Leighton Jones was pleased to see Pontypool RFC put to bed any worries they may have had about being “undercooked” with a thumping six-try win over Maesteg Harlequins RFC at Pontypool Park.
Any concerns over a lack of match fitness due to a shortage of pre-season friendlies, number of injuries and disruption to the training schedule were quickly washed away as Pooler crossed the whitewash six times to secure maximum points on their return to action after 20 months.
Kieran Meek notched 15 points with five conversions and a try while debutants Ashley Sweet and Mike Hale also touched down. Ieuan Jones claimed his 10th Pooler try before an Amosa Nove score and a penalty try sealed the deal.
More than 1,000 filled the newly renovated Pontypool Park to witness the 42-3 win and Jones was delighted to give the crowd the perfect homecoming.
“Our support is the best in the league by far. They follow us everywhere, they’re fanatical,” he said,
“Looking here today a lot of the boys’ families were here and the supporters are like one big family so it was nice to see.
“The ticket office sold out 1,000 tickets so there was more than that here and it was just pleasing to see them here and enjoy it.
“It was just good to get back on the Park.
“We were rusty, we’ve got plenty to work on but it was a win and that’s all we wanted at the start of the day and we did score some nice tries so it was pleasing.
“There was a big concern of ours going into this game that we were well undercooked with match fitness but fair play Dy [Rhys Dyer] has put the boys through their paces with fitness and we’ve done contact more and the boys have bought into that.
“They were rusty but we always backed ourselves. We knew at half time we just needed to build those phases and go through the phases to get where we wanted.
“First half we were up the slope and we made a few errors when we got in their 22 and they did play a decent game.
“In the second half we struggled to get through phases, we looked for the miracle pass but when we settled down and went through the phases and through our plays the tries started coming then.
“It’s always pleasing to get that bonus point.”