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Match PreviewMatch Report
41 - 30 HT 13 - 10 Saturday 21st October 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Simon Mills (Llanelli)
Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Scott Matthews, Morgan Lloyd, Walker Price, Ollie Drake and Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (5).

Penalties by Matthew Jarvis (2).

Pontypridd RFC

Pontypridd RFC

Tries by McCauley Rowley, Joe Miles and Rob Jones.

Conversions by Josh Phillips (3).

Penalties by Josh Phillips (3).

41 - 30 HT 13 - 10 Saturday 21st October 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership
Referee: Simon Mills (Llanelli)







Pooler’s impressive run continues with a bonus-point victory over tenacious Ponty

Two fully committed sides went toe-to-toe in an enthralling and entertaining encounter at Pontypool Park on Saturday when Pontypool, in the club's 800th league fixture, locked horns with Pontypridd in the Indigo Premiership and Pooler made it five consecutive league wins, writes Ray Ruddick. The two clubs met in a pre-season game at Sardis Road back in August when the home side ran out narrow winners but Pooler, in their changed strip of predominately black, turned the tables and secured their hard-earned and well-deserved success.

Pontypridd, in their mainly grey kit, kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground on a damp afternoon with the grass wet and slippery as rain fell earlier in the day. Pontypridd took a sixth minute lead when Pooler were guilty of not rolling away at a ruck, 30 metres from their goal line in midfield and visiting full back Josh Phillips slotted the kick at goal (0-3). Seven minutes later Pooler had an attacking scrum inside Ponty’s 22 and, several passes later, captain and number eight Scott Matthews powered over for a try to the right of the posts. Outside half Matthew Jarvis converted (7-3).

Half way through the first period Pontypridd were penalised at a scrum on the visitors’ 10-metre line to the left of the posts after a powerful Pooler drive. Matthew Jarvis made no mistake with his attempt at goal (10-3). After half an hour’s play, Pontypridd were penalised for a high tackle, 35 metres from their goal line to the right of the posts and Matthew Jarvis added his second penalty goal (13-3). Three minutes later Ponty replied with a well-taken try by centre McCauley Rowley who dotted down 15 metres in from the left corner. This score was converted by Josh Phillips to make the half time score at the end of a tight 40 minutes, Pontypool 13 Pontypridd 10.

The first twelve minutes of the second half were evenly contested then, in the 53rd minute play was in Pontypridd’s 22 in front of their posts. Home scrum half Morgan Lloyd picked up from the base of a ruck, and, with nobody in front of him, the youngster dived over for a try under the posts which Matthew Jarvis converted ((20-10). Pontypool then changed the whole front row when Sam Cochrane, Sam Scarfe and Kelvyn Williams made way to Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, Peter Lloyd and Ollie Drake respectively. In the 57th minute Pontypool were penalised at a ruck, 35 metres from their goal line, 15 metres in on Ponty’s left and Josh Phillips slotted the shot at goal (20-13). On the hour, Pontypridd knocked on near their 22 on their right, after failing to gather a kick. Pooler’s young left wing Walker Price kicked the ball on, gathered and crossed for a try in the corner. Matthew Jarvis added the conversion with a superb kick (27-13). Pooler then made a change at full back when Matt Bancroft was replaced by Josh Malson.

In the 66th minute Pontypridd rallied and scored their second try of the afternoon through number eight Joe Miles, 5 metres in from the left corner flag, following a driving lineout. Josh Phillips kicked a fine conversion to reduce the deficit to seven points (27-20). Pooler made a couple more changes with Morgan Lloyd making way for Matthew Flanagan and second row Ashley Sweet was replaced by Alex Grey. In the 70th minute, Pontypool were penalised for a high tackle, 30 metres from their goal line in midfield and Josh Phillips kicked the goal so it was all to play for (27-23). The home side then made their last two replacements when Ben Moa took over from Mike Herbert in the back row and Lance Randall was replaced by Lewis Johnson in the second row. Three minutes later Pooler turned the ball over inside Ponty’s 22 and replacement tight head prop Ollie Drake drove over for the bonus-point try to the left of the posts. Matthew Jarvis added the extras from the tee (34-23).

Pooler were once again on the attack deep inside Ponty’s 22 and, in the 77th minute, after several drives towards the line, replacement loose head prop Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths powered his way over the line to score a try to the right of the posts. Matthew Jarvis again converted to complete a faultless kicking performance (41-23). However, it was Pontypridd who scored the game’s final try when, in the 3rd minute of injury time and with last play, replacement hooker Rob Jones benefited from a driving lineout when he got over the line, 10 metres in from the left corner. Josh Phillips slotted the conversion as he was successful with all of his six kicks at goal. Final score – Pontypool 41 Pontypridd 30.

This was a full-blooded contest and Pontypool did well to get the verdict but Pontypridd kept coming back and made it very difficult for their hosts. It was a tight first half but Pooler had the upper hand in the second. The game was well controlled by referee Simon Mills keeping a lid on proceedings as, on several occasions, it could have boiled over. Pontypool’s next match will be on Saturday when they travel to the capital to take on Cardiff at Cardiff Arms Park, kick-off will be at 2.30pm. The next home game will be on Thursday 2 November (kick-off 7.30pm) when Ebbw Vale will be the welcome visitors to Pontypool Park in an attractive Gwent Derby with both clubs in the top three of the Indigo Premiership table. This match was originally scheduled for Saturday 4 November but has been brought forward to the Thursday as it will be televised live on S4C Clic.

Pontypool: Matt Bancroft (replaced by Josh Malson), Ewan Rosser, Joel Mahoney, Amosa Nove, Walker Price, Matthew Jarvis, Morgan Lloyd (replaced by Matthew Flanagan), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths), Sam Scarfe (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Kelvyn Williams (replaced by Ollie Drake), Lance Randall (replaced by Lewis Johnson), Ashley Sweet (replaced by Alex Grey), Mike Herbert (replaced by Ben Moa), Callum Davies and Scott Matthews (captain).

Pontypridd: Josh Phillips, Liam Lloyd (replaced by Louis Rochefort-Shugar), McCauley Rowley (replaced by Kyan Lewis), Ryan Wilkins, Dale Stuckey, Ben Burnell, Joel Raikes (replaced by Harvey Nash), Ben Stephens (replaced by Kian Mattravers), Curtis Greenslade (replaced by Rob Jones), Tom Harper (replaced by Morgan Bosanko), Mitch Barnard (replaced by Chris Dicomidis), Macauley Cook, Kristian Parker (captain), Cai James and Joe Miles (replaced by Garyn Davies).


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