Rugby Union: Morgan injury mars Pontypridd triumph

Bridgend 24 Pontypridd 52
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The Independent Online
PONTYPRIDD TURNED on the style to run in six tries at a rain-soaked Brewery Field, although their third successive Premier Division victory came at a price.

With the game well won, and a vital bonus point in the bag, Pontypridd lost their Welsh international full-back, Kevin Morgan, with a broken left thumb. The new Wales coach, Graham Henry, will be hoping the injury clears up well before his first assignment against South Africa in the middle of November.

Morgan had helped to light up a dour evening with a number of brilliant bursts into the back line , the first sparking the game's opening try for the right wing Rhys Shorney midway through the first half.

That inspired Ponty to go on to the attack and four minutes later Morgan was the link man again for the second try, this time for left-wing Geraint O Lewis.

It is going to be a confusing season with the title favourites this season. The wing Geraint O Lewis went on to score another try in the second half, while the Welsh international back row man, Geraint P Lewis, also picked up a try in each half.

For patches of this match the Bridgend defence were bamboozled by the slick handling of the visitors, although the home side fought back gallantly in the end and two tries in the closing 10 minutes, from Gareth Jones and their inspirational captain and lock, Chris Stephens, brought Bridgend thundering back into the match. In fact, they almost grabbed a fourth try to rob Ponty of a bonus point.

But the visitors hung on and, with 22 points from the reliable boot of Neil Jenkins, they topped 50 points for the first time this season.

Bridgend: Tries Pearce, G Jones, Stephens; Conversions: Bowen 2, Cull, Penalty: Cull. Pontypridd: Tries G O Lewis 2, G P Lewis 2, Shorney, Prosser; Conversions: Jenkins 5; Penalties: Jenkins 4.

Bridgend: G Cull (A Durston, 52); D Jones, S Winn, G Jones, O Thomas; G Bowen, B Roach; R Jones, A Joy, J White (D Francis, 57), S Ford, C Stephens capt, S Pearce (C Kinsey, 69), A Williams, P Thomas.

Pontypridd: K Morgan (M Price, 73); R Shorney, J Lewis, S Lewis, G O Lewis; N Jenkins (capt), P John; A Griffiths, A Lamerton, K Jones, G Prosser (A Freeman, 71), I Gough, G P Lewis, D McIntosh (M Lloyd, 63), M Williams (M Earle, 71).

Referee: H Lewis (Bridgend).