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Cardiff 32 vs Pontypridd 13

Sat 23rd December, 17:15, Cardiff Arms Park
Indigo Premiership

Pontypridd’s four match winning run in the Indigo Group Premiership came to an end following a 32-13 defeat to Cardiff in the traditional festive derby between the two old rivals.

Late tries from replacement Harrison James and outside centre Luke Pollock sealed the win for the hosts after Ponty battled for the majority of the match with 13 men.

Cardiff fullback Jacob Beetham opened the scoring for the Blue & Blacks after four minutes with a penalty from short range following an infringement.

Ponty inside centre Ryan Wilkins was shown a red card in the 10th minute after a high tackle on fullback Beetham which resulted in head-on-head contact, but the visitors response was a positive one when fullback Josh Phillips knocked over a penalty of his own to level the scores.

Despite being a man down Ponty dug in, but things went from bad to worse when a second red card was shown to hooker Curtis Greenslade by referee Ben Breakspear via a TMO consultation – the all-action hooker was given his marching orders after taking out Cardiff winger Dewi Cross in the air.

Pontypridd, now with a two-man disadvantage took the lead through a second Josh Phillips penalty after 28 minutes – 6-3 to the Valley Commandos.

Cardiff then replied with the first try of the contest through second row Ethan Phillips who powered over the line from short range, Jacob Beetham missed the conversion. Some solid defence from the 13-men in the dying embers of the first forty saw Ponty run down the Arms Park tunnel 8-6 down.

HALF TIME – Cardiff 8-6 Pontypridd

The second half got underway and not even the artificial 3G pitch at the Arms Park could prevent the now awful rain and wind conditions affecting play in the capital, handling errors became the theme of the evening – but it was the same for both teams and Pontypridd made an encouraging start to second half.

The 13-men Valley Commandos put in a shift that made their huge following in the ground proud, but realistically it was never going to be enough against a quality Cardiff side.

With a two man advantage, Cardiff capitalised with their second try of the night when fly-half Jacob Lloyd ran in unopposed. Converted by Harrison James, the home side led 15-6 approaching the hour mark.

The aforementioned Harrison James extended Cardiff’s lead in the 66th minute before a spirited Ponty side got themselves within 5 points through a Joe Miles try and Josh Phillips conversion – game on!

With less than 10 minutes left the 13-men from Sardis Road put themselves in the unlikely position of winning the derby match. But despite a backs to the wall effort from Ponty, Cardiff made their advantage finally count when Harrison James and Luke Pollock crossed for late tries to confirm the win.

Pontypridd’s return to action is next Saturday 30th December at Sardis Road against high flying Ebbw Vale.

FULL TIME – Cardiff 32-13 Pontypridd (23/12/2023)

Match report – Iestyn Thomas


15. Josh Phillips. 14. Liam Lloyd (McCauley Rowley). 13. Garyn Smith. 12. Ryan Wilkins. 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Ben Burnell (Joseph Scrivens). 9. Harvey Nash.

1. Tom Devine (Ben Stephens). 2. Curtis Greenslade. 3. Tom Harper (Morgan Bosanko). 4. Macauley Cook. 5. Chris Dicomidis (Gavin Parry). 6. Cai James (Mitch Barnard). 7. Cally James (Aled Ward). 8. Kristian Parker (c) (Joe Miles).

Subs: 16. Gavin Parry. 17. Ben Stephens. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. Mitch Barnard. 20. Aled Ward. 21. Joe Miles. 22. Joseph Scrivens. 23. McCauley Rowley.

Try: Joe Miles

Conversion: Josh Phillips

Penalties: Josh Phillips x 2

Red Cards: Ryan Wilkins, Curtis Greenslade


15. Jacob Beetham. 14. Jason Harries. 13. Luke Pollock. 12. Arron Pinches. 11. Dewi Cross. 10. Jacob Lloyd. 9. Jamie Hill.

1. Rhys Barratt. 2. Efan Daniel. 3. Adam Williams. 4. Sean Moore. 5. Ethan Phillips. 6. Craig Hudd. 7. Nathan Hudd. 8. Morgan Allen (c).

Subs: 16. Joey Tomlinson. 17. Brynley Toms. 18. Will Davies-King. 19. Shaun O’Rourke. 20. Benji Williams. 21. Tom Habberfield. 22. Harrison James. 23. Joe Goodchild.

Tries: Ethan Phillips, Jacob Lloyd, Harrison James, Luke Pollock

Conversions: Harrison James x 3

Penalties: Jacob Beetham, Harrison James

Referee: Ben Breakspear

Assistant referees: 1 – Rhys Jones, 2 – Mark Butcher, 3 – Tony Davies

Television Match Official: Greg Morgan