Cardiff gained revenge for their defeat earlier in the season as they dominated the second half at Cardiff Arms Park.
The opening period was a different matter though. The Blue and Blacks were denied possession and field position and didn’t enter the Pooler half in the first twelve minutes. The defensive effort was full on and all Pontypool could show for their efforts was a penalty for Tom Hancock.
Slowly the home side got their act together and Gareth Davies was able to level the scores a few minutes later, before they gained the lead. Pressurising Pontypool made them have to play in their own half of the field and when a clearing kick was attempted Kris Barry charged it down. Owen Ruttley was on hand to chase the ball to the line, pick up and score.
Hancock brought the visitors closer with another penalty before Davies replied for the Blue & Blacks. Hancock though was to be the last scorer of the half, adding another penalty and a drop goal to give Pooler a half time 12-11 lead.
The second half was a different story. Cardiff’s pack took complete control of the game. They dominated the set piece and put the home side in good areas on the field only for the last pass not to go as planned. Davies put the Blue & Blacks back in front with a coolly taken drop goal, but that pack dominance was to result in a penalty try with ten minutes left.
Three times the scrum was reset, twice for collapsing and once for standing up before referee Davies awarded the try under the posts. Davies added the extras to put the home side two scores clear.
It was to be a lead that Pontypool would never look like threatening. Cardiff were reduced to fourteen men midway through the second half but the defence held strong and repelled several close range thrusts from the visitors to keep the lead in tact.
It was left to Cardiff to have the last say in the game. Following a long injury break to Pontypool’s centre the last few minutes were taken up with both sides playing sevens style rugby, but not producing an end result. That was until the last play. From a ruck just inside the Pooler half the ball was recycled to Darren Ryan who attempted a long-range drop goal that looked as if it was going to be short. The referee though thought otherwise giving the goal and then blowing for no side to give Cardiff a deserved 24-12 win.