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.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.