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Cardiff 28 vs Pontypridd 46

Sat 7th October, 14:30, Cardiff Arms Park
Principality Premiership

Ponty conceded the softest of early tries, a Dafydd Lockyer chip kick intercepted, allowing his opposite number Will Rees-Hole to cruise in for a try in the corner. The game had got off to a frenetic start, ebbing to and fro, a Dale Stuckey break giving Ponty momentum upfield, maintained by a line-out drive allowing outside half Diggy Bird to snipe through for a try which he then converted.

The visitors were now seeing more of the ball, and working off a strong scrum set up another attack, winger Alex Webber making headway and finding flanker Rhys Shellard up in support to score out wide. Cardiff’s repost was immediate, outside half Gareth Thompson stroking over a penalty from near the twenty-two yard line.

Ponty again showed their intent with a dynamic wide attack, only to back-track and concede points through another Thompson penalty, reflecting the competitive nature of the game. The home side maintained a territorial advantage, forcing turnovers, but Ponty then setting off on a dynamic counter offensive, winger Alex Webber slicing through the layers of opposition defence to score a fine try, converted from in front of the posts by Bird. Cardiff again responded with a Thompson penalty to keep the score-board ticking over and to keep in touch but that effort cancelled out as Diggy Bird launched a penalty of his own from forty metres out.

The action continued unabated as Cardiff took a quick tap penalty, centre Owen Lane diving over to touch down near the corner flag, his score well converted by Thompson. The home side then suffered a double setback as centre Will Rees-Hole was yellow carded for a high tackle and hooker Joe Tomlinson stretchered off, bringing to an end a thrilling first half with Ponty edging a 21pts to 22 lead.

The game lost none of its momentum after the restart, but Ponty rueing a missed penalty attempt by Bird. The Blue and Blacks then countered with an attack from deep, scrum half Lewis Jones cruising in unopposed for a try which Thompson converted. Ponty’s attempts to strike back lacked a cutting edge, allowing their hosts once more to make headway upfield.

The contest remained close-fought as Ponty kicked effectively for position then drove hard into the home twenty-two, allowing Diggy Bird to kick a straight forward penalty, but then just failing to hit the target with a siege-gun effort from half way. The Valley Commandos however responded in style as replacement Hemi Barnes charged forward, centre Aled Summerhill receiving and crossing for a try which Bird converted, Cardiff full back Dan Fish sin-binned for a high tackle in the build-up to the score.

A wide attack fronted by winger Alex Webber kept Ponty on the front foot, then seizing on a loose ball for Hemi Barnes to crash over for a try which Bird again converted. The visitors were now rampant, launching a flowing foray into the home twenty-two but failing to capitalise.

The contest remained feisty and frenetic into its final ten minutes with Ponty holding a territorial advantage. Working off a strong set piece the visitors again advanced as Dafydd Lockyer cut through, Rhys Shellard up in support to cross for a try which Sweeney converted. A late Cardiff repost came to nothing as Ponty held out for a notable 28pts to 46 victory after an enthralling encounter.

Cardiff:

15.Dan Fish. 14.Llywarch ap Myrddin (Dafydd Smith). 13.Owen Lane. 12.Will Rees-Hole. 11.Pat Lewis. 10.Gareth Thompson (Ben Thomas). 9.Lewis Jones (Rhodri Cole).

1.Rhys Carre (James Greenfield). 2.Joe Tomlinson – cpt (Peter Lloyd). 3.Ian Jenkins (Ryan Spriggs). 4.Miles Normandale. 5.Ben White. 6.Reuben Tucker (Sion Bennett / James Murphy). 7.Luke Crocker. 8.James Sheekey.

Tries: Rees-Hole (2); Lane (35); Jones (48)

Cons: Thompson (36, 48)

Pens: Thompson (15, 23, 31)

Pontypridd:

15.Lloyd Rowlands (Geraint Walsh). 14.Alex Webber. 13.Aled Summerhill. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Dale Stuckey. 10.Diggy Bird (Ceri Sweeney). 9.Dane Blacker (Wayne Evans).

1.Chris Phillips (Huw Owen). 2.Huw Dowden (Joe Page). 3.Will Davies-King (Jon Elley). 4.Josh Hawkins (Hemi Barnes). 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Sean Moore (Lee Evans). 7.Rhys Shellard. 8.Morgan Sieniawski.

Tries: Bird (6); Shellard (11, 75); Webber (28); Summerhill (62); Barnes (68)

Cons: Bird (7, 28, 63, 70); Sweeney (76)

Pens: Bird (33, 58)

WRU man of the match: Diggy Bird

Referee:-  Adam Jones