Tries by Huw Anderson, Sam Scarfe, Joel Mahoney, Walker Price and Callum Davies.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (4).
Penalties by Matthew Jarvis (4).
Tries by Rhodri Davies, Jac Wilson and Lewis Millin.
Conversions by Jac Wilson (3).
Impressive Pooler gain bonus-point victory over Carmarthen Quins
For Pontypool’s second home league game of the season, they welcomed Carmarthen Quins to Pontypool Park on a fine, dry and pleasant afternoon and Pooler came away with a resounding bonus-point victory to climb to third place in the Indigo Premiership table, writes Ray Ruddick.
Watching the game were several former Pooler players including one of Pooler’s greats, former number eight Dean Oswald from New Zealand, who made 94 appearances for the club between 1989 and 1992. He played for Pontypool against the 1989 All Blacks (the then and first World Champions) and appeared in the 1991 WRU Cup Final when Llanelli beat Pooler. He and his lovely wife are on a two-month trip around Europe. We wish them a safe and enjoyable time, catching up with family and friends in the UK and Ireland.
Carmarthen Quins kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground and as early as the second minute the visitors were guilty of holding on at a ruck in midfield, 35 metres from their goal line and home outside half Matthew Jarvis was on target with his attempt at goal to put his side into an early lead (3-0). On 10 minutes Pontypool were on the attack inside the Quins’ 22 on Pooler’s right when scrum half Morgan Lloyd chipped over the visiting defence towards the right corner and right wing Huw Anderson dived on the ball to score a try which Matthew Jarvis converted with a fine kick (10-0). Four minutes later Quins were penalised for holding on at a ruck, three metres inside their half and Matthew Jarvis slotted the long range penalty (13-0). However, in the 18th minute Pontypool were penalised at a ruck in midfield near their 10-metre line. Quins scrum half Rhodri Davies took a quick tap and sprinted 40 metres to score a try under the posts which outside half Jac Wilson converted (13-7).
On the half hour Carmarthen Quins were guilty of collapsing a scrum, 5 metres in from touch just outside the visitors’ 22 on Pooler’s left and Matthew Jarvis made no mistake with another fine kick at goal (16-7). In the 37th minute visiting number eight Lewis Millin was shown the yellow card for side entry at a ruck near Quins’22 on Pooler’s left as the visitors had earlier been warned about their discipline. Pontypool kicked to the corner and from the ensuing driving lineout, hooker Sam Scarfe burrowed his way over for a try wide out. Matthew Jarvis added the extra with another great strike (23-7). In the first minute of injury time play was near the visitors’ 22 and Pooler knocked on. The ball was gathered by Jac Wilson who raced 75 metres to score to the left of the posts and he duly converted (23-14). Four minutes later Sam Scarfe took a blow to the mouth that needed medical attention and he was replaced by Peter Lloyd. With last play at the end of an enthralling and enjoyable first period, Pooler gave the ball some width and Pat Lewis made a break, taking play deep into Quins territory. He linked up with his fellow centre Joel Mahoney who dived over for a try, 15 metres in from the right corner. Matthew Jarvis obliged from the tee. Half time score – Pontypool 30 Carmarthen Quins 14.
At the start of the second half Pontypool tight head prop Ollie Drake, who had taken a heavy knock in the first half was replaced by the returning Sam Scarfe who went back to his usual position and Peter Lloyd moved over to prop. In the sixth minute of the second period from a driving lineout following a penalty kick to the left corner, Carmarthen Quins narrowed the gap with a try by Lewis Millin who touched down 5 metres in. This score was converted by Jac Wilson (30-21). In the 57th minute Pooler made a couple of changes with Ben Moa taking over from Mike Herbert in the back row and Morgan Lloyd giving way to Matthew Flanagan at scrum half. Just before the hour mark Pontypool were on the offensive inside Quins 22 after a break by left wing Walker Price and it was the youngster who finished off the attack with the bonus-point try in the left corner, his first for the club. The conversion attempt went narrowly wide (35-21). Lewis Johnson then replaced Lance Randall in the Pontypool second row.
In the 66th minute Carmarthen Quins were caught offside in midfield, 5 metres inside their half and Matthew Jarvis struck the ball well with another successful long range penalty (38-21). Then Pooler emptied the bench when Amosa Nove, Josh Malson, Jack Gillard and Kelvyn Williams took over from Pat Lewis, full back Matty Bancroft, Sam Scarfe and loose head prop Sam Cochrane respectively. In the 84th and final minute, play was inside the visitors’ 22 and the home side were putting the Quins defence under pressure. Pooler’s patience paid off however when all action flanker Callum Davies powered over for a try to the right of the posts. Matthew Jarvis converted to put the seal on a fine victory. Final score – Pontypool 45 Carmarthen Quins 21.
This was an excellent performance by Pontypool against a good Carmarthen Quins side. The Pooler pack fronted up well and the backs looked sharp at times. This showing will give the squad some confidence and self-belief in that they can compete at this level.
There are no matches on Saturday due to Wales taking on Georgia at 2.00pm in the final pool game of the Rugby World Cup. Pontypool’s next match in the Indigo Premiership is on Saturday 14 October when they travel to The Wern to take on Merthyr. The kick-off has been brought forward to 1.00pm due to the possibility of Wales playing their quarter-final match in the Rugby World Cup at 4.00pm.
Pontypool: Matty Bancroft (replaced by Josh Malson), Huw Anderson, Pat Lewis (replaced by Amosa Nove), Joel Mahoney, Walker Price, Matthew Jarvis, Morgan Lloyd (replaced by Matthew Flanagan), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Kelvyn Williams), Sam Scarfe (temporary replaced by Peter Lloyd), Ollie Drake (replaced by the returning Sam Scarfe then Scarfe was replaced by Jack Gillard), Lance Randall (replaced by Lewis Johnson), Ashley Sweet, Mike Herbert (replaced by Ben Moa), Callum Davies and Scott Matthews (captain).
Carmarthen Quins: Luke Davies, Dylan Richards, Iestyn Gwilliam, Harrison Griffiths, Kalum Evans, Jac Wilson, Rhodri Davies, Sam O’Connor, Sion Jones, Connor Allen, Ryan Bean, Lee Taylor, Caleb Salmon, Tom Curry and Lewis Millin. Replacements – James Newman, Torin Myhill, Ifan James, Iestyn Wood, Geth Davies, Elis Lewis, Lucca Setaro and Hari Williams.