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Matthews eyes title triumph as Pooler prepare to head University

Friday 29th March 2019

Pontypool RFC flanker Scott Matthews is keen to see the club wrap up the WRU National Championship title as soon as possible, as the club prepare to take on Cardiff Met RFC in Cyncoed on Saturday afternoon. After defeating Bridgend Ravens 21-11 in the quarter-finals of the WRU National Cup last weekend, Leighton Jones' men now have the chance to secure their third consecutive league title, writes Andrew Deering.

If second place Narberth RFC fail to match or better Pooler's match points total when they take on Tata Steel RFC in Port Talbot tomorrow, the Pontypool Park side are assured to finish top of the pile and will book their place in the end of season Principality Premiership promotion play-off game.

Having such an important game to prepare and focus on will no doubt help the squad avoid any case of 'After the Lord Mayor's Show', following the emotional peaks experienced against Bridgend. "It is always a challenge to replicate the emotional highs attached to any big game," said Matthews. "However, we have the chance to seal the title at the weekend and we want to get it done as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

"Leighton has been very good at keeping us on track and keeping us focused. Cardiff Met gave us a very good game at the Park in November and tried to take it to us, especially in areas we didn't think they would. They are a different proposition to the other teams we face. They train with each other day in, day out and will be a tight bunch. They will be well-coached as a team and will be organised."

If Pontypool were to seal the league title this weekend, you would forgive the club and its supporters for feeling a strong sense of déjà vu. Just last season, Leighton Jones' men traveled to Cardiff knowing victory against the university side would see them crowned champions. While the circumstances surrounding this game aren't like for like, the squad can undoubtedly take inspiration from a game that saw Pooler run riot in a 54-10 victory.

With the game on Saturday following on from the club's cup heroics, there is also a feeling the game against the Ravens can act as a catalyst for the rest of the season.

"For parts of the game, especially early on, I don't think we played particularly well. We perhaps weren't used to the Premiership standard intensity that Bridgend were producing, but once we got to grips with it and adjusted, we were able to match them," said Matthews.

Continuing to reach that level must now be the benchmark as the club prepares to take the next step in a potentially momentous season.


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