Pontypridd RFC vs Aberavon RFC
Sat 12th January 2019, 17:15, Sardis Road, WRU National Cup First Round
Celebrating Dale Stuckey’s 100th game, the Sardis Road faithful rose to their feet as he ran onto the pitch with his niece and nephew.
With Aberavon nestling 6th in the table and licking there wounds from the narrow cup defeat against Merthyr, it was all to play for.
Ponty kicked off and ensured that the sustained pressure from the pack rewarded them with a penalty for not rolling away which was kicked by Sweeny.
3-0 up after three minutes and Ponty wanted to run from angles . With great ball in hands from the Pontypridd three quarters , an exiting break after a solid phase resulted in a free kick for the home side due to Aberavon loitering off side.
With the home team completely dominant in the scrum , Aberavon continued to make errors which Ponty capitalised on with Rhys Shellard punching through the defence at any opportunity, with a break seeing quick has from Alex Knott to Corey Howells.
With Aberavon defending their line, Ponty conceded a free kick with Aberavon then making their way into the Pontypridd quarter.
Aberavon were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the scrum , which was not executed. The restart saw a penalty given to the home team for Aberavon going over the top . A great line kick and possession won, allowed the ever try hungry Stuckey to benefit from quick hands from Knott and score a try which was converted by Sweeny.
With Aberavon never really looking like scoring , forced errors and a decision by the TMO , the home side were awarded a penalty for a collapsed scrum.
Ponty piled on the pressure and a great break by Sweeny resulted in a try and a conversion. – score 17 -0
With their tails up, Ponty’s pressure saw Aberavon conceded another penalty for yet another collapsed scrum. Possession allowed the forwards to go on the rampage and great hands by Rob Jones, Alex Webber & Daf Lockyer during advantage was halted to be taken back for the penalty.
As half time approached, the forwards now running with ball in hand were determined to score and Kieron Assiratti drove over after a great scrum.
Half time 22-0
Ponty started the second half with determination as they threw the ball about to the three quarters who pushed holes in the Aberavon defence. With the forwards still dominant and providing great ball, a scintillating run by Webber who off loaded to Stuckey saw the Aberavon defence stand up and stop a sure try.
An infringement by Aberavon at the scrum saw a penalty try awarded to Ponty taking the score to 29 -0.
With a bonus point under their belts, the forwards now turned the Aberavon scrum . Quick ball to Webber who kicked ahead, saw a chase to the line, with Aberavon just winning the touch down.
The home side were now seeing possession in abundance, and Pontys hands offered swift passing to wing Corey Howells who was tackled, resulting in a penalty for Ponty for not rolling away.
With Aberavon claiming possession of the ball quick hands by their backs awarded them with a try which was converted and gave Aberavon their first points of the evening making the score 29-7.
Rhys Shellard continued to punch holes in the Aberavon defence and the forwards ensured the quality ball was passed out to the backs resulting in a well worked try by Gab Davies which was swiftly converted by Ceri Sweeney.
From the restart Dale Stuckey orchestrated a superb interception try from well inside the Pontypridd half which again was converted by Ceri Sweeney increasing the home sides score to 43 – 7.
A superb result for Ponty against a very strong Aberavon side, sees Ponty still second in the table.
Golden Bob Man of the Match – Dale Stuckey
1. Huw Owens (62’ Ian George) 2. Rob Jones (62’ Huw Dowden) 3. Keiron Assiratti (62’ Will Davies King) 4. Shay Smallman (66’ Rhod Jones) 5. Chris Dicomidis 6. Sean Moore (38’ 19. Lloyd Evans) 7. Rhys Shellard 8. Alun Lawrence 9. Joel Raikes (73’ Huw Rees) 10. Ceri Sweeney 11. Corey Howells 12 Dafydd Lockyer 13. Alex Knott (64’ Gab Davies) 14. Alex Webber (73’ Diggy) 15. Dale Stuckey