7 Try “Pooler” show their class
“We were under no illusions as to the task in front of us at Pontypool” commented coach Darren Gibbon “we wanted to see heart and commitment and we had that in spades. You have to be 100% accurate in your play in such games and any reduction will be found out!”
“To keep battling despite the scoreline. Even to the point of ending the game with an impressive scrum showed massive heart from a young side. We could have asked for no more” Added Manager Mark Gould
“There will be some sore bodies in the morning the tackle count must have been in the hundreds against an impressive Pooler side who at times handled the ball like professionals” added Martyn Fowler
On a dry cold afternoon the Wanderers returned to Pontypool Park to face the Mighty Pooler. With a crowd that matches any of the top sides the faithful were treated to a 7 try romp that would have been a lot more had the Wanderers not dug deep into their resolve to battle for 80 minutes to keep the home side at bay. Pontypool set their stall out early putting the Wanderers under pressure but there could have been a shock try for the visitors when Tom Richards intercepted a pass on halfway. He would have raced away to score but the referee deemed an advantage for a knock on not to be over and he pulled the game back. After an early penalty the home side were soon in their stride with both forwards and backs handling well and the visitors needing to make tackle after tackle to keep their line intact. After the home side had scored their first try the Wanderers had a brief spell in Pooler territory which resulted in a Harrison James penalty but the steady onslaught from the home side was soon established. Tries looked possible from every attack but the young Wanderers continued to dig deep. Ex Pooler favourite Brendon Lampitt was forced off for a brief spell when his nail varnish was damaged in a tackle, luckily Courtney Jenkins carries a full array of colours in his medical bag and Brendon soon returned to lead the Wanderers pack! The gulf in class was shown with the third Pooler try. Superb handling and offloading from the forwards set the attack up which was finished by more slick handling as the backs secured the points. A rare foray into the Pooler 22 saw Cameron Gibbon go close but the home side defence matched the quality of the attack and they covered the threat. A fourth try and conversion sealed the deal for the half but the home side could not exact any more punishment on the visitors and the sides went into the break with Pontypool leading 31-3.
The Second half followed a similar pattern to the first with the visitors living off scraps, trying their best and certainly getting plenty of tackling practice. Young Iwan Prys Jones showed that he has a bright future showing glimpses of pace when he had a chance and the Wanderers scrum continued to hold its own. At times another 10 defenders might have been useful as phase after phase of Pontypool attacks strained the defensive limit to its limit. A penalty try opened the second half scoring but the Wanderers continued to battle. Turnovers in the tackle were common place as the strong home side backs and forwards often out gunned the young visitors in the tackle. Both sides called for fresh blood off the bench but the continued onslaught did not subside. The home side could only muster two more tries in the half making it a 50 point scoreline with a superb touchline conversion but the spirit of the visitors could not be broken and the Wanderers ended the game on the attack only to be denied once again by resolute defence. Final Score 50-3.
Pen: Harrison James
Management MOM: Eddie Drake
Massiv MOM: Ryan Matthew (although 19 others were worth special mention)