Match Report 23-01-2016
Llanharan v Pontypool 14 - 64
15 OLLY SMITH
14 GAVIN PARSONS
13 LUKE RUAL
12 LEE EDGECOMBE
11 HENRY GRIFFITHS
10 HARRISON EVANS
9 NICKY THEAKER
1 RHYS TAYLOR
2 SAM LLEWELYN (JAMES HOLMES 63)
3 TOM EVANS
4 TOM WILLIAMS
5 OWAIN HOWE (JORDAN SIENIAWSKI ht)
6 TOM WILSON
7 SCOTT MALONE (C)
8 HUW THOMAS (CARL LEATHER 70)
Pontypool tries – Ben Sparks 2, Aaron Quick 2, Sione Tu’ipulotu, Jamie Jeune, Nathan Brooks, Josh Hurley.
Llanharan tries – Sam Llewellyn, Scott Malone, Olly Smyth. Pen – Harrison Evans.
A tremendous result by a much depleted Llanharan side. The score does not reflect the way that Llanharan played against a side who are third in the Championship. Llanharan were led by the returning Huw Thomas instead of the injured Scott Malone. The game started off with Llanharan having a bare side which resulted in uncontested scrums. They were further reduced to 14 men, with an injury to prop Rhys Taylor, before half time. The rules of uncontested scrums not allowing substitutes.
The game started with Pontypool playing away from the Clubhouse and down the slope. Pontypool showed their intent from the very start and ran the ball at every opportunity. Their backs and forwards combining to produce sweeping movements showing excellent handling skills by backs and forwards. The pressure on the Llanharan line finally gave way when the Pontypool No.12 Sione Tuipulotu went over in the corner for the first try. The rapid movement of the ball by Pontypool, set the scene for the first half. Despite Llanharan putting in a strong defensive effort they could not keep Pontypool out. Josh Hurley the Pontypool No. 11 made some impressive runs, to trouble the defence and score Pontypool's second try.
Llanharan had difficulty in slowing down the pace and power of the Pontypool backs and Marc Thorley went over for another try. Pontypool's forwards also got in on the act with Jamie Jeune (prop) adding to the try count.
The display put in by Llanharan in defence of their line was impressive. A number of try saving tackles being made to keep the score down. Every Llanharan player put in a 100 percent effort to make it an entertaining game. The half ended 0 - 43 to Pontypool.
The injury to Rhys Thomas just after half time was a further set back to Llanharan. It looked as though it would add to Pontypool's dominance of the game when they scored early on in the second half. This turned out not to be so . The loss of one man made the Llanharan players even more determined to continue with their good display. We were then treated to a very good game, with both sides showing good skills in attacking rugby. Strangely enough it was Llanharan who came out on top of these encounters. Harry Griffiths (wing) kicked a loose Pontypool ball from his own 22 meter line and followed this by going over in the corner. The try was converted by outside half Scott Jones. Llanharan's momentum continued and with 14 men. They were constantly putting pressure on the Pontypool line. It was then the turn of Llanharan to make ground, with good driving and interchange of passing between backs and forwards. After one of these drives, Craig Burton went over under the posts. The try was converted by Scott Jones. Scott was also starting to control the game with a fine performance. His out of hand kicking making ground for Llanharan.
Pontypool came back with a try by Rob Nash and a thoroughly entertaining game ended 14-64, with Llanharan scoring two tries against third in the table Pontypool, who will probably be back playing in the Premiership next year.
This was a superb performance by a Llanharan side who did not give in against a very competent side.