Patient Pwll keep firing
Hosts make light work of heavy pitch
PWLLHELI remain top of the Division One North standings after claiming a 37-8 win over resurgent Ruthin.
The Lleyn side now turn their attention to the first round of the WRU Plate on Saturday as they travel to local rivals Caernarfon.
Overnight rain had made the pitch heavy and Pwllheli struggled to gain a foothold.
Ruthin, who claimed a late win over Nant Conwy seven days earlier, dominated possession and territory, and from the outset it was apparent they would be using their heavyweight back line to punch holes in the Pwllheli defence.
Ruthin’s fly-half Nathan Jones opened the scoring with a penalty after Pwll were caught offside after just three minutes.
But Pwll kept their composure and were soon ahead, home side fly-half John Pugh latching on to a loose pass near half way to outpace the Ruthin cover and score under the posts. Wing Osian Parry Jones added the two points.
The home side pressed their advantage and when Ruthin were penalised for killing the ball it was Jones who slotted over the penalty, and then soon after added a second conversion – forwards and backs combining well to make 40 metres and send back-row Dafydd Anwyl on the blind of a ruck to slice through to score on 21 minutes.
Ruthin had edged the scrums in the opening quarter but as the half progressed Pwllheli attained parity and were secure on their own ball, allowing their half backs to have more control of the game.
Scrum-half Nick Butterworth was able to pin Ruthin back with a series of testing kicks and although Ruthin generally managed the aerial assault well it often put them on the back foot. On 28 minutes Ruthin were again penalised for not releasing and Parry Jones added the three points with a long-range penalty.
Ruthin began the second half the same as the first and were immediately on the front foot. With only five minutes played they secured clean line out ball to send hooker Daniel Miller crashing over for an unconverted try.
But Pwll, helped by fresh legs in the forwards, hit back with another Parry Jones penalty on the hour.
Pwll were reduced to 14-men as one of their second-rows was sent to the bin, but Ruthin failed to take advantage and it was the home side who extended their lead, prop and birthday boy Alwyn Trenholme finishing off an effective driving maul on 74 minutes, Parry Jones kicking the extras to make the score 30-8.
Pwll were by now very much on top but it took until a minute of added time to secure the all-important try bonus point.
Pressing Ruthin in their own 22, Pwllheli kept the ball tight and inched their way towards the try line.
The ball was secured for replacement second-row Huw Williams to score the most acrobatic of tries as he soared through and over wouldbe defenders. Parry Jones’ successful conversion was the last action of an excellent advert for community rugby.
Pwllheli seconds travel to Shotton Steel in the second round of the Welsh Bowl competition having retained their place at the top of Division Three following a resounding victory at Benllech.
● Pwllheli’s John Pugh went over for his side’s opening try against Ruthin