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Jones applauds TATA Steel performance

Wednesday 22nd March 2023

Leighton Jones was full of praise for TATA Steel as they “never took a backward step” and gave Pontypool a number of problems in their encounter at the Margam Sports Ground.

TATA struggled to field sides regularly in the early part of the season with three of their first five games postponed.

But they have bounced back well and produced a performance with full commitment and desire.

Pontypool did dominate the majority of the game with Mathew Powell, Mike Herbert and Adam Brown touching down before the break along with a double from captain Scott Matthews. Outside-half Dai Langdon notched all five conversions.

Langdon, Huw Anderson and Joel Mahoney added further tries in the second half with Ieuan Jones coming off the bench to bag a brace.

Jones was pleased with his side’s display but felt TATA were unlucky not to get any points on the board and is wary of the threat they pose ahead of their visit to Pontypool Park on Saturday.

“I know TATA struggled at the start of the season but they came out and they were physical and never took a backward step,” stated head coach Jones.

“I know from our boys there will be a few knocks and bruises and full credit to TATA, they stuck at it and probably deserved to get on the scoresheet themselves.

“I think when we got in their half we were quite clinical with whatever type of game we played but it was a good test.

“We’ll be hoping for better weather next week but they will come up the same.

“They’ve got nothing to lose and they’ll do what they did here.

“We’ll probably mix and match a few players with the weeks off we have had and give boys some more game time.

“We’ll look to go up another gear next week and then onto Neath in the cup.”

The pouring rain made conditions difficult under the Port Talbot sky and Jones was pleased with how the team adjusted their tactics accordingly.

“[It was] not so much game plan out the window, it is about changing the game plan,” explained former skipper Jones.

“We scored three driving lineout tries in the first half so it was playing the elements so we kept it a bit tighter and went more to our physical game and our catch and drive, etc.

“In the second half the rain stopped and we looked to spread it a bit wider.”


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