PONTYPOOL cruised to a WRU National Cup first-round win over an under-strength Tata Steel, writes Ian Golden.

The home team took the lead in their first real attack when Jordan Williams dived over for the try with Matthew Jones’ conversion going just wide.

After a lengthy injury break which resulted in Pooler’s Ben Egan being stretchered off, Tata scored their first try.

Following a couple of penalties of their own, Jordan Hawkins broke through the hosts’ defence and Callum Brickwell converted.

That made it 7-5 to the visitors a quarter of the way through the game, but a Jones penalty less than two minutes later gave Pooler the advantage again.

They added to that lead 10 minutes later when a fine passing move led to Clayton Gullis grounding and Jones converting.

And just before the interval, an outstanding piece of interplay saw a gap created for Keiran Meek who ran under the sticks. Jones easily converted to make the score 22-7.

Pontypool took less than five second half minutes to add to their lead, Gullis struggling through for his second try of the game. Jones converted.

Then a storming run from winger Jordan Thomas led to the next Pooler try, as Aaron Coundley finished off the move with Jones converting.

A mix-up in the Tata defence led to Pooler’s next try with Meek pouncing for his second and the conversion going wide.

Tata got a try back 15 minutes from the end after Jacob Williams caught well from a lineout and grounded in the same move. Lloyd Bradley converted.

But seven minutes from the end, an Aaron Quick try, scored under the posts and converted by Jones, put the icing on the cake for Pontypool.

Gullis was denied a hat-trick after receiving a forward pass, but Pontypool weren’t to be denied the 50.

Jamie Jeune crashed over in the final move of the game with Jones again adding the extras.

Scorers: Pontypool – Tries: J Williams, C Gullis (2), K Meek (2), A Coundley, A Quick, J Jeune; Cons: M Jones (6); Pen: M Jones

Tata Steel – Tries: J Hawkins, J Williams; Cons: C Bricknell, L Bradley

Pontypool: T Hancock; J Thomas, C Gullis, K Meek (J Mahoney 67), R Usher; M Jones, M Luckwell (A Quick 57); A Coundley (L Ball 62), J Jeune, R Harford (O Drake 27), B Egan (C Gregory 16), R East (C Price 70), J Williams (B Sparks 52), R Nash, M Herbert (C Davies 57)

Tata Steel: L Bradley; C Leyshon, S Wilcox, D Griggs, S Stone; C Bricknell (S Howells 59), J Williams; R Taylor (J Bamsey 52), J Hawkins (R Taylor 63), D Edwards (T Bartle 36), B Thomas, J Cuggy (J Wood 70), A Faulkner, S Malone (S John 61), M Llewellyn

Pontypool star man: Clayton Gullis