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Smith praises strength of squad depth

Saturday 08th April 2023

Deon Smith praised the strength in depth of the squad as everything clicked into gear and Pontypool ran riot against Glamorgan Wanderers in the WRU Admiral National Championship.

Pooler secured the bonus point inside 20 minutes and broke into a triple-digit score as the tries kept coming at Pontypool Park.

Centre Duan Thomas helped himself to a hat-trick on his fourth appearance of the season while replacement Smith and second row Ashley Sweet weren’t far behind on braces.

Garin Price, Mike Herbert, Amosa Nove, Joel Mahoney, Mathew Powell, Dai Langdon, Owain Leonard and Matthew Jarvis also touched down with the latter adding 26 points from the tee.

The scoring was opened with a penalty try but the visitors did show attacking intent with tries from Max Surry and Theo Shinton, however, Pooler just proved too much.

“You never predict that scoreline,” admitted Smith.

“Credit to the boys, we’ve worked towards performances all season and I think you can definitely class today as one of the ones that everything clicked and fell into place.

“Everyone was on the money and that was reflected in the result and performance.

“We’re really lucky, our strength in depth is really good.

“We train and rotate throughout the week in training so everyone’s comfortable.

“I think it’s testament to the entire squad with the levels in training and the way we practise, it speaks for itself.

“The boys around me make it a lot easier, Joel’s really solid at 12 and Mathew and Amosa on the wings, the rotations we have anyone can play anywhere. It shows our strength in depth.

“We need to credit Glamorgan Wanderers as well, they play a very good brand of rugby, it is open.”

Despite getting on the scoresheet twice, Smith was full of praise for his teammates and credited their hard work in providing him with opportunities to score.

“I think I say it every time, I’m just in the right place at the right time,” added Smith, who now has 13 tries this season.

“A lot of the work goes down the boys on the inside and us boys out wide get to finish it and steal the glory a bit.

“It’s always nice to cross the whitewash and get your name on the sheet so overall a very good day.”

Fellow winger Powell had a busy day as he scored a try of the season contender, played the final offload for a further three tries and was a constant menace for the visiting Wanderers while Jarvis showed his ability from the tee with 13 conversions as well as bagging the final try of the game.

“He [Powell] is sharp, it’s clear to see from the sides,” continued Smith.

“I don’t think he knows where he is going and that makes it really hard to defend.

“He’s a very good try scorer, he can create something from nothing and that can only be a positive for us.

“He’s playing with confidence and that’s always nice to see.

“Jarv is solid off the tee and it’s testament to him, he puts the practise in, before training, during training. He constantly drives the standards.

“Practise makes perfect as they say and he definitely puts the time in practising and that reflects on the score on a Saturday. He keeps the scoreboard ticking over.”


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