Try by Frankie Jones.
Conversion by Kristian Jones.
Tries by Scott Matthews (3), Huw Anderson, Mathew Powell, Peter Lloyd and a penalty try.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (3) and Dai Langdon.
Pooler score 7 tries in deserved victory at Trebanos
Pontypool made the trip to Trebanos Park on Saturday for a WRU Admiral National Championship match and came away with a well-earned bonus-point win but it was tarnished with the first half straight red card for Pooler centre Pat Lewis following a skirmish, writes Ray Ruddick.
Pontypool kicked off attacking the car park end of the ground on a fine, dry and still early March afternoon. Pooler opened the scoring in the third minute with a try by young full back Huw Anderson when he squeezed over in the left corner after the visitors had recycled ball in midfield between the home 22 and 10-metre line. The conversion attempt failed (0-5). The next ten minutes saw Trebanos ask questions of the Pontypool defence which the visitors were up for the challenge, held firm and kept their hosts out. On 17 minutes, play was inside the home 22 with Pooler pressing and after several forward drives, the ball was released and went right for wing Mathew Powell to cross for a try in the corner. Outside half Matthew Jarvis slotted the conversion (0-12).
In the 27th minute there was a scuffle, involving several players from each side, on Trebanos’ 22 near their left touchline. After things had calmed down, the referee sent off Pat Lewis for punching so Pooler had to dig deep as they had to play the remaining 53 minutes with 14 players. With five minutes remaining of the first period, Trebanos were penalised for talking back to the referee, in midfield on their 22. Pontypool kicked to the left corner and following several drives towards the goal line, hooker Peter Lloyd was on hand to score a try 5 metres in from the corner. Matthew Jarvis’ conversion attempt hit the near post and bounced out. Half time score at the end of a tough and testing first 40 minutes – Trebanos 0 Pontypool 17.
In the fifth minute of the second period, play was inside Trebanos’ 22 and, after a number of Pooler drives, captain and number eight Scott Matthews scored his side’s bonus-point try, 15 metres in from the left corner. Matthew Jarvis added the extras (0-24). In the 52nd minute Pooler were awarded a penalty near the home goal line but opted for a scrum instead. Pontypool’s power shone through and they drove their opponents back to give Scott Matthews a fairly easy try, 20 metres in from the left corner. Matthew Jarvis managed to slot the conversion, despite slipping (0-31).
Pontypool then made some changes as Dan Babos, Tom Piper and Garin Price took over from scrum half Owain Leonard, tight head prop Kelvyn Williams and second row Ashley Sweet respectively. Then two minutes later Dai Langdon replaced Matthew Jarvis and loose head prop Sam Cochrane made way for Kyan Best. However, Tom Piper’s game time was short-lived as he took a knock to his right arm within a few minutes of taking the field so Kelvyn Williams returned.
Pooler pack were now dominating the home eight and in the 69th minute the visitors were awarded a penalty try following a powerful forwards drive towards the Trebanos goal line (0-38). Immediately from the restart, ‘Banos flanker Rhod Jones took a player out in the air and was shown the yellow card. Then a couple of minutes’ later play was on the home 10-metre line with Pooler in possession. A long pass was intercepted by home centre Frankie Lewis who sprinted 60 metres to score a try under the posts. This score was converted by replacement Kristian Jones (7-38). With two minutes left on the clock, there was a scrum near the home goal line. The visiting pack drove their opponents back and Scott Matthews scored his try hat trick, 10 metres in from the left corner. Dai Langdon kicked a fine conversion. Final score – Trebanos 7 Pontypool 45.
Trebanos were tenacious and didn’t give in, so Pooler had to be on their mettle and the pack paved the way to another bonus-point victory. The visitors looked too strong, particularly in the second half, even though they were down a player. The next game for Pontypool will be on Friday 17 March when they travel to the Margam Sports Ground to take on Tata Steel in a re-arranged league game, kick-off will be at 7.30pm. The next home game will be against the same opponents on Saturday 25 March with a 2.30pm kick-off.
Trebanos: Josh Jones, Josh Ferriman, Frankie Jones, Steff Lewis (captain), George Shepard, Sam Davies, Robert Jones, Conor Thomas, Jamie Cox, Dan Owens, Joe Evans, Cam Loveys, Rhod Jones, James McCarthy and Casey Williams. Replacements – Iestyn Lewis, Kristian Jones, Archie Medway and Scott Hawkins.
Pontypool: Huw Anderson, Mathew Powell, Pat Lewis, Duan Thomas, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis (replaced by Dai Langdon), Owain Leonard (replaced by Dan Babos), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Kyan Best), Peter Lloyd, Kelvyn Williams (replaced by Tom Piper then Kelvyn Williams replaced Tom Piper), Adam Brown, Ashley Sweet (replaced by Garin Price), Mike Herbert, Callum Davies and Scott Matthews (captain).