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06 November 2017 / Club News

*Pont score 6 tries in thriller*

Statistics were;

Tref Y Clwyd RFC   ; 6 games – 5 wins and 1 loss

Pontllanfraith RFC ;4 games – 3 wins and 1 loss

In simple terms, Saturdays home fixture was a must win game for the squad to climb back up the table and claim 2nd place.

The weeks training building up to the game was deliberate; due to facility complications Tuesdays session was hosted by Blackwood RFC (many thanks) where conditioning coach Andrew Deneen put the players through hard fitness/contact drills.

Thursdays session began with a team meeting hosted by coaches Neil Clarke and Maggsy where the open vocal forum enabled players and coaches to air concerns and set the standard for the rest of the season. This set the expectations and followed with a very fast paced team run through – all the preparation that was needed was completed.

Winning the toss, Captain Nathan Meyrick chose to play downhill in the first half – the intentions were clear in that Pont RFC wished to close the game out in the first half. Fired up – the Pont RFC pack pressured the visitors from the offset and the backline ran at every opportunity. Centre Ben Walker dominated his 12 channel and provided simple ball for partner Rhys Powell who was always blessed with space and this enabled several line breaks – unfortunately miscommunication meant there were missed offloads and the ball was lost.

However, within 10minutes of the first half the first points came Ponts way. With the forwards dominating the break down; Scrumhalf Matthew Davis whipped the ball to fly half Andrew Deneen and with simple hands from silky fullback Tom Haddock the ball ended in the hands of winger Rhys Purnell who crashed through two defenders and crossed the line for the opening try. The cheer roared and this was the start Pont needed. Unconverted the score line 5-0.

Momentum began to build and within 10 minutes of the first try the Pont pack once again carried hard through Gareth Tiley and Jay and gained valuable yards. Very similar to the opening try; with a dominated break down the ball was easily present to Matthew Davis – an electric pass to converted number 8 Chris Price was then elegantly forwarded to fly half Andrew Deneen who cut through the defence 10 metres out and crossed over for the 2nd try of the game. Converted by Rhys Powell the score line read 12-0.

With mountain pressure the visitors kicked a lot of procession away and the back three of Jamie Guttridge, Tom Haddock and Rhys Purnell working well with each other were provided several opportunities to strike back but it was always the last simple pass that would slip. A mention must be put forward to backrow Joel Parry who carried hard from deep on two separate occasions – unfortunately this resulted in a dead leg which required treatment.

Half time 12-0

The second half started in the same fashion as the first – with fly half Andrew Deneen demanding an aggressive kick chase from the start the forwards did not disappoint and forced an immediate knock on. Second row power horse Jeff Williams was immense in defence and was constantly putting pressure on the opposition. Several phases of play followed and the visitors defence started to look dog legged. With the forwards continuing to work hard off the base the next score came; a set move which saw Rhys Powell cut through and carry a defender over the line for the 3rd try of the game and shortly after another try came for speedster Jamie Guttridge off his wing which came from a lovely cross field kick from  Matthew Davis

IN the later stages of the game the visitors slipped a few penalties which enabled fly half Andrew Deneen to ping the corners and add pressure. The Pont pack continued to dominate driving mauls and the breakdown with Captain Nathan Meyrick and it was this continued pressure that provided the base for the 5th Try. With a sold ruck clear out on just inside the visitor’s half scrum half Matthew Davis spun the ball out to Fly half Andrew Deneen who spotted a gap  in the defence between the number 8 and inside centre. Breaking the tackle and hitting the gap at pace Andrew was able to sidestep the fullback to score underneath the posts. Converted by Rhys Powell the score line 29-0.

With the Pont team playing a fast-open game there were a lot of tired legs on the park in the very late stages of the game. Although, to their credit, the visitors managed to score a try from broken play, Captain Nathan Meyrick led by example and had one of his illustrious runs down the wing to score his 5th try of the season!

The last play of the game, injury time, saw a poor clearance and the visitors managed to crash over in the corner for a final 2nd try which was disappointing for the Pont defence.

Showing character and team unity; every single member line up on the try line and chased down the conversion – which was missed. Final score 34-12

The expectations for this game were to achieve a win, simply just to win the game at all costs and showed the league we mean business and the top positions are ours. By convincingly defeating our joint 2nd placed team at home in front of a big crowd by scoring 6 constructed tries was brilliant!

There were a lot of standout performances; Jeff Williams was immense in defence, Chris Price again showing his strong potential at number 8, centre partnership ‘Bensty’ created several opportunities and winger Rhys Purnell is showing his strong potential as a lethal winger

Man of the match – Gareth Tiley – the giant second row carried hard and put his body on the line.

Dick of the Day – Jarrad Hook – Trying to make a tackle using a starfish position

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