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DISJOINTED PERFORMANCE FROM THE IRONMEN
PONTYPRIDD 31 MERTHYR 7(Friday 22nd November 19)
It was an evening to forget for last season’s league premiership champions at Sardis road Pontypridd were the ironmen made mistake after mistake and it meant they were never able to get into the game and were punished by the dominant home side. Both sides move the ball wide in the opening exchanges with the home side looking a lot more dangerous with ball in hand. Pontypridd took an early lead when Phil Rees gave away a penalty for a high tackle and home outside half Diggy Bird made no mistake to give the home side a 3-0 lead. This was soon doubled when an attempt of an interception by wing man Sam Jones who knocked on was penalized and Bird converted his second penalty. Merthyr began to settle and put together some fine phases of play together, but that last pass going to ground. Ponty extended their lead when they stole a Merthyr Line-out just inside the half way line and spun the ball wide to wingman Webber who’s chip ahead was gathered by center Mason Grady who touched down for the first try, Bird converted and Ponty were into double figures as they led 13-0. It was now all Ponty and as hard as Merthyr tried it was not going to be their night, a drive near the Ponty line which looked as the ironmen would score was spilled, back row man Morgan Sieniawski picked up the loose ball and set off on a 60 meter run down field and when the ball was recycled the Ponty backs moved the ball wide and found full back Morgan Richards in the line to cross, Bird converted and Ponty were 20-0 ahead. Things got worse for the ironmen just before half time when Rees gave away a second penalty for a high tackle and Bird converted to give Ponty a 23-0 half time lead. Early pressure in the second half from the ironmen has they tried to get back into the game resulted in a penalty kick inside the Ponty 25 which they turned down in favor of the kick to the corner, then lost the line-out. Merthyr kept the pressure on the home side who gave away another two penalties and again Merthyr opted for the corner kick and were unsuccessful once again, with Sieniawski breaking up field 50 meters. Merthyr then gave away a penalty on the halfway line which Ponty kicked for touch, from the drive, which was brought down, Referee Jones yellow carded prop Jack Gilding. Down to 14 men Ponty drove Merthyr over their line with Hooker Nathan Huish claiming the try. Things got worse for the ironmen when shortly after the try they gave away another penalty with Bird converted to send Ponty into a 31-0 lead. To their credit Merthyr kept going and this was rewarded when a drive near the Ponty line was snapped up by back rowman Jack Perkins who touch down, Jarvis converted but it all came to late for the ironmen. Ponty drove back up field looking for the 4th and all-important bonus point try but the ironmen held them out. This was a dominant performance from Pontypridd who deserved the win as they kept the pressure on the ironmen all night forcing mistake after mistake and not allowing them into the game. Concern for the ironmen was the lack of clean line-out possession especially close to the Ponty line which the coaches will not be happy with. Merthyr must now put the defeat behind them and re-group for what is a tough December, with the visit of Llanelli RFC, followed by an away game at current league leaders Cardiff, and home games against Carmarthen Quins and RGC 1404 over the Xmas period.
MERTHYR. 15 M JARVIS,14 S JONES,13 H THOMSON,12 A THOMAS,11 A NORTON,1O R JONES,9 R DOWNES, 1 C PHILLIPS,2 R WILLIAMS,3 J GUILDING, 4 C LOCKE©, 5 D WELCH, 6 J THOMAS,7 J PERKINS,8 P REES, 16 S EVANS,17 R B THOMAS, 18 R LEWIS,19 H BARNES,20 J DOWN,21 J SOANES,22 A PINCHES,23 C CZEKAI. Scorers J Perkins 1t, M Jarvis 1c.
Referee Dan Jones (WRU).