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Connor delighted with character in Llandovery comeback

Saturday 13th August 2022

Shaun Connor was pleased to see the energy and character that his players showed as they fought back to claim a thrilling victory at Llandovery RFC.

Pooler travelled to Church Bank to take on the Drovers, Indigo Premiership regulars, to prove they could match it with the level of opposition they hope to be taking on week in week out in the coming seasons.

A poor start looked to have dearly cost Pooler as Ioan Hughes and Osian Davies crashed over in the opening eight minutes with the former adding both conversions to give them a commanding 14-0 lead in the intense heat.

However, the visitors managed to keep them out for the rest of the first period before upping the ante in the second. Skipper Scott Matthews came off the bench to thunder his way over the line before Pat Lewis added a second with a great driving run. Matthew Jarvis landed one conversion to leave the fixture finely poised at 14-12 heading into the final half hour.

An evenly contested affair kept the crowd guessing as to which way it would go but Lewis struck again in the final minutes and Dai Langdon added the conversion to cap off a memorable win against Premiership opposition.

“It shows the strength in depth in our squad,” explained backs coach Connor.

“We tried to give everyone at least 45 minutes of the 90 and the guys who came off the bench probably turned the game in our favour.

“I asked them to bring energy and they did, we started to play in the right areas, our discipline was better and when you start to get that right then you’re always going to be in with a chance of winning games.

“I talked to the boys quite a bit about not getting dragged into battles and dirty games.

“We want to try and play rugby but we always have to have the ability to get involved in those sorts of games but be able to get out of it as well and we showed that today.

“Our accuracy wasn’t quite as good as it was last week but I thought our defence was magnificent from 20 minutes on and that’s probably what won us the game today.”

Connor admitted preparations for the game weren’t perfect but accepted the club can’t use anything as an excuse for below-par performances.

“In the warm up we felt like we were probably still on the bus,” said Connor.

“I think the bus journey took a little longer than expected and our warm up wasn’t great and that transferred into the first 10-15 minutes of the first third.

“We can’t make excuses and we have to be better than that.

“Things will happen this season where things are not quite perfect but we have to be able to react and perform.”

With two victories in their two friendlies so far, Pontypool RFC will hope to continue that winning record when they round off pre-season with the visit of Penallta RFC on Thursday, 25th August.


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