PONTYPOOL welcomed Tata Steel to Pontypool Park for a WRU Admiral National Championship match on a fine and pleasant but windy late March afternoon, writes Ray Ruddick.

Pooler opened the scoring in the third minute when, from a scrum near the visitors’ posts, the ball went right and wing Mathew Powell managed to get the ball down for a try. Dai Langdon slotted the conversion.

Three minutes later, a strong run by home No 8 Ieuan Jones took play into Tata’s 22. Deon Smith sliced his way through for a try. Dai Langdon added the extras.

In the 12th minute Pooler’s left wing Amosa Nove scored a try in the left corner, but the conversion went wide.

Four minutes later Pontypool were guilty of an offence at a ruck, and outside half Cam Bamford kicked the resulting penalty. Midway through the first half, the ball emerged from a ruck on the visitors’ goal line for scrum half Dai Jones to dot down for the bonus-point try. The conversion attempt struck the left upright.

Free Press Series: Pontypool RFC v Tata RFC in the WRU National Championship. Picture: NCR Photography

In the 24th minute Huw Anderson made an unconverted try. On the half hour, the referee was playing a Pontypool advantage from a scrum just outside the home 22. Pontypool gave the ball some air and Huw Anderson received a pass near the half way line and sprinted 50 metres to cross for an unconverted try.

Five minutes before the interval, home centre Joel Mahoney picked up a loose ball inside Tata’s 22. Play went left and Amosa Nove squeezed over in the corner. The conversion attempt again struck a post.

Another try by Mathew Powell and conversion Dai Langdon just before half time made it 46-3 to Pooler at the break.

In the third minute of the second half Amosa Nove scored his hat trick try. Matthew Jarvis kicked the conversion.

Free Press Series: Pontypool RFC v Tata RFC in the WRU National Championship. Picture: NCR Photography

In the 46th minute another bout of great interpassing resulted in a try for Deon Smith. Matthew Jarvis again slotting another two points.

In the 54th minute Mathew Powell chased a kick ahead and managed to gather the ball inside Tata’s 22. He popped the scoring pass to replacement Dan Babos who touched down in the left corner. Matthew Jarvis’ conversion attempt hit the left upright.

Just before the hour mark, Matthew Jarvis went on a weaving run, beating several defenders, and offloaded to Amosa Nove who went over for his fourth try of the match. Matthew Jarvis obliged from the tee.

In the 63rd minute Deon Smith made a great break in midfield and passed to Mathew Powell who galloped over for his try hat trick, converted by Matthew Jarvis.

Five minutes later Pooler were on the attack inside the visitors’ 22 when Ieuan Jones took the ball at pace to score a try near the posts. Matthew Jarvis kicked the easy conversion.

Free Press Series: Pontypool RFC v Tata RFC in the WRU National Championship. Picture: NCR Photography

With six minutes to go, Pontypool were again camped in Tata’s 22 and Dai Langdon took a short pass to cross for a try near the posts and Matthew Jarvis converted.

Final score: Pontypool 93 Tata Steel 3.

Pontypool: Huw Anderson, Mathew Powell, Deon Smith, Joel Mahoney (replaced by Matthew Jarvis), Amosa Nove, Dai Langdon, Dai Jones (replaced by Dan Babos), Sam Cochrane (replaced by Kelvyn Williams), Darren Hughes (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Kyan Best, Lance Randall, Ashley Sweet (replaced by Garin Price), Mike Herbert (captain, replaced by the returning Joel Mahoney), Callum Davies and Ieuan Jones.

Tata Steel: Guille Boland, Mike Baron, Chris Harris, Ollie Wong, Joshua Powell, Cam Bamford, Ethan White, Dan Kemp, Elis Halliday, Sam Martin, Tom Jenkins, Jake Jones, Ieuan Roberts, Ryan John and Joe Callery. Replacements – Rhys Williams, Sam Heaphy, Dan Pole, Jake Whitefield and Jo Clarke.

Referee: Gareth Jablonski (Aberdare)