EBBW VALE RFC 17 : 16 PONTYPRIDD RFC – MATCH REPORT
With Phil Steele providing the £1 for the meter the lights finally come back on only delaying kick off by 7 minutes at Eugene Cross Park. Ebbw Vale start off proceedings, and a catch from Daf Lockyer saw sustained pressure and a Ponty line out. Ebbw steal the lineout which halts the attacking chance for Ponty.
A darting run from Stuckey with his step and go saw Ponty on the charge for an Ebbw tackle to halt the attack. Possession lost with a kick through from Ben Jones that was picked up by the Ebbw winger and kicked to touch.
With Ponty in possession of the ball just outside the 22 sees a forward pass by Sweeney to Webber resulting in a scrum to Ebbw inside their 22.
Ebbw kicked possession away with the ball duly caught by Ben Jones who kicked an up and under which was caught by Ebbw and sees Ponty once again on the defence, only to concede a penalty for going in over the top. With Ebbw in possession of the ball they have kicked to touch gaining great field possession to attack.
With Ponty attacking in the breakdowns a penalty is awarded for a high tackle which Sweeney clears with a great line kick. Another over throw from Ponty’s lineout sees Ebbw gain possession of the ball and Ponty once again on the defence resulting in a penalty to Ebbw for off side which takes the ball into Ponty’s 22 from their line kick.
With continuous forward pressure from Ebbw following a good set piece from their lineout, they were awarded the first try of the game after 10 mins by Joe Franchi.
Restart sees an attacking Ebbw Vale camped in Pontys 22, with the away team defending. A continuous forward movement by Ebbw over the gain line ends with the home team penalised for a high tackle which Sweeney kicked to touch for a Ponty lineout. Once again a lost lineout due to an overthrow sees Ebbw win the ball and Ponty once again on the defence.
Ponty kept trying to play the ball, Ebbw Vale penalised for high tackle. With Ponty on the attack, a good 3/4 phase was halted with a scrum awarded to Ebbw Vale , Ponty were then penalised for pulling down the scrum.
Ebbw Vale kick for a line out for knock on at the ruck . Play continues from the lineout with a scrum awarded to Ebbw Vale from an infringement from Ponty.
Ponty 3/4 line tried to set up a phase after a run by Ben Jones, only for Ebbw defence to hold out and be awarded the line kick.
A high tackle by Ponty give Ebbw the line kick and following through on the pressure only to kick away possession to Ponty. A sliced kick by Ben Jones sees pressure on Ponty to win the ball back only for a Ponty knock on giving Ebbw the scrum on the half way line. Offside in the scum by Ponty once again provides Ebbw with the penalty who kick to touch just outside Ponty’s 22. A touch of the ball from Ponty from the lineout sees Ebbw scrabling for the ball which resulted in what seemed a try, however the referee once again took the decision to the TMO who disallowed the try because of a knock on by Ebbw, which then moves back for a scrum to Ponty.
Ponty had upper hand in the scrum, and won a penalty with a great line kick by Sweeney.
Sustained Ponty pressure with good hands, saw a penalty awarded to Ponty for not rolling away. Sweeney kicked a penalty 3 points at 40 mins.
With a somewhat forgetful first half, the main field of play has been between both teams 22’s with neither team being able to capitalise on the plays momentum.
Penalty awarded to Ebbw for holding on just on the half time mark.
Ebbw Vale kick to the line for the last play in the first half, from the lineout win possession but then are awarded a penalty for a high tackle, Ebbw go for goal kick and end the first half 10 : 3.
Half Time score Ebbw Vale 10 : 3 Pontypridd.
Ponty restart the second half and are quickly awarded a penalty for Ebbw not rolling away which Sweeney kicks for goal taking the score to 10 : 6.
Three quarter play sustained pressure with a clearing kick from Sweeney. Continued forward pressure by Ponty resulting in numerous errors by Ebbw which sees a penalty to Ponty under Ebbw’s posts for not rolling away which is kicked again by Sweeney closing the gap to 10 : 9.
Sustained pressure by Ebbw on Ponty defence sees play taken back for the advantage for side entry into the maul by Ponty. Great line kick by Ebbw sees the a driving maul from the lineout securing the home teams second try to the game. Score Ebbw 17 : 9 Pontypridd.
A beautifully executed dummy run by Daf Lockyer sees Gary Williams sailing through to score Ponty’s first try in 58th minute which Sweeney converts to put us within 1 point of the Steel Men.
Sustained pressure form Ponty saw the tempo picked up and some great phases put together with good hands from the forwards.
Blacker took every opportunity to make a surging run towards to the Ebbw line, with Ebbw showing great defence. A cruicial ankle tap on Ben Jones by the Steel Men halts his forward movement which would have surely resulted in a try.
With the rain now poring down at Eugene Cross Park the pressure is on for both teams to get more points on the board. Ebbw Vale are continuing with the pressure and contesting hard for the ball bringing in a lot of numbers, but Ponty are not able to take advantage of this. With both teams still competing hard at the break down, the lack of options force Sweeney to kick the ball only for the Steel Men to call the mark to relieve the pressure inside the home teams 22.
Great work down the blindeside by Carl Blacker was halted by the superb defence of Ebbw Vale who pull Blacker into touch.
Ponty were put under pressure in the 76th minute when the ball was fumbled which was kicked clear by Ebbw Vale and the chase was on. With the wet conditions, controlling the ball seems difficult for both teams with Lockyer losing the ball by knocking backwards which was then taken by Ebbw Vale and resulted in a corner try, which the referee takes to the TMO for clarification. TMO disallowed the Ebbw try as the ball was knocked on, so Ponty were awarded the try back in their 22.
With 2 minutes left on the clock Ebbw have possession of the ball and are advancing fast into the Ponty 22. Ponty’s defence are working hard to get the ball back and put another win under their belts, however, the defence game by both teams are solid and with not enough time on the clock sees the game ending 17 : 16.