Lewis Hudd of Bedwas steps past Pontypridd's Adam Thomas
Pontypridd moved level on points with Carmarthen Quins at the top of the Principality Premiership after a 34-15 win away at Bedwas on Saturday morning.
Three tries in the last quarter proved enough to win it for the visitors but the encounter was a lot closer than the final score line suggested. Nonetheless, it was another statement of intent from the defending champions who have won six and drawn one of their seven games so far this season.
It was Bedwas who notched the first points of the game, Harley Thompson kicking a penalty before debutant Glen Lewis crossed for a well worked score.
Dai Flanagan reduced the deficit for Pontypridd and although it was Bedwas who were on top, they were struggling to convert their pressure into points. And when Flanagan kicked two more penalties before the break, Bedwas went into the interval behind.
It wasn't long before the home side were back ahead though, Rory Budina giving Bedwas the dream start to the second half with a try under the posts, Thompson again converting.
Pontypridd hit back with two more penalties from Flanagan but when the home side were forced into a couple of changes due to injury, the visitors struck. Second row Craig Locke and full back Adam Thomas crossed for two quick scores with the relentless Flanagan converting both efforts. The two tries took the wind from the Bedwas sails and replacement Lloyd Williams made certain of the victory with Pontypridd's third try.
In the other fixture to take place, Aberavon earned a vital 27-23 win over Bridgend in a game of two halves.
A horrendous first 40 minutes from the Ravens saw them ship three first half tries. Ex-Bridgend Athletic full back Jonny Phillips sliced through for the home side's first try before Ieuan Davies and Richard Carter put the Port Talbot side well ahead as the half time whistle sounded.
Bridgend's only impact on the scoreboard had come through the boot of James Dixon but in the second half, they fought back to claim a losing bonus point as Aberavon failed to score in the second half.
Bridgend dominated possession and territory with Luke Morgan's converted try getting the Ravens back into things. With the wind in their sails, Bridgend launched one final attack and were rewarded when Lloyd Evans broke the line and offloaded to Tom Grabham who crossed the whitewash.
Dixon kicked another successful conversion but it was not enough to stop Jason Hyatt from securing his first win as Aberavon coach.
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.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
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'.