Cardiff RFC experienced a slight blip in the last two weeks after a superb start to the season put them right in contention at the top of the Principality Premiership's East Conference.

After the last update finished with a superb home victory over reigning champions Merthyr, Steve Law's men travelled to Bargoed with Cardiff Blues new signing Jack Roberts starting at outside centre, while Kristian Smith made his blue and blacks debut at lock.

The visitors got off to an absolute flyer as Dan Fish went over in the corner after two minutes, and then secured a penalty try after a dominant driving maul. Add in the boot of Gareth Thompson and it was 0-14 inside 10 minutes.

Bargoed would not roll over though and they fought their way back into the game tooth and nail, with former Cardiff Blues number eight Ieuan Jones crashing over and centre Jordan Howells crossing. Matthew Jenkins' boot put the hosts ahead 17-14 at the break.

A scrappy, stop-start second half did not draw any score for over 35 minutes, with neither side seeming willing to threaten the scoreboard, until Cardiff got the moment of magic they required.

Jack Roberts ran a superbly angled and timed line from 13 to hit the Bargoed defence in their blindspot and touch down under the posts. Ben Thomas added the extras, and when the hosts could not strike back in the little time remaining it signalled another big win for Steve Law and his players.

Four wins from four and next up Cross Keys were welcomed to the Arms Park as Law could call upon Owen Lane on the wing, as well as James Sheekey returning from injury at number eight. Blues duo Lewis Jones and Ben Thomas were selected at half-back, while James Down came in to add to his 100 appearances at second row.

The game started brightly for Cardiff as Will Rees-Hole crossed early on, but Keys mounted a strong comeback to score two tries of their own. Only the boot of Ben Thomas kept the blue and blacks in touch as the teams headed into the sheds.

After the break was a different story though as the home side clearly received a much needed kick up the backside.. Lewis Jones and Owen Lane both crossed within five minutes of the restart, before Rees-Hole completed his hat-trick either side of a James Sheekey score.

Cross Keys scored a late consolation, but it didn't distract from a 46-19 scoreline that didn't flatter Cardiff at all. 100% record maintained, but the challenge of Ebbw Vale to welcome to CAP next up.

With Cardiff Blues over in Ireland it meant Lewis Jones and Jack Roberts were not made available, while Dan Fish had picked up a minor groin injury, but Sion Bennett was named to make his blue and blacks debut. Ian Jenkins also made his first appearance after impressing for Bargoed two weeks earlier, while Tom Mably started at tighthead.

A lightning start to the game saw Llywarch ap Myrddin reply to an Ebbw try inside 10 minutes, but ill-discipline saw the blue and blacks spend 20 minutes of the first half down to 14-men. The visitors went in 8-17 to the good after Ben Thomas missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Back up to the full compliment after half-time though, Ben White crashed over from close range but it wasn't enough. Ebbw Vale had done the damage in the first half, and when they bagged another try midway through the second half it took the game away from Cardiff. Will Rees-Hole's late try did secure a losing bonus point though.

Despite that loss it was still a top-of-the-table clash last weekend as Steve Law travelled back to Bedwas for the first time since leaving over the summer, welcoming back Dan Fish and captain Joey Tomlinson for the trip, as well as Miles Normandale who made his second blue and black debut.

Unfortunately what should have been a spectacle of running rugby between two free scoring sides was brought to a halt by some suspect refereeing and a disappointing quality in particularly the first half. A penalty each sent the sides in with the score 3-3 at half-time.

The second half was brought to life by a Owen Lane try on 55 minutes, but the referee and his assistant really drew the wrath of the blue and blacks with some one-sided officiating. A reversed penalty allowed Bedwas to roll towards the line, only for Reuben Tucker to be deemed to have pulled it down and was promptly yellow carded.

A further try from the home side and a late penalty took even a losing bonus point away from Cardiff, leaving us in third place, just a point behind this weekend's game against Pontypridd at the Arms Park.

After a slow start saw them lose two of the opening three games, the Valleys side have recovered to go on a run of three straight wins in the last three weeks, and will provide a stern test in the A470 South derby.

Get down to the Arms Park on Saturday to support the blue and blacks as we look to get the season back on track after the last two weeks. Always a win to be enjoyed when we get one over on Ponty, come on Cardiff!!


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