We expected a defeat to come at some stage, however the gut wrenching manner of Pontypridd’s dismantling of Aberavon was disappointing to say the least. Nevertheless it is important to have perspective and Pontypridd, like Aberavon, were unbeaten going into the game and top of the league.
Dave Prichard presented Pontypridd with the opening try in an otherwise faultless showing. There was electric running and vivacious passing from both sides in the first quarter with flanker Jake Thomas and fly half Jarrod Evans landing the early tries for the visitors. Evans kicked both conversions.
Fighting back is engrained into Aberavon’s repertoire and they did this with a free flowing drive by the pack. Shortly after this a succession of passes by Chris Davies, Pritchard and Joe Gage, ended with the latter placing the ball behind the posts. James Garland converted with aplomb.
Ponty quickly banished any talk of a comeback by finding Adam Thomas, for the centre to get the next try of the afternoon. Again Evans converted and again Aberavon fought back. This time it was Davies with the try which was typically converted by the imperious Garland.
Aberavon maintained possession for the next ten minutes, though this was to be in vain as a blistering run from halfway from wing Owen Jenkins culminated in another Pontypridd try. Additional points came from Jake Thomas driving over the try line and Evans kicking.
Helter skelter rugby entailed for the final 20 minutes but both teams were nullified in their attempts for more points. The match finished 40-16 , leaving the Wizards in third position and with another testing match against 2nd placed Llandovery next weekend.
It was courageous rugby, if a little disjointed, from an Aberavon side without skipper Ian Moore after 40 minutes and encountering further disruption with Joe Tomlin-Reeves moving gingerly. Indiscipline was also a blighting factor which Jason Hyatt alludes to below.
Post Match Interview
Aberavon coach Jason Hyatt said: “It was our indiscipline that cost us dear and after we had talked about it in training this week.
“That is what cost us but I am pleased, not only with our wholehearted effort, but also how we worked hard to dominate the breakdown area, in particular. We now move on to meet Llandovery next Saturday.”
Aberavon Starting XV:
Joe Gage; Aaron Grabham (rep Jonathan Phillips 60 min), Joe Thomas, Matthew Jenkins, Steffan Andrews; James Garland (rep Cameron Clement 63 min), David Pritchard (rep Jacob Flynn 72 min); Rowan Jenkins (rep Rhys Forse 66 min), Ieuan Davies (rep Gareth Harvey 72 min), Jon Thomas (rep Andrew Clatworthy half-time), Ian Moore (capt) (rep Ben Davies half-time), Ben Jones, Lee Purnell, Chris Davies, Joe Tomalin-Reeves (rep Rob Dudley-Jones 43 min).
Joe Gage & Joe Thomas appeared from the Ospreys; Jacob Flynn from Aberavon Quins RFC; Rhys Forse from Waunarlwydd RFC.
T – Joe Gage, Chris Davies
C – James Garland (2)
T – Jake Thomas (2), Jarrod Evans, Adam Thomas, Owen Jenkins
C – Jarrod Evans (5)
Man Of The Match:
1 – Chris Davies
2 – David Pritchard
3 – Lee Purnell