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Plenty to work on for Jones after Pooler edge past Narberth

Sunday 30th January 2022

Leighton Jones was pleased to see his side grind their way to victory at Narberth but insisted there were plenty of things to work on.

Pooler met a determined and committed home side at the Lewis Lloyd Ground as both sides matched each other in the opening exchanges.

An interception try from Pat Lewis, converted by Matthew Jarvis, got Pontypool RFC on the scoresheet but the Otters hit back through a converted Ashley Sutton try.

Darren Hughes and Scott Matthews managed to touch down before the break – Jarivs adding a conversion – but Nick Gale’s penalty kept the score finely balanced at the break.

Ethan Davies and Jonathan Rogers traded tries in the second half before Aaron Quick made it safe in the dying minutes.

“We know we are nowhere near where we need to be at the moment but with the season being like it is that’s expected,” said head coach Jones.

“The way Narberth played today we need to be smarter and we need to change our tactics. They caused us trouble at times and we struggled to break them down so plenty to work on.

“The pleasing part was the driving line-out, we scored tries from there and that seemed to be a weapon for us.

“But some individual errors, individual carrying and getting turned over, there is plenty of that to look at in training.

“Coming down here we know it’s tough and last week they had a decent result in Bargoed, narrowly losing.

“The conditions haven’t been ideal either so it’s a big plus to get the win and the five tries.

“The first 25-30 minutes it was both teams having a good go.

“I feel about five to eight minutes before half time we started to get on top, upfront especially with the driving maul.

“In the second half again a silly error, we think we’ve got ages of time on a clearance kick, it’s charged down [they score] a try and it’s a different ball game.

“We ground our way back up there but it was just one or two silly little errors.”

With Narberth pushing Pontypool until the final minute, Jones felt there was a lot that his players could learn from the encounter.

“Fifty-point wins are great when they come and it’s all about the slick moves and offloads but games like this test you in a completely different manner,” he explained.

“The conditions didn’t really allow that free-flowing rugby and their defence was decent but the boys rolled their sleeves up and put a big shift in so it was good to see that we have got different styles of play we can go through.”

Quick bagged the final try on his first appearance of the season – and his 154th overall for Pooler – and Jones was pleased to see him and Jordan Williams back in action for the club.

Williams made his debut for the club in 2012 with Quick joining a year later.

“It’s the first time both have been involved this season,” added Jones.

“Jordan hasn’t been in for a couple of years, unfortunately for him he has taken a big whack in the face and he couldn’t see out of his eye so his match time was limited.

“Quick came on and finished with a nice try in the end, he seemed to boss the forwards around in the last few minutes.

“It was nice to see them both on and brining their experience. They have been around Pontypool for eight-nine years so it was nice to see them both on.”


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