Tries by Duan Thomas (3), Ashley Sweet (2), Deon Smith (2), Dai Langdon, Joel Mahoney, Mathew Powell, Mike Herbert, Owain Leonard, Garin Price, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis and a penalty try.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (13).
Tries by Max Sully and Theo Shinton.
Conversion by Tommy Taylor
Ton-Up Pooler in Easter Extravaganza
Pontypool were ruthless in scoring 16 tries against a hapless Glamorgan Wanderers side in this WRU Admiral National Championship match at glorious Pontypool Park on Easter Saturday, writes Ray Ruddick. Pooler clicked and ran the Wanderers ragged with some great handling skills and played the game at pace. The Wanderers had no answer to Pooler’s relentless waves of attack, some from deep inside their half, but all credit to the visitors for never giving up and they may have scored more tries had it not been for a determined Pooler defence, in what was a very difficult game for them. Pontypool are playing with so much confidence and belief and it is a pleasure to watch.
Before kick-off, Pontypool paid tribute to their former captain Laurie Daniel who passed away recently at the age of 81. Glamorgan Wanderers kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground on a fine, dry and sunny afternoon and perfect conditions for open, expansive rugby. In the 5th minute Pooler had a scrum feed near the Wanderers’ line to the left of the uprights. Pontypool’s powerful pack drove their opponents back, the scrum disintegrated and the referee ran between the posts and awarded Pontypool a penalty try (7-0). Two minutes later Pooler scored a try through centre Duan Thomas after receiving the scoring pass from wing Amosa Nove. The conversion attempt went across the face of the posts (12-0). In the 10th minute right wing Mathew Powell made a strong run along the right flank and took play deep into the visitors’ 22. He was tackled but managed to get the scoring pass away to Dai Langdon for the full back to touch down in the right corner. The conversion failed (17-0). Three minutes later Glamorgan Wanderers responded with a try under the posts by loose head prop Max Sully after Pooler failed to clear their lines. Centre Tommy Taylor added the extras (17-7). On 18 minutes Pooler secured good, attacking ball from a lineout near the Wanderers’ 22 on Pooler’s left. Mike Herbert fed Ieuan Jones for the No 8 to go on a powerful run, went through a gap and passed to centre Joel Mahoney who scored the bonus-point try under the posts. Matthew Jarvis added a further two points from the tee (24-7).
Midway through the first period Glamorgan Wanderers kicked through and Mathew Powell dived on the loose ball near the home 10-metre line and he went on an impressive run which left several of the Wanderers defenders beaten and bewildered as he stormed over for a great individual try near the right corner. Matthew Jarvis converted with a fine kick (31-7). On the half hour a lovely break near half way by Duan Thomas split the visitors’ defence and he sprinted 50 metres to score his second try of the afternoon under the posts. Matthew Jarvis converted (38-7). Three minutes later Glamorgan Wanderers hit back and was rewarded for their determination and never-say-die attitude with an unconverted try near the left corner by flanker Theo Shinton (38-12). Deon Smith then replaced Joel Mahoney at centre for the home side. In the 36th minute Pooler scrum half Dai Jones took a knock to the leg and he was replaced by Owain Leonard. A minute later skipper-for-the-day and flanker Mike Herbert took a pass at pace, out-sprinted the defence and ran 40 metres to score a try under the posts. Matthew Jarvis added a further two points from the tee (45-12). In the second minute of injury time play was inside Glamorgan Wanderers’ 22. Pontypool recycled ball, play went right and the overlap was created for replacement Deon Smith to touch down to the right of the posts and Matthew Jarvis, once again, converted to make the half-time score Pontypool 52 Glamorgan Wanderers 12.
