Matchday Preview – Merthyr v Pontypridd
Next up for Pontypridd RFC is a short trip up the A470 to play Merthyr RFC at The Wern on Saturday 2nd December. The Valleys Derby match in the Indigo Group Premiership kicks off at 2:30pm.
On Saturday 7th March 2020 the Valley Commandos beat the Ironmen at The Wern by 36 points to 27, Dale Stuckey bagged a brace of tries and Diggy Bird contributed 21 points with the boot to seal the win. It’s probably fair to say that not many people in the ground realised the significance of the match that afternoon – it was to be the final match played for around 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since rugby restarted in September 2021 The Wern hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Ponty with the team losing the two matches played there since then. The first meeting post-Covid was on Saturday 13th November 2021 and with the match evenly poised at 21-20 at half-time, the home side put in a commanding second half performance for a comfortable win in the pool stage of the Welsh Premiership Cup. Pontypridd did claim a four-try bonus point as consolation courtesy of tries from Daf Buckland, Jack Pope, Dale Stuckey and Cai James.
Last season a gritty team performance wasn’t enough for Ponty when the two clubs locked horns at The Wern on Friday 24th February 2023. Seventy minutes had just ticked over on the clock and Ponty, despite finding themselves three tries to nil behind were still only a try of their own away from winning with the score standing at 18-12 thanks for four Joseph Scrivens penalties. But it wasn’t to be for Pontypridd when Josh Lewis’ late penalty took the lead to two scores before a Tavis Knoyle try at the death sealed a 28-12 win.
Now to the present and both clubs find themselves in good form – Ponty are on a three game winning streak and sit in 8th position in the league whilst Merthyr find themselves in 5th having won their last four Welsh Premiership matches, and there’s just 4 points separating the clubs in the league table.
It’s all to play for this Saturday – be our 16th Valley Commando once again Ponty Fans!
SUPPORTERS TRAVEL –
The Pontypridd Supporters Club are organising travel to The Wern so make sure there’s vocal strength in numbers on Saturday Ponty Fans! The bus will leave Sardis Road at 1:15pm ahead of the 2:30pm kick-off, to book a seat on the bus to Merthyr call Phil Lycett on 01443 662561.
For Ponty Fans making your own way to the ground, the address for your sat-nav is – The Wern, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 1AF.
We’ll see you at The Wern, ole!