Tries by Josh Prosser, Steff Thomas and James Leadbetter.
Conversions by Steff Jones (2).
Penalty by Steff Jones.
Try by Ashley Sweet.
Conversion by Matthew Jarvis.
Penalty by Matthew Jarvis.
Pooler disappoint against buoyant Bargoed
Pontypool travelled to Bargoed Park on Saturday for what promised to be a close encounter between two evenly matched sides in the WRU Admiral National Championship, writes Ray Ruddick. However, Bargoed were superior in all aspects of the game and came away with a well-deserved victory to maintain their 100% record at the top of the table. Pontypool, on the other hand, gave their most disappointing performance for some time with poor discipline and a retreating scrum.
Pontypool kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground on a fine and dry but chilly afternoon. Pooler started well and in the third minute they were awarded a penalty near half way. They kicked for the right corner and from the ensuing lineout the visiting forwards drove their opponents over the home goal line and second row Ashley Sweet scored a try, which was converted by outside half Matthew Jarvis (0-7). Four minutes later Bargoed replied with a try by outside half Josh Prosser to the right of the posts after the home side put the Pooler defence under pressure. Centre Steff Jones added the extras to bring the scores level (7-7). In the ninth minute Bargoed were penalised for holding on, 30 metres from their goal line on Pooler’s right. Up stepped Matthew Jarvis to put his side back in front with a successful shot at goal (7-10).
Midway through the first half the home side took the lead. They were on the attack inside Pooler’s 22, the ball was recycled and went right for wing Steff Thomas to score in the corner and Steff Jones converted (14-10). In the 32nd minute Pontypool were penalised 30 metres from their line in front of the posts and Steff Jones extended his side’s lead with a penalty goal. Half time score – Bargoed 17 Pontypool 10.
Six minutes into the second half Pontypool’s scrum was in trouble near half way and Bargoed gained possession. Scrum half James Leadbetter made a great break and sprinted 50 metres to score a good try, 15 metres in from the right corner. The conversion failed (22-10). Shortly after Pooler flanker Mike Herbert was replaced by Adam Stratton. Then in the 57th minute Pontypool tight head prop Scott Evans and Bargoed replacement forward Louis Blacker were originally yellow carded by referee Ian Davies. However, as they were walking off a fight broke out between them and both players were then shown red. On the hour Pooler’s Mike Hale replaced Owain Leonard at scrum half while wing Duan Thomas was forfeited as new prop Adam Williams from the Dragons Academy came on in the front row. Further Pooler replacements followed with Garin Price taking over from second row Cameron Regan and captain and flanker Scott Matthews made way for Sam Scarfe. There was no further scoring in the last twenty minutes so Bargoed ran out very worthy winners. Final score – Bargoed 22 Pontypool 10.
This was a bad day at the office for Pooler and there will be much to work on in training as another stern test awaits them next Saturday when Bedwas are the welcome visitors to Pontypool Park (kick-off 2.30pm). Pooler will need to respond positively, learn from their mistakes and improve their discipline if they are to get back to winning ways and finish off the season well, with four more games to play after the Bedwas match.
Bargoed: Rhys Thomas, Dylan Williams, Steff Jones, Darren Humphries, Steff Thomas, Josh Prosser, James Leadbetter, Kieran Brown (captain), Wade Langley, Alex Gardner-Key, Geraint Edmunds, Matthew Thomas, Lewis Johnson, Callum Davies and Adam Powell. Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Jack Williams, Louis Blacker, Grant Rogers and Jordan Howells.
Pontypool: Ethan Davies, Duan Thomas (replaced by Adam Williams), Joel Mahoney, Kieran Meek, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Owain Leonard (replaced by Mike Hale), Sam Cochrane, Darren Hughes, Scott Evans, Cameron Regan (replaced by Garin Price), Ashley Sweet, Scott Matthews (captain, replaced by Sam Scarfe), Mike Herbert (replaced by Adam Stratton), and Ieuan Jones.