HEREFORD RFC coach Bob Stewart was pleased with his side's battling display despite falling to a 24-15 defeat to Blaenavon in their first pre-season game.

The first half was well balanced with each side registering a try and the visitors leading 7-5.

Hereford's score came after Ollie Hutcheson drove forward and Lewis Jordan touched down.

A 15-minute period in the second half saw Hereford concede three further tries.

One conversion was successful which took the score with 20 minutes remaining to 24-5.

Hereford responded and from a scrum, half-back Connor Sullivan made a break to score a typical poached try.

Following another tap penalty Lewis Turner made space on the wing before touching down in the corner, neither try was converted.

The Wyesiders pressed for a further score but were denied any further breaks.

“We used the game to give as many players as possible some experience,” said Stewart.

“Many players got valuable game time and some of the new boys made an impact.

"Had we not conceded a couple of silly tries, the result could have been different and all in all I believe we played the better rugby.

"Today’s game fulfilled all the requirements of a pre-season friendly, the team was able to try out new things without the fear of mistakes costing league points.

"A number of the newcomers looked promising, especially the experienced Josh Jensen and rookie Freddie Spencer."

Hereford play their final pre-season game at Malvern on August 31, before hosting Sutton Coldfield in their opening league game on September 7.