Jones the star for Bed­was as Merthyr fail to find form

Cynon Valley - - RUGBY UNION -

MERTHYR .................... 24 BED­WAS ....................... 37

VIS­IT­ING out­side half St­ef­fan Jones fin­ished the game with 20 points as he steered Bed­was to a bonus-point win at the Wern over reign­ing cham­pi­ons Merthyr who, for the sec­ond week run­ning, did not show any signs of last sea­son’s form.

Merthyr started the brighter of the two sides and took an early lead when cen­tre Teri Gee found a huge gap in the Bed­was de­fence 35 me­ters out to race away for a try which full back Matthew Jarvis con­verted. How­ever, this was shorted lived as Merthyr were pe­nalised for off­side 25 me­ters out with Jones mak­ing no mis­take with the three points. Merthyr then ex­tended the lead when a drop pass in mid­field saw cen­tre Gee kick ahead and the race for the try line was won by scrum half Justin James to touch down un­der the posts, Jarvis con­verted and Merthyr were ahead 14-3.

Bed­was looked dan­ger­ous as they be­gan to set­tle with both for­wards and backs putting some good phases of play to­gether and this was re­warded when ref­eree Adam Jones awarded a penalty try fol­low­ing a Bed­was player be­ing tack­led with­out the ball, which saw Merthyr hooker Richard Wilkes be­ing shown a yel­low card and Bed­was closed the gap 14-10.

Bed­was took ad­van­tage of the ex­tra man as they drove the Merthyr pack off the ball at a scrum which re­sulted in a penalty which Jones con­verted to bring the half time score 14-13.

Things didn’t get any bet­ter at the start of the sec­ond half for Merthyr as they failed to make the kick off safe and when the ball was re­cy­cled by Bed­was their backs spread it wide to wing­man Ge­orge Gas­son who crossed for the try wide out, Jones con­verted to give Bed­was a 14-20 lead.

Merthyr hit straight back when they were awarded a penalty in the Bed­was 22. They turned the kick for goal down and kicked for the cor­ner. From the li­ne­out, won by young sec­ond row Ben Mur­phy, the pack drove to­wards the Bed­was line, and af­ter sev­eral at­tempts prop Joe Rees crashed over for the try to re­duce the gap to one point 19-20.

The game was now evenly bal­anced with both sides look­ing for a score and it was Bed­was that stretched the lead when St­ef­fan Jones gath­ered his own kick ahead to beat the Merthyr de­fence to score Bed­was’s third try which he con­verted to give them a 19-27 lead. Back came Merthyr with their three­quar­ters mov­ing the ball wide which saw wing­man St­eff An­drews race up field and when the ball was re­cy­cled Bed­was were caught off side. From the penalty, Merthyr kicked for touch and once again drove to­wards the Bed­was line and this time back row­man Tom Da­ley crashed over, Jarvis hit­ting the posts with the con­ver­sion, but Merthyr had closed the gap to three points 24-27.

Bed­was were then re­duced to 14 men when re­place­ment prop Bryn­ley Toms was yel­low carded but Bed­was dug deep as Merthyr threw ev­ery­thing at them look­ing for that vi­tal score. With time run­ning out a stray pass from re­place­ment Richard Pow­ell was gath­ered up by the Bed­was for­wards and they drove to­wards the Merthyr 22, and quick ball was moved wide to re­place­ment wing Ol­lie Hal­ford who crossed for the try, Jones added the ex­tras to give Bed­was a 10-point lead 24-34.

As hard as Merthyr tried they could not find a way through the Bed­was de­fence and on the stroke of full-time Bed­was were awarded a penalty in­side their own half, and from 60 me­ters man of the match St­ef­fan Jones con­verted the kick to give Bed­was a thor­oughly de­served 24-37 vic­tory.

This was once again a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult for the Iron­men who seemed to have lost their form of last sea­son. How­ever they must now put th­ese early set­backs be­hind them as they head to Sardis Road this week­end for a lo­cal derby against Pon­typridd.

Rhys Hutch­er­son looks for a way past Merthyr’s Edd Sig­gery

Bed­was man of the match Luke Crane gets the ball away from a scrum

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