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Match PreviewMatch Report
29 - 26 HT 19 - 5 Saturday 27th January 2024 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Ben Breakspear (Abercynon)
Pontypridd RFC

Pontypridd RFC

Pontypridd scorers: Tries by Rob Jones (2), Aled Ward and Josh Phillips.

Conversions by Josh Phillips (3).

Penalty by Josh Phillips.

Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Scott Matthews (2), Morgan Lloyd and a penalty try.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (2).

29 - 26 HT 19 - 5 Saturday 27th January 2024 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership
Referee: Ben Breakspear (Abercynon)







Pooler came up just short at Ponty in an entertaining encounter

Pontypool travelled to Sardis Road to face Pontypridd on Saturday in an Indigo Premiership match looking to improve on their recent form with only two 2 wins from the last 7 games, writes Ray Ruddick. Although the visitors scored first, the home side looked the better team in the first half and deservedly went into the break with a healthy lead, as they had a strong defence and took their chances. However Pooler came back well in the second period but just came up short and Ponty hung on for a well-earned bonus-point win, while Pooler managed to bag two bonus points (losing and try) in this hard fought battle. Many congratulations to Pontypridd second row Chris Dicomidis on making his 400th appearance for the club, a fine achievement by a loyal clubman. The 38-year-old made his Ponty debut as a replacement against Caerphilly on 30 December 2004 and captained the club to the league and cup double in the 2012-2013 season.

Pontypool, playing in their changed strip of predominantly black, kicked off attacking the clubhouse end of the ground on a fine and still, but a little chilly afternoon. In the ninth minute Pontypool outside half Matthew Jarvis intercepted a pass and made a break which took him into the home 22. He offloaded to the supporting Scott Matthews and the Pooler captain managed to get the ball down over the goal line and score a try near the left corner. The conversion attempt went narrowly wide (0-5). In the 22nd minute Pontypridd had a scrum feed near Pooler’s goal line on Ponty’s left and home number eight Aled Ward picked up from the base and charged over for a try, 15 metres in. Full back Josh Phillips added the conversion (7-5).

Five minutes later Pontypridd managed to win turnover ball inside the visitors’ 22 on Ponty’s right. Play went left and Josh Phillips squeezed over in the corner for an unconverted try (12-5). In the 38th minute Pooler second row Dan Hill took a heavy knock in a tackle and was replaced by Lewis Johnson. Three minutes later and in injury time at the end of a tough first half, a powerful driving maul following a penalty kick to touch in the left corner resulted in a try by hooker Rob Jones, converted by Josh Phillips with a fine kick (19-5). In the eighth minute of time added on Ponty were penalised at a ruck on their 22, 15 metres in on Pooler’s right but the attempt at goal failed. Half-time score – Pontypridd 19 Pontypool 5. It was a strong showing by Pontypridd so Pontypool had work to do in the second half if they were to turn the game in their favour.

At the start of the second period, Pontypool made four changes replacing the whole front row with Sam Cochrane, Sam Scarfe and Kelvyn Williams making way for debutant Marc Thomas, Peter Lloyd and Ollie Drake, with Morgan Lloyd taking over from Owain Leonard at scrum half. In the 3rd minute of the second 40, visiting full back Pat Lewis was yellow-carded for dissent and a penalty was awarded to Pontypridd, near the Pooler 10-metre line to the right of the posts and Josh Phillips made no mistake with his shot at the uprights (22-5). Five minutes later back came Pontypool as they tested the home defence with play inside Ponty’s 22. The pressure eventually told when Pooler number eight Scott Matthews powered over for his brace in the left corner. This score was neatly converted by Matthew Jarvis so Pontypool were back in the game (22-12). In the 51st minute Pooler were penalised at a scrum, 30 metres from their goal line to the left of the posts but the attempt at goal went wide. However, four minutes later the home side made amends when they scored their bonus-point try through Rob Jones, 15 metres in on Ponty’s left, after another great driving maul. Josh Phillips obliged from the tee (29-12). On 59 minutes Callum Davies was replaced by Ben Moa in Pooler’s back row with Moa going to number eight and Scott Matthews moving over to flanker. A minute later the debutant young centre Tye Davies, who was returning to the rugby field after a long lay-off with injury, brother of Callum and son of former Pontypool and Wales A flanker Vince Davies, made way for Matt Bancroft. Bancroft went to his usual position of full back and Pat Lewis moved up to centre.

In the 69th minute it was Pontypool’s turn to engineer an impressive driving maul deep inside Pontypridd’s 22 but this was brought down illegally according to referee Ben Breakspear and he awarded Pooler a penalty try and yellow-carded home flanker Sion Parry (29-19). Six minutes later Pooler skipper Scott Matthews was replaced by Will Gregory. In the fourth minute of injury time Pontypool’s replacement scrum half Morgan Lloyd picks up a loose ball inside Pontypridd’s 22, went through a gap and scampered over for a his side’s bonus-point try to the left of the posts which Matthew Jarvis converted (29-26). There was still time left on the clock but Pontypool could not get out of their half as Pontypridd held on. Final score – Pontypridd 29 Pontypool 26.

Once again, Pontypool gave their opponents a lead at half-time which left Pooler chasing the game. It was an improved performance in the second period but they had just too much to do. A positive to take out of this performance was the intent to play a more expansive game which was good to see. However, the down side has to be poor discipline and unforced errors which, ultimately cost Pooler the game. These negatives can be addressed by the coaches at training. There is a break for the Six Nations for the next two Saturdays, so Pontypool’s next match will be on Saturday 17 February 2024 when Cardiff will be the welcome visitors to Pontypool Park, kick-off will be at the usual 2.30pm.

Pontypridd: Josh Phillips, Will Huggins, Garyn Smith (captain), Ryan Wilkins, Tom Edwards (replaced by Kyan Lewis), Joseph Scrivens, Harvey Nash (replaced by Joel Raikes), Tom Devine (replaced by Ben Stephens), Rob Jones (replaced by Gavin Parry), Tom Harper (replaced by Morgan Bosanko), Mitch Barnard (replaced by Kristian Parker), Chris Dicomidis (replaced by Joe Miles), Cally James (replaced by Cai James), Sion Parry and Aled Ward.

Pontypool: Pat Lewis, Marcus Jones, Tye Davies (replaced by Matt Bancroft), Joel Mahoney, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Owain Leonard (replaced by Morgan Lloyd), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Marc Thomas), Sam Scarfe (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Kelvyn Williams (replaced by Ollie Drake), Dan Hill (replaced by Lewis Johnson), Ashley Sweet, Mike Herbert, Callum Davies (replaced by Will Gregory) and Scott Matthews (captain, replaced by Ben Moa).


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Indigo Premiership

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