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Jones demands attacking improvement

Sunday 18th September 2022

Leighton Jones has called for more clinical finishing despite hitting eight tries in a dominant victory over Cross Keys RFC in the Gwent derby.

Pooler were in free-scoring mood at Pandy Park as Pat Lewis (2), Deon Smith, Sam Scarfe, Joel Mahoney, Mike Herbert, Ieuan Jones and a penalty try completed a resounding win.

The kicking was also on form with Matthew Jarvis bagging six conversions and Mahoney helping himself to a rare shot at the posts.

However, despite the quantity of scores, head coach Jones felt the team let plenty of chances get away.

“We would have taken that scoreline at the start of the day but we don’t just judge ourselves on scoreline,” explained Jones.

“We will look back at the footage and see the areas we need to improve.

“Our strike rate needs to be better and when those opportunities come we need to take them, we’re not always going to get as many chances as we did today so we have to be more clinical.

“The scoreline is pleasing and there was some nice play out there but there were a lot of work-ons out there too.

“At the end the boys were disappointed, they felt as if we didn’t take as many of the opportunities as we’d like.

“We had quite a few opportunities to score tries and we bombed them.

“With the standards we set it was a pleasing win but when we look at it we left a few tries out there.”

After a competitive opening period, Pooler pulled away with a devastating five-minute spell in the first half that wielded three tries.

“We speak about starting well but that doesn’t always mean ball in hand,” continued Jones.

“The opposition will always have time on the ball so I thought we started well.

“Keys had plenty of possession and our defence was firm so that was pleasing.

“There was always going to be the point when we started to get our hands on the ball and that period of four or five minutes we really upped the tempo and the skill-set and vision was top draw and that is what got us the three tries.”

Pooler have now scored 16 tries in just two games this season but they conceded their first with the last action of play and Jones admitted that left many of the squad frustrated.

“That try ended the game and when the boys came in there was a massive air of disappointment,” he said.

“We know attacking wise we can go up a few gears but that definitely put a dampener on the boys.

“There were some very disappointed players in the huddle at the end even though it is a comfortable scoreline but we look at ourselves not the scoreline and the boys didn’t want to finish on such a sloppy try.”


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