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Captain's Column: January

Wednesday 11th January 2023

We caught up with club captain Scott Matthews to find out how it felt to return to the pitch after a five-week break and look back at the final couple of fixtures of 2022.

From myself and the rest of the squad and coaching staff, we hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Year and that everyone celebrated and enjoyed themselves. On a cheeky note, we hope that everybody’s new year’s resolution is to get down to watch Pontypool as much as they can.

It was lovely to be back on the field but the conditions made it tough. It was obviously massively pleasing to get the bonus point. I thought our set piece was good, there are elements of the game we need to sharpen up on and that’s down to the Christmas break and the playing time we have had in December.

We knew there were going to be mistakes but if there was a negative we wanted to follow it with a positive, that was something we tried to make sure we did on Saturday and I thought the team did that very well.

The last games before Christmas were Bargoed RFC and Bedwas RFC. Looking back to the Bargoed game it was a disappointing start but the spirit, fight and togetherness showed and got us through.

I never felt like we were out the game even when we were 20-0 down. I just felt like we needed to stop making errors and control our discipline. Bargoed are a good side and they have the capability of beating anybody but it was down to us cutting out the ill-discipline, giving away cheap penalties and territory and play more in their half and we certainly did that.

It was very pleasing to get the win, it was a massive occasion, the support was fantastic for both teams. As captain that’s what we are crying out for, for the supporters to be our 16th man, we really appreciate the support and that’s something we want to see moving into the second half of the season.

It’s been a while since we have had a game at Bedwas due to COVID. It’s a great place to play and I’ve enjoyed many games at the Bridgefield in the past. It’s always a tough place to go, they are a young team and full of energy so we knew it was going to be a tough encounter.

The game was enjoyable. We chucked the ball about, we left a lot of chances out there but some of the pleasing points were the set piece and the backs, who scored some fantastic tries. It was a complete squad performance and that is something we want to do moving forward.

The postponements aren’t ideal but in the world of rugby we haven’t got a magician who can wish the weather away. We back the decision to cancel the fixtures with the ground frozen solid. We want to be playing and I’m sure every other club is in the same scenario but it was definitely a sensible decision, ultimately player safety comes first.

I know some people will be frustrated but just rest assured the club has good people looking after it, they have good people in good positions and the club is in capable hands of rearranging these fixtures.

We’re not quite at the half point of the season but we haven’t dropped points yet. It’s fantastic but it means nothing if you don’t carry it out. Nobody wins trophies or the league through the Christmas break.

No game has been easy, every game comes with different challenges. I think it’s very important to the squad, and me as captain, that we don’t overlook anyone. Preparation is very important. Gone are the days of just turning up and winning games, you’ve got to be prepared and come in with your attacking options and defensive strategies. We stick by what we’re trying to achieve and keep going until we get the outcome we want.


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