Menu / Cynnwys
Return to News

Pontypridd 30-16 Aberavon – Match Report

Pontypridd made it three wins in a row with a 30-16 bonus point win over Aberavon at Sardis Road.

Second half tries from Niko Matawalu, Josh Phillips, Ryan Wilkins and Ben Stephens saw the hosts fight back from a 13-6 halftime deficit.

It was Aberavon that opened the scoring after seven minutes when a high ball caused confusion within the Ponty ranks and Avon winger Chris Banfield pounced on it to score. Fly-half James Davies added the conversion for an early lead.

Ponty’s response came through a couple of attacking opportunities when second row Macauley Cook gave a neat offload to inside centre Ryan Wilkins who made the break only for his pass to winger Niko Matawalu fail to go to hand.

Pontypridd got themselves on the scoreboard in the 15th minute through the boot of Ben Burnell who kicked a penalty after Aberavon were penalised for a breakdown infringement.

The visitors replied in the 27th minute when their flyhalf James Davies slotted a relatively straight forward penalty to restore his side’s seven point lead to 10-3.

The Wizards’ lead was extended to 10 points in the 32nd minute through James Davies’ second penalty after the referee penalised Ben Burnell for a dangerous tackle.

As the first half minutes ticked away Pontypridd continued to probe for their maiden try but to no avail. However, on the stroke of the break Ponty’s consolation was Ben Burnell’s second penalty of the afternoon in the 39th minute, and the home side trailed 13-6 at the interval.

HALF TIME – Pontypridd 6-13 Aberavon

Ponty started the second half strongly when winger Niko Matawalu broke through the Wizards defence before being stopped short of the try line. A few phases later, after some great build up play, Matawalu finished an easy score for Ponty’s first try after a looping miss pass from Burnell. The conversion was missed but Ponty were right back in the match at 11-13.

Fijian international Matawalu continued his fine form at the start of the second half with another break in midfield, he kept the ball alive and offloaded to Garyn Smith and another couple of neat passes from the centre saw Tom Edwards put fullback Josh Phillips over in the corner. A tough conversion was missed, but Ponty were ahead 16-13 after 49 minutes.

Aberavon’s James Davies kicked his third penalty of the afternoon to level the scores at 16-all just a few minutes later. But unfortunately for the Wizards, this was when Ponty really got the bit between their teeth!

Seven minutes later the Valley Commandos grabbed their third try of the afternoon in spectacular fashion – the move started on their own try line when Garyn Smith gave a long pass to Niko Matawalu who offloaded to Ben Burnell and he combined with centre Ryan Wilkins who ran in to score unopposed – a sensational length of the field try! Burnell added the extras and Ponty were 23-16 up after an hour’s play.

The hosts wrapped up the four-try bonus-point in the 71st minute when fullback Phillips made a break in midfield, he had second-row Macauley Cook in support who beat a defender before providing the try scoring pass to loosehead prop Ben Stephens for a superb score.

Ponty were reduced to 13 men late on when replacement Cai James was shown a late yellow card for a rolling maul infringement before scrum-half Harvey Nash was sent to the sin-bin after for a deliberate knock on. But despite the numerical deficit, Ponty held out with a good defensive effort and claimed a 30-16 win.

FULL TIME – Pontypridd 30-16 Aberavon (23/3/2024)

Match report – Iestyn Thomas


15. Josh Phillips. 14. Niko Matawalu. 13. Garyn Smith. 12. Ryan Wilkins (Joseph Scrivens). 11. Tom Edwards (Liam Lloyd). 10. Ben Burnell. 9. Harvey Nash.

1. Ben Stephens (Kian Mattravers). 2. Rob Jones. 3. Tom Harper (Morgan Bosanko). 4. Kristian Parker (c) (Mitch Barnard). 5. Macauley Cook. 6. Sion Parry. 7. Cally James (Cai James). 8. Joe Miles (Aled Ward).

Subs: 16. Curtis Greenslade. 17. Kian Mattravers. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. Mitch Barnard. 20. Aled Ward. 21. Cai James. 22. Joseph Scrivens. 23. Liam Lloyd.

Tries: Niko Matawalu, Josh Phillips, Ryan Wilkins, Ben Stephens

Conversions: Ben Burnell x 2

Penalties: Ben Burnell x 2

Yellow Cards: Cai James, Harvey Nash


15. Scott Delnevo. 14. Stef Andrews. 13. Frankie Jones. 12. Sam Jardine. 11. Chris Banfield. 10. James Davies. 9. Scott Whitlock.

1. Rowan Jenkins. 2. Luke Davies. 3. Geraint James. 4. Shay Smallman. 5. Rhodri Hughes. 6. Ben Gregory. 7. Cameron Loveys. 8. Andrew Waite.

Subs: 16. Rhodri Cole. 17. Joe Gage. 18. Brad Roderick. 19. Casey Williams. 20. James Clegg. 21. Finn Thomas. 22. Jordan Walters. 23. Morgan James.

Try: Chris Banfield

Conversion: James Davies

Penalties: James Davies x 3

Referee: Tom Spurrier

Assistant referees: 1 – Gavin Roberts, 2 – Gareth John

Golden Bob Man of the Match: Ben Burnell

WRU Man of the Match: Niko Matawalu