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Connor praises Pooler's powerful pack

Sunday 05th March 2023

Shaun Connor believes the forward pack were influential as Pontypool bagged a bonus-point victory over Trebanos, playing with 14 men for over 50 minutes.

In a highly competitive first half, Pooler managed to build a 12-0 lead thanks to tries from Huw Anderson and Mathew Powell, as well as a Matthew Jarvis conversion.

Shortly before the half-hour mark Pat Lewis reacted to a tackle on him and that led to an altercation between several players on both sides with Lewis receiving a red card.

However, despite going a man down the level of the performance didn’t drop with Peter Lloyd going over just before the break from a driving lineout, his fifth try in as many games.

Captain Scott Matthews secured a quickfire double, one of which coming from a driving maul, before constant Pooler pressure was rewarded with a penalty try.

Frankie Jones grabbed a consolation with an interception try before Matthews rounded off the scoring, and his hat-trick, with a late effort from another driving maul.

Jarvis added a further two conversions in the second half while Dai Langdon also kicked a two-pointer.

Connor was pleased to see Pooler’s power game really come to the fore at Trebanos Park and was full of praise for the impact it had on the game.

“There was lots of niggle going on,” said backs coach Connor.

“It was a very physical game, I thought Trebanos had a plan and they stuck to it really well.

“They are obviously still hurting a little from the result when we played them at the Park and you can definitely see they have improved as a team.

“Our pack probably laid out our foundation today, the scrum was outstanding.

“Peter Lloyd playing hooker again, the lineout was excellent so a lot of credit has to go to our pack for the way we ground them down and got a lot of penalties, from the scrum especially, which gave us field position, which allowed us to put pressure on them.

“It showed we were a back short and we’ve played a lot of free-flowing rugby this year but it’s nice to win games in other ways and our pack today was outstanding.

“In the second half Scott Matthews at number eight was unbelievable and almost undefendable with some of his carries and some of his stuff off the ball.

"The forward pack really did lay the foundation down for the victory.”

There is another break in the fixture schedule before Pooler's next game, an away trip to TATA Steel on March 17.


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