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Match PreviewMatch Report

Pontypool RFC Neath RFC Pontypool RFC v Neath RFC

Saturday 18th November 2023 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Indigo Premiership
Referee: Steff Edwards

Pontypool RFC Lineup

Previous Matches


  • 65Wins
  • 103Losses
  • 11Draws


  • 49Wins
  • 32Losses
  • 6Draws


  • 16Wins
  • 71Losses
  • 5Draws

The newest member of the 50-club Sam Cochrane has issued a sense of calm for the visit of Neath following the defeat at Llandovery last weekend.

Pooler suffered their first league defeat since the opening day of the season when they were beaten at Church Bank but Cochrane doesn’t believe much needs to change to return to winning ways.

The squad showed their quality in both and attack and defence as they produced a stunning seven-game winning run, including stand-out victories at Merthyr and Cardiff.

While the club’s unbeaten home record in the league stretches back to 2016 – a run of 60 games.

Looking at the bigger picture, Cochrane believes the preparation they have been doing for most of the season has served them well and doesn’t need to change too much, apart from the specific tactics to counter Neath.

“I think the main thing is not to be different, keeping what we are doing right, making sure the training is good during the week and coming in on Saturday ready to do what we’ve done for the past nine weeks.

“We do our analysis, we look at things that went wrong and I think that’s important.

“But it’s also important to remember we’ve been winning multiple games and it’s about keeping that going, keeping all the things that we do right and keeping the spirits high.

“Something we can take away from Llandovery was that our set piece was reasonably strong.

“Our defence has been really good, it was tested last week, but it’s about doing what we have done for the last eight weeks.

Pooler and Neath are both new to the Indigo Premiership this season but the clubs have had differing fortunes since promotion, with the Welsh All Blacks still searching for their first victory.

Having contested many great battles in the Championship over the last few seasons, Cochrane is expecting another tight game with both teams knowing the other well.

“We both came up last year and we’ve had different fortunes so far,” explained Cochrane.

“We’ve done really well and won some really tight games and they’ve lost some really tight games so they are going to be tough opposition.

“They are going to be looking for that win. They know us, we know them.

“They’ve had a few injuries and some boys leave but it’s such a tight league, everyone can beat everyone.”


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