Ponty take the points

LLANELLI 3:22 PONTYPRIDD
Principality Premiership
Saturday 22nd December 2018

High flying Pontypridd came to Parc y Scarlets looking for a sixth straight league win to consolidate their credentials as potential Premiership title contenders. That aim was ultimately achieved, but not without a considerable amount of hard graft against a spirited Llanelli side who proved to be a totally different proposition from that which had lost by forty-plus points at Sardis Road earlier in the campaign.
It took a moment of magic from dynamic winger Dale Stuckey in the sixty-seventh minute to finally cement the Valley Commandos’ 3pts to 22 win, the visitors unable to cross for a fourth bonus point touchdown but in turn having kept their own try line intact throughout.
Although dominating territory for long periods of the first half, Pontypridd were up against a stubborn home defence, who were putting in the tackles and battling for every scrap of possession in the loose. It was Ponty full back Ben Jones, who had previously kicked effectively for field position, who opened the scoring with a penalty, before then supplying a neat back-hand pass to send winger Dale Stuckey cruising in for an unconverted try wide out. Llanelli fought their way back into contention, centre Jonny Lewis converting only one of three penalty attempts at goal, from various distances, before the visitors re-asserted their superiority, veteran outside half Ceri Sweeney sniping in for a try under the posts, converted by Jones to give his side a 3pts to 15 interval lead.
The contest struggled to ignite after the restart, Pontypridd attempting at times to up the tempo by taking quick tap penalties, winger Dale Stuckey going close in the corner, but their efforts overall rebuffed by a Llanelli team that gave as good as they got, the third quarter of the game remaining scoreless.
Both teams made numerous changes off the bench and were guilty of committing errors in cancelling each other out for long periods of play. It was that man Stuckey who finally lit up the enveloping winter’s gloom, waltzing his way to the line to score a crucial try which Ceri Sweeney ably converted from a wide angle. Llanelli still refused to give up although the game was by now effectively beyond them, but Pontypridd finishing strongly, going in search for that elusive bonus point try and earning penalty awards to close out the game with a deserved 3pts to 22 victory.
Scorers:
Llanelli:
Tries:
Cons:
Pen: Jonny Lewis
Pontypridd:
Tries: Ben Jones; Dale Stuckey (2)
Cons: Ben Jones; Ceri Sweeney
Pen: Ben Jones

 

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 19 15 0 4 541 318 76
Cardiff 19 14 1 4 591 395 72
Pontypridd 18 14 0 4 638 338 68
Ebbw Vale 19 14 1 4 411 302 66
Llandovery 19 12 1 6 531 338 61
Newport 19 12 1 6 488 448 59
Aberavon 18 12 1 5 418 362 57
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 17 9 0 8 444 354 50
Carmarthen Quins 19 9 0 10 410 380 47
Swansea 18 9 0 9 419 370 46
Cross Keys 18 5 1 12 397 579 32
Bridgend Ravens 17 5 0 12 326 438 28
Llanelli 19 4 1 14 354 524 25
Bedwas 18 4 1 13 359 545 25
Bargoed 18 3 0 15 344 592 18
Neath 17 1 0 16 282 670 3