With the fixture list providing a long run of fixtures for the coming weeks, we thought it was the perfect time to catch up with captain Scott Matthews.
In his first column of the year the skipper expressed his frustrations at not being able to play while looking ahead with excitement with the games set to come thick and fast.
It’s been three games so far since the new year so it’s been really difficult to get going and build momentum but we’re trying to do that as best as we can.
That was shown in the Trebanos RFC game going into half time with a tight scoreline.
We never want to do that; we would have liked to have gone in [at half time] under different circumstances but we massively improved in the second half.
This isn’t training intensity, it’s match day intensity and it’s very difficult to replicate that in training.
We try our best but nothing compares to matchday intensity and once we realised that we upped the intensity, upped the speed of ball and started playing quicker.
We then scored some really nice tries so that was really pleasing but fair play to Trebanos, they were a good team and threw everything at us.
We’re looking for players to find their form consistently and that will be the challenge for us as a team.
To replicate things we are doing in training on a matchday and looking at that competition for places within the squad.
It’s fantastic to see Lloyd Lewis, Mikey Herbert and Curtis Gregory back, three really talented players, particularly Lloyd with his speed being on the 7s circuit, it’s good to have that pace on the wing.
I’m sure every time he touches the ball the crowd gets excited, I know I do, because you know he can make something happen so it’s a big confidence boost to get him there. Mikey’s been out with a long-term injury.
Not many people work as hard as Mikey and he deserves to be back and we’re all chuffed for him.
He’s certainly a guy who helps to up the training, up the intensity and adds a feel-good positive attitude as well as a hard edge to the field.
Curtis caught some really good high balls against Trebanos and won the lineout well. It’s great to see him back.
He hit some form a couple of seasons ago so it will be exciting to see if he can reach that level, that will certainly be the challenge for him.
He can be a dangerous player on the field with that high energy and work rate. It’s exciting to see where those partnerships can go.
It will be nice to see him playing next to Ashley Sweet, who is a great leader of the team, so it will be great to see him and Curtis take the field together and see if they can build a solid partnership.
It certainly possesses the potential to be a good one.
We’re really pleased with the way training is going.
It was a good opportunity in the down weeks to highlight some finer details, which Rhys Clarke and [Aaron] Quick have done well.
But we’re just excited now to get to that intensity and level that we know we can and I’m sure with a run of games we’re only going to improve.
It’s not nice looking at our league position, I know it’s down to games missed but we want to start climbing it and being where Pontypool should be.
As captain of the club that’s certainly my main priority.
I think if we win most [of the games] we will be right back up where we should be.
But there are some difficult fixtures around the corner, some exciting opportunities and we’re really looking forward to the challenges ahead.