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Pontypridd 19 vs Llanelli 13

Sat 2nd April, 14:30, Sardis Road
Indigo Premiership

Ceri Morris kicked the match off on a chilly, but still day the conditions near-perfect for rugby at Sardis Road.

Ponty came flying out of the blocks at the start and managed to get their hands back on the ball nearly straight away from the kick-off and found themselves in possession in the Llanelli 22. A few phases later Ceri Morris put in a cross-field kick which hit the deck and on the bounce was gathered well by winger Jac Davies who, on the move fed the supporting Sion Parry and he crashed over for the try. Dale Stuckey added an excellent conversion and Ponty had a near-perfect start to proceedings.

Llanelli restarted the match and it was their turn to enjoy some possession and territory in Ponty’s 22, their pack went through some hard work up front, inching their way deeper towards Ponty’s try line but some dogged work and counter rucking from Ponty earned the home side a relieving penalty at the breakdown. At this point Ponty centre Brad Roderick went off with an injury, Jake Lloyd replaced him which forced a reshuffle in the backline with Ceri Morris shifting two places along from 10 to 13 to allow Lloyd to take the pivot role.

There wasn’t even ten minutes on the clock at this stage of the match, the next ten minutes or so proved to be frantic and frenetic. Llanelli won a penalty on halfway and kicked into the corner, but they then coughed up their own ball at the set piece and Ponty kicked down-field, Llanelli gathered and kicked to touch giving Ponty decent field position. Both sides then took it in turns to consolidate possession and the result was a few turnovers at the breakdown. Ponty got their hands on the ball and kicked it through and it was a foot race, one which Dale Stuckey looked to be winning but the bouncing ball ran into touch before the flying winger could gather it.

Nearly quarter of an hour on the clock and the next points of the match came next – a scrum on the Llanelli 22, a solid Ponty scrummage earned the home side a penalty, one which Jake Lloyd slotted to make it 10-0.

Immediately from the restart Llanelli won the ball back, go through some phases and are awarded a penalty at the breakdown – Ponty adjudged to have not rolled away by referee Mr. Newman. Livewire Llanelli scrum-half Archie Hughes tapped and went quickly sniffing an opportunity but was held up just short of the try line. However, Ponty were penalised for not being 10 metres when it was tapped so the visitors were awarded another penalty and this time they kicked into the corner. Llanelli threw in at the line-out and left it to the forward pack to try and get the try but superb Ponty defence near the line kept repelling the waves of forward play by the men in Scarlet. Eventually the home side’s defence forced an error from Llanelli and Ponty cleared their lines through the boot.

19 minutes into the match Ponty were reduced to 14 men when Dale Stuckey was yellow carded by the referee for ‘getting in the way’ when Llanelli again took a quick tap from a penalty in the Ponty 22. Ponty again repelled Llanelli close to the line, this time holding the ball up off the floor and from the proceeding scrum Ponty won another penalty which they cleared their lines with.

Pontypridd then started to enjoy some territory and possession in the right parts of the pitch from their point of view, producing some good try scoring opportunities. Firstly, on the 26 minute mark, the ever-consistent no. 8 Joe Miles made two bulldozing carries, then some good link play from Sion Parry who fed Ceri Morris and he threw a long miss-pass to Jac Davies on the right wing, Davies jinked back inside but was tackled just short of the try line. From the resulting ruck Ponty quickly work the narrow blindside but a Llanelli player sticking out of the ruck hits the ball forward. Following that decision and a reset scrum, Ponty are penalised this time and it’s Llanelli that are able to relieve the pressure.

Half an hour gone, Ponty still 10-0 up and have a scrum about 35 metres out from the Llanelli line, Joe Miles plays scrum-half picking up and directly feeding fullback Morgan Richards who hit the line at pace, he passed to the supporting Stuckey who is flying down the touchline but he’s bundled into touch with the try line in sight – another guilt-edged opportunity missed for the home side – compounded when Ponty are penalised for offside at the resulting line-out.

33 minutes on the clock, the play is around the halfway line and ferocious Ponty tackling forces a ball spill from the Llanelli forwards, hooker Ieuan Morris picked up the loose ball and booted it downfield and it’s a footrace. Coming across Llanelli openside flanker Luca Giannini falls on the ball, first man there for Ponty is the superb Cally James and his work at that breakdown wins the penalty – slotted again by Jake Lloyd, 13-0 to Ponty.

Ponty thought they’d got their second try just before the half-time whistle. Morgan Richards gathered a Llanelli cross-field kick and made an excellent run down the right-hand touchline attacking the Pwllgwaun End of the ground. He’s tackled, Ponty spin it left, Garyn Payne had a strong run, fends off a Llanelli tackler a fed Dale Stuckey who crossed in the left hand corner. The jubilance of the home crowd was short-lived when they notice the referee has pulled play back for a scrum having adjudged the final pass to be forward.

