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Match PreviewMatch Report
21 - 69 HT 0 - 29 Saturday 06th August 2022 / 3:00pm Kick Off
Referee: Mr Ben Simpson (Gloucester)
Dings Crusaders RFC

Dings Crusaders RFC

Tries by Tommy Gollop (2) and Racine Wright.

Conversions by Kieran Hill (3).

Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Garin Price (2), Callum Davies (2), Dylan Lewis, Sam Scarfe, Scott Matthews, Ashley Sweet, Adam Stratton, Duan Thomas and Dan Babos.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (7).

21 - 69 HT 0 - 29 Saturday 06th August 2022 / 3:00pm Kick Off
Referee: Mr Ben Simpson (Gloucester)







Impressive Pooler shine in the sun at Dings

For their first pre-season friendly, Pontypool travelled over the Severn Bridge to take on English National Division Two West side Dings Crusaders on a fine, dry and warm summer’s afternoon at Shaftesbury Park, in front of a sizeable crowd, writes Ray Ruddick.

Pooler visited the Bristol-based club three seasons ago and came away with a hard-earned 26-5 verdict but this time, the home side had no answer to the power of the Pooler forwards and the slickness of their backs. However Dings finished strongly and outscored their visitors 21-14 in the final of three 30-minute periods of a thoroughly entertaining game.

Dings kicked off defending the motorway end of the ground. The early exchanges were even and it took 18 minutes for the deadlock to be broken when, in a good build up, with the ball going through several pairs of hands, second-row Garin Price was on hand to cross for a try to the right of the posts. Outside-half Matthew Jarvis converted (0-7). After 23 minutes Pooler’s new young centre Dylan Lewis made a great break on the visitors’ left and sprinted 40 metres to touch down near the corner for an unconverted try (0-12). Two minutes later Pooler scored again through hooker Sam Scarfe after a driving maul on Pontypool’s left following a penalty kick to the corner. The conversion narrowly missed (0-17). With the last play of the first period the visitors were on the attack again and, after some good play by the Pooler pack, captain and flanker Scott Matthews scored a try to the right of the posts and again the conversion attempt went wide (0-22).

Six minutes into the second period, Pooler took a quick-tap penalty deep inside the Dings 22 and experienced second-row Ashley Sweet barged over for a try 10 metres in from the left corner. Matthew Jarvis added the extras (0-29). Ten minutes later Pontypool stole a Dings lineout near the home 22 and it resulted in a second try of the afternoon for Garin Price who touched down to the left of the posts and Matthew Jarvis slotted the extra two points (0-36). Then in the 19th minute Pontypool attacked down their right and flanker Callum Davies, who has re-joined the club from Bargoed RFC, dived over for a try 15 metres in. Once again, Matthew Jarvis converted (0-43). Pooler were now playing with confidence and three minutes later, took play into the home 22 when flanker Adam Stratton got on the score sheet with a try to the left of the posts and Jarvis obliged with another successful conversion (0-48). Five minutes before the end of the second period Pooler scored a lovely try after some good handling by the backs and centre Duan Thomas crossed for Pooler’s ninth five-pointer of the game with Matthew Jarvis converting (0-55).

The third and final period was far more competitive and Dings showed what they can do. As early as the second minute Crusaders opened their account with a try by right-wing Racine Wright who crossed in the corner. This score was converted by outside-half Kieran Hill (7-55). Six minutes later play was inside the home 22 and Pooler took a quick-tap penalty, however, a minor scuffle ensued, which resulted in visiting prop Sam Cochrane sent to the sin bin. In the 16th minute a powerful driving maul by the Dings forwards led to a try for hooker Tommy Gollop 15 metres in from the right corner, which Kieran Hill converted (14-55). After 19 minutes Pontypool were awarded a penalty 10 metres from the Crusaders line. Lively scrum-half Dan Babos took a quick tap and crossed for a try to the left of the posts, which Matthew Jarvis goaled, despite slipping (14-62). With five minutes remaining, visiting winger Amosa Nove made good ground on Pooler’s left inside Dings 22 and he managed to offload inside to the supporting Callum Davies to claim his brace of tries and his side’s 11th, five metres from the corner. Matthew Jarvis slotted a fine kick for his seventh conversion of the afternoon (14-69). However, it was Dings Crusaders who scored the final try of the game, and deservedly so, when just before the final whistle, the home pack once again drove their opponents back from a line-out on Dings’ left and Tommy Gollop scored his second try, 15 metres in from the corner. Kieran Hill added the conversion to make the final score Dings Crusaders 21 Pontypool 69.

This was a good work-out for both clubs with some positives to take but much to work on. Shaftesbury Park is a lovely, modern venue with great facilities and a pitch to match. Everyone at Pontypool RFC send Dings Crusaders RFC every good wish for a successful season.

The next pre-season friendly for Pontypool is a tough trip to Church Bank to face Premiership outfit Llandovery RFC, kick-off 2.30pm. Pooler last played at Llandovery on 10th December 2011 and came away victorious by 23 points to 6.

Pontypool starting XV: Pat Lewis, Deon Smith, Dylan Lewis, Joel Mahoney, Marcus Jones; Matthew Jarvis, Owain Leonard, Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, Sam Scarfe, Kelvyn Williams, Garin Price, Adam Brown, Scott Matthews (captain), Connor Lewis and Cameron Regan. Also played: Peter Lloyd, Sam Cochrane, Tom Piper, Ashley Sweet, Adam Stratton, Callum Davies, Dan Babos, Duan Thomas, Mathew Powell and Amosa Nove.


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