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Jones: Competition for places driving performances

Sunday 15th January 2023
 

Leighton Jones believes the competition for places is helping to produce an ever-increasing high standard of performance on the pitch.

Pooler hit eight tries as they picked up maximum points against Maesteg Quins RFC and treated the crowd to a eye-catching display.

Wingers Amosa Nove and Mathew Powell were particularly impressive with the former grabbing a hat-trick and latter proving to be a constant menace with his direct running and quick footwork.

Powell managed to get himself on the scoresheet along with Adam Stratton, Mike Herbert, Ashley Sweet and Dai Langdon while outside-half Matthew Jarvis kicked seven of the eight conversions.

Heavy rain during the week threatened to status of the game but a stellar effort from the groundsmen ensured the fixture could go ahead.

“If you looked at the pitch you wouldn’t have thought we’d had any rain this week,” said head coach Jones.

“The ground staff did a tremendous job. I think over the pre-season with the work that has been done on it and the money the club has invested in the ground, it has definitely proved that it was money well worth spending.”

That praise continued onto the pitch as Pooler dominated and secured the bonus point shortly after the restart.

“The first half was a little bit frustrating, maybe we were trying to score too quickly,” Jones continued.

“We spoke at half time about keeping the ball, going through the phases and that gaps would open up.

“In the second half there was some decent play, we kept the ball well and we exploited their tired defenders.

“We perhaps tried a little bit too much at times and it didn’t come off but we gave the boys licence at half time to go out there and have a go at them and play a brand of rugby we enjoy playing.

“We respect everyone in this league and we know that every game we play people want to beat us.

“We always look to secure the win and then go in search of the bonus point.

“It was good for us to get it so early in the second half so we could just concentrate on how we play and what we worked on in the week.”

Last week it was result over performance following a five-week break but the squad produced a scintillating attacking display against the Quins and Jones believes squad depth has pushed everyone to always play to their fullest.

“I think that comes from competition for places,” Jones added,

“Across the board we’ve got good competition and when the boys get their opportunity they know they need to hit high targets and if they want to keep the jersey they’ve got to put the performances in.

“It’s pleasing now we’re back into rugby and that we’ve got a run of games and that the challenge for jerseys is top-notch, players can’t afford to have an average game, it’s got to be a good or excellent game to keep the jersey.”

 

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