Battle of the Valleys: The big talking points as Merthyr overcome Pontypridd in absorbing Sardis Road showdown

What an advert for the Principality Welsh Premiership and Valleys rugby.

Merthyr fully deserved to win the first meeting between these two clubs by a 39-21 score line and it was a belter of a match to watch.

Wales’ semi-pro tier may have its critics, but those cynics should have turned up at Sardis Road for a lesson in creative and thrilling rugby.

Kicking penalties and negative tactics was the last thing on the minds of these two valleys teams. Instead, they provided marvelous entertainment for a crowd of around 4,000 as they went at one another hammer and tongs.

Yes, these may be two of the best teams in the division but there was plenty of young talent on show to savor and the crowd certainly got full value for money.

Sardis Road’s new 3G pitch Sardis Road’s new 3G pitch was a rip-roaring success.
The new 4G pitch at Sardis Road is made for running rugby and the two teams took full advantage.

Cardiff Blues paved the way by installing one at the Arms Park and Merthyr and Pontypridd have each followed suit.

This was the inaugural match on the plastic at the House of Pain and although it may be hard on the joints and the players may endure burns, it certainly promotes running rugby.

The fast track and even surface looked superb and seemed to play well with players rarely having any problems keeping their feet when they switched direction.

As the Blues have found, it can also be a cash-cow with their pitch regularly being hired by other clubs, schools and colleges.

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