IT’S often said in rugby that the forwards decide who wins the match and the backs decide by how many.

Unfortunately for Penarth on the weekend forward dominance was not enough to prevent Pontyclun’s flying backs from deciding the result and margin as the unbeaten league leaders stretched their winning run to five games.

Whilst the scoreline looks convincing it is more a reflection of the visitors lethal finishing than the balance of play, although it would be fair to say that in the final reckoning Penarth simply didn’t do enough to take anything from the game.

Having heard much about the Pontyclun back line from other teams around the league it would appear the whispers were not without merit as full back Rhys Morgan, wing Iwan Price-Thomas and outside half Lloyd Wilkins ran Penarth ragged.

It is no surprise that all three Pontyclun products are currently training with Premiership side Pontypridd.

The early signs for Penarth were good, total dominance in the scrum and some successes in the tight phases of play found them some decent field position but in the absence of Alex Shore the lineout faltered under pressure and with their first opportunity Pontyclun broke free to opening the scoring through Price-Thomas.

Penarth were causing problems for the visitors but they just weren’t able to push home their advantage, in the main this tended to be due to small errors knock-ons and turnovers being particularly to blame although the leniency shown to the retreating and crumpling Pontyclun pack by the referee did little to allow Penarth really exploit their main area of dominance.

A second Pontyclun try extended the lead before Penarth struck back before half time with James Crothers finishing a well worked move which included some nifty handling from George Roberts who has clearly been watching the All Blacks in the World Cup.

With just a 5 point gap at half time Penarth were right in the game but as the second half wore on it slipped through their fingers.

An early try from the visitors followed by a silky set piece play that saw the Pontyclun flanker under the posts for a bonus point stretched the gap to 22-5.

Penarth then had a five minute error free period and showed what they were capable of.

A turnover put the visitors under pressure before a penalty was fired into the corner. Lineout taken the Penarth forwards marched forward and after a couple of phases man of the match Geraint Williams came up with the ball and James Docherty added the extras.

But that was as good as it got. Pontyclun stretched their lead with a penalty before Penarth surged forward, having gotten within 10m metres of the line the ball was stripped and Pontyclun proceeded to sprint 90 metres to seal the win.

A further try came at the end of play as the impressive Wilkins sailed through a very leggy looking defence to add salt into the Penarth wounds.

Once again there was plenty to be taken from the match despite the result. The form of young loose-head Williams in particular is a huge fillip and the fact that Penarth tested the now out and out favourites for the league should build not hinder this young side’s confidence.

Yes they need to tighten up in a few areas but there is no doubting the foundations for success are laid but there is plenty of building work to do.

Next week sees Penarth travel to the only other unbeaten side in the league the Old Illts.

With only 2 league fixtures being played due to cup commitments a win could see Penarth rise as high as 3rd in the league but it is sure to be yet another stern test.

Penarth: G Williams (H Wood), M Good (T Griffiths), A Doyle, A Lang, M Allen, J Spragg, S Davies, R Bowen, S Robinson, J Docherty, J Crothers (C Mortimer), G Roberts, B Hill, R Morgan (c) (K Maddox)

Scorers: G Williams (t) J Crothers (t), J Docherty (c)