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Eddie Butler in players' thoughts during Gwent derby

Wednesday 21st September 2022

Matthew Jarvis revealed that the late great Eddie Butler was in the players’ thoughts ahead of the big Gwent derby victory over Cross Keys RFC at the weekend.

Pooler legend and broadcasting royalty Butler sadly passed away on Thursday evening and that loss was felt across the nation, but no more keenly than in the Pooler dressing room.

The former number eight made approximately 250 appearances in the red, white and black jersey and led the team as captain between 1982-1985 when Pontypool were one of the most dominance forces in British rugby.

The emotion of his passing stayed with the players as they took to the turf at Pandy Park and they channelled it perfectly to produce an eight-try triumph.

Three tries in four minutes set them on their way to victory with a Pat Lewis brace and a try from Deon Smith. Joel Mahoney, who also bagged a conversion, Sam Scarfe, Mike Herbert and Ieuan Jones added further scores for Pooler, who were also awarded a penalty try.

Jarvis was in impressive form with six conversions from as many attempts and pulled the strings with his impressive vision and sublime execution.

“I enjoyed it, it’s nice to play in games like that,” he explained.

"There was a lot of tempo and we had a lot of ball. It’s easy when you are on the front foot as a ten and everyone around me is helping a lot.

“The back three was electric, Deon was outstanding on the wing, Huw [Anderson] and Mathew [Powell] were really good and they make my life a lot easier.

“Eddie Butler was in our thoughts going into the game.

“He was a Pontypool and Welsh rugby legend and we wanted to go out and do him proud, especially as it was a Gwent derby.”

“We want to play with tempo, if it’s on from deep then we’ll play and one of the tries we scored straight from kick-off and that’s what we want to do.

“We could have scored a few more tries in that first 10 minutes, a few things didn’t go our way but those three tries kind of killed the game in a way.

“We probably left two or three out there but fair play to them, they stuck at it for 80 minutes.

“Disappointingly for us they got a try in the last play. We live by the sword and die by the sword, we could have easily kicked it out and taken the win but we went for another try, that’s what we are about this year.”

Pooler have started the season in impressive form with maximum points and 16 tries from the opening two games and while Jarvis is pleased with the start, he isn’t looking too far ahead.

“It’s been a great start for us, we had a great pre-season and there’s a good feeling in the squad at the moment but you can’t get complacent, you don’t win anything in September,” he added.

“It’s only two games in, the weather is going to change, other things will change and we’re going to have our biggest test on Saturday and we’ll see where we are at.”


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