PONTYPRIDD YOUTH played their final warm up game before their first entry into the new youth league, with an impressive home win against a spirited and determined Bargoed Youth side.
Ponty rang the changes from their last game to give an equal opportunity for all squad players to impress the coaches before the serious business begins.
This young Ponty side seemed determined to make up for last week's narrow loss and started at a ferocious pace. In glorious conditions for rugby, Pontypridd virtually destroyed their opponents in the opening 15 minutes, registering tries from their impressive scrum half, Liam Stacey who was making his debut, captain Lewis Smith and powerful flanker Johnny Reid, with full back Rhys Simms kicking three conversions.
Ponty were keen to keep the momentum and were unlucky not to add another try, when an excellent short lineout move between Sam Oliver and James Sullivan saw the big prop just held up over the line. But Sullivan was not to be denied and minutes later he barged over from close range for his first try of the season, thanks to a clever switch move by the half backs.
Bargoed were struggling to cope with the pace of the Pontypridd attackers. Thanks to the excellent work of lineout jumpers Reid and Maissey, Ponty dominated the line outs and were rock solid in the scrum, hence the Ponty backs were able to show off their pace and skills. The Ponty midfield of fly-half Smith and centres Craig Davies and Tom Newberry were outstanding throughout the match. The sublime passing, along with slick angled running of Smith and Davies proved the perfect foil for the hard running Newberry who put in a "man of the match" performance.
Although Bargoed hit back with a well worked quality try of their own, it was not long before a great move from the Ponty midfield put powerful wing Ben Troake in for his first try for the club that was converted by Simms to take the half time score to 33 - 5.
Ponty introduced some fresh legs at half-time, but despite some very brave defending there was little relief for Bargoed as Ponty were now in total command in all aspects of the game and were throwing wave after wave of attack at Bargoed. The Ponty back row of Mike Davies, Alun Thomas along with Dean Maissey was outstanding, with both Maissey and Mike Davies registering second half tries. A brilliant counter attack by the excellent Rhys Simms from deep in his own half saw him cross for the try of the day that was closely followed by some fine interplay from fly half Smith and centre Craig Davies that saw Smith cross for his second try.
Although Bargoed bravely tried to attack with what little possession they had, this very young Pontypridd side defended as if they were holding on to a far narrower lead than the fifty point margin that they had. They continually made huge tackle after huge tackle. After one particular big hit in midfield the back row won quick possession that resulted in an excellent move down the left involving the big forwards Nathaniel Williams, Marc Jones and Dale Pugh. In a set move they quickly spun the ball wide right to Lewis Smith, Craig Davies and Tom Newberry to combine putting Simms away for his second try and for a final score of Pontypridd Youth 60 Bargoed 5. This was an excellent display by the whole squad and there were a number of outstanding individual performances that will give the coaches a nice selection headache ahead of next week's first ever league game away at Penygraig.
PONTYPRIDD TRY SCORERS:
Liam Stacey, Lewis Smith (2), Johnny Reid, James Sullivan, Ben Troake, Dean Maissey, Mike Davies, Rhys Simms (2). Full back Rhys Simms kicked 5 conversions.
Total votes 491
Yr Uwch-Gynghrair, Cwpan SWALEC, Cwpan Prydain ac Iwerddon - beth yw gobeithion Ponty o gipio "coron driphlyg" unigryw? The Premiership, SWALEC Cup and British & Irish Cup - what are Ponty's chances of claiming a unique "triple crown"?