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Match Rewind – Pontypridd v Newport 11/11/2017

Ahead of Pontypridd’s return to action against Newport next Thursday 29th February, we are going to rewind and look back at a memorable match between the two clubs from 2017.

That particular season saw the league being split in the first half of the campaign, before all the clubs came together in the second half of the year – Ponty went on to finish 3rd whilst Newport finished six places further back in 9th. But on Saturday 11th November 2017 there was very little between the two clubs with the match that afternoon yielding a colossal 92 points, with Pontypridd winning by just two.

Newport skipper Matt O’Brien kicked proceedings off and a Ponty mistake from the kick off gifted the Black & Ambers an early try when full back Geraint O’Driscoll crossed out wide with outside half O’Brien adding the conversion.

Ponty responded with a penalty from outside half Diggy Bird after the visitors were penalised for collapsing a driving maul close to the try line.

The home side’s first try soon followed when winger Alex Webber slipped the ball out of a tackle to Wayne Evans who passed onto Dafydd Lockyer who then raced clear to put the ball down under the posts. Outside half Diggy Bird easily converted the score.

From the re-start wing Alex Webber was involved again as he broke down the touchline to pass on to Gary Williams who drew the last the defender to send Rhys Shellard in to finish off a spectacular passage of play. Again Diggy Bird easily converted the try.

Pontypridd were now playing some outstanding rugby and further pressure from the home side paid off when Diggy Bird kicked a long-range penalty.

The visitors scored their second try when outside half Matt O’Brien capitalised on a charge down to go over in the corner. Ponty however wasted no time in offering a response as Wayne Evans sent wing Alex Webber through a gap to outpace the defence for another try.

Deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half a quick tapped penalty by Wayne Evans caught Newport on the back foot and when the ball was worked wide Geraint Walsh marked his 100th Ponty appearance that afternoon with the bonus point try, sending the home side in at the interval 30pts to 12 ahead.

HALF TIME: Pontypridd 30-12 Newport

It was deja vu as Newport again started a half with a try when wing Haydn Palmer intercepted on halfway to race in next to the corner flag. Ponty responded immediately with a try from a smart line-out ploy and flanker Morgan Sieniawski crossed wide out.

Another try quickly followed for the home side when a set move off a scrum saw centre Gary Williams finish off an excellent passage of play in which he combined well with fellow centre Dafydd Lockyer. Gary had an outstanding afternoon and would go on to claim the WRU Man of the Match award post-match.

The visitors remained in contention and claimed their bonus point try when Matt O’Brien again crossed next to the posts and converted his own score.

With the Black and Ambers pressing for another try, home replacement Hemi Barnes swooped on a loose ball to race through the defence, passing on to Alex Webber who found Diggy Bird up in support to finish off an excellent break. Golden Bob Man of the Match winner Bird was congratulated by his halfback partner Wayne Evans before stepping up and converting his own try from a wide angle.

Again with Ponty on the attack Newport took advantage of a mistake to go the length of the field allowing centre Adam Sabri to claim an opportunist try which O’Brien converted from close range.

With Ponty pressing Newport in their own twenty-two, replacement prop Huw Owen was sin binned for an alleged shoulder charge following a clearance kick. With the hosts down to fourteen men Newport went for broke and started to play a very expansive game. This paid off as first Matt O’Brien completed his hat-trick and converted his own try and then wing Haydn Palmer intercepted to score out wide with O’Brien adding the conversion – that was the last piece of action as referee Simon Rees blew the full-time whistle and it was Pontypridd that won by 47 points to 45.

How could one describe the match that day? – Entertaining, bonkers, crazy, brilliant? A mixture of all of those adjectives is probably a fair reflection and hats off to the players of both sides who provided the large crowd with a cracking afternoon’s entertainment.

FULL TIME: Pontypridd 47-45 Newport


15.Lloyd Rowlands (Joseph Williams). 14.Alex Webber. 13.Gary Williams. 12.Dafydd Lockyer (c). 11.Geraint Walsh. 10.Diggy Bird (Jordan Rees). 9.Wayne Evans (Jamie Hill).

1.Chris Phillips (Huw Owen). 2.Huw Dowden (Joe Page). 3.Jon Elley (Joe Popple). 4.Shay Smallman. 5.Chris Dicomidis (Hemi Barnes). 6.Sean Moore. 7.Rhys Shellard (Ross Morgan). 8.Morgan Sieniawski.

Tries: Lockyer, Shellard, Webber, Walsh, Sieniawski, G. Williams, Bird.

Conversions: Bird x 3

Penalties: Bird x 2


15.Geraint O’Driscoll. 14.Corey Howells. 13.Chay Smith (Haydn Simons). 12.Adam Sabri. 11.Haydn Palmer. 10.Matt O’Brien (c). 9.Ryan James (Ryan Bates).

1.Nicky Boyce (Henry Palmer). 2.Evan Whitson (Matt Prosser). 3.Tom Piper (Garin Harris). 4.Rhys Creswell. 5.Gavin Bilton. 6.Morgan Burgess (Alex Everett). 7.Joe Cullimore. 8.Josh Reid.

Tries: O’Driscoll, O’Brien x 3, Haydn Palmer x 2, Sabri.

Conversions: O’Brien x 5

Referee: Simon Rees

Golden Bob Man of the Match: Diggy Bird

WRU Man of the Match: Gary Williams