The Pontypridd under 16s team have so far played a couple of games during the month of January, beating Newport HSOB at home, and registering a comprehensive victory over Garndiffaith away.
Under 16's Pontypridd 16 - 14 Newport HSOB
The boys started 2006 with a tough home fixture against Newport HSOB. The Newport side had been strengthened by five or six new signings since the previous fixture and included some Dragons squad members in their team, whilst Ponty were without locks James Dunne on Welsh squad duty, Gareth Capelin and Lewis Williams on Blues duty, and Richard "Rhino" Powell and Dean Brown who were unavailable due to Dewar Shield commitments.
Ponty despite being some key forwards short, started the game in typical fashion with a powerful maul that drove Newport from the half way line to the edge of their 22. When the maul seemed to have run out of steam, powerhouse lock, Nathaniel Williams burst away and although he was stopped 5 metres short by an outstanding cover tackle, Hooker Sam Oliver was in close support and was able to pick up and drive over for the opening try that went unconverted.
Ponty resumed their pressure, and a brilliant counter attack from kick off saw flanker Dafydd Gristock launch what seemed to be try scoring move, only to be denied by a very poorly timed dangerously high tackle, that led to a lengthy lecture from the ref. Winger Rhys Simms converted the penalty to take the scores to 8-0.
Ill discipline was costing Newport points, and when they killed the ball at a defensive ruck near their line, Simms again punished them, taking the score to 11-0.
The Second half saw Newport pull back with an excellent back line move producing a great try that was converted from a difficult angle, Ponty responded with a fine solo effort from exciting fly half Lewis Smith who side stepped and dummied the cover on half way, before sprinting away, crossing wide out for an unconverted try. Newport were very unlucky not to add a further try, when a great three-quarter move saw their wing sprint away for what seemed a certain try, until man of the match Dean Maissey the Ponty no8 pulled off an outstanding cover tackle at the corner flag, with the Newport coach and Linesman confirming the tackle had denied the try.
With the scores at 16-7 Newport threw everything at Ponty, and after a series of close range penalties in injury time, their powerful centre broke the Ponty cover for a fine try under the posts that was converted for a final score of 16-14 to Pontypridd.
Try Scorers for Pontypridd: Sam Oliver and Lewis Smith.
Rhys Simms kicked two Penalties.
Man of the Match: Dean Maissey
Under 16's Garndiffaith 14 - 31 Pontypridd
The following week Pontypridd travelled to Garndiffaith, for a difficult fixture on a very heavy pitch. Garndiffaith were protecting a proud home record and had already qualified for the semi finals of this years Gwent cup.
Pontypridd started well and were dominant up front, however poor handling in the backs was costing Ponty dear. Richard Powell and prop James Sullivan got the ball rolling for Ponty, with a try a piece, however again Ponty missed the conversions, leaving the half time score 10-0.
This spurred Garndiffaith into action and they responded with two excellent tries, the pick of which came from their outstanding scrum half. Both were converted leaving Ponty trailing 14-10.
This was the wake up call Ponty needed and they responded with three excellent converted tries, with lock Powell getting his second, man of the match Prop Marc Jones, scoring after a powerful drive from centre Tom Newberry, and wing Lewis Williams, who scored the try of the match from inside his own half, beating four tacklers, after Ponty had finally managed to get their passing together in the back line. Final score Garndiffaith 14 Pontypridd 31.
Try scorers for Pontypridd: Richard Powell (2), James Sullivan, Marc Jones and Lewis Williams.
Lewis Smith kicked three conversions.
Play Off Final
Total votes 188
Ponty ar ben eu digon - pencampwyr dwbwl Cymru. Pwy oedd yn serennu yn y gem fawr yn erbyn Llanelli? Ponty on top of the world - double champions of Welsh rugby. Who starred in the big win over Llanelli?