Thomas Steadies The Ship For Bridgend As They Pick Up The Points
10 March 2002 18:29pm
CAERPHILLY 21, BRIDGEND 34
Gareth Thomas turned on the style to ensure Bridgend didn't fall foul of a spirited Caerphilly.
Handed the captaincy of the Brewery Field club a few weeks ago, Thomas revelled in linking up with Dayfdd James at centre and made life a misery for the home defenders as he made breaks that led to two tries.
Bridgend played into the strong wind in the first half and must have been pleased with themselves when they changed ends 23-6 ahead after carving out two great tries.
But Caerphilly are renowned for their fight, particularly at Virginia Park, and they hit back to within five points in the second half.
Tongan flier Aisce Haveli helped himself to two of the visitors' three tries, James coming up with the other one, and Craig Warlow did the rest of the damage with 19 points from the boot.
Ben Watkins and Geraint Evans grabbed the tries that caterpaulted Caerphilly back into contention, but the cool head and experience of Thomas, James and Nathan Budgett, allied to the boot of Warlow, were enough to steer Bridgend through tricky times and on to a much needed victory.
Scorers: Caerphilly: Tries: B Watkins, G Evans; Con: L Richards; Pens: L Richards 3. Bridgend: Tries: A Haveli 2, D James; Cons: C Warlow 2; Pens: C Warlow 4; DG: C Warlow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
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Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.