Pontypridd returned to winning ways with victory at the Talbot Athletic Ground against Aberavon in the Welsh Premiership.
Tries from Jamie Murphy, Sion Parry, Joel Raikes and captain Kristian Parker sealed a bonus point win which was the fillip that Ponty badly needed.
The first score of the afternoon went Ponty’s way after a break from number 8 Joe Miles with scrum-half Joel Raikes in support who chipped ahead. Fly-half Murphy was chasing and the ball bounced kindly and he dotted down to score on his debut after just 57 seconds of play! Murphy added the conversion to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead.
Ponty inside centre Jordan Howells was sent to the sin-bin following a no arms tackle at the ankles of Aberavon winger Chris Banfield after 7 minutes.
The home side did respond with their first try of the afternoon – the rolling maul was working well for the Wizards and hooker Luke Davies rumbled over to score. Outside half Rhys Jones added the conversion to level the scores at 7-all.
Ponty responded well and took the lead with a second try in similar fashion to the first. Number 8 Miles made a break from halfway with scrum-half Raikes in support, this time openside flanker Sion Parry was supporting on the inside to score. Murphy added his second conversion of the afternoon to put Ponty in the lead by 14 points to 7.
Just before half-time, in the 39th minute Wizards’ outside-half Rhys Jones added a penalty before number 8 Dan Baker was sent to the sin-bin after using his forearm to fend while carrying.
HALF TIME – Aberavon 10-14 Pontypridd
Ponty fly-half Murphy added a penalty to extend Ponty’s lead in the 55th minute.
The hosts attempted to find a way back into the game but the Ponty defence remained strong.
Both Murphy and winger Dale Stuckey saw penalty attempts head wide before a crucial score went Ponty’s way with scrum-half Raikes sniping through the Wizards defence to score a fine solo try in the 70th minute.
Captain Kristian Parker wrapped up the bonus point in the final few minutes as he peeled from a rolling maul to power over and score in the corner.
The conversions for both second-half tries were missed, but it was a fine performance from Ponty who pick up their second win at the Talbot Athletic Ground this season.
FULL TIME – Aberavon 10-27 Pontypridd (28/1/2023)
Match report – Iestyn Thomas
15. Alex Lloyd. 14. Sam Hayman. 13. Ceri Morris. 12. Jordan Howells (Garyn Payne). 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Jamie Murphy. 9. Joel Raikes (Lucus Welch).
1. Ben Stephens (Tom Devine). 2. Rob Jones (Gavin Parry). 3. Tom Harper (Garyn Daniel). 4. Kristian Parker (c). 5. Chris Dicomidis (Mitch Barnard). 6. Cai James (Cally James). 7. Sion Parry. 8. Joe Miles (Aled Ward).
Subs: 16. Gavin Parry. 17. Tom Devine. 18. Garyn Daniel. 19. Mitch Barnard. 20. Aled Ward. 21. Cally James. 22. Lucus Welch. 23. Garyn Payne.
Tries: Murphy, Parry, Raikes, Parker
Conversions: Murphy x 2
Yellow Card: Howells
15. Jon Phillips. 14. Chris Banfield. 13. Callum Carson. 12. Joe Gage. 11. Gabe Lacey. 10. Rhys Jones. 9. Liam Seaward.
1. Rhys Fawcett. 2. Luke Davies. 3. Geraint James. 4. Sam Pailor. 5. Sam Williams. 6. Ashton Evans. 7. Joe Tomalin-Reeves (c). 8. Dan Baker.
Subs: 16. Iwan Temblett. 17. Aled Thomas. 18. Frankie Jones. 19. Luke Davies. 20. Andrew Waite. 21. Shay Smallman. 22. Rowan Jenkins. 23. Chris Davies.
Try: Luke Davies
Conversion: Rhys Jones
Penalty: Rhys Jones
Yellow Card: Dan Baker
Referee: Ben Breakspear
Assistant referees: 1 – Stephen Allsop, 2 – Greg Morgan
WRU Man of the Match: Joel Raikes