Swansea 3-24 Pontypool

By: Paul Hopkins

It was back down to Earth for Swansea as they fell to a disappointing defeat at home to a tough Pontypool side.

The All Whites gave away an early penalty when the backline were caught offside, but fly half Matthew Jarvis’ touch finder sailed over the dead ball line.

Scrum half Gareth J Rees took a quick tap penalty after a scrummaging infringement, with the visitors initially struggling to deal with his chip ahead. Fly half Rhys Jones attempted an audacious drop kick from inside his own half, but it barely made the 22.

Full back Brandon Wood tried to dart through the middle, but was halted in his tracks, resulting in a relieving penalty for Pontypool after he held on in the tackle.

A superb 50/22 kick gave the home side a lineout inside the Pooler 22, but a poor throw was gobbled up by hooker Peter Lloyd to give scrum half Morgan Lloyd a decent platform to clear.

Centre Osian Knott made a break inside the 22 after flanker Callum Bowden peeled off a scrum, but the visitors stepped offside to spoil the move. Jones made Pooler pay though with a successful penalty goal from in front of the posts.

A clever chip through by full back Matt Bancroft was almost taken by winger Marcus Jones but he was penalised for offside. Jones cleared long with his touch finder and the lineout was taken by lock Lloyd Ashley to begin a Whites attack, but a forward pass to prop James Kenny ended the move.

Wood tried his best to kick the ball in play following a Jarvis chip ahead, but he stepped into touch to gift Pontypool an attacking lineout. Replacement prop Jordan Morris powered forward as the visitors’ forwards began to steamroller towards the line, but Peter Lloyd was held up over the line.

Play was brought back for a Pontypool penalty though, and with the visitors sensing blood up front, they opted for a scrum. The pressure told as the Pooler forwards drove forward with number eight Ben Mur picking up from the base to score. Jarvis converted.

Bancroft was penalised for a deliberate knock on, but Jones failed to make him pay as he dragged his effort wide of the posts.

A clever chip and chase on the wing by Mur almost resulted in a try but brave play by Bowden prevented the visitors from capitalising. However, Pooler were awarded a penalty soon after when the Whites’ crept offside in midfield. Jarvis chose to kick to the corner.

Lock Ashley Sweet took the lineout and the forwards developed a maul that took them up to within two metres of the line, and a second carry saw prop Ollie Drake crash over for a try. Jarvis converted.

Centre Amosa Nove powered forward to get his side back on the attack, but Morgan Lloyd’s chip ahead was too strong, resulting in a scrum to the home side.

A barnstorming run by Mur from the back of a scrum took play up to the 22, forcing the Whites offside. On the stroke of half time Jarvis chose to kick at goal and was successful with his three pointer.

Half-time:-   Swansea 3-17 Pontypool

The home side were penalised for straying in front of a high Gareth J Rees kick, made worse by an additional 10 metres for speaking out of turn, which gave Jarvis an opportunity to kick at goal, although he failed with his effort.

The home side were initially awarded a penalty inside their own half, but ill-discipline saw the decision reversed. Jarvis found touch on the 22 and in the next play both Gareth J Rees and replacement number eight Callum Davies were yellow carded for foul play.

Morgan Lloyd darted forward from a ruck and weaved his way up to within a couple of metres of the line, but an excellent tackle by hooker Owen Thomas saw the ball dislodged with substitute fly half Jacob Symes able to clear. Morgan Lloyd then tried an opportunist chip ahead for winger Walker Price to chase, but the ball went out on the full.

Price dropped a high ball allowing replacement lock Jake Baker to charge forward and get his side some much needed possession, but despite a great run by Knott, the visitors were able to reclaim the ball and clear long.

Jarvis found touch on the Swansea 22 with a penalty, but a well worked maul by the home side forced the visitors into touch.

The visitors battered the Swansea line and were awarded another penalty, with Pooler opting for a five metre scrum. The visitors’ pack continued their siege of the line, and the Swansea defence finally gave in with lock Ashley Sweet crashing over for a try. Jarvis converted.

Jarvis found touch inside the Swansea 22 with a penalty, but a poorly executed lineout by replacements Sam Scarfe and Kelwyn Williams allowed the home side to clear.

The visitors tried to get a bonus point and went through almost 20 phases of play, but the home defence held out. Jarvis tried a snap drop goal, but his effort went horribly wide of the posts.

Full-time:-   Swansea 3-24 Pontypool



Pens:-   Rhys Jones (13)

Yellow cards:-   Gareth J Rees (50)



Tries:-   Ben Mor (27), Ollie Drake (37), Ashley Sweet (67)

Cons:-   Matthew Jarvis (28, 38, 68)

Yellow cards:-   Callum Davies (50)


Match facts:

Venue:-   St Helen’s, Swansea

Weather:-   Heavy rain, 9C

Referee:-   Elliot Mayor

Man of the match:-   Ashley Sweet

Attendance:-   900


Swansea team:

15 Brandon Wood

14 Gareth O Rees

13 Joe Thomas

12 Osian Knott (rep: Gareth J Rees 79)

11 Morgan Rees (rep: Matthew Jenkins 57)

10 Rhys Jones (rep: Jacob Symes 48)

9 Gareth J Rees (rep: Rhodri Lewis 62)

1 James Kenny (rep: Tom Sloane 62)

2 Owen Thomas (rep: Llew Phillips-Taylor 54)

3 Ed Thompson (rep: Kian Hire 62)

4 Lloyd Ashley

5 Matt Dodd (rep: Jake Baker 41)

6 Will Hickey (rep: Lloyd Evans 54)

7 Callum Bowden ©

8 Cai Davies


16 Llew Phillips-Taylor

17 Tom Sloane

18 Kian Hire

19 Jake Baker

20 Lloyd Evans

21 Rhodri Lewis

22 Jacob Symes

23 Matthew Jenkins


Pontypool team:

15 Matt Bancroft (rep: Josh Malson 39)

14 Walker Price

13 Pat Lewis

12 Amosa Nove

11 Marcus Jones

10 Matthew Jarvis

9 Morgan Lloyd (rep: Owain Leonard 79)

1 Kyan Best (rep: Jordan Morris 9)

2 Peter Lloyd (rep: Sam Scarfe 62)

3 Ollie Drake (rep: Kelwyn Williams 62)

4 Lance Randall (rep: Lewis Johnson 60)

5 Ashley Sweet © (rep: Will Gregory 79)

6 Dan Hill

7 Adam Stratton

8 Ben Mor (rep: Callum Davies 48)


16 Sam Scarfe

17 Jordan Morris

18 Kelwyn Williams

19 Lewis Johnson

20 Will Gregory

21 Owain Leonard

22 Josh Malson

23 Callum Davies