Saturday 14 April 2012: Pop Pass
You wait to see one rugby match and three come along at once!
We were back at the Cardiff Arms Park after last weeks demolition of Cardiff RFC. This week we were playing Newbridge RFC at a neutral venue in the Swalec Cup Semi Final.
Pontypridd are defending cup champions this year, and with the midweek hammering of Cross Keys, we went into the game full of confidence. Newbridge are in a league below us, so were overwhelming underdogs for the game. Well the underdogs almost had their day!
Newbridge opened the scoring with a cracking try right in front of where we were standing. The only trouble with a 300mm lens is, when it's that close its too close. But then I should be careful what I wished for!
Ponty took control of the game, and run in two tries and had all the pressure for the first half, as they were playing away from us, that meant all the play was at the wrong end of the pitch to get any decent shots.
Ponty opened the second half immediately with a try and the score was 25-8. Game over ... or so we thought. Newbridge got more and more into the game and forced Ponty into error after error with sheer pressure. Which of course meant the game was at the wrong end of the pitch again! This is the second game this has happened, the Cardiff game was much the same!
Going into the final minutes Newbridge clawed their way back to 28-24 behind, and really should have won it when the winger received a pass just ten metres out, and had the line at his mercy, when he dropped the ball!
It was another cracking game for the third match in succession, and we have a potentially play off deciding game against Camarthern Quins on Wednesday night, our bogey team and the top spot in the league is ours for the taking if we can win our remaining games, mind you, we all know how that ended last year (I hate play offs!).
The other semi final between Cross Keys and Ebbw Vale finished in a dramatic eighteen all draw, with Cross Keys going through on try count. Compare this to the yawnfest that is the Rabodirect 12 league, and you really wonder where the hell regional rugby goes from here. Crowds at Premiership level are up, regional attendances are in terminal decline, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out why ... but that's a rant for another blip on another day.
We stayed in town and had food and a few beers, and ended up catching the bus back with Ponty coach Paul John, which meant Dawn has met two Ponty legends in a week now, after meeting Nigel Bezani last week. It's the common touch that I love about rugby!