The Dukes proved great ambassadors for Holland along with rugby as a whole, with their enthusiasm and attitude, but despite a valiant performance it wasn't enough to defeat an ever improving Pontypridd under 12s side...
Under 12's Pontypridd 38 - 22 Dukes Under 13's ( Netherlands )
This was a much anticipated game where both teams were not just representing their clubs but also their countries. The match was played at a standard that would have made their respective clubs and countries proud, with skill levels that seemed to be well beyond the age of these young players. Both sides were committed to playing an expansive fast game of rugby that they executed with precision throughout the entire match.
As the game progressed Pontypridd fullback Oliver Bailey and winger Josh Pritchard were both prominent in attack and defence with some barn-storming runs along with superb angles.
A special mention must also go to Ponty centre Liam Williams who did some superb tackling throughout the game and also made some mesmerizing side stepping runs that confused the opposition defence on quite a few occasions.
Michael Connor also did some of his trademark runs up the field that gave Pontypridd the forward platform to launch many an attack, with superb handling from both forwards and backs alike.
For the Dukes their hooker Pieter Quekel never gave up throughout the game and even managed to win some of Pontypridd's ball at the scrums. With their outside half very rarely making any wrong decisions throughout the game they more than gave a superb account of themselves.
But the Dukes best player was their No. 8 with his direct running and passing before contact setting up many an attack; causing endless problems for the Pontypridd defence throughout the game, he was a credit to their team.
As for the referee's man of the match though, that had to go to Joel Raikes, whose crunching tackles, weaving runs, leadership skills and all-round tactical awareness kept Pontypridd on the front foot for long periods of the game.
A special mention must also be given to the spirit in which this game was played with both teams playing in a way that can only positively enhance their respective countries' reputation and the reputation of the game.
Try Scorers for Pontypridd: Josh Pritchard (3),
Jordan Jevons, Geraint Jones and Oliver Bailey.
Joel Raikes kicked 4 Conversions.
Try Scorers for the Dukes: Jop Van der Laar (3) and Martijn de Jong.
Jim Maas kicked one conversion.
Preece Removals 'Dukes' Man of the Match: Jop Van der Laar
Pontypridd Removals 'Ponty' Man of the Match: Liam Williams
Dukes Man of the Match T-Shirts were presented to Josh Pritchard, Joel Raikes and Michael Connor for their excellent performances throughout the match, with a special mention from the Dukes to Dale Hughes who played some outstanding rugby before going off injured early in the match (ankle).
Pontypridd team: 1. Michael Connor, 2. Jordan Jevons, 3. Johnathan Griffin, 4. Oliver Dalley, 5. Gareth Cleaver, 6. Ben Larsen, 7. Nathan Payne, 8. Dan Williams, 9. Chris Jones, 10. Joel Raikes (c), 12. Dale Hughes, 13. Liam Williams, 14. Mikey Jones, 11. Josh Pritchard, 15. Oliver Bailey. Subs: Will Thomas, Steffan Jenkins, Garin Rossiter, Morgan Rees and Geraint Jones.
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