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Captain's Column: November

Thursday 10th November 2022
 

We caught up with club captain Scott Matthews as he discussed his start to the season, his return to action and the upcoming clash against title rivals Bargoed RFC.

On a personal level I really enjoyed pre-season. It was nice to have a proper pre-season and from day one in the camp it really felt like a proper rugby season after COVID and all the stoppages.

I know we got back to playing rugby but it didn’t feel like a proper season so it was good to get back to pre-season with a solid plan from the coaches.

Last year we probably felt a bit undercooked so the squad and management wanted to make sure by that first game we were ready and there were no excuses. I picked up an injury just after the Llandovery game, which put me out for five weeks.

It was massively disappointing because, as a player and captain, you just want to contribute and it’s not easy to see the players cracking on with things when you can’t go out there and be a part of it.

While I was injured, I was recovering with the medical team. They looked at how my hamstring teared and how I could rebuild after it healed and getting back to the state where I can go out and perform on the field. It was a case of doing rehab and getting treatment.

In that downtime I was reviewing other teams, having a look at opposition lineouts and helping the coaches when needed and that’s how my first five weeks looked while I was injured. It was a tough time and I was disappointed I couldn’t contribute but that’s rugby, it’s not my first injury and it won’t be the last.

I was back in for Narberth. Going down there was tough, it’s a difficult place to go but on a personal level it was great to put that jersey back on, I’m always proud to wear the jersey.

There was a difficult game against Ystrad Rhondda. They came out and played really well but looking at ourselves we made silly decisions and they combatted that with energy and some great passages of play. The pleasing thing was many teams would have given up but we didn’t, we solved the problems on the field and found a way to win.

It was good for the team to put in a more rounded performance after that against Glamorgan Wanderers and it was exciting to be part of that.

The boys have certainly started the season well taking maximum points from each game, we don’t take that for granted. It’s not an easy task. We’re just really excited every time we take to the field, we just want to impress in any way we can and play a better style of rugby.

We’re excited to play a brand of rugby that the team, coaches and supporters can be proud of. Hopefully that will be backed up by the supporters showing they are fully committed to the team as they do week in week out. We’re very fortunate to have a good following at Pontypool and we just want the supporters to get behind the team as much as they can. We don’t get things right all the time but rest assured we are putting that maximum effort in to produce good performances. We just want to do ourselves and everyone else at Pontypool proud.

We’re a tight bunch on and off the field, there is a real togetherness in the squad at the minute. There’s a lot of tough games to come and tough places to go and if you are a tight-knit team then it helps you on the field. We know any team can challenge us so we’ve just got to focus on ourselves.

Bargoed are a fantastic club and they have the same ambitions as us so it’s going to be a real battle. As a squad we have prepared and we’re looking forward to the game. At home we’ll have the home support to give us that lift and something extra when the moments in the game get tough.

We will respect them but I believe there are right ways to show respect and we have to lift our game. No teams can afford to drop points, it’s all about the result at the end of the day with the league being so close.

 

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