SWALEC CUP holders Pontypridd showed they are in no mood to surrender their title as they strolled into the semi-finals with a 36-0 home win over Llandovery.
It may only have been 12-0 at half-time, but the Drovers simply had no answer to the power of Ponty up front and then their pace behind as four second half tries followed the two in the first and three conversions completed the rout.
If they can reach a fifth successive final Pontypridd will match the achievement of the great Llanelli sides of the seventies who played in the first five finals, winning a record four on the trot. If they can hold onto the title then they will become only the second club to win a hat-trick of finals, following on from Llanelli’s victories in 1973-76 (4) and 1991-93 (3).
The Drovers cause was certainly not enhanced by the ridiculous indiscipline of a number of its players. Shaun Miles, Matthew Harbut and Wyn Jones were all yellow carded, which meant the visitors had to play ten minutes of the game with 14 men and the best part of ten minutes with only 13 as Miles and Jones were sent to the bin within seconds of each other.
To go to Sardis Road with a full quota of players and get a result is tough enough, but with Ponty in the kind of form they are at the minute, having lost only once in seventeen Principality games, to try and play large parts of the game with a numerical disadvantage is a nigh-on impossibility.
Llandovery’s powerful pack were creating a good platform for the backs to run. With the back row of Phil Day, Shaun Miles and Richard Brooks all making good yards and causing Ponty problems. However despite the forwards dominance the backs were never at the party. Several opportunities were spurned through poor handling errors or wrong decisions.
Pontypridd on the other hand were ruthless. With minimal chances they raced into a commanding lead. Dafydd Lockyer and Aled Summerhill were making breaks at will and the latter grabbed himslf two of his side’s tries.
Further scores by rapid winger Dale Stuckey, front rower James Howe, Garyn Smith and number eight Dan Godrey gave the homeside a comfortable victory and leaves them on the brink of history.
The Drovers will take little from the game, but may be comforted by the fact that they are not the only team to leave the ‘House of Pain’ on the wrong side of a comprehensive defeat in recent years.
However with Carmarthen Quins schedled to arrive at Church Bank for Sunday’s big televised Principality Premiership game, the Drovers will have to dust themselves off quickly to be back on their A-game.