Tries by Sam Scarfe (2), Lloyd Lewis (2), Darren Hughes, Mike Herbert and Amosa Nove.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (5).
Tries by Robert Jones and a penalty try.
Conversion by Dylan White.
Rusty Pooler labour to bonus-point win over tenacious Trebanos
Pontypool welcomed Trebanos to Pontypool Park for Pooler’s first game in six weeks, writes Ray Ruddick. Pontypool’s last game was on 29th January when they won at Narberth and the long lay-off showed in Pooler’s first half performance but a more purposeful display in the second period secured another bonus-point win.
There were uncontested scrums from the outset as Trebanos were unable to field a competitive front row. The visitors kicked off on a heavy pitch, attacking the scoreboard end of the ground, on a fine and mild early spring afternoon. In the sixth minute, and against the run of play, Trebanos intercepted a pass just inside their half which led to a try 10 metres in from the right corner by wing Robert Jones, converted by outside half Dylan White (0-7). Four minutes later Pooler replied with a try near the left corner by hooker Darren Hughes after a powerful driving maul from a lineout. The conversion failed (5-7).
In the 25th minute, and after two consecutive offences at lineouts near the Pooler line, referee Ian Davies awarded the visitors a penalty try, and home tight head prop Scott Evans was sin-binned (5-14). Pontypool’s loose head prop Corey Hewlett was then replaced by Sam Scarfe. Just before the half-hour mark good off-the-top ball from a lineout on Pooler’s left near the Trebanos 22 put the home side on the front foot and Sam Scarfe sprinted 20 metres to score a try near the posts which was converted by outside half Matthew Jarvis (12-14). In the 38th minute second row Jordan Williams made way for Garin Price. Half time score – Pontypool 12 Trebanos 14.
Five minutes into the second period and Pooler made another change with Sam Cochrane taking over from Scott Evans. In the 47th minute, and after a period of pressure inside Trebanos’ 22, the ball went right and wing Lloyd Lewis squeezed in the right corner for a try which Matthew Jarvis converted with a fine kick to put Pontypool ahead for the first time in the game (19-14). Pooler made a double change on 53 minutes with Owain Leonard replacing Mike Hale at scrum half and full back Geraint Walsh made way for Kieran Meek. A minute later flanker Mike Herbert scored the home side’s bonus-point try after a driving maul from a lineout on Pooler’s right. Matthew Jarvis added the extras (26-14).
Pontypool got into some rhythm and in the 66th minute, Pontypool spun the ball left across their back line from a scrum for left wing Amosa Nove to dive over in the corner for a try. The difficult conversion went wide (31-14). With ten minutes remaining Pooler were on the attack and a neatly placed cross kick by Kieran Meek was well fielded by Amosa Nove who offloaded to fellow wing Lloyd Lewis and the Welsh Sevens star touched down under the posts for his second try of the contest. Matthew Jarvis added two points from the tee (38-14). Then, just before the final whistle, Sam Cochrane made a good break and put his front row colleague Sam Scarfe over for his second try. Matthew Jarvis ended proceedings with another conversion. Final score – Pontypool 45 Trebanos 14.
It was a difficult first half for Pooler as they struggled to get any momentum due to lack of match practice. However, they improved in the second half, scoring 33 unanswered points. There is another blank Saturday next as it is the final round of matches in the Six Nations, so Pooler’s next scheduled match will be on Saturday 26th March with a trip to the Rhondda to take on Ystrad Rhondda at Gelligaled Park. Then the following Saturday (2nd April), Pontypool will be on the road again, to Bargoed Park in the re-arranged match, postponed from 19th February. The clash with Bargoed promises to be an absorbing tussle between two evenly-matched teams. Kick-off for both games will be at 2.30pm.
Pontypool: Geraint Walsh (replaced by Kieran Meek), Lloyd Lewis, Pat Lewis, Duan Thomas, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Mike Hale (replaced by Owain Leonard), Corey Hewlett (replaced by Sam Scarfe), Darren Hughes, Scott Evans (replaced by Sam Cochrane), Jordan Williams (replaced by Garin Price), Curtis Gregory, Scott Matthews (captain), Mike Herbert and Cameron Regan.
Trebanos: Sean Hamer, Sam Davies, Iestyn Lewis, Steff Lewis, Robert Jones, Dylan White, Jay Weaver, Keelan Jewell, Rhys Thomas, Cameron Loveys, Cai Arnold, Declan Bale, Jack Welsh, Iwan Davies and Sean Hopkins (captain). Replacements: James McCarthy, Callum Roach and Casey Williams.