Courtesy of Mid Glamoran Press Agency
Pontypridd 36 - 10 Llanelli RFC
Llanelli were outdone at Sardis Road last night as Pontypridd ran home five tries to secure a bonus-point victory.
The night had begun brilliantly for Anthony Buchanan’s troops – playing their sixth away match in eight league games – but in the end they had no answer as the home side moved through the gears in the second half.
Frazier Climo was wide with a long distance penalty attempt for the visitors after four minutes, before they went ahead three minutes later when skipper Johnny Lewis barged through an attempted tackle by Lewis K Williams to crash over under the posts, with Climo converting.
But Ponty hit back and went over for their first try five minutes later after some good phases of play, with hooker Huw Dowden getting the final touch in the corner. LK Williams missed the conversion, although his penalty on 20 minutes edged the home side in front 8-7.
Climo added another three points from the tee on 25 minutes to put the visitors back in front, before flanker Jake Thomas went over for the second Ponty try three minutes later after the hosts had mauled their way towards the Llaneli line.
This time it was converted by LK Williams, to put the hosts 15-10 up at half time.
Ponty stretched their lead further seven minutes after the re-start after an excellent team move setting up lock Seb Davies to power over for the hosts’ third of the night before a second successful conversion attempt from LK Williams made it 22-10.
Ponty secured the bonus-point with their fourth try four minutes past the hour mark – scored by No.8 Dan Godfrey - after a strong push by the home pack, which was once again converted by LK Williams.
Replacement Simon Humberstone ran home a fifth try in the dying moments, with LK Williams converting.
Llanelli head of rugby Anthony Buchanan said afterwards:
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t compete at the breakdown, which allowed Ponty to dictate the phases of the game and we just couldn’t get our hands on it.
“And, when we did, we probably went one or two phases and then kicked it – which gave the ball back to them and we then ended up defending.
“That isn’t the way to play a game of rugby. You’ve got to get your hands on the ball, take control of the tempo of the game to suit your needs and I felt Ponty took it to a level that we failed to compete with.
“I was really hoping that we would get something out of the game – and I felt we could – whether it be a losing bonus point or even picking up a win. We brought quite a strong side and I was hoping for a lot more than that.
“Although full credit must go to Ponty as that performance was championship style. They are a good side and it’s going to take a lot for someone to take the championship away from them.”
Pontypridd: Tries: H Dowden, J Thomas, S Davies, D Godfrey, S Humberstone; Cons: Lewis K Williams (4); Pen: Lewis K Williams.
Llanelli: Try: Johnny Lewis; Con: F Climo; Pen: F Climo.
Pontypridd: M Nuthall (D Stuckey 70), Lewis I Williams, G Dacey, D Lockyer (C, S Humberstone 78), O Jenkins, Lewis K Williams, Lloyd Williams (W Baird 67); B Thyer (C Phillips 61), H Dowden (L Belcher 67), D Lewis, J Sieniawski, S Davies, J Thomas, T Hetherington, D Godfrey (L Crocker 72).
Llanelli: J Williams (J Adams 61), K Evans, Richard Thomas, Johnny Lewis (C), F Climo, Josh Lewis (S Morris 74), J James (J Rogers 74); Rhys Thomas (R Jones 69), D Harris (T Myhill 50), G Havard (A Hopkins 22), E Price, L Puckett (A Powell 50), T Phillips, O Morgan (O Davies 69), R Osborn.
Referee: Wayne Davies (Llanon)