Tries by Matthew Jarvis, Ieuan Jones, Adam Stratton, Darren Hughes, Amosa Nove, Garin Price and a penalty try.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (5).
Penalty by Matthew Jarvis.
Penalty by Harrison James.
Pooler eases to comfortable 7-try win over the Wanderers
Pontypool returned to action after a seven-week break when they took on traditional rivals Glamorgan Wanderers in the WRU Admiral National Championship on a fine and dry but chilly winter’s afternoon at Pontypool Park, writes Ray Ruddick. The mini break was because of postponed matches due to positive COVID-19 cases and the Christmas/New Year break.
Glamorgan Wanderers kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground. Pooler asked questions of the Wanderers’ defence early on and, in the sixth minute, the visitors conceded a penalty in front of their posts which home outside half Matthew Jarvis slotted to give his side the lead (3-0). Three minutes later Pooler exerted more pressure on the Wanderers which resulted in a try under the posts by Matthew Jarvis who also added the extras (10-0). The Ely-based side came back into the game and in the 13th minute Pooler were penalised in front of their posts and outside half Harrison James cut the deficit with a successful shot at goal (10-3).
In the 22nd minute Pooler were awarded a penalty in front of the Wanderers’ posts. They took a quick tap and No 8 Ieuan Jones barged over for a try near the posts which Matthew Jarvis converted (17-3). Two minutes later some good inter-passing by Pooler from deep inside their half took play over the half way line. Matthew Jarvis was put in the clear and, in looking for support the ball went loose but the home side re-gathered and impressive flanker Adam Stratton crossed for a try near the posts. Once again Matthew Jarvis was successful with his conversion attempt (24-3). Just before the interval Pontypool secured their try bonus point when hooker Darren Hughes powered over, 15 metres in from the right corner. Matthew Jarvis added another two points from the tee to make the half time score Pontypool 31 Glamorgan Wanderers 3.
In the 48th minute Pooler made their first change of the afternoon when scrum half Mike Hale made way for Owain Leonard. A minute later Pooler were back on the attack and, from a scrum five, the home eight drove their opponents back and the scrum went down. The referee deemed the visitors guilty and he had no hesitation but to run between the posts and awarded Pontypool a penalty try (38-3). After 52 minutes, play was in Glamorgan Wanderers' 22 following a galloping run by Darren Hughes. The ball was recycled several times and eventually play went left for wing Amosa Nove to dive over in the corner for a try. Matthew Jarvis’s difficult conversion attempt struck the near upright (43-3).
Pontypool then made a double substitution with Lewis Ball replacing Darren Hughes in the middle of the front row and Kieran Meek came on for right wing Duan Thomas. Pat Lewis moved out to the wing while Meek slotted into the centre. Three minutes later Pooler used their remaining replacements with Craig Price taking over from Scott Evans at tight head prop and Garin Price replacing No 8 Ieuan Jones. With five minutes to go Pontypool were, once again, on the attack and with the ball going through several pairs of hands, Garin Price dotted the ball down in the left corner and this score, Pooler’s seventh and final try of the game, was converted by Matthew Jarvis with a fine kick. Final score Pontypool 50 Glamorgan Wanderers 3.
This was an impressive performance by Pontypool considering the enforced break. There was some lovely handling and Pooler looked dangerous with ball in hand. It was good for the players to get some much--needed game time and useful match practice ahead of their next league game, which is next Saturday with a long trip to Pembrokeshire and a difficult encounter with Narberth at the Lewis Lloyd Ground, kick-off 2.30pm.
Pontypool: Geraint Walsh, Duan Thomas (replaced by Kieran Meek), Pat Lewis, Joel Mahoney, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Mike Hale (replaced by Owain Leonard), Sam Cochrane, Darren Hughes (replaced by Lewis Ball), Scott Evans (replaced by Craig Price), Cameron Regan, Ashley Sweet, Scott Matthews (captain), Adam Stratton and Ieuan Jones (replaced by Garin Price).
Glamorgan Wanderers: Tom Hughes, Iwan Prys Jones, Cameron Gibbon, Josh Male, Tom Richards, Harrison James, Zak Fifield, Rob Lewis (captain), Joe Paige, Eddie Drake, Rob Weston, Ryan Matthew, Max Wootton, Alfie Llewellyn and Brendan Lampitt. Replacements: Owen Hetherhill, Jack James, Mike Owen, Dan James and Cavan Slade.