Pontypridd’s defeat at the hands of Newport RFC was marked by the home side’s realism, leaving Ponty unable to complete the season double over the hosts.
Ponty started the game off on the right foot, undoubtedly carrying in the momentum from last week’s thrilling win against RGC into the first half of this game. The boys in Black and White had the bulk of the possession and were able to keep Newport in their own half thanks to some great kicking.
They also held their own at the set piece, as they were awarded a penalty 15 minutes in from a Newport scrum. Burnell had no trouble converting it from distance to put the visitors 3-0 up.
The feeling around the ground however was that Pontypridd should have made better use of their early chances, as Newport were slowly creeping back into the game thanks the Black and Ambers’ pack getting the upper hand.
That feeling was quickly confirmed when Newport made use of Ponty’s first mistake. In the 21st minute, The Pont failed to retain possession from their own scrum, and out of nowhere, Luke Crane picked up the ball and rushed for the line, beating the Ponty defence before grounding the ball. Reed’s conversion made it 7-3.
Although Burnell was able to bring the score back down to 7-6 a few minutes later, again from impressive distance, Luke Crane was able to make it to the try line a second time, just 10 minutes after his try, as he was played in from a two on one following a sublime offload out the back from Dai Richards. The score remained 14-6 until halftime.
Half-time: Newport 14-6 Pontypridd
Newport really seemed to have grabbed hold of the game, especially once Will Reed was able to find the target. His 47th minute penalty, following two misses, put Newport up 17-6.
Pontypridd weren’t done though, in fact they were seemingly unfazed by the fact they were behind. Their first piece of passing play put them in behind the try line, as they were able to spread it wide from one side to another, putting Dale Stuckey in for a great finish in the left side corner – 59 minutes gone it was 17-11 to the home side.
Sadly though, they were unable to build a comeback, as Reed’s 75th minute penalty put Ponty out of striking distance, before Josh Skinner’s late try ended the visitor’s hopes.
Ultimately the score reflected Newport’s efficiency, as Pontypridd could have got a bonus point out of this game had they seized their chances early on. Regardless, they’ll look to bounce back next time out at home to Ebbw Vale, fuelled with the hope of getting the revenge on a team that beat them earlier this season.
Full-time: Newport 27-11 Pontypridd
– Zacharie Johnson-Pillon @zjpsport
15. Morgan Richards. 14. Joe Davies (Llywarch Ap Myrddin). 13. Morgan Sieniawski (c). 12. Bradley Roderick. 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Ben Burnell. 9. Joel Raikes (Dafydd Buckland).
1.Tom Devine (Ben Stephens). 2. Nathan Huish (Ieuan Morris). 3. Tom Harper (Morgan Bosanko). 4. Jack Pope (James Murphy). 5. Chris Dicomidis. 6. Kristian Parker. 7. Sion Parry (Cally James). 8. Joe Miles
Subs: 16. Ieuan Morris. 17. Ben Stephens. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. James Murphy. 20. Cally James. 21. Dafydd Buckland. 22. Ceri Morris. 23. Llywarch Ap Myrddin
Penalties: Burnell x 2
15. Dai Richards. 14. Jon Morris. 13. Daffydd Smith. 12. Matt O’Brien. 11. Oli Andrew. 10. Will Reed. 9. Luke Crane.
1. Jamie Jeune. 2. Henry Palmer. 3. Garin Harris. 4. Elliot Ferriman. 5. Josh Skinner. 6. George Young. 7. Josh Reid. 8. Ben Roach
Subs: 16. Matthew Dwyer. 17. Lewis Smout. 18. Louis Jones. 19. Joe Bartlett. 20. Rhys Jenkins. 21. Geraint Watkin. 22. Jack Wright. 23.George Gladding
Tries: Crane x2, Skinner
Conversions: Reed x 3
Penalties: Reed x 2