BARGOED 40 NEATH 28
Bargoed and Neath served up an entertaining pre-season warm-up which will have done both teams a power of good.
Neath supporters need not be too despondent about the result because the All Blacks went into the game missing virtually an entire back division as well as a couple of key forwards due to holidays and injury-niggles.
For a pre-season affair, there was a lot of good rugby on offer. Neath edged the first half through tries by prop Ben Uphill, lock Ryan Bean and full back Ed Howley who converted all three. The Blacks’ powerful scrummage was the feature of the first period which the visitors ended 21-14 to the good.
The Blacks changed their entire pack at half-time and made changes behind and, despite a fourth Neath try by flanker Lloyd Evans which Howley again goaled, Bargoed had the better of the second period and deserved to take the spoils through the greater physicality of their backs against what was by then a makeshift Neath division although it took a suspiciously off-side-looking try to finally tilt it their way.
Several players impressed for Neath who will hope to welcome back Mike Evans, Richard Smith, Gavin Evans, Aaron Bramwell, Scott Gibson and Keelan Marney against Pontypool next week although Luke Garrett and Ieuan Jones will still be away.
MATCH PREVIEW / TEAMSHEET
Ed Howley, Ashley Evans, Mike Evans, James Roberts, Alec Jenkins, A.N.Other, A.N.Other, Iwan Evans, Dan Guarneri, Chris Morgans, Scott Gibson, Ben Uphill, Luke Garrett, Liam Tobias, Ryan Thomas, Tyla Murvai, Garin Lloyd, Sion Crocker, Darren Hughes, Rhys Jones, Ryan Bean, Scott Andrews (captain), Jon Barley, Elis Hopkins, Jordan Collier, Leon Ward, Aled Cockwell, Lloyd Evans, Ceri White, Scott Hicks