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Pontypridd 47 vs Newport 45

Sat 11th November, 13:00, Sardis Road

A Ponty mistake from the kick off gifted Newport an early try when full back Geriant O’Driscoll crossed out wide with outside half Matt O’Brien adding the conversion.

Ponty responded with a penalty from outside half Diggy Bird after the visitors were penalised for collapsing a driving maul close to the try line.

The home side’s first try soon followed as winger Alex Webber slipped the ball out of a tackle to Wayne Evans who passed onto Dafydd Lockyer who then raced clear to put the ball down under the posts. Outside half Diggy Bird easily converted the score.

From the re-start wing Alex Webber was involved again as he broke down the touchline to pass on to Gary Williams who drew the last the defender to send Rhys Shellard in to finish off a spectacular passage of play. Again Diggy Bird easily converted the try.

Ponty were playing some outstanding rugby and Newport were struggling to keep in touch. Further pressure from the home side paid off when Diggy Bird kicked a long range penalty.

The visitors scored their second try when outside half Matt O’Brien capitalised on a charge down to go over in the corner. Ponty however wasted no time in offering a response as Wayne Evans sent wing Alex Webber through a gap to outpace the defence for another try.

Deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half a quick tap penalty by Wayne Evans caught Newport on the back foot and when the ball was worked wide Geraint Walsh marked his 100th appearance with the bonus point try, sending the home side in at the interval 30pts to12 ahead.

It was deja vu as Newport again started a half with a try when wing Haydn Palmer intercepted on half way to race in next to the corner flag. Ponty responded immediately with a try from a smart line-out ploy as flanker Morgan Sieniawski crossed wide out.

Another try quickly followed for the home side when a set move off a scrum saw centre Gary Williams finish off an excellent passage of play in which he combined well with fellow centre Dafydd Lockyer.

The visitors remained in contention and claimed their bonus point try when Matt O’Brien again crossed next to the posts and converted his own score.

With the Black and Ambers pressing for another try, home replacement Hemi Barnes swooped on a loose ball to race through the defence, passing on to Alex Webber who found Diggy Bird up in support to finish off an excellent break. Bird then converted his own try from a wide angle.

Again with Ponty on the attack Newport took advantage of a mistake to go the length of the field allowing centre Adam Sabri to claim an opportunist try which O’Brien converted from close range.

With Ponty pressing Newport in their own twenty-two, replacement prop Huw Owen was sin binned for an alleged shoulder charge following a clearance kick. With the hosts down to fourteen men Newport went for broke and started to play a very expansive game. This paid off as first Matt O’Brien completed his hat-trick and converted his own try and then wing Haydn Palmer intercepted to score out wide with O’Brien adding the conversion.

That was the last action of an open and entertaining match in which both teams ran in seven tries but Ponty holding out for a 47pts to 45 victory.

Pontypridd:

15.Lloyd Rowlands (Joseph Williams). 14.Alex Webber. 13.Gary Williams. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Geraint Walsh. 10.Diggy Bird (Jordan Rees). 9.Wayne Evans (Jamie Hill).

1.Chris Phillips (Huw Owen). 2.Huw Dowden (Joe Page). 3.Jon Elley (Joe Popple). 4.Shay Smallman. 5.Chris Dicomidis (Hemi Barnes). 6.Sean Moore. 7.Rhys Shellard (Ross Morgan). 8.Morgan Sieniawski (Jon Elley).

Tries: Lockyer (12); Shellard (14); Webber (28); Walsh (39); Sieniawski (48); G. Williams (56); Bird (67)

Cons: Bird (13, 14, 68)

Pens: Bird (10, 22)

Newport:

15.Geraint O’Driscoll. 14.Corey Howells. 13.Chay Smith (Haydn Simons). 12.Adam Sabri. 11.Haydn Palmer. 10.Matt O’Brien – cpt. 9.Ryan James (Ryan Bates).

1.Nicky Boyce (Henry Palmer). 2.Evan Whitson (Matt Prosser). 3.Tom Piper (Garin Harris). 4.Rhys Creswell. 5.Gavin Bilton. 6.Morgan Burgess (Alex Everett). 7.Joe Cullimore. 8.Josh Reid.

Tries: O’Driscoll (1); O’Brien (25, 59, 79); Haydn Palmer (41, 80); Sabri (72)

Cons: O’Brien (1, 60, 72, 79, 80)

Golden Bob man of the match: Diggy Bird

WRU man of the match: Gary Williams

Referee:-  Simon Rees

Attendance: 1,350