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Jones not looking too far ahead

Wednesday 22nd February 2023

The players and coaches are not taking anything for granted insists head coach Leighton Jones despite securing a hard-fought victory against Neath RFC in the top-of-the-table clash.

Leaders Pontypool opened up a 10-point gap in the WRU Admiral National Championship after picking up the win at The Gnoll and are unbeaten this season.

However, Jones isn’t looking too far ahead and maintains the squad need to concentrate and continue to meet the high standards they have set if they are to achieve their ambitions this season.

“We’ll look at Trebanos now and we’ll go there,” he said.

“We know we are around the halfway mark of the season, we know there is a lot more work to do so we will always take it game by game.

“A ten-point difference means nothing to us, we aren’t that sort of squad, coaches or club.

“We’ll take it game by game and give everyone the respect they deserve.”

Once again Jones was able to call on his bench to help influence the game with captain Scott Matthews scoring within a minute of his introduction.

The energy the replacements added to the game also helped the defensive solidity Pooler had to show in the final stages of the game.

“I can’t remember a game where the bench hasn’t come on and added to us and got us over the line,” confessed Jones.

“When you look back against Ystrad Rhondda and Bargoed, our bench is really important to us and probably more important than the starting XV.

“The boys are buying into that, there is disappointment when the boys have to drop to the bench but when they come on they bring such a positive impact, it’s irreplaceable.

“We definitely left a few tries out there in the first half so to go in 20-10 at half time was pleasing.

“In the second half we didn’t get much of the action we seemed to defend the lead a bit but when we came into the Neath half we looked dangerous.

“We were awarded a driving lineout try and then, for some reason, it was reversed. Our own frustrations crept in then.

“I think we were looking to get a better grip of the game and some inaccuracy and ill-discipline was allowing Neath back into our half.

Neath have a great driving lineout and they did score a driving lineout try but we stopped it quite a bit and turned the ball over at critical times.

“[Andrew] Quicky’s done well with the defence there and I think that was probably the difference in the end.

“So it was a frustrating second half for us but all the players are going to be sore because they put in a massive shift and you couldn’t have asked for anymore.”

Pontypool have the weekend off this week before long trips west to take on Trebanos and TATA Steel ahead our reunion with Neath in the WRU Championship Cup on April 1, at Ebbw Vale RFC.


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