At the start of the second period, Wales Under 20 hooker Sam Scarfe took over from Darren Hughes in the middle of the Pooler front row as Hughes seemed to limp off at half time. In the 43rd minute after several forward drives towards the Wanderers’ line, veteran second row Ashley Sweet dived over for a try to the left of the posts. This score was converted by Matthew Jarvis (59-12). Ieuan Jones then made way for Callum Davies in the Pontypool back row. Two minutes later Pooler broke out from deep and left wing Amosa Nove took play into the visitors’ half. He passed inside to Deon Smith who glided over for his second try of the game,15 metres in from the left corner. Once again Matthew Jarvis was on target with the conversion attempt (66-12). In the 54th minute Wales Under 20 loose head prop Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths took over from tight head prop Peter Lloyd. Kyan Best who started at loose head moved over to tight head to accommodate Kelleher-Griffiths at loose head. Four minutes later Pooler broke from inside their half on their right thanks to another great run by Mathew Powell. He took play into the visitors’ half and linked up with the supporting Owain Leonard who sprinted 30 metres to score a try, 15 metres in from the right corner. Matthew Jarvis added a further two points from his trusty right boot (73-12). Mathew Powell was then replaced by the returning Joel Mahoney with Deon Smith moving out to the right wing and Joel Mahoney resumed his usual position at centre.
In the 67th minute Pooler took a quick tap penalty inside Glamorgan Wanderers’22 and eventually Ashley Sweet forced his way over the line for his second five-pointer of the afternoon. Once again, Matthew Jarvis slotted the conversion (80-12). Owain Leonard took a blow to the face and was replaced by the returning on-fire Mathew Powell. Dai Langdon went to scrum half for the remainder of the game. With 10 minutes left, Mathew Powell made another searing run and flanker Garin Price rounded off with a try under the posts. Matthew Jarvis again converted (87-12). Four minutes later play was deep inside the Wanderers’ 22 on Pooler’s right after Sam Scarfe made good ground following a lineout. The ball was released and play went left for Duan Thomas to rack up his try hat trick when he touched down near the posts. This score was converted by Matthew Jarvis (94-12). In the 74th minute Pooler again broke from deep thanks to a run by Garin Price and, eventually the ball reached Amosa Nove who dived over in the left corner for a try. Matthew Jarvis’ conversion took the score over the 100 mark (101-12). Then with the last move of the game Matthew Jarvis got on the try score sheet as he took the ball at pace and dotted down under the posts and he duly obliged with his 13th consecutive conversion, wonderful consistency from a highly influential player. Final score Pontypool 108 Glamorgan Wanderers 12.
This is the second time Pooler have scored over 100 points in a league match, the other occasion, and still the club record, was on 18 April 2015 when Blackwood were thrashed 112-10 at Pontypool Park. Also Matthew Jarvis just missed out on the club’s highest individual points scorer in a match. He bagged 31 points with a try and 13 conversions but was just 4 short of Lenny Woodard’s 35 points when he scored 7 tries against Treorchy in a 91-3 victory on 2 May 2003. Pontypool’s next game will be a very tough encounter at Bargoed Park on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm. Then on Sunday 23 April Pontypool will take on Ystrad Rhondda in the final of the WRU National Championship Cup at the Principality Stadium. Kick-off for the final will be at 3.15pm with Newbridge taking on North Walians Nant Conwy in the WRU Division 1 Final at 1.00pm and after Pooler’s appearance, Newport and Cardiff clash in the WRU National Premiership Final, kick-off 5.35pm, so it promises to be a fantastic day out at the home of Welsh rugby, following the three Gwent clubs.
Pontypool: Dai Langdon, Mathew Powell (replaced by the returning Joel Mahoney), Duan Thomas, Joel Mahoney (replaced by Deon Smith), Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Dai Jones (replaced by Owain Leonard, then Leonard was replaced by the returning Mathew Powell), Kyan Best, Darren Hughes (replaced by Sam Scarfe), Peter Lloyd (replaced by Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths), Adam Brown, Ashley Sweet, Garin Price, Mike Herbert (captain) and Ieuan Jones (replaced by Callum Davies).
Glamorgan Wanderers: Jack Beynon, Luc Keane-Adams, Ryan Nunes, Tommy Taylor, Alfie Llewellyn, Gruff Tough, Archie Lloyd, Max Sully, Jac Williams, Owen Hatherill, Harry Arundel, Shaun O’Rourke, Theo Shinton, Max Wootton (captain) and Will Jameson. Replacements – Morgan Hughes, Gareth Reid, Tommy Walsh, Rob Weston and David Harris.