30 September 2018 / Club News

Match Report: Pontardawe vs Cwmgwrach



It was a beautiful warm blue sky day just like the last time we played Cwmgwrach in the last game of last season, a game that was hard fought and narrowly won by us. As I understand it Cwmgwrach beat Tonna last week, a team we lost against three weeks ago, so this looked to be a tough game for us especially as we havent played for three weeks. 


Preceding the kick off, a poignant minute of silence out of respect for Chris Hanson; the father of Paul Hanson (Junior Section Chairman) and grandfather of Mike Hanson; who sadly passed away the week before last. Our sympathies go to the family. 


Ponty kicked off playing towards the canal and were soon able to demonstrate their intentions to win this game through a very powerful first scrummage in which they pushed Cwmgwrach back some 5 metres. After a minute or two under the cosh the visitors were able to get into our half and apply some pressure themselves. A lovely 50 m long distance touch line kick by Calum Jones relived the pressure and a not straight throw in” from Cwmgwrach saw Ponty awarded a scrum 10 metres into the oppositions half.  A cleanly won ball was passed sweetly through the hands with some clever deception moves between the centres saw the gain line breached and allow right winger Sam Benyon to receive the pass and out pace the remaining defenders to run in under the post for a really well worked try, which was converted. So with only 5 minutes played Ponty were 7-0 up. The rest of this first quarter saw Ponty the most likely to score with quite a few good looking moves along the back line with Aaron Davies looking cool calm and collective in both attack and in defence with some noticeably good long distance kicking. We were on top in the scrums, they were in the line-outs. 


The start of the second quarter saw Cwmgwrach score a try when our defence went for the interception pass leaving a gap to run straight through to score near the posts. 7-7. The minutes that followed this saw a couple of excellent tackles made by left wing Sam Edwards who has only recently joined the club coming from the Rhondda. He certainly displayed good vision and understanding of the game and this combined with his work rate, put him into the heart of action. 

With ten minutes to go before half three tries were to be scored. The first of which went to Ponty when Mike Hodges, in broken play, picked the ball up off the floor and under immediate pressure was able to hand off two defenders, turn on the accelerator and grubber kick a lovely ball along the ground and across the try line for No 7 Josh Willis to score in the right hand corner too which the difficult conversion was missed. The second of these three tries went to Cwmgwrach, who following a few minutes of power play creted a gap to score close to the posts which was converted allowing Cwmgwrach to take the lead for first and only time in the match at 12 -14. The last of the these tries went to Ponty when a long ball kicked down the field by Cwmgwrach saw Calum Jones pick it up some 20 metres under his own posts and under pressure from two rampaging Cwmgwrach attackers. He beat these with a combination of dancing feet and blistering acceleration to begin the first metres of what was to be a 60 meter run for the try line which needed many other at first attackers and then defenders try and stop him. His change of direction, stop and then rapid acceleration deceived / defeated them all as he run in, for what was to me the best solo effort try I have ever seen at Rec. A try that was duly converted and took us to half time, in the lead 19-14. 


Three minutes into the second half Ponty a won lineout and drove it some 20 metres up the pitch and were awarded a penalty which Calum duly turned into three more points.  22-14. Cwmgwrach then started to get the better of us in the scrummage and came more into the game. However from an under pressure Ponty scrum 10 metres in the visitors half, Number 8 Richard Greig picked up and broke through the immediate defence and run some twenty metres, driving for the left hand corner and requiring two or three defenders to bring him down. Pick and goes from here took the play right into the left hand corner at which point Ponty were awarded a scrummage. There then followed scrum after scrum where Ponty kept the ball in and pushed for the line. It was great to watch but must have been hell to perform I smiled when i saw Peter Whithers stand up after the fourth successive scrum completely exhausted only to asked again to scrummage when this was the choice chosen from an awarded penalty. This time Ponty were not to be thwarted and Richard Greig went over for try, which the Referee Colin Saunders from Aberbeeg decided it to be a penalty try. So the score moved onto 29 -14. 


Cwmgwrach botched the restart with a kick that didnt travel 10 yards and from the resulting Ponty scrum, our outside half Aeron, put a lovely kick into touch bang on the visitors 22 meter line. Josh Willis standing at the back of the line, stole their ball and run at them before then putting in the appropriate pass to release our attacking backs. Aaron put through a grubber kick which travelled across the line just to the right the posts and the our two attacking centres applied massive pressure to force errors and allow Mike Hodges to pound on the ball for a try which was converted. 


It was a lovely day, a great game to watch and I guess all of the players would have really enjoyed it. We needed that win, we got it, a great team effort a great performance by man of the match Calum. Thats three wins in row over Cwmgwrach. Onwards and upwards.

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