Ashley Sweet described the feeling of grabbing a try on his debut for his hometown club as “special” as Pontypool RFC cruised to a 42-3 victory over Maesteg Harlequins RFC on the opening weekend of the new WRU Admiral National Championship.
Supporters came in their numbers to pack out the new-look Pontypool Park and saw second rower Sweet handed his debut from the first whistle.
Things didn’t get off to the best of starts when Owen Howe kicked Quins ahead with a penalty but Pooler came roaring back with converted tries from outside-half Kieran Meek and number eight Ieuan Jones to lead 14-3 at the break.
Amosa Nove, Sweet and Mike Hale added further scores after the break, which were all converted by Meek, while a penalty try rounded off the scoring ensuring Pooler bagged the bonus point.
Sweet revealed he has settled in really quickly after ending his decade-long spell at Ebbw Vale RFC and the touch down on his debut in front of packed-out ground was the perfect way to start his career at Pooler.
“I’ve been made very welcome from the boys who have been here for a few years. It’s one big family feel, it’s good to be here,” said Sweet.
“We’re quite a new group as well so it was just nice to turn things into positives right towards the end and get that bonus-point win.
“It was frustrating at the start but the longer the game went on the boys started to find their way.
“We started pushing play together and then frustrations turned into positives. It’s nice to get back out there and do what we do.
“After 20 months off the boys came together.
“I’m very proud to wear the jersey and to top it off with a try is something special, for my hometown club. I’m very proud of that.
“The only way is up; we’re only going to get better.”
Focus now shifts onto the next game in a just under fortnight when Pooler travel to the Gnoll to take on Neath RFC.