Rugby Union: Moon fails to shine

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The Independent Online
Llanelli. . . .8

Pontypridd. . .6

IT SEEMED that Pontypridd's continuing challenge to get among the big boys was scuppered after a mere six minutes, when Colin Stephens dropped a goal from a ruck in front of the posts and at the same ruck Greg Prosser, the Pontypridd lock, was sent off at the say-so of the touch judge for stamping.

But not a bit of it. Pontypridd, in foul conditions of standing water on the pitch and driving rain, bravely fought a powerful rearguard action against a Llanelli side which won most of the possession.

The Llanelli problem was at half-back, where once again Rupert Moon was out of sorts and failed to exert his authority as captain and scrum half. With that amount of ball, Llanelli should not have allowed Pontypridd out of their 22 for most of the game. But Moon had little assistance from his fly half Colin Stephens, who also kicked poorly.

Once again, however, we saw the terrific potential of Scott Quinnell, whose hard driving play and good hands were one of the few redeeming features of the game.

The conditions were so bad that every score was precious. After Llanelli's early drop goal by Stephens, Andrew Lamerton scored a try when he peeled off a maul for a try wide-out. Then, shortly before half-time, Neil Jenkins, who was influential throughout for Pontypridd with his kicking, put over a penalty; this was followed by another with only 12 minutes to go.

Llanelli had a further fright late in the game when Ieuan Evans was stretchered from the field and taken for an X-ray; but his ankle was only bruised.

Llanelli: H Williams; I Evans, S Davies, N Davies, W Proctor; C Stephens, R Moon (capt); R Evans, A Lamerton, S John; P Davies, A Copsey, E Lewis, S Quinnell, M Perego.

Pontypridd: M Back; D Manley, S Lewis, J Lewis, O Robbins; N Jenkins, P John; N Bezani (capt), N Meek, M Powell, K Gallagher, G Prosser, N Jones, C Jarman, P Thomas.

Referee: C Rodrick (WRU).

Scores: Stephens (drop goal, 6 min, 3-0); Lamerton (try, 35 min, 8-0); Jenkins (pen goal, 40 min, 8-3); Jenkins (pen goal, 68 min, 8-6).