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Match PreviewMatch Report
93 - 3 HT 46 - 3 Saturday 25th March 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Gareth Jablonski (Aberdare)
Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Amosa Nove (4), Mathew Powell (3), Deon Smith (2), Huw Anderson (2), Dai Jones, Dan Babos, Ieuan Jones and Dai Langdon.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (6) and Dai Langdon (3).



Penalty by Cam Bamford.

93 - 3 HT 46 - 3 Saturday 25th March 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
WRU Admiral National Championship
Referee: Gareth Jablonski (Aberdare)







Ruthless Pooler crush brave Tata

Pontypool welcomed Tata Steel to picturesque Pontypool Park for a WRU Admiral National Championship match on a fine and pleasant but windy late March afternoon for the return match after the two clubs met eight days previous at Margam, writes Ray Ruddick. Pooler comfortably won their away fixture 62-0, and racked up 15 tries in their first home match for six weeks in the trouncing of a brave Tata outfit who never gave up and kept trying until the final whistle.

Pontypool kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground. Pooler opened the scoring in the third minute when, from a scrum near the visitors’ posts, the ball went right and wing Mathew Powell managed to get the ball down for a try, 5 metres in from the corner. Dai Langdon slotted the conversion with a fine kick (7-0). Three minutes later, a strong run by home No 8 Ieuan Jones took play into Tata’s 22. The ball was recycled, play went left and centre Deon Smith sliced his way through for a try, 10 metres in from the left corner. Dai Langdon added the extras (14-0). In the 12th minute Pooler’s left wing Amosa Nove scored a try in the left corner after some good interpassing along the touchline but the difficult conversion went wide (19-0). Four minutes later Pontypool were guilty of an offence at a ruck, 30 metres from their goal line to the right of the posts and outside half Cam Bamford kicked the resulting penalty (19-3). Midway through the first half, Pooler took play deep into Tata’s 22. The ball emerged from a ruck on the visitors’ goal line for scrum half Dai Jones to dot down for the bonus-point try, 10 metres in from the right corner. The conversion attempt struck the left upright (24-3).

In the 24th minute play was again inside the visitors’ 22 on Pontypool’s left. The ball was recycled and went across the backline when full back Huw Anderson joined the line at an angle and crossed for an unconverted try, 10 metres in from the right corner (29-3). On the half hour, the referee was playing a Pontypool advantage from a scrum just outside the home 22. Pontypool gave the ball some air and Huw Anderson received a pass near the half way line and sprinted 50 metres to cross for an unconverted try near the right corner (34-3). Five minutes before the interval, home centre Joel Mahoney picked up a loose ball inside Tata’s 22. Play went left and Amosa Nove squeezed over in the corner. The conversion attempt again struck a post – the right upright (39-3). In the second minute of injury time the Saints attempted a clearance kick behind their goal line but it was charged down. Dai Jones gathered and fed Mathew Powell who just got over in the right corner. Dai Langdon’s conversion struck the upright once more, but this time went over. Half time score – Pontypool 46 Tata Steel 3.

At the start of the second half, Matthew Jarvis replaced Joel Mahoney with Dai Langdon moving over to centre and Jarvis slotting into his usual position of outside half. In the second minute of the second period Garin Price took over second row Ashley Sweet in the Pooler pack. A minute later Amosa Nove scored his hat trick try, 10 metres in from the left corner thanks to the scoring pass from Huw Anderson. Matthew Jarvis kicked the conversion (53-3). In the 46th minute another bout of great interpassing resulted in a try for Deon Smith, 15 metres in on the left. Matthew Jarvis again slotting another two points (60-3). Home flanker and captain-for-the-day Mike Herbert took a knock and was replaced by the returning Joel Mahoney. Some restructuring then took place in the Pontypool side with Amosa Nove going to blind-side flanker, Deon Smith went out to the left wing and Joel Mahoney returned to the centre. Three minutes later Pooler made another change with Dan Babos taking over from Dai Jones. In the 54th minute Mathew Powell chased a kick ahead and managed to gather the ball inside Tata’s 22. He popped the scoring pass to replacement Dan Babos who touched down in the left corner. Matthew Jarvis’ conversion attempt hit the left upright (65-3). Pooler loose head prop Sam Cochrane was then replaced by Kelvyn Williams who went to tight head and Kyan Best switched to his usual position at loose head. Just before the hour mark, Matthew Jarvis went on a weaving run, beating several defenders, and offloaded to Amosa Nove who went over for his fourth try of the match near the posts. Matthew Jarvis obliged from the tee (72-3). Peter Lloyd then replaced Darren Hughes in the middle of the Pooler front row. It was good to see Darren back in action after an eleven-month lay-off due to a badly broken ankle.

In the 63rd minute Deon Smith made a great break in midfield and passed to Mathew Powell who galloped over for his try hat trick, 15 metres in from the right corner. This score was converted by Matthew Jarvis (79-3). Five minutes later Pooler were on the attack inside the visitors’ 22 when Ieuan Jones took the ball at pace to score a try near the posts. Matthew Jarvis kicked the easy conversion (86-3). With six minutes to go, Pontypool were again camped in Tata’s 22 and Dai Langdon took a short pass to cross for a try near the posts and Matthew Jarvis converted. Tata Steel kept trying and could have scored a try towards the end but Pooler’s defence held firm. Final score – Pontypool 93 Tata Steel 3.

Well done to Tata Steel who, despite going through a very difficult time, still manages to get games played which is testament to their resolve and determination. Pontypool’s attention in the next week will be on Saturday’s very tough Championship Cup semi-final against Neath at The Ciner Glass Community Stadium in Ebbw Vale (Eugene Cross Park), with the usual kick-off time of 2.30pm. Discipline will play an important part in deciding who will meet Ystrad Rhondda in the final at the Principality Stadium on Sunday 23 April, so Pontypool will need to control their discipline and avoid giving away needless penalties, offering Neath easy points. Pontypool’s next home game will be the league encounter against Glamorgan Wanderers on Saturday 8 April, kick off at 2.30pm.

Pontypool: Huw Anderson, Mathew Powell, Deon Smith, Joel Mahoney (replaced by Matthew Jarvis), Amosa Nove, Dai Langdon, Dai Jones (replaced by Dan Babos), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Kelvyn Williams), Darren Hughes (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Kyan Best, Lance Randall, Ashley Sweet (replaced by Garin Price), Mike Herbert (captain, replaced by the returning Joel Mahoney), Callum Davies and Ieuan Jones.

Tata Steel: Guille Boland, Mike Baron, Chris Harris, Ollie Wong, Joshua Powell, Cam Bamford, Ethan White, Dan Kemp, Elis Halliday, Sam Martin, Tom Jenkins, Jake Jones, Ieuan Roberts, Ryan John and Joe Callery. Replacements – Rhys Williams, Sam Heaphy, Dan Pole, Jake Whitefield and Jo Clarke.


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