On Saturday 3d March Pontypridd Youth played an away friendly at a windswept Rumney. The kick-off might have been delayed but the end result was worth the wait with a battling 7pts to 10 victory secured.
After the free-scoring fixture of last weekend Pontypridd were made to work much harder for their points this weekend in Cardiff.
The hosts enjoyed the early advantage and Pontypridd compounded the situation with a tendency to run rather than kick their way out of defence and the usually accurate lineout struggled to find its rhythm. A keen contest soon developed in midfield though with Rumney’s strike runners looking to get outside the strong tackling Pontypridd centres and when the home team tried to turn the defence full-back Josh Waughington impressed with his positioning and accurate clearing. While Rumney generated the initial momentum they struggled to break into the business end of the field and Pontypridd steadily grew into the contest as the game developed and posed the only genuine scoring threats of the first half.
Clean lineout ball gave Connor Ryan and new lock Scott Sullivan the chance to rumble to within a metre of the Rumney line after good approach play from Ieuan Evans, Paul Minty and Chris Jones and then winger Jordan Rees broke tackle after tackle with a powerful, mazy burst that took him from his own 10 metre line to the opposite 22 before a desperate ankle tap denied him a potential run to the line. The deadlock was finally broken when the hosts were penalised at the resultant breakdown and Josh Waughington did well to kick the points through a strong cross-wind. Pontypridd finished the half strongly with some impressive play through evergreen flanker Gavin Steele using all his dark arts to somehow steal the ball at a breakdown to halt a final Rumney attack and slick handling from Evans and Josh Edwards almost put in Waughington.
The game was turned on its head straight after the break with an opportunistic score from Rumney and the converted try put the home team ahead and the wind in their sails. The visitors found it difficult to break out of their own half with Rumney building the phases through some strong running from their outside backs and it was a good twenty minutes before Pontypridd were able to relieve the tension. A loose kick was collected by replacement centre Adam Harcombe and his burst up the touchline crossed into the Rumney half giving Pontypridd some much needed impetus and territory. A second loose Rumney kick was returned by winger Rhodri Garland and when he was upended in the tackle the penalty and kick to the corner gave Pontypridd the first and as it turned out only scoring opportunity of the half they needed. A clinical lineout take by Tom Flye was driven up to the line by Ryan before the ball was recycled to prop Callum Reed who cleverly twisted through the tackle to touch down for his second try in as many games and despite a last minute scare Pontypridd secured another impressive win.
15. Josh Waughington 14. Jordan Rees 13. Elliott Davies 12. Josh Edwards 11. Tom Robinson 10. Shane Hutchinson 9. Chris Jones 1. Paul Minty 2. Blake Fear 3. Callum Reed 4. Scott Sullivan 5. Tom Flye (Capt.) 6. Gavin Steele 7. Ieuan Evans 8. Connor Ryan
Reps:16. Adam Harcombe 17. James Kelly 18. Rhodri Garland 19. Dewi Kingsbury 20. Daniel Pritchard 21. Jack Whelpton
Try – Callum Reed
Conversion – Shane Hutchinson
Penalty – Josh Waughington