Tries by Ethan McVeigh, Roma Zheng and Joe Locke.
Conversions by Brad Roderick-Evans (3).
Tries by Garin Price, Darren Hughes, Ashley Sweet, Mike Herbert and Ethan Davies.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (4).
Penalties by Matthew Jarvis (2).
Enjoyable and entertaining end-of-season encounter at Cyncoed
The students of Cardiff Metropolitan University and Pontypool served up an enthralling game of rugby in the sun at Cyncoed in this Admiral WRU National Championship match, writes Ray Ruddick. It appears as if this game is Pooler’s last of the season as it looks unlikely that the abandoned game at Ystalyfera will be replayed and Beddau’s visit to Pontypool Park seemingly will not go ahead.
The students kicked off defending the scoreboard end of the ground on a lovely sunny day. In the second minute Pooler full back Ethan Davies was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on when play was near Met’s 10-metre line. Six minutes later Pooler were testing the home defence inside Met’s 22 and eventually the pressure told when second row Garin Price barged over for a try 15 metres in from the right corner. Outside half Matthew Jarvis converted (0-7).
In the 33rd minute Pooler were awarded a penalty for offside inside Met’s 22 and kicked towards the left corner. From the lineout, the Pooler pack drove their opponents back and hooker Darren Hughes scored a try which Matthew Jarvis improved with a fine kick from wide out (0-14). In injury time at the end of the first period Pooler were on the attack and tight head prop Peter Lloyd found himself in space inside the students’ 22. He offloaded to the supporting Ashley Sweet for the second row to cross for a try near the posts. Matthew Jarvis again converted to make the half time score Cardiff Metropolitan University 0 Pontypool 21.
Inside the first minute of the second half Cardiff Met claimed their first try of the afternoon when replacement Ethan McVeigh finished off a move that started near Met’s 22. This score was converted by outside half Brad Roderick-Evans (7-21). However, back came the visitors and two minutes later all-action flanker Mike Herbert scored their bonus-point try as he took a pass at pace and sprinted 30 metres for a deserved score to the left of the posts. Matthew Jarvis slotted the conversion (7-28).
In the 53rd minute the students’ left wing Roma Zheng scored a try after a 50-metre run along the left touchline, with Brad Roderick-Evans adding the extras (14-28). Three minutes later Met were guilty of hands in a ruck 15 metres in from Pooler’s left touchline and Matthew Jarvis kicked the penalty (14-31). On the hour Met had a scrum 5 to the left of the posts. They went left and No 8 Joe Locke crashed over for a try near the corner and Brad Roderick-Evans slotted a good conversion (21-31).
With 12 minutes remaining Pooler hooker Darren Hughes suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury and was replaced by Lewis Ball. He had treatment off the field near the touchline but was eventually taken away on a stretcher - speedy recovery Darren. A minute later Met were penalised at a scrum, 15 metres in from Pontypool’s left touchline, 30 metres from the home goal line and Matthew Jarvis kicked the goal (21-34). In the 75th minute visiting flanker and captain Scott Matthews was yellow carded for taken a player out off the ball.
Then, a minute later, Pooler made a couple of changes with scrum half Owain Leonard making way for Zak Roberts and Joel Mahoney took over from Pat Lewis in the centre. Two minutes from time Kyan Best replaced Sam Cochrane at loose head prop for Pooler. With the final move of the game, Ethan Davies intercepted a pass near his 22 and sprinted fully 75 minutes to dive over in the left corner for Pontypool’s fifth try of the afternoon. The conversion narrowly went wide. Final score – Cardiff Metropolitan University 21 Pontypool 39.
This was a pleasing performance and result for Pontypool as the students are always dangerous and can score tries from anywhere. It has been a difficult and frustrating season with the late starting of the leagues due to COVID-19, teams only playing once against each other and some matches not played. After the summer break, focus will be on all-important next season and Pooler’s attempt to finally get to the Premiership. However, it will be very difficult as there could be several clubs who will be in the mix come the end of the campaign. Let us hope that Pontypool is one of them.
Cardiff Metropolitan University: Sam Trodd, Iwan Griffith, Daf Tiueti, Brad Morgan (captain), Roma Zheng, Brad Roderick-Evans, Rory Morgan, Joe Cowell, Tyler Olding, Matt Iorwerth-Scott, Dylan Bartlett, Dan Reed, Ewan Guy, Ardal Yallop and Joe Locke. Replacements: Harry Sutherland, Tom Read, Nathan Williams, Ethan McVeigh and Jamin Hodgkins.
Pontypool: Ethan Davies, Mathew Powell, Pat Lewis (replaced by Joel Mahoney), Kieran Meek, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Owain Leonard (replaced by Zak Roberts), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Kyan Best), Darren Hughes (replaced by Lewis Ball), Peter Lloyd, Garin Price, Ashley Sweet, Scott Matthews (captain), Mike Herbert and Cameron Regan.