubs at a NatWest Rugby Force workshop.
It is the launch of the new Wales rugby kit in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Lions Ian Evans and Alex Cuthbert about the new Under Armour kit, while Scarlets pair Rhodri Williams and Emyr Phillips talk Heineken Cup. It is the launch of the NatWest Rugby Force, we hear from NatWest regional manager Wales Mark Douglas, WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis, WRU head of rugby Josh Lewsey and Wales captain Ryan Jones. Wales Sevens pair Chris Knight and Adam Field look back on the Australian leg of the IRB World Series.
We arte down on the street in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We go to Blaenavon to hear about the latest stage of the WRU's street rugby from Wales captain Ryan Jones, former hooker Lloyd Burns, Dragons rugby development manager Greg Woods and the minister for culture and sport, John Griffiths. We also speak to Newport, Neath, Carmarthen Quins and Swansea about their hopes in the Principality Premiership.
A special tribute to Cliff Morgan, one of the all-time greats of Welsh rugby, in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We go to his funeral on the Isle of Wight and speak to Barry John, Mary Peters, Clive Rowlands and Roger Lewis about the great man. We also hear from Llandovery, Bridgend, Cardiff and Bedwas about the Principality Premiership, while Wales U20s centre JAck Dixon talks about facing Lions star Jonathan Davies.