All the results and scorers from our age-grade rugby teams. See how the young guns are doing.
YOUTH XV: Llantwit Fadre 3 - Pontypridd 5
Many Ponty supporters may not know that we are running a Youth XV this season, built on the successes of last season's U16 side. Despite being rocked by player defections to a number of supposedly "better" youth sides, the team has gone from strength to strength on the playing field. Last Saturday, 21st October, they played a tough "friendly" derby match away to Llantwit Fardre, who are a National division youth side, some three divisions above this all new Ponty side in the WRU youth structure.
Due to injuries and the player transfers, Ponty took a bare 17 fit players to Llantwit. Once again young Ponty players demonstrated their commitment to the cause, with flanker Alun Thomas agreeing to play full back for the second week running, openside Mike Davies moving up to lock, and full back Rhys Simms agreeing to slot in as an emergency centre despite not being fully fit.
Llantwit started the game with a strong experienced side that included two of last years Blues under 16 's players in prop Ben Lee and centre Paul Tampsett. The game started in excellent conditions for running rugby and Ponty showed their intent from the start, tackling aggressively and out-rucking their bigger opponents. We constantly moved the ball wide to release powerful wing Ben Troake for some trademark runs, but the Llantwit defence was well organised and kept their line intact.
The game sadly started to become a war of attrition. Former Llantwit flanker Jon Reid made an excellent run, but was taken out off the ball and retaliation by Reed saw him sin binned along with the Llantwit tackler. Both sides received a long lecture from the referee, but it did little good. Troake made another bullocking run down his wing, and a Llantwit player charged in to land a blatant punch straight in front of the referee, who instantly issued a red card.
Llantwit tried to move the ball wide from a scrum, but again Ponty openside Gristock managed to get a hand to the ball and race away for what seemed an interception try. Unfortunately he was called back for offside and Llantwit converted the penalty to open the scoring. However Ponty bounced straight back, with Rhys Simms collecting a poorly directed Llantwit clearance kick and hoisting a high ball. Two Llantwit defenders got mixed up challenging for the ball, and Simms was able to collect it and race away for a try. Once again the kick at goal was missed, and the half time score was Llantwit 3 and Pontypridd 5.
As the second half wore on the weather deteriorated into severe rain and wind, and an inevitable forward battle resulted. Pontypridd's tenacity in the pack was proving difficult for their opponents to handle, and at the set piece Ponty were starting to dominate, with prop Dale Pugh giving his opposite number a torrid time in the scrums. Ponty were also outstanding in the line out, consistently winning quality ball despite the conditions. Maissey, Reid and Gristock constantly stole throw after throw.
With a bit more composure Ponty could have added to their try count, but twice scrums in quality positions were squandered due to poor communication. With monsoon like conditions developing, Ponty spurned two late penalty attempts at goal, preferring to kick for territory. Llantwit were restricted to one speculative long range penalty attempt at the death in a desperate attempt to salvage the game, which thankfully for Ponty was wide of the mark. The final whistle saw Ponty come away with an unlikely but well deserved victory.
The Ponty man of the match award was shared between brilliant lock Nathaniel Williams and the excellent Reid, who was commended by the referee after the game for his behaviour and the outstanding impact he made after returning from his earlier sin binning.
Next week Pontypridd youth entertain Tylorstown in the league and will be making their first appearance of the season at the 'House of Pain' itself, Sardis Road. Kick off will be at 2.30, so if you can't get up to Ebbw Vale, come along to Sardis and get behind the future of Ponty rugby, the newly formed Pontypridd Youth.
And the other results from last weekend:
UNDER 16: Pontypridd 31 - 12 Caerleon
TRY scorers for Pontypridd - Arron Atkin, Garrick Legge (2) and Liam Watton (2). Garrick Legge kicked 2 conversions and Arron Atkin kicked one.
UNDER 13: Pontypridd 0 - 45 Llantwit Fardre
Pontypridd remain in the doldrums, suffering their third defeat in a row. This was a disappointing result against a team that they are more than capable of beating, even with key players missing, but the players seemed to lack confidence in going forward. Handling errors and poor first up tackling let the team down on the day. The lads will have to work hard in training if they want to return to winning ways next week at Rhiwbina where they are up against far better opposition. Tonyrefail Upholstery Man of the Match was Oliver Bailey.
UNDER 12: Pontypridd 71 v 5 Treharris
TRY scorers for Pontypridd - Nathan Williams (2), Garyn Smith (2), Sion Jenkins (2), Jake Thomas (2), Jack Hazell, Sam Edwards, Rhydian Langford, Ieuan Evans, Jimmy Nelms and Jordan Rees. Sion Jenkins kicked 2 conversions and Jordan Rees kicked 1. Man of the Match: Sion Jenkins.
UNDER 11: Pontypridd 12 - 14 Treharris
TRY scorers for Pontypridd - Connor Jones and Morgan Rees. Harry Walton kicked the conversion. Man of the match Morgan Rees.
UNDER 8: Pontypridd 30 - 20 Treharris
TRY scorers for Pontypridd - Gruffyd Lloyd, Jay Jones, Joshua Barnes, Rhodri Smith (2) and Carl Blacker.
UNDER 7/8 Dev. - Treharris 45 - 30 Pontypridd
TRY scorers for Pontypridd: Iwan Cavil (3), Keillan Mahoney (2) and Rhys Morris.
Total votes 1117
Sut y gallwn hawlio yn ol ein gem genedlaethol? Oes angen newid y strwythur? How can we reclaim our national game? Is there a need for a restructure?