By David Parsons
Newport picked up their second bonus-point win of the season as they headed north to beat RGC 41-25 after sitting out round two in the Indigo Premiership.
But the Black & Ambers had to do it the hard way after they found themselves for long periods in the second half.
Che Hope scampered over for the first of their six tries and then got a second on the stroke of half time to hoist his side into a 12-8 lead. Home wing Sam Stoddard had sandwiched a try of his own in between those two Hope scores and he crossed again at the start of the second half.
Sam Earl-Jones’ conversion and penalty made it 18-12 to the Gogs before they lost Ilan Evans to a yellow card as Newport upped the ante. Prop Garin Harris then became the third player to bag a brace of tries as he crashed over from close range.
2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ CLUB | @RhysJenko_8 became to latest B&A double centurion at yesterday's victory in North Wales, and there's no sign of him stopping just yet!
— Newport RFC (@NewportRFC) September 17, 2023
Huw Taylor got one back for RGC, but Wales U20 wing Oli Andrews completed a 22-point revival at the end without reply to give the visitors the perfect start to their season.
Matthew Jarvis returned to one of his old stamping grounds and kicked Pontypool to a 12-10 win over Aberavon in the Indigo Premiership.
It had been Jarvis’ late penalty that had turned a potential 17-17 draw into a 20-17 win over Swansea the previous week and he held his nerve to kick four penalties to make it back-to-back wins.
Aberavon thought they had won the game when Aled Thomas kicked a penalty five minutes from time to take a 10-9 lead. The Wizards had scored the only try of the game through Stef Andrews early in the second half, but three penalties from Jarvis had kept Pooler in the fight.
Back-row Ben Moa believes winning at the Talbot Athletic Ground can only improve belief and confidence.https://t.co/xi5tAiv4jM
— Pontypool RFC (@PontypoolRFC) September 17, 2023
The visitors led 9-7 going into the closing stages before Thomas kicked his side ahead. Then Aberavon infringed again, and Jarvis stepped up to make it 12-9 with only seconds left. There was still time for more drama as Aberavon were given one last shot at glory.
Thomas lined up a final kick and thought he had hit the mark. Aberavon weren’t happy when it was flagged wide and protested to the officials, but the referee blew for full-time and Pooler took the win.
Full back Edd Howley scored two tries for Bridgend as they pushed the bitter disappointment of losing to a late Joe Gage try seven days earlier against Aberavon as they won 22-11 at Carmarthen Park. Jordan Collier and Cam Ellis also crossed the home line to earn the Ravens a bonus-point as well.
Ryan Bean grabbed a consolation try at the end for the Quins, who also had two penalties from Jac Wilson.
Llandovery turned on the power and the style at Sardis Road to leaving Pontypridd still awaiting their first win of the season after an opening day draw at home against Cardiff and an away defeat at Ebbw Vale. This time the home side went down 24-12 as the Drovers took home a bonus-point for four tries.
🏉@jordan_collier bagged our first try in Saturday afternoon's win after some tidy work from Chris Williams 😍
— Bridgend Ravens (@bridgendravens) September 18, 2023
The visitors got off to the perfect start with a try from Ioan Hughes in the second minute and were 12-0 ahead at the break after former Wales centre Adam Warren crossed for a second and Hughes added the extras.
Llandovery doubled their lead in the third quarter as Harry Thomas bundled his way over and then Wales U20 wing Jac Davies also scored. Hughes converted the latter and to was 24-0 just short of the hour mark.
Ponty at least hit back with two tires in the final quarter with wing Macauley Rowley and centre Ryn Wilkins crossing. Josh Phillips converted one of them to make it 24-12 in the end.
Oon Thursday night, Neath suffered a 31-0 defeat at Merthyr leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table. Josh Lewis, Dan Wall and Ben Jones ran in tries for the home side, who also had a penalty try awarded to them. Gareth Thompson converted three and added a penalty.
🚨FULL-TIME🚨@PontypriddRFC 12 v Y Porthmyn 24
Never easy at Sardis Road so very pleasing to get 5 pts.
Diolch Ponty a phob lwc i chi am gweddill y tymor.
Wythnos bant i'r bois ond tair diwrnod ymarfer yn y gwres draw yn Dubai.
Diolch holl cefnogwyr oedd wedi teithio 🚌
— Llandovery RFC (@llandoveryrfc) September 16, 2023