HALF TIME – Pontypridd 13-0 Llanelli

Josh Phillips got the second forty underway for Llanelli and again retain possession from another one of their own restarts. The visitors, still enjoying the second half possession of the ball win a penalty which they kick to touch. From the line-out, some powerful work from the Scarlet pack gets them on the board for the first time in the afternoon through openside Luca Giannini who burrowed over from close range. Josh Phillips added the conversion and at 13-7 the away side were right back in the contest.

After 51 minutes the Ponty lead decreased again, Josh Phillips kicking another penalty but the 3-point lead was short lived when two minutes later Jake Lloyd restored Ponty’s 6-point lead – the score 16-10 to the home side.

Nearly an hour has elapsed at this point and Ponty are awarded a penalty just inside their own half, Jake Lloyd stepped up and kicked it superbly from long range with plenty to spare!

Straight from the kick-off Ponty are penalised for crossing-obstruction, this time Josh Phillips missed a kickable penalty for Llanelli and as a result Ponty’s two-score lead remained intact at 19-10.

65 minutes on the clock and more stoic Ponty defence holds up a Llanelli rolling maul which was heading towards the try line after the men in Scarlet had kicked to touch from a penalty.

In a half with few clear try scoring opportunities for Ponty, in the 69th a sweeping backs move with Dale Stuckey arcing around at pace grubbered through, Jac Davies was in hot pursuit but agonisingly the touchline wins the race as the ball dribbled over it before he could get his hands on it.

75 minutes gone and Llanelli substitute Taliesin Rees kicks a penalty which puts the score line at Ponty 19 Llanelli 13 and now it’s really game on for the final few minutes.

The match at this point is really open and loose, Llanelli throwing everything at Ponty, Ponty doing their utmost to secure the win.

There was still more than enough time for Llanelli to have some good chances – firstly they hack the ball through and the covering Jake Lloyd can only gather and kick it out making no ground but from the lineout Llanelli over throw the ball and Ponty clear. The respite is only temporary, Llanelli are awarded another penalty and again kick deep into the Ponty 22 but again fail to seal possession at their own line-out and Ponty clear their lines. From that resulting play, Llanelli attack down the left hand touchline, the ball was passed back inside but the inside man can’t gather cleanly with the try line at his mercy and Ceri Morris kicked the loose ball clear.

The clock was showing that 84 minutes had been played and there was still no end to the drama. From the Llanelli line-out on halfway, Ponty are penalised for entering the ruck at the side. Llanelli pump the penalty deep into Ponty’s 22 and this is last chance saloon for the men from Parc-y-Scarlets. Llanelli try a clever throw to the first man at the line-out but it doesn’t travel the required 5 metres and Ponty are awarded a free-kick. The ball is tapped and kicked into touch by Jake Lloyd and Ponty’s winning run in the league goes on – 5 wins on the bounce and up to 3rd position in the Indigo Group Premiership.

FULL TIME – Pontypridd 19-13 Llanelli


15. Morgan Richards (Llywarch ap Myrddin). 14. Jac Davies. 13. Bradley Roderick (Jake Lloyd). 12. Garyn Payne. 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Ceri Morris. 9. Joel Raikes

1. Ben Stephens (Tom Devine). 2. Ieuan Morris (Nathan Huish). 3. Tom Harper (Morgan Bosanko). 4. Kristian Parker © (James Little). 5. Chris Dicomidis (James Little blood reversal). 6. Cally James (Cai James). 7. Sion Parry. 8. Joe Miles

Subs: 16. Nathan Huish. 17. Tom Devine. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. James Little. 20. Cai James. 21. Dafydd Buckland. 22. Jake Lloyd. 23. Llywarch ap Myrddin

Try: Sion Parry

Conversion: Dale Stuckey

Penalties: Jake Lloyd x 4


15. Ioan Nicholas. 14. Amir Jiwa-Walji. 13. Tomos Davies. 12. Jonny Lewis. 11. Josh Hathaway. 10. Josh Phillips. 9. Archie Hughes

1. Rhys Davies. 2. Rhys Cherry. 3. WillGriff John. 4. Rhys Evans. 5. Ashleigh Hyndman. 6. Caine Rees-Jones. 7. Luca Giannini. 8. Nathan Hart ©

Subs 16.Llew Phillips-Taylor. 17. Richard Bassett. 18. Thomas Zoogah. 19. Dylan Lawley. 20. AN Other. 21. Ifan Beynon-Thomas. 22. Ioan Hughes. 23. Taliesin Rees

Try: Luca Giannini

Conversion: Josh Phillips

Penalties: Josh Phillips x 1, Taliesin Rees x 1

Referee: Gareth Newman

Assistant referees: 1 – Rhys Jones, 2 – Gareth Davies

Golden Bob MOTM: Cally James

WRU Man of the Match: Garyn Payne