Pontypool United RFC 13 Brynmawr RFC 7
11:16am Monday 18th February 2013 in Sport
PONTYPOOL United head coach, Steffan Jones, hailed his side’s "guts in dogging out a win" with 13 men on Saturday.
Against a typically rough and ready Brynmawr side, United were left to hang on a bit at the end after open-side Richard Jones and replacement prop Rob Taylor both saw red after separate punch ups.
The decisions left Jones a little bemused, given both he felt were in retaliation and expected a player from each side to see red.
As it was it meant the physical visitors had a two man advantage for much of the last quarter of the game.
Jones has called for United to toughen up with the poor conditions and sticky pitches and he got just that from his side who refused to let the six point lead they built slip and held on for a win which keeps them well-placed in Division 3 East.
United had rushed into an early lead when outside-half Morgan West stroked over a penalty closely followed by a neat finish from wing Craig Jones, who beat three defenders on his way to line off a move from the back of a United attacking scrum.
West nailed the conversion to put the hosts 10-0 up and seemingly on their way to an impressive home win.
But a freak interception on their own line saw Brynmawr strike back within 3 points and despite another West penalty in the second half it made for a tetchy finale two men down.
But Jones was delighted his side held out.
When the two lads came off, they had their heads in their hands and thought they’d let the boys down, but fair play to them, they showed real guts in dogging out the win, it was very pleasing.
"They had all the excuses there to give it up but they didn’t and that’s spirit we need," he said.
The win keeps United well placed, with as many as five games in hand on some of the top sides.
But Jones knows how tough it will be.
"Our squad isn’t massive so playing Wednesday Saturday consistently is going to be tough and Abertillery have got a couple of games in hand too and look strong, but if we stay injury free I think we can have a really good push."
United’s next game in on March 2 against local rivals Croesyceiliog.