Club captain Scott Matthews was delighted to be back among the action as he made his return from injury against Narberth RFC in the WRU Championship Cup.
The skipper hasn’t played for Pooler since April’s victory over Cardiff Met RFC – the final fixture of the 2021/22 season – but lined up at number eight at a blustery Lewis Lloyd Ground.
“It’s been a strange couple of weeks not being able to contribute to the team but Mikey [Herbert] and the other boys have been majorly important in carrying the boys through. The squad is full of leaders,” said Matthews.
“It’s really good to be back and I just want to be contributing to the team.
“It’s a big season for us and game by game we are enjoying our rugby as a team.
“It’s tough being injured but it’s part and parcel of rugby.
“Everyone always sees the work of the coaches and the work of the players but people don’t see the work of the medical staff and our medical staff are top notch.
“They’ve done some really good work on myself and the other injured boys over the last couple of weeks and they help you to get back as quick as you can.
“It’s difficult just watching because you want to contribute but it’s pleasing knowing people are filling in the squad and changes that we’ve made over the last few weeks keep raising everyone’s games. It’s good to have that competition in the squad.”
Matthews was one of seven changes for the trip to Pembrokeshire but that didn’t stop Pooler crossing six times in a scintillating first-half display.
Sam Scarfe bagged a brace while Dan Babos, Joel Mahoney, Pat Lewis and Geraint Walsh in the first 40 minutes.
Narberth battled back after the break with Josh Davies, Josh Hamer and George McDonald all touching down but Scott Matthews marked his return with a try as Pooler secured safe passage to the next round.
Having played a pivotal role in the most recent cup runs to the quarter-final (2020) and semi-final (2019) of the WRU National Cup, Matthews is hungry for another cup run.
“The last WRU Cup game we played was against Carmarthen Quins RFC, we lost in the quarter-finals,” said the skipper.
“That was almost three years ago.
“We had 18 months off with COVID and then another year off in the cup last year so some off us haven’t played in the cup for nearly three years.
“We spoke about making the cup a big occasion for us and getting the supporters behind us.
“They are used to good cup runs and we don’t take that for granted.
“Hopefully we can get a home draw for the next round and get a full Pontypool Park behind us.”