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Jones was prepared for 'tough' Narberth test

Monday 01st May 2023

Head coach Leighton Jones admitted he was ready for a “tough game” at Narberth.

The Lewis-Lloyd Ground is always a notoriously difficult ground to play at, particularly, after a two-hour coach trip. It’s important to note they have the same trip to Pontypool Park.

However, Jones felt there were a number of factors at play that meant getting a result at Narberth was going to be even harder than usual.

He watched his side take an early lead through Mathew Powell but Jonathan Rogers got the hosts on the scoreboard with a drop goal before Ilan Phillips and Fraser Jones both touched down – with Nick Gale converting the first – to take the lead.

Captain Scott Matthews grabbed his 16th and 17th tries of the season – both converted by Matthew Jarvis – in quick succession before a Gale penalty left it finely balanced at the break.

Home scrum-half Lewys Gibby put the Otters back ahead in front of an excited crowd but Pooler came back, eventually earning a penalty try to regain control.

The lead lasted a matter of minutes before another Gale penalty restored Narberth’s advantage.

With ten minutes to go, Ieuan Jones broke through and forced his way to the whitewash and Jarvis added the extras before sealing the win at the death with a penalty.

“It was a tough game, they are a tough team to beat on their own patch,” explained Jones.

“It’s a long trip down here, we’ve gone a bit lighter this week with the six-day turnaround from the cup.

“We’ve had some injuries, boys are bruised and battered a bit and, emotionally, the tank was kind of empty from last weekend so we knew things were stacked against us.

“As most people know in sport winning a cup takes a lot of emotional out of the boys and the boys were heavy legged out there, the bus trip doesn’t help.

“But at the end of the day it is where we are at and, again, more than once this season our togetherness has ground that win out and, again, a massive pat on the back for the forward pack.

“I think they definitely laid the foundations for that win and put the Narberth team under a lot of pressure.

“We’ve got six games left now and they are going to come thick and fast and where we are at in the league, all we need to do is keep winning.

“It is cup rugby from us week in, week out.”


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