Pontypridd welcomed Coventry to Sardis Road for the first time since December 1990, for their final pre season game. Just like that day twenty years ago, the visitors were sent home defeated and try less as Ponty romped to a convincing 53-12 win.
Conditions were poor with heavy rain having fallen and Coventry taking an early six point lead through two Danny Richards penalties. Ponty hit back immediately as Coventry were penalised at a scrum, with Dean Gunter putting over a penalty from forty metres.
Ponty’s first try came after fourteen minutes and was a real gem, a break by Ryan Savage supported by Darren Waters who ran in under the posts, the score converted by Gunter. Ponty were now beginning to dominate proceedings, especially in the set pieces, and following a stolen Coventry lineout Waters got his second try after 23 minutes which Gunter again converted.
The rain now was rampaging down from the Rhondda, as Ponty kept applying pressure on the Coventry defence, whose full back Jon Lowdon was yellow carded. Ponty took advantage of the extra man, with Lewis Williams scoring the first of his hat trick of tries in the right hand corner following some deft midfield passing.
Coventry ended the half as they started with Richards putting over another penalty to leave the home team 22-9 up.
Pontypridd made numerous changes in personnel and it was Coventry who began the second half on the attack and, just like the first half, Danny Richards opened the scoring with his fourth penalty.
The hosts hit back with a scything break by Matthew Nuthall with Ken Knaggs up in support but knocking on in the process of grounding the ball. Ponty’s dominance in the scrum continued and from a five metre set piece the ball was moved out to Lewis Williams who crossed for his second try.
It was now all Pontypridd, and another try registered following a barnstorming run by replacement no 8 Brendan Lyons and converted by Simon Humberstone. A brilliant individual effort from sixty-five metres then saw Lewis Williams skipping through and outpacing the Coventry defence to score in the corner.
Next came a debut try for back rower Ed Siggery following some punishing charges in midfield, with Humberstone putting over the conversion. The game ended with an eighth try scored by replacement full back David Gratton which Humberstone converted from a wide angle to register a final scoreline of 53pts to 12 and a third convincing pre-season win for Pontypridd.
15. Matthew Nuthall; 14 Gareth Wyatt; 13. Adam Thomas (David Gratton);12. Dafydd Lockyer (Gary Williams); 11. Lewis Williams;10. Dean Gunter (Simon Humberstone); 9. Garyn Lucas (Kristian Baller)
1.Ken Knaggs; 2. Tom Hetherington (Huw Dowden);3. Ryan Harford (Will Griff-John); 4 Cory Hill (Craig Locke); 5. Ryan Savage (Brendan Lyons);6. Jake Thomas (Ed Siggery); 7 Darren Waters (Wayne O’Connor); 8. Chris Dicomidis - cpt
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