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.
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.