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Match PreviewMatch Report
30 - 16 HT 20 - 16 Saturday 06th April 2024 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Simon Mills (Burry Port)
Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Mathew Powell, Sam Scarfe, Matt Bancroft and Scott Matthews.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (2).

Penalties by Matthew Jarvis (2).

RGC 1404 RFC

RGC 1404 RFC

Try by Harri Ford.

Conversion by Dion Jones.

Penalties by Dion Jones (3).

30 - 16 HT 20 - 16 Saturday 06th April 2024 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership
Referee: Simon Mills (Burry Port)







Pooler’s hard-fought bonus-point victory over resilient RGC

Pontypool welcomed RGC 1404 to Pontypool Park for the first time in eight years in this Indigo Premiership clash and, after a tough encounter, Pontypool came away with a well-earned bonus-point win, to lift them to fifth position in the table, writes Ray Ruddick.

The victorious Pontypool Schools Under-11 squad, who lifted the DC Thomas Cup, a national schools tournament that has been going for over 50 years, at the Principality Stadium on 21 March by defeating Bridgend Schools Under-11 35-15 in the final, were the guard of honour as the players entered the field.

Pontypool kicked off attacking the scoreboard end of the ground on a fine and mild but windy afternoon. Pooler started the stronger and on two minutes opened the scoring when, after good work by centre Joel Mahoney and scrum half Morgan Lloyd, right wing Mathew Powell scored a try, 5 metres in from the right corner, for his first try for the club since his long lay-off with injury. The conversion attempt failed (5-0). Ten minutes later RGC were guilty of collapsing a scrum on their 10-metre line in midfield and up stepped outside half Matthew Jarvis to slot the kick at goal to take him over 200 points for the season (8-0). In the 15th minute Pooler were caught offside at a ruck, 15 metres in on RGC’s right, 30 metres from the home goal line. Visiting centre Dion Jones kicked the goal to reduce his side’s deficit (8-3). Midway through the first half Pontypool were awarded a penalty on RGC’s 22. They kicked for the left corner and, from the ensuing driving lineout, hooker Sam Scarfe burrowed over for a try, 10 metres in from the corner, which was neatly converted by Matthew Jarvis (15-3).

In the 22nd minute Pooler were caught offside 20 metres in on RGC’s right, 35 metres from the home goal line and Dion Jones kicked the goal (15-6). Eleven minutes later and after a period of pressure by the Gogs, they were rewarded for their patience when outside half Harri Ford scored a try to the right of the posts which Dion Jones converted to cut Pooler’s lead to two points (15-13). In the 36th minute, Pooler were on the attack when Mathew Powell galloped along the right flank and found Matt Bancroft in support for the full back to score a try, his first for the club, touching down in the corner. The difficult conversion went wide (20-13). In the sixth minute of injury time Pooler were penalised for offside, 35 metres from their goal line and 20 metres in on RGC’s left. Dion Jones kicked his hat trick of penalties to make it a difference of four points at the end of an absorbing half of rugby with little to choose between two evenly-matched sides. Half time score – Pontypool 20 RGC 1404 16.

During the interval, the Pontypool Schools Under-11 squad did a lap of honour and paraded the cup around the ground, to great applause.

In the seventh minute of the second period, Adam Stratton was replaced by Scott Matthews in the back row for Pontypool. Then, just before the hour mark, Pontypool tight head prop Ollie Drake received a pass near the half way line but was high-tackled by RGC's replacement prop Christian Hone who was sent to the sin bin. It was a nasty contact to the head which resulted in Drake having lengthy treatment on the field before leaving on a stretcher but, thankfully, after a medical assessment, he was given the all clear. There was about a 15-minute delay and when play eventually re-started, Kelvyn Williams took over in the Pooler front row.

On the resumption of play, Pontypool took the game to their opponents with some good attacking play and, with around 17 minutes remaining, Pontypool had a feed to an uncontested scum deep inside the visitors’ 22 - there were passive scrums for the duration of the yellow card. Scott Matthews picked up from the base and powered over for his side’s bonus-point try to the right of the posts. Matthew Jarvis added the conversion (27-16). A little later, Pooler’s loose head prop Marc Thomas made way for Sam Cochrane then with about ten minutes left to play, Mathew Powell, Morgan Lloyd, Sam Scarfe, second row Dan Hill and flanker Callum Davies were replace by debutant Ieuan Rowlands, Owain Leonard, Peter Lloyd, Lewis Johnson and Ben Moa respectively for the home side. In the final minute RGC were penalised at a ruck in front of their posts and Matthew Jarvis kicked the goal. Final score – Pontypool 30 RGC 1404 16.

This was a solid performance by Pontypool against a tough RGC outfit. Pooler showed character to see the game out with a bonus-point win in what was a difficult encounter, where RGC tested Pooler’s resolve and the home side came through with flying colours. Pontypool’s next game will be on Thursday 18 April when they made the short trip to Ciner Glass Community Stadium (Eugene Cross Park) to take on third-place Ebbw Vale in a mouth-watering Gwent derby. Kick off will be at 7.30pm and will be live on the S4C Clic channel. For the final home match of this first season back in the Premiership, Pooler welcome Merthyr to Pontypool Park on Wednesday 24 April for a re-arranged game, kick-off at 7.15pm. Then the last game of this campaign sees Pontypool make the long trip north to RGC for the return match on Saturday 27 April at Stadiwm Zip World (Eirias Park) in Colwyn Bay with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Pontypool: Matt Bancroft, Mathew Powell (replaced by Ieuan Rowlands), Duan Thomas, Joel Mahoney, Pat Lewis, Matthew Jarvis, Morgan Lloyd (replaced by Owain Leonard), Marc Thomas (replaced by Sam Cochrane), Sam Scarfe (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Ollie Drake (replaced by Kelvyn Williams), Dan Hill (replaced by Lewis Johnson), Ashley Sweet, Mike Herbert (captain), Callum Davies (replaced by Ben Moa) and Adam Stratton (replaced by Scott Matthews).

RGC 1404: Caio Parry, Rhys Tudor, Dion Jones, Afon Bagshaw (captain), Sam Stoddard, Harri Ford, Efan Jones, Jessie Williams, Rhodri King, Patrick Nelson, Elis Evans, Tai Taylor, Dan Owens, Charlies Probert and Sam Williams. Replacements: Osian Burt, Christian Hone, Pedr Jones, Jack Jones, Emyr Jones, Tom Ellis, Louis Williams and Sam Earl-Jones.


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Previous Game
30 - 16

Pontypool RFC v RGC 1404 RFC Saturday 06th April 2024 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership

View Match Report Pontypool RFC <span class='versus'>v</span> RGC 1404 RFC
Next Game

Ebbw Vale RFC v Pontypool RFC Thursday 18th April 2024 / 7:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership

View Match Fixture Ebbw Vale RFC <span class='versus'>v</span> Pontypool RFC