Match Report – Bridgend Ravens 13 Ebbw Vale RFC 36

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Match Report – Bridgend Ravens 13 Ebbw Vale RFC 36

Ebbw claim another away victory

The steelmen came away from the Dunraven Brewery Field with a bonus point victory, in a hard-fought game that was played in terrible weather conditions.

The away side came out and immediately took the game to their hosts. A huge push by the pack in the scrum saw the referee award an early penalty to Ebbw Vale. Outside half Evan Lloyd was successful with the penalty to put his side three points to the good.

The home side soon got into their stride. With the forwards going through phase after phase, flanker Iestyn Merriman drove over the try line to score the first try of the game. Fly half Jamin Hodgkins successfully added the two points.

Five minutes later, Bridgend number ten Hodgkins extended the lead further after successfully slotting over a penalty to put his team seven points ahead.

With the Ravens forwards having the grit between their teeth, the referee awarded a penalty to Bridgend inside the Ebbw Vale twenty-two. The Steelmen’s number eight Alex Howes was shown a yellow card for going off his feet at the ruck. Hodgkins again kicked the penalty to put the home side ten points ahead.

However, the momentum was about to swing in favour of the visitors when with minutes left of the first half, Ebbw’s experienced scrum half Jon Evans saw a gap in the defence. With the ball at the bottom of the ruck, inside the Raven’s twenty-two, Evans picked up the ball, ran at the try line and successfully beat off defenders to score the try. Lloyd was successful with the conversion to make it a three-point game going into the break.

Half Time: Bridgend Ravens RFC 13  Ebbw Vale RFC 10

Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange made a half time change. Ewan McIntyre replaced flanker Cameron Regan.

With the Steelmen still down to fourteen men, a lovely bit of play by the away side’s Lloyd, saw the number ten set up a second try for the visitors. Seeing the hosts defence up flat, fly half Lloyd put in a grubber kick, which he managed to collect himself unopposed. Seeing winger Ewan Bowden in space, Lloyd put in a lovely, weighted chip for Bowden to collect the ball and dive over the line to score out wide. Marksman Lloyd slotted the conversion from out wide to extend Ebbw Vale’s lead to four points.

Ten minutes later, Ebbw were on the scoresheet once again. From a scrum inside the home side’s twenty-two, number eight Alex Howes picked up the ball and ran at the home side’s defence. Being brought down close to the line, the forwards inched closer and closer. Scrum half Evans saw the space and dived over the line to score his second try of the afternoon. Lloyd sent the ball through the posts to add two points.

Ebbw Vale coach Strange decided to ring the changes, replacing the front row of Luke Garrett, Joe Franchi and Adam Court with Morgan Davies, Rhys Francis and Harry Drane and number eight Alex Howes came off for Ryan Jenkins. This was closely followed by Cameron Davies and Rory Harries replacing Kieran Meek and Jon Evans. Also, Reece Dunn came on to make his debut for Jordan Thomas.

With the game entering injury time, the Steelmen scored their fourth try of the game. From a lineout in the hosts half, the forwards gained metres and went through phase after phase. Replacement Harry Drane was the last to collect the ball and drove over the line to secure the Steelmen a try bonus point. Lloyd again hit the target with the conversion.

With time running out Bridgend were reduced to fourteen men after flanker Iestyn Merriman was sent to the sin bin for the remainder of the game, after giving away a penalty inside the Ravens twenty-two. Outside half Lloyd kicked the penalty to the corner. From the lineout, the forwards set up a driving maul, which ended with hooker Rhys Francis crashing over the line with the final play of the game.  Fly half Lloyd was unable to add the two points with the final kick of the game.


Full Time: Bridgend Ravens RFC 13 Ebbw Vale RFC 36      


Tries: Jon Evans (2), Ewan Bowden (1), Harry Drane (1), Rhys Francis (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (4)

Penalty: Evan Lloyd (1)


The Steelmen’s next game is against Llandovery RFC at The Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon in the semi final of the Indigo Premiership cup, with kick off at 14:30.


Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

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