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Much-improved performance delights Jones

Thursday 03rd November 2022

Leighton Jones was pleased with the response from his players as they roared to victory over Glamorgan Wanderers RFC in the WRU Admiral National Championship.

Despite getting a bonus-point victory over Ystrad Rhondda RFC the previous week, Pooler had to leave it late to overturn an 11-point deficit to claim that victory and Jones was hoping to see a much-improved performance at the Memorial Ground.

And that’s exactly what he got as his side ran in eight tries in a dominant performance. Ashley Sweet and Luke Fleming-Jones were at the double with Huw Anderson, Dan Babos, Joel Mahoney and Pat Lewis, on his 50th appearance, following them over the line.

Outside-half Matthew Jarvis was in scintillating form as he kicked 14 points, including two incredible curling efforts from tight angles against the wind and the final conversion when he slipped but still found the target.

The 32-year-old kept things ticking over all game as his passes created attack after attack. His display was no surprise to Jones, who sees the hard work he puts in at training every week.

"He's a professional,” stated head coach Jones.

"He’s here training an hour and a half before everyone else, he’s out on the field practising his passing and his kicking, you just can’t fault his dedication to work.

“There’s a lot of youngsters around the training nights where the kids train before us and it’s pleasing to see him out there and everyone can see the dedication he puts in so it’s great to see him getting the rewards on the field with the performances.”

Jarvis wasn’t the only one to produce on the day as everyone seemed to be on the same wavelength with a number of breath-taking passages of play in attack while showing focus and determination in defence.

“We had a good look at ourselves after the Ystrad Rhondda game,” admitted Jones.

“As a management group we were really honest with a few things we let ourselves and the club down on.

“We put that right in training and it led to a decent performance with the mindset and attitude back where it should be.

“There were some big performances, a lot of smiles on faces and some boys who were given the jersey to start the game really done themselves and the club proud.

“With the ball in hand we looked sharp, we scored some lovely tries.

“It was pleasing at the start of this game for about eight to ten minutes we were in our 30 metres and the attitude to defend was really good.

“Then towards the end of the game we had Mathew Powell in the bin and the Wanderers dominated possession and territory but the boys stuck to the defensive patterns and managed to keep them out. Defensively it was pleasing.”

The victory ensured Pontypool continued their perfect record this season and Jones believes picking up bonus points could prove crucial come the end of the season.

Neath RFC lead the table by two points and have picked up the try-scoring bonus point in all seven of their games. Pooler sit second and have also bagged the bonus point in all of their games, although they have played a game less than the Welsh All Blacks.

Bargoed RFC are a point further back having picked up the bonus point in five of their seven fixtures. The Bulls are six points ahead of Narberth RFC in fourth and travel to Pontypool Park in the next round of fixtures on 12th November.

“As the weeks go by the top three are making a bit of a gap,” said Jones.

“Three has got to go into two so every point is crucial.

“Neath and Bargoed are good teams, they are going to fight for every point like us.

“As we have seen anyone can beat anyone in this league, if our minds are not on it we can easily drop points so we have to make sure every week we are focused on the job ahead.”


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