2003/2004 WRU National League
Pontypool 47 v 22 Llandovery
10 April 2004 - Pontypool Park, Pontypool

Match Report

Pontypool 47 - 22 Llandovery

Having recorded fifty points against Pontypool in their earlier league encounter at Church Bank Llandovery travelled to Gwent with the hope of securing 3 league points to halt their slide down the premier Division into the relegation zone.

Showing great drive and determination the Drovers' forwards quickly gained a hold in the home team's half. Providing a stream of good ball from both lines out and scrum they presented a series of opportunities for the threes to set up scoring positions. Unfortunately when the ball came out to the backs it was a matter of losing ground rather than gaining it.

As the end of the first quarter approached despite total territorial domination all they had were two penalty goals kicked by outside-half Gareth Jones. Then seizing on a loose ball Pontypool drove into the visitors' half for the first time in the match. Once there they crashed through a brittle Llandovery defence for flanker and Captain Cae Trayhern to pop up and score a try , which, converted by Jon Williams gave the home side a lead they never lost.

Within minutes and in their second incursion into the Drovers' territory co-flanker Tu Tamarua had added a second try, converted by Williams to take the score to 14-6. This lead, after all the pressure they had withstood, had a most noticeable effect on the whole of the Pontypool side. From a hesitant team who looked to have a lot of respect for their opposition they became inspired in their actions and a third try from wing Gerald Arasa again converted by Williams took them into a commanding and rather unexpected lead.

Three more penalties by Gareth Jones kept the Drovers in contention as Pontypool appeared prepared to infringe regularly at the rucks. Despite warnings from a very patient Referee Huw F Lewis who despite warnings kept his card in his pocket they continued to persist until eventually the referee did produce a card. Unfortunately for the Drovers the card was red and awarded against their captain Andrew Jones. The tight head prop, unseen by the referee but reported by the touch judge, was accused of foul play quite possibly a reaction to the inability of the officials to control illegal actions in the rucks.

With the score at 21-15 and Llandovery reduced to fourteen men there could only be one outcome. Now exerting total control of the game the home side ran in a further four tries, two by outside-half Sam Mills and one each for full back David Smith and replacement prop Rhys Miller. Jon Williams converted three to take Pontypool into a crushing 47-15 lead.

A last minute try by Llandovery wing Geraint Jones converted by Ioan Davies brought a degree of respectability to the score but in the end nobody could deny that Pontypool fully deserved their victory. This leaves the Llandovery team standing one place above Llanelli the bottom club. With three home matches to come the Drovers must recapture some of the form that saw them gain mid table security at the end of 2003 or else the second part of the season will be most uncomfortable for the club.

Official : Huw F Lewis (Wales)

Team Sheets


Pontypool Llandovery