Tries: Jordan Williams (1), Matthew Thomas (1), Sam Mills (1), Marc Thorley (1), Ben Parry (1)
Conversions: Clayton Gullis (2)
Tries: Simon Grainger (1), Jordan Odgers (1), Morgan Williams (1)
Conversions: Sam Withers (1)
Pooler secure bonus-point win over tough Beddau
Pontypool welcomed Beddau to Pontypool Park on a cold but fine afternoon. This was Pooler’s first match in a month due to the Six Nations and the postponement of last week’s fixture at Bridgend Athletic, which will now be played on Saturday 16 April.
Pontypool kicked off playing down the slope. It was all Pooler in the early exchanges and with five minutes gone, the pressure told when back row forward Jordan Williams crossed for a try after several forward drives. The conversion hit the upright (5-0). Some great handling led to Pontypool’s second try in the 10th minute with scrum half Aaron Quick making a break, off-loaded to hooker Ben Parry who, in turn, popped the ball to loose head prop Jamie Jeune. The experienced Jeune, who celebrated his 200th league and cup game for the club in the last away game at Llanharan, went through a gap in the defence at speed and gave the scoring pass to second row Matthew Thomas who touched down under the posts. Full back Clayton Gullis converted (12-0).
Five minutes later Beddau responded well with a controlled driving maul which resulted in an unconverted try by flanker Simon Grainger in the right corner. (12-5). In the 29th minute Pooler were guilty of standing up in a scrum 15 metres in from Beddau’s left touchline, just outside the home 22 and full back Sam Withers cut the deficit with a successful penalty goal (12-8). Three minutes later Pooler went on the attack down the left flank. Gullis made a great break and fed the supporting Sam Mills. The outside half ran under the posts for a try which was converted by Gullis (19-8). On the stroke of half time Pooler scored their bonus-point try through centre Marc Thorley in the left corner. The conversion failed. Half time score Pontypool 24 Beddau 8.
At the start of the second period Ben Sparks was replaced by Gareth Rusby-Davies in Pooler’s back row and 13 minutes into the half Josh Hurley came on for centre Sione Tu’ipulotu. Left wing Dan Robinson went into the centre while Josh Hurley took Robinson’s place. Two minutes later a lovely break by Robinson took play between the visitors’ 10 metre line and 22. The ball was recycled, went left and good hands by tight head prop Garin Harris, passed to Hurley who drew two defenders and offloaded to Ben Parry on the left wing and the Pooler captain sprinted 20 metres to score an unconverted try in the corner (29-8).
With 20 minutes left Garin Harris was replaced by Jamie Edwards and shortly after Rhys Dyer came on for Aaron Quick and then Joe Popple came on for Parry with Jamie Jeune moving to hooker and Popple went to loose head prop. Going into the final few minutes of the game Beddau scored two tries through centre Jordan Odgers and right wing Morgan Williams, the latter was converted by Sam Withers. Final score Pontypool 29 Beddau 20.
This was a good win for Pontypool against a strong Beddau outfit. It was a creditable performance after having the long lay-off. Pontypool have two very important matches coming up next with a trip to North Wales next Saturday to take on RGC 1404 at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay, kick-off 2.30pm. Pontypool will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins in the North having narrowly won there in their previous two visits – 26-20 in October 2013 and 7-6 in the final game of last season. Pooler’s next home match will be on Friday 18 March when Merthyr, runaway leaders of the SWALEC Championship, will visit Pontypool Park, kick-off 7.15pm. Pontypool inflicted on the Ironmen their only defeat of the season so far (20-13), at The Wern back in early October, so Pooler will be looking for the season’s double.
Pontypool: Clayton Gullis, Nathan Brooks, Marc Thorley, Sione Tu’ipulotu (replaced by Josh Hurley), Dan Robinson, Sam Mills, Aaron Quick (replaced by Rhys Dyer), Jamie Jeune, Ben Parry (captain) (replaced by Joe Popple), Garin Harris (replaced by Jamie Edwards), Matthew Thomas, Derryn Jones, Ben Sparks (replaced by Gareth Rusby-Davies, Rob Nash, Jordan Williams.