2011/2012 Principality Premiership
Cardiff 19 v 19 Pontypool
22 October 2011 - Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Match Report

Cardiff 19 Pontypool 19

Cardiff made the best possible start to the game scoring within the first three minutes. An early penalty was kicked deep into the Pontypool half. From the lineout a backs move saw Richard Smith loop round the back of the visitors defence and go through a gap before slipping the ball to Matthew John to score. Scott Sneddon was just wide with the conversion

Cardiff were looking to move the ball at every opportunity and Smith nearly created a second for John as he went through another hole in the defence, this time the ball though the final pass went forward.

Pontypool had come with a plan to play to keep the ball tight and this was giving them a regular foothold in the home half. From one of these rumbles up the field Tom Hancock attempted a drop goal that drifted just wide.  He was though on target two minutes later and gave Pooler the lead with his second ten minutes before half time.

Cardiff were creating chances but they were not able to finish them off as scrambling defence and a referee’s whistle came to the aid of the men from Pontypool Park. They were to extend their lead with a  drop goal from Hancock on the stroke of half time.

A strong talking to in the changing rooms saw the Blue & Blacks come out with more purpose in the second half. They had the early pressure and  Smith made another break that was halted short only for the ball again to be lost. Another backs move saw Tom Williams  into the line. He was brought down a few metres short and popped the ball up for the supporting Shaun Powell. The pass though was deemed to be forward. But it was Powell who created Cardiff’s second try. Another backs move looked to have broken down in midfield when he was held but he managed to pop a pass under pressure to Will Jones. He was able to outpace the defence and round the full-back to score. Sneddon added the extras.

Hancock brought the scores level with his third penalty of the game before Cardiff scored what looked as if it would be the winning try. With the clock just into injury time and Ieaun Davies in the bin, fourteen men Cardiff created a try following some outstanding work by the pack and lively replacement Tom Rowlands.  The ball had been worked to near the Pooler line, several drives followed but they were repelled, Powell though picked up a loose ball that caught all the defence napping and was able to power over. The referee though thought he had been held up as a bought of handbags ensued. The touch judge was on hand to provide him with the answers and after a chat with the captains about the fight he awarded the try. Sneddon converted.

Pontypool did not give up and with the clock showing seven minutes of added time they created space for replacement winger Gareth Willimas to score. Hancock kept his cool and slotted the difficult conversion for what was only the 20th draw in the history of games between these teams.

Official : Jason Griffiths (Wales)

Cardiff Pontypool