Pontypridd's Lloyd Williams feels the force of two Carmarthen tackles
Defending champions Pontypridd moved two points clear at the top of the Principality Premiership with what could be a vital 34-14 win over Carmarthen Quins at Sardis Road.
Geraint Lewis' side applied early pressure, full back Aled Summerhill going close to scoring but when Rhys Williams intercepted a loose pass, it was the Quins who took a 7-0 lead, Craig Evans adding the conversion.
Pontypridd hit back through a Dai Flanagan penalty and with the visitors continuing to be penalised, full back Ellis Phillips was soon yellow carded. The home side made the most of their extra man almost immediately to seize control, centres Geraint Walsh and Dafydd Lockyer crossing for quick-fire scores. And with Flanagan adding both sets of extras, the home side led 24-7 at the break.
Quins needed a fast start to the second half but when Walsh added his second, the visitors were up against it. Evans then converted a try of his own but with replacement Garyn Smith crossing late on, Pontypridd claimed a vital win to celebrate Craig Locke's 100th appearance for the club.
Elsewhere, Bedwas continued their recent good form as a hat-trick from winger Elliot Jones secured a 32-23 win over Aberavon. Harley Thomson was also on the score sheet at the Bridge Field but the Wizards refused to go away. Evan Yardley and David Pritchard both crossed for the visitors but it was Bedwas who drew clear.
At Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff made amends for their defeat to Bridgend earlier this season with a 27-21 victory over the Ravens. The Blue and Blacks led 17-11 at half time, outscoring their opponents by two tries to one, with Tom Slater and James Loxton their scorers. The second half was equally as tight but Loxton's second of the afternoon proved key.
In the other games to take place, there were wins for both Scarlets based clubs as Llandovery and Llanelli got the better of Swansea and Cross Keys respectively. The win for the Drovers puts Swansea eight points from safety while Llanelli remain six points clear of Keys.
At Rodney Parade, Newport were 20-3 winners over Neath with left wing Owen Broad's brace doing the damage.
School and college pupils from school club hubs across the Blues region were invited to the WRU National Centre of Excellence this week to complete the Level 1 Referee course. Nigel Owens was one of the tutors and more courses of this kind will be run around Wales to cater for the demand, to increase the number of qualified referees available to officiate school and club rugby, and to find potential future referees of the senior game.
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.
The top three teams of the Principality Premiership put their unbeaten runs on the line this weekend. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespies is joined by South Wales Argus rugby writer Chris Kirwan to discuss the weekend's action
Geraint John has taken up the new role of WRU elite coach development manager having arrived in Wales last week. WRU TV caught up with him at the WRU rugby department's strategy day at the Millennium Stadium.
The entire Welsh Rugby Union Rugby Department gathered at the Millennium Stadium earlier this week where WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey looked back on a year where structural and strategic changes have seen significant progress made
Tomorrow will see the first six-point try scored in the northern hemisphere when the Principality Premiership kicks off. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with WRU National match Officials Manager Nigel Whitehouse, and Pontypridd winger Alex Webber as they look ahead to the innovative changes.
The annual Women's club launch was held at the Wales Centre of Excellence where National Women's Head Coach and Programme Lead Rhys Edwards, Competition Secretary Adrian Howell and Cardiff Met player Ffion Jones express eagerness for the new campaign to get under way.
Plenty of award winners in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast.Dragons centre Tyler Morgan wins one of the top awards for up and coming talent with the SportingWales Rising Stars 2015 award. Scarlets and Wales outside half Hannah Jones is one of the runners-up. We also he from community clubs as the season approaches and Principality Premiership unsung hero Ron Taylor of Ebbw Vale.
Actor and Millennium Stadium Tour Guide Gareth Bale has been performing his one-man play about Wales rugby legend Ray Gravell across Wales. He chats to WRU TV before taking his show to the Edinburgh Festival.
After widespread consultation, the WRU has made major changes to its pathway programme for girls rugby with a spring and summer season being introduced with immediate effect in order to respond to a clear demand to play the game.
The Welsh Rugby Union has reiterated its strong stance to players at all levels of the game to ensure they train and compete cleanly for the good of the game following a player suspension for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.