Tries by Deon Smith, Scott Matthews, Ieuan Jones, Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths and Pat Lewis.
Conversion by Matthew Jarvis.
Try by Josh Carrington.
Conversion by Brad Roderick-Evans.
Pooler overcame the students in the pouring rain
It had been five weeks since Pontypool’s last match – on Saturday 3 December at the Bridge Field in the 47-10 victory over Bedwas, writes Ray Ruddick. This was due to the postponement of the last two scheduled matches before Christmas and with no planned fixtures over the festive period. So Pooler were back in action against Cardiff Metropolitan University on Saturday in the WRU Admiral National Championship at Pontypool Park on a very wet, gloomy and miserable winter’s afternoon.
Cardiff Met kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground. In the fourth minute play was near the students’ 22. Pooler outside half Matthew Jarvis put up a high kick towards the left corner for wing Deon Smith to chase. He palmed the ball to full back Geraint Walsh who then passed it back and the young winger squeezed over in the corner for the opening score of the game. The difficult conversion attempt went narrowly wide (5-0). A quarter-of-an-hour later the students replied with a try under the posts by right wing Josh Carrington with a solo effort. Outside half Brad Roderick-Evans added the extras to put Cardiff Met into the lead (5-7).
Half way through the first period Pontypool were on the attack deep inside Met’s 22 and, after several drives by the forwards, captain and flanker Scott Matthews was on hand to cross the goal line for a try under the posts. Matthew Jarvis slotted the easy conversion (12-7). The second quarter of the game was very competitive with both sides cancelling each other out and there was no further score so, going into the break, Pontypool held a five-point advantage – Pontypool 12 Cardiff Metropolitan University 7.
Seven minutes after the re-start Pooler changed both props with Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths and Peter Lloyd replacing Sam Cochrane and Kelvyn Williams respectively. Three minutes later Pooler had a scrum feed near the students’ goal line. Home number eight Ieuan Jones picked up from the base and charged over for an unconverted try, 15 metres in from the left corner (17-7). In the 62nd minute scrum half Dan Babos made way for Owain Leonard and Adam Stratton took over from experienced second row Ashley Sweet. Five minutes later Deon Smith was replaced by Amosa Nove who was returning from three months on the injury list. Then with 10 minutes left, the returning Kelvyn Williams came on for injured hooker Sam Scarfe, with Peter Lloyd moving to hooker and Williams to his usual position of tight head prop.
With five minutes left and after sustained pressure by the home team inside Met’s 22, Pontypool’s patience paid off when replacement Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths barged over for the all-important bonus-point try in the right corner. Another difficult conversion attempt just failed (22-7). Three minutes later centre Pat Lewis was in the clear and sprinted 40 metres to score his side’s fifth and final try, which went unconverted (27-7). Centre Joel Mahoney, who was making his 50th appearance for Pontypool took a knock and was replaced by Deon Smith who returned to the field to see out the last few minutes. Final score – Pontypool 27 Cardiff Metropolitan University 7.
It was always going to be a tough match for Pontypool as Cardiff Met are always difficult to beat and are very dangerous in all areas of the pitch. Add to that the awful playing conditions and Pooler being a bit rusty, they stuck to the task in hand and eventually came away with a deserved bonus-point win. However, every credit must go to the players of both sides and the referee in the most difficult of conditions – well done all. Pontypool’s next game is on Saturday when they welcome Maesteg Harlequins to Pontypool Park, kick-off 2.30pm.
Pontypool: Geraint Walsh, Ewan Rosser, Pat Lewis, Joel Mahoney (replaced by the returning Deon Smith), Deon Smith (replaced by Amosa Nove), Matthew Jarvis, Dan Babos (replaced by Owain Leonard), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths), Sam Scarfe (replaced by the returning Kelvyn Williams), Kelvyn Williams (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Adam Brown, Ashley Sweet (replaced by Adam Stratton), Scott Matthews (captain), Callum Davies and Ieuan Jones.
Cardiff Metropolitan University: Ethan Morgan, Josh Carrington, Daf Tiueti, Brad Morgan, Roma Zheng, Brad Roderick-Evans, Alex Terry, Joe Cowell (captain), Tyler Olding, Math Iorwerth-Scott, Brandon Harvey, Mawgan Osborne, Jake Bond, Jack Wickham and Bertie Taylor. Replacements: Connor Chapman, Eliot Salt, Benji Williams, Ali Stacey and Ewan Bowden.