Llanelli RFC took the four Principality Premiership points against Pontypridd at rain swept Parc y Scarlets and to keep the Ponty crowd quiet for virtually the whole match was a measure the display the Llanelli squad put in. Nevertheless, Ponty showed why they are one of the top sides in the Pemiership when they dogged their way back into the game and even took the lead in the 54th minute from a penalty from Dean Gunter to the delight of their excellent vocal supporters.
Earlier a well constructed Johnny Lewis try was converted by Jordan Williams who also kicked a penalty to give the home side a deserved 10 point lead. But incredibly, while down to 14 men Ponty drew level with a try from Matthew Nuthall converted by Dean Gunter who also kicked a penalty.
Prop Rhys Thomas, who was in impressive form, limped off in the 48th minute and was replaced by the excellent Shaun Hopkins who went onto score Llanelli’s third and decisive try. Shaun’s brother Aled another gem out of the ‘Hywel Hopkins front row School’ perhaps made an even bigger impact when he replaced Scarlet prop Simon Gardiner on 60 minutes. Quiet man Aled, has had recent injury problems and everyone hopes he can stay injury free as he climbs the Scarlet ladder of success. In fact it was encouraging to see all Llanelli’s replacements, Kirby Myhill, Ed Price, Aidan Laxton, Morgan Haylock and Dan Newton making impressions when they came on.
Another player back from injury, Chris Keenan showed his undoubted talent and was rewarded with Llanelli’s second try with Jordan converting both his and Shaun’s tries. Llanelli finished the game looking for the fourth try and bonus point but a drop pass within a couple yards of the try line denied them.
It’s a travesty that more supporters are not getting attracted to these high quality Principality Premiership games. The WRU need to look at investing more into the Premiership which could allow clubs to charge no more than £5 to watch all Premiership games.Why not allow children and senior citizens in FREE? Welsh Rugby's hierarchy need to realize that the majority of genuine rugby supporters cannot afford £10!
Llanelli RFC 24 - 16 Pontypridd RFC