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Connor 'not surprised' by Ystrad display

Thursday 18th May 2023
 

Shaun Connor was not surprised by the performance that Ystrad Rhondda produced against Pontypool in the dramatic victory at Gelligaled Park on Tuesday evening.

Ystrad ran Pooler close in the reverse fixture at Pontypool Park with only a late penalty try earning a victory for the hosts.

The two then locked horns at the Principality Stadium in the WRU Admiral National Championship. Ystrad took the lead in the capital and regained the lead in the second half once Pooler had fought back. However, Pontypool had enough to pull away in the end to lift the trophy.

The Rhondda-based outfit had taken the lead in the two previous meetings this season and the third was no exception with Jarrad Llewellyn and Kurtis Williams adding to five kicked points from Rhys Truelove.

Morgan Lloyd and Peter Lloyd hit back for Pooler but Morgan Burgess touched down either side of those tries to keep the hosts in control.

Peter Lloyd thundered over early in the second half but it seemed like it would be one of those bad days at the office when Williams spotted a gap in the Pooler defence to dive over.

Alex Grey ensured a thrilling finale with a well-executed try before a tense final attack in the dying seconds resulted in a Dai Langdon match-winning drop goal.

“You have to feel for Ystrad Rhondda really, they put a massive shift in and led all the way until the 80th minute and its cruel on them but fantastic for us that we are still unbeaten,” said an honest Connor.

“It must have been 20 or 30 phases we went through at the end and I saw Dai in the pocket a little bit earlier looking for the drop goal but we probably held on until the right moment.

“I thought Dai Jones controlled the tempo really well in that last block of play.

“We made sure we kept the ball, we didn’t play too wide, started to win collisions and put Dai in the position to be able to drop the goal. It was fantastic.”

Considering how the previous two games against Ystrad Rhondd have gone, Connor was expecting more of the game.

He wasn’t shocked to see Ystrad take the game to Pooler but felt the men in the red, white and black jerseys would be able to pull off another victory.

“It was no surprise to us,” admitted Connor.

“We spoke at half time about the fact that twice this season we’ve played Ystrad Rhondda and they’ve probably been the best team we have played.

“Twice they’ve gone up against us and twice we’ve come back to beat them so we knew that if we stayed in the game and kept it tight we knew we could come away with the victory.

“Obviously it was a little bit too close for comfort but we’ll take that.”

 

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