Bridgend Ravens produced a much improved performance to come within minutes of beating Bedwas on Boxing Day.
In front of an impressive crowd of 1,088, the Ravens cruelly had victory snatched from them after Harley Thompson scored five minutes before the end.
The game started poorly for the home side. Lewis Hudd crossed within the first five minutes to put his side ahead. Italian international fly half, Kris Burton missed the conversion.
Bridgend kept themselves in the game thanks to a penalty from the ever reliable James Dixon, and just two minutes later, captain Tom Grabham produced a moment of brilliance to put Bridgend into the lead. Dixon slotted the extras.
The Ravens continued to play exciting rugby, with Bedwas holding firm. Sadly for the hosts, Matthew Pewtner was able to crash over to give the men of Gwent the advantage. This time, Burton slotted the points.
Just before the interval, Ross Jones missed a penalty attempt, but as the referee blew for half time, the game was poised on a knife edge with the visitors leading 10-12.
Bridgend started the second half the much better side, and within the first 10 minutes retook the lead. Ross Jones slotted two excellent penalty goals to put the Ravens in a stronger position.
Bedwas reply came from the boot of Burton, but it was to be Bridgend who made the next notable contribution to the scoreboard. Excellent second row, Owain Lloyd was able to worm his way over the whitewash from close range. Jones successfully made it a seven point score.
With the home crowd now firmly behind their resurgent side, the Ravens went hunting for further scores, but a lapse in concentration saw Bedwas break, allowing winger Rory Budina to score out wide, with Burton again missing an attempt at goal for the conversion.
There was just ten minutes left, and three points in the game and the Ravens seemed certain to hold out, and looked the more likely to add to their score. It was not to be, however, as Harley Thompson broke Ravens hearts with a surge through the defence to touch down under the posts.
To their credit, Bridgend did not let their heads drop and fought right until the final whistle to regain their lead. Bedwas held out to ease their relegation worries, whilst heaping more pressure on a Ravens side that is sadly languishing in the lower region of the table.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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.