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Match PreviewMatch Report
35 - 28 HT 20 - 13 Thursday 11th January 2024 / 7:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Keith David (Bridgend)
Carmarthen Quins RFC

Carmarthen Quins RFC

Tries by Dale Ford (2), Josh Batcup and Iestyn Gwilliam.

Conversions by Charlie Titcombe (3).

Penalties by Charlie Titcombe (3).

Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Marcus Jones (2) and Iwan Price-Thomas.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (2).

Penalties by Matthew Jarvis (3).

35 - 28 HT 20 - 13 Thursday 11th January 2024 / 7:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership
Referee: Keith David (Bridgend)







Pooler suffer another defeat in entertaining encounter down west

Pontypool made the long trip west to Carmarthen Park on Thursday evening to face Carmarthen Quins in an Indigo Premiership match in front of the S4C Clic cameras, write Ray Ruddick. The home side looked to have the edge in what was a very entertaining encounter and a great advert for Premiership rugby. Quins came away with a bonus-point win while Pooler had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Before kick-off a moment of silence was observed in memory of former Wales and British Lions full back JPR Williams who had passed away earlier in the week. Pontypool kicked off attacking the Tesco end of the ground on a still, dry and fine but cold evening. In the eighth minute Pooler were penalised at a ruck near half way. Quins took a quick tap penalty but the visitors hadn’t retreated the requisite 10 metres so the attempt at goal took place on Pooler’s 10-metre line on Carmarthen’s left and outside half Charlie Titcombe slotted the kick (3-0). Five minutes later the visitors were asking questions of the home defence and the pressure told when, after a patient build-up, centre Joel Mahoney made a half break near the home 22, passed inside to his captain Scott Matthews and he gave the scoring pass to left wing Marcus Jones who came off his wing and burst through the home defence to power over for a try to the right of the uprights with outside half Matthew Jarvis converting (3-7). Quins soon replied in kind when Pooler dropped a high ball between their 10-metre line and 22. Quins gathered and eventually centre Josh Batcup scored a try near the posts. Charlie Titcombe added the extras (10-7). Pooler flanker Adam Stratton took a knock and he was replaced by Ashley Sweet who went into the second row and Dan Hill moved to flanker.

Half way through the first period a good break by Marcus Jones took play inside the home 22 and Quins were penalised at a ruck, 15 metres in from touch on Pooler’s left. Matthew Jarvis stepped up to slot the kick at goal to bring the scores level (10-10). Just before the half-hour mark Carmarthen were guilty of a high tackle inside their 22 to the right of the posts and Matthew Jarvis put his side in front with another successful penalty shot (10-13). After 31 minutes Charlie Titcombe brought the sides level again after Pontypool were caught offside near their 10-metre line in midfield (13-13). Three minutes later Quins took the lead when, after some good handling, right wing Dale Ford squeezed over in the corner for a well-taken try which Charlie Titcombe converted with a fine kick. This was the last score of a fascinating first forty minutes. Half time score – Carmarthen Quins 20 Pontypool 13.

At the start of the second period Jamie Savery made his Pooler debut when he took over from Kyan Best at loose head prop. After 44 minutes Quins extended their lead when centre Iestyn Gwilliam finished well as he scored a try in the left corner, after Pooler failed to clear, and the conversion was nailed by Charlie Titcombe (27-13). In the 56th minute Ollie Drake took over from Kelvyn Williams on the tight head for Pooler. Pontypool faced a battle to get back in the game and, just before the hour, reacted well and when play was deep in Quins territory on Pooler’s right, they moved the ball left and Marcus Jones used his strength to touch down in the left corner for his brace. Matthew Jarvis converted with a great kick (27-20). Soon after visiting centre Amosa Nove was replaced by Tom Bainton.

On 66 minutes Pontypool applied pressure on the Quins defence with play inside the home 22 and a great carry from hooker Sam Scarfe. The ball went left and debutant winger Iwan Price-Thomas came off his wing, sold a dummy and scored an unconverted try in the left corner (27-25). Three minutes later Peter Lloyd took over from Sam Scarfe in the middle of the Pooler front row. In the 70th minute Carmarthen scored their bonus-point try through Dale Ford’s second of the match when he dotted down in the right corner after some good passing. The conversion attempt failed (32-25). Pontypool second row Lance Randall then made way for Lewis Johnson. So, going into the final stages it was all to play for. As the game approached 80 minutes Pooler were penalised at a scrum, 30 metres from their goal line and 15 metres in from touch on Quins’ left. Charlie Titcombe made no mistake from the tee to give his side a 10-point cushion. Deep into injury time, Joel Mahoney made a break to take play inside Quins’ 22 but was guilty of holding on and Quins, who had the chance to end the match but the penalty was kicked directly to touch and, from the lineout and last play, the home side were penalised inside their 22, 10 metres in from touch on Pooler’s right. With the final kick of the game, Matthew Jarvis kicked the penalty goal that gave Pontypool a losing bonus point. Final score – Carmarthen Quins 35 Pontypool 28.

In another game that could have gone either way, Pooler again were on the wrong end of the score line, despite the effort and commitment of the Pontypool players. Well done to Carmarthen Quins on a well-deserved victory but it ended in disappointment once more for Pooler. Hopefully Pontypool can get back winning ways with a morale-boosting performance in their next Indigo Premiership match which will be on Saturday 20 January when Merthyr will be the welcome visitors to Pontypool Park. Then, the following Saturday 27 January Pooler visit Sardis Road to take on Pontypridd. Both matches will kick-off at 2.30pm.

Carmarthen Quins: Leon Randell, Dale Ford (replaced by Ryan Davies), Iestyn Gwilliam, Josh Batcup, Dylan Richards, Charlie Titcombe, Rhodri Davies (replaced by Tom Jones), James Newnian (replaced by Sam O’Connor), Sion Jones (replaced by Lewis Morgan), Connor Allen (replaced by Ifan James), Lee Taylor (replaced by Ryan Bean), Josh Helps, Tom Phillips (captain, replaced by Iestyn Wood)), Tom Curry (replaced by Gethin Davies) and Lewys Millin.

Pontypool: Pat Lewis, Iwan Price-Thomas, Joel Mahoney, Amosa Nove (replaced by Tom Bainton), Marcus Jones, Matthew Jarvis, Owain Leonard, Kyan Best (replaced by Jamie Savery), Sam Scarfe (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Kelvyn Williams (replaced by Ollie Drake), Lance Randall (replaced by Lewis Johnson), Dan Hill, Adam Stratton (replaced by Ashley Sweet), Callum Davies and Scott Matthews (captain).


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