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Match PreviewMatch Report
3 - 24 HT 3 - 17 Saturday 30th December 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Elliot Mayor (Bangor)
Swansea RFC

Swansea RFC

Penalty by Rhys Jones.

Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Ben Moa, Ollie Drake and Ashley Sweet.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (3).

Penalty by Matthew Jarvis.

3 - 24 HT 3 - 17 Saturday 30th December 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership
Referee: Elliot Mayor (Bangor)

Tries

03

Conversions

03

Penalties

11
 

Improved Pooler impress to stun Swansea at St Helen’s

Pontypool have struggled in recent performances having lost three of their last four Indigo Premiership matches so a tricky trip to St Helen’s to face Swansea was an opportunity to get back to the form that won six consecutive league games in September, October and early November, writes Ray Ruddick. Pooler reacted well and looked impressive in this stunning victory over the All Whites.

Pontypool, in their changed strip of predominantly black, kicked off attacking the score board end of the ground on a damp, grey and breezy afternoon. In the ninth minute Pooler’s loose head prop Kyan Best injured his shoulder when tackled and was replaced by Jordan Morris who was very impressive with his ball carrying and scrummaging. Three minutes later the visitors were penalised for not rolling away at a ruck inside their 22 and in front of their posts. Outside half Rhys Jones made no mistake with the easy shot at goal (3-0).

In the 26th minute Pontypool were awarded a penalty near the Swansea goal line on Pooler’s right. Pontypool went for the scrum and, after the visiting eight drove their opponents back, number eight Ben Moa picked up from the base and barged over for a try which outside half Matthew Jarvis, who was making his 50th league and cup appearance, slotted the conversion with a fine kick (3-7). Five minutes later Pooler were offside on their 10-metre line to the left of the uprights when a player played the ball when he was in front of a teammate who had knocked on, but the attempt at goal went wide. In the 37th minute Pooler were on the attack inside the Swansea 22 and, after several controlled drives towards the home goal line, tight head prop Ollie Drake powered his way over for a try to the right of the posts. Matthew Jarvis converted (3-14). Visiting full back Matt Bancroft had taken a knock and was replaced by Josh Malson. In the sixth minute of injury time the All Whites were penalised on their 22, 15 metres in on Pooler’s right and Matthew Jarvis increased his side’s advantage when he kicked the attempt at goal on the stroke of half time to make the score at the interval Swansea 3 Pontypool 17.

During the break the weather changed when the heavens opened and driving rain fell, going from the scoreboard end towards the cricket pitch, so the strong wind was behind Pontypool’s back in the second period.

In the third minute of the second half Swansea were caught offside following a kick, between their 10-metre line and half way then gave away 10 metres for back-chatting to the referee but the kick at goal failed. Five minutes later Ben Moa was replaced by Callum Davies and within two minutes Davies and Swansea scrum half Gareth J Rees were both yellow carded. Then, just before the hour mark Pontypool second row Lance Randall made way for Lewis Johnson and a couple of minutes later Sam Scarfe replaced hooker Peter Lloyd and Kelvyn Williams took over at tight head prop from Ollie Drake in Pooler’s front row.

Pontypool dominated territory and possession in the second half and in the 67th minute they were rewarded when play was deep inside Swansea’s 22 and captain-for-the-day, experienced second row Ashley Sweet drove over for a try from close range, to the right of the posts. Matthew Jarvis, once again, added the extras. With about five minutes left, Pontypool made their final two changes when scrum half Morgan Lloyd was replaced by Owain Leonard and Will Gregory took over from Ashley Sweet. Final score – Swansea 3 Pontypool 24.

This was a much improved performance by Pontypool and they looked good throughout the game in testing conditions. They took their chances in the first period and bossed the second half to record a well-deserved victory to claim the season’s double over Swansea, having won 20-17 at Pontypool Park in early September, so well done to all involved. Pontypool’s next match will be on Saturday when they welcome Aberavon to Pontypool Park, kick-off will be the usual 2.30pm. Then there is a change of date for the Carmarthen Quins away game. The date was originally Saturday 13 January but has now been brought forward to Thursday 11 January as the match will be televised on S4C Clic. The kick-off at Carmarthen Park will be at 7.30pm.

Swansea: Brandon Wood, Gareth O Rees, Joe Thomas, Osian Knott (replaced by the returning Gareth J Rees), Morgan Rees (replaced by Matthew Jenkins), Rhys Jones (replaced by Jacob Symes), Gareth J Rees (replaced by Rhodri Lewis), James Kenny (replaced by Tom Sloane), Owen Thomas (replaced by Llew Phillips-Taylor), Ed Thompson (replaced by Kian Hire), Lloyd Ashley, Matt Dodd (replaced by Jake Baker), Will Hickey (replaced by Lloyd Evans), Callum Bowden (captain) and Cai Davies.

Pontypool: Matt Bancroft (replaced by Josh Malson), Marcus Jones, Pat Lewis, Amosa Nove, Walker Price, Matthew Jarvis, Morgan Lloyd (replaced by Owain Leonard), Kyan Best (replaced by Jordan Morris), Peter Lloyd (replaced by Sam Scarfe), Ollie Drake (replaced by Kelvyn Williams), Lance Randall (replaced by Lewis Johnson), Ashley Sweet (captain, replaced by Will Gregory), Dan Hill, Adam Stratton and Ben Moa (replaced by Callum Davies).

 

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