Merthyr v Pontypridd – Matchday Preview
Next up for Pontypridd RFC is a short trip up the A470 to play Merthyr RFC at The Wern on Saturday 3rd February. The rescheduled Valleys Derby match in the Indigo Group Premiership kicks off at the earlier than usual time of 12:30pm.
The Wern hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Ponty over the last couple of seasons, the team has lost it’s last two matches played there since the Covid-restart. On Saturday 13th November 2021 the match was evenly poised 21-20 at half-time, but 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 dogged team performance wasn’t enough for Ponty when the two clubs met 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 a late penalty, followed by an even later Tavis Knoyle try sealed a 28-12 win for the home side.
Pontypridd’s last win at Merthyr was on Saturday 7th March 2020 when the Valley Commandos beat the Ironmen by 36 points to 27. Dale Stuckey bagged a brace of tries and Diggy Bird contributed 21 points with the boot to win the contest. The match that afternoon was the final game played for 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now to the present and Pontypridd put the disappointment of a narrow 15-13 loss at Bridgend two Saturdays ago behind them when they beat Pontypool at Sardis Road on Saturday just gone. The bonus-point 29-26 win has seen Ponty rise up to 5th place in the Welsh Premiership. Merthyr haven’t played a match since Saturday 13th January due to a ‘bye’ weekend last Saturday and a frozen pitch at Pontypool the Saturday prior to that. The Ironmen currently find themselves in 8th place in the league, 7 points behind Pontypridd although they do have three games in hand over us.
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 11:15am ahead of the 12:30pm kick-off, to book a seat on the bus to Merthyr call Phil Lycett on 01443 662561. PLEASE NOTE – if there’s insufficient numbers to make running the bus financially viable it’ll be cancelled on Wednesday night – so please contact Phil to book before then! The bus will leave straight after the final whistle and return to Sardis Road so that supporters can watch Wales v Scotland (4:45pm kick-off) in our Clubhouse if they wish.
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!