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Jones: It was not acceptable

Saturday 02nd April 2022

Leighton Jones did not hold back in his criticism of himself and his players as Pontypool RFC were beaten at league leaders Bargoed RFC.

The two met in a titanic clash at Bargoed Park and Pooler struck first when lock Ashley Sweet touched down inside the opening few minutes following a driving maul. Outside-half Matthew Jarvis fired over the resulting conversion.

The hosts hit back instantly through a converted Josh Prosser try but a Jarvis penalty edged Pooler back ahead.

But it proved to be a difficult afternoon as tries from Steff Thomas and James Leadbetter, as well as five kicked points from Steffan Jones, saw Bargoed to victory.

However, it wasn’t just the result that left Jones frustrated but the manner of performance and lack of desire.

“Bargoed fully deserved the win, they were by far the better team,” said head coach Jones.

“I think our discipline was terrible, our error count was not acceptable, partly because Bargoed put us under pressure and they wanted it more.

“We were well under par and I would question every one of our players, ‘did they really want to be there?’.

“Some of the analysis of this game is going to be quite brutal.

“The boys, and us as management, are going to have to hold their hands up and have a look at the footage and see where we are making errors.

“I think from me down, it was not acceptable for Pontypool, which is well looked after by the owners.

“For the jersey, the badge, the supporters and the owners, we’ve done nothing for them today.”

With a run of four games in as many weekends to come – the game against Beddau RFC is still to be rescheduled – Jones is hoping to see a reaction but played down their title hopes after falling 15 points behind the Bulls.

“We came second best in everything and everyone was beaten by their opposite number from management down so we will expect a reaction. But there will be a club reaction to that as well with the boys.

“We’re not a bad team overnight. If there’s not a reaction then we’re in trouble.

“I think Bargoed are firm favourites. They definitely want to win this league more than us and more than most teams.

“On the performance we put in, I think we’d be lucky to stay in the top six so unless there is a big reaction and difference in our want to play rugby and our want to work hard, we’re going to struggle to stay in the top six.”


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