2009/2010 Principality Premiership
Pontypridd 22 v 20 Newport
24 October 2009 - Sardis Road, Pontypridd

Match Report

Pontypridd 21 Newport 20 (HT: 10-17)


What a difference a week makes! Last week Newport played Pontypool at Rodney Parade while this week they played the other Ponty – Pontypridd at Sardis Rd. While the match at Newport was not a good advert for Premier rugby this one certainly was. It was an exciting and intense and an entertaining match played in the wind and rain and on a particularly wet and heavy pitch in front of 2,000 crowd and great credit goes to both sides. In the end Newport were left to rue what might have been as for the second year running at Sardis Road, Pontypridd got out of jail at the death to save their long standing home record.

Newport were forced to make a late change as wing Alan Awcock was involved in a minor road accident on his way to the match and was replaced by Nathan Williams James. Newport had the perfect start when they scored a slick try on 47 secs after centre Rhodri Gomer-Davies gave the perfect pass full-back Gareth Wyatt to cut  through the defence.  Chris Wannell’s conversion made it 7-0. Then on 8 mins Newport should have been further ahead when hooker Andrew Brown charged down a kick, chased the ball but knocked on right on the line when he went to pick up. He made up for his mistake on 11 mins when he scored Newport’s second try and again Wannell converted for a score of 0-14 after just 12 mins. Pontypridd were making errors and looked very disorganized and in truth there was only one team in it at this stage. Wannell missed a penalty on 22 mins but then put a good kick over on 27 mins for a score of 0-17. Pontypridd then came more into the game when Newport seemed to somewhat lose their grip. No 10 Dean Gunter out over a 40m kick on 31 mins and Pontypridd pressure saw lock Grant Harrington get over on 36 mins for a try converted by Gunter to make the score 10-17 after 36 mins. Hunter then missed an easy penalty on 39 mins and on 45 mins at HT the score was 10-17.

On the 1st min of the restart Gunter kicked a penalty while Shaun Connor missed one on 49 mins. Connor had replaced the impressive Wannell who had a calf injury. Pontypridd took the lead on 56 mins when MOM scrum-half Rhys Downes pounced on the ball to touch down after chasing wing Lewis Williams’ kick ahead. Newport’s Wyatt was yellow-carded for a trip on Williams. Gunter missed the conversion but Pontypridd led for the first time 18-17 on 58 mins, Despite Pontypridd’s improved form in the 2nd half, Newport stuck in the game and on 78 mins Shaun Connor coolly struck a long penalty to take the lead at 18-20. Newport failed to clear at the kick off and put themselves under pressure and on 81 mins conceded a penalty and 19 yr old Gunter coolly put the ball through the uprights. The home fans were asking referee David Bodilly to blow up but there was still time to play. On 85 mins Newport won a  line-out on the home 22, but replacement hooker Mike Leaman threw a crooked throw and that was that as Pontypridd had survived again to go top of the Premier League. They would stay there as Cardiff beat leaders Neath at the Gnoll the following day.

Pontypridd: A Thomas, C Clayton, G Dacey, D Lockyer (M Nuthall 71), L Williams, D Gunter, R Downes, S Hobbs, R Williams, P Palmer (R Harford 49), G Harrington, R Savage, C Dicomidis, N Strong (capt), W O’Connor (C Martenko 40+2).

Scorers: Tries - G Harrington, R Downes and D Gunter 1c, 3p.

Newport: G Wyatt, M Poole, R Gomer Davies, S Williams (D James 62), N Williams, C Wannell (S Connor HT), A Walker, D Pattison (I Evans 64), A Brown (M Leaman 72), L Hunter, D Rosser, A Jones, R Dale (S Waldron 58), P Williams, A Coombs (capt).

Scorers: Tries - Wyatt, A Brown and C Wannell 2c, 1p, S Connor 1p.

Yellow Card : G Wyatt 57/6m - trip.

Referee : David Bodily (WRU)


Official : David Bodilly (Wales)

Pontypridd Newport