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Pontypridd 29 vs Pontypool 26

Sat 27th January, 14:30, Sardis Road
Indigo Premiership

Pontypridd returned to winning ways in the Indigo Premiership with a 29-26 bonus-point win over Pontypool.

A brace of tries either side of half time from hooker Rob Jones accompanied first half scores from Aled Ward and Josh Phillips to give the hosts a bonus point win to go level with today’s opponents in the Welsh Premiership table, despite two late Pontypool tries.

Second row Chris Dicomidis was celebrating his 400th Pontypridd appearance, with both sides forming a guard of honour as he walked out alongside his two children before kick-off.

It was Pooler who opened the scoring in the 9th minute after their lineout ball went over the top and was picked up by Ponty hooker Rob Jones, visitors’ fly-half Matthew Jarvis read Jones’ pass well to intercept and offloaded to captain Scott Matthews who evaded the final tackle from winger Tom Edwards to score.

The hosts used their pack to good advantage with a couple of dominant scrums before number 8 Aled Ward powered over from short range off the back of a scrum to score, Josh Phillips added the conversion to give Ponty a 7-5 lead after 22 minutes.

Pontypridd dominated the scrum, winning one against the head in the 27th minute with the aforementioned Ward powering to within a couple of meters to try-line. He was was repelled but eventually the ball was spun out wide to fullback Phillips who finished well in the corner. He missed a tricky conversion but Ponty were 12-5 ahead approaching the half-hour mark.

The home side turned to the rolling maul for their third try, with the backs joining to help the forwards and hooker Rob Jones drove over from short range. Phillips added a superb extra two points from the tee and Ponty extended their lead to 19-5.

The visitors had an opportunity to narrow the scores before half time but some solid defence from the Pontypridd pack ensured the lead remained 19-5 at the interval.

HALF TIME – Pontypridd 19-5 Pontypool

Pontypool fullback Pat Lewis was shown a yellow card by referee Ben Breakspear for dissent early in the second forty, Josh Phillips kicked the resulting penalty to extend the home side’s lead.

A new front row aided Pooler’s efforts up front and they were rewarded with their second try of the afternoon when their captain Scott Matthews got his second score. Matthew Jarvis’ conversion closed the scores to ten points – 22-12 after 48 minutes.

Pontypridd secured the four-try bonus point in the 53rd minute, the rolling maul once again paid dividends when Rob Jones dotted down for his second try in similar fashion to his first. Phillips added the extras, 29-12 on the scoreboard.

Despite Pontypridd’s lead there was still plenty of time left in the match and Pooler showed plenty of grit and determination to force themselves back into proceedings. In the 66th minute Pontypool were awarded a penalty try by referee Breakspear when a rolling maul collapsed near the Ponty try-line. The deficit, from a Pooler perspective was reduced to 29-19 and Ponty flanker Sion Parry was shown a yellow card for his troubles.

Pooler piled on the pressure during the yellow card period with multiple opportunities inside the 22 but stoic Pontypridd defence kept the men from Gwent out.

Unfortunately for the Sardis Road faithful there was going to be another uncomfortable, unwanted grandstand finish to a league match at the House of Pain when replacement Pooler scrum half Morgan Lloyd sniped over the try-line to give the match a dramatic finish in the final few moments, but Pontypridd held on to claim victory.

The Valley Commandos travel to Merthyr next Saturday 3rd February for a re-arranged Indigo Group Premiership fixture at the Wern – 12:30pm kick-off. Ponty then have a mini-break, their next match is against Newport on Thursday 29th February at Sardis Road – screened live on S4C Clic.

FULL TIME – Pontypridd 29-26 Pontypool (27/1/2024)

Match report – Iestyn Thomas


15. Josh Phillips. 14. Will Huggins. 13. Garyn Smith (c). 12. Ryan Wilkins. 11. Tom Edwards (Kyan Lewis). 10. Joseph Scrivens. 9. Harvey Nash (Joel Raikes).

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

Subs: 16. Gavin Parry. 17. Ben Stephens. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. Cai James. 20. Kristian Parker. 21. Joe Miles. 22. Joel Raikes. 23. Kyan Lewis.

Tries: Aled Ward, Josh Phillips, Rob Jones x 2

Conversions: Josh Phillips x 3

Penalty: Josh Phillips

Yellow Card: Sion Parry


15. Pat Lewis. 14. Marcus Jones. 13. Tye Davies. 12. Joel Mahoney. 11. Amosa Nove. 10. Matthew Jarvis. 9. Owain Leonard.

1. Sam Cochrane. 2. Sam Scarfe. 3. Kelvyn Williams. 4. Dan Hill. 5. Ashley Sweet. 6. Mike Herbert. 7. Callum Davies. 8. Scott Matthews (c).

Subs: 16. Marc Thomas. 17. Peter Lloyd. 18. Ollie Drake. 19. Lewis Johnson. 20. Ben Moa. 21. Morgan Lloyd. 22. Matt Bancroft. 23. Will Gregory.

Tries: Scott Matthews x 2, Penalty-try, Morgan Lloyd

Conversions: Matthew Jarvis x 2

Yellow Card: Pat Lewis

Referee: Ben Breakspear

Assistant referees: 1 – Aaron Parry, 2 – Tomos Williams

Golden Bob Man of the Match: Chris Dicomidis

WRU Man of the Match: Chris Dicomidis