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Langdon: That's why we do it

Wednesday 17th May 2023

Moments like Tuesday’s last-gasp winner against Ystrad Rhondda are what players look for when playing rugby, according to match winner Dai Langdon.

The outside half proved to be the hero for Pooler at Gelligaled Park as he lined up a kick in the final play of the game to snatch victory from a well-organised Ystrad Rhondda outfit, who had led the score for the majority of the game.

It had looked to be an off night with Ystrad racing into a 15-0 lead following a confident start.

Rhys Truelove kicked things off with an early penalty before adding the conversion to a Jarrad Llewellyn try. Kurtis Williams added a second score minutes later.

Scrum-half Morgan Lloyd pulled Pooler back into the game with a clever dummy from a lineout and Matthew Jarvis supplied the conversion.

Morgan Burgess restored Ystrad’s 15-point lead but Peter Lloyd managed to knock it back down to eight with a driving lineout try, converted by Jarvis.

A second try early in the second half from Peter Lloyd looked set to spark a comeback from Pooler but Ystrad refused to sit back and soak up pressure and instead went on the offensive, with Williams slaloming his way through for his second of the evening.

Alex Grey set up a thrilling finale when he touched down for the bonus-point try with 15 minutes still on the clock.

Pooler struggled to get their hands on the ball but in the final stages of the game, they played it patiently through the phases before Langdon took an opportunity to land the drop goal – and seal a dramatic victory.

“All that was going through my head was the season was riding on it,” revealed Langdon.

“It's massive for us. I’ve never been involved in an invincible season and I know a lot of the other boys haven’t either so it is something that we all want to achieve.

“Thankfully it came off. I didn’t really see it.

“As soon as I hit it I got creamed.

“I didn’t see the ball go over but I looked up and saw the boys celebrating so I knew it must have gone over.

“It was nice to get a moment like that. When you look at the phases that led up to that, we must have gone through 15-20 phases of keeping the ball and working it into a position where there was a possibility to win the game with a drop goal.

“That’s the feeling we play rugby for.

“Those moments where you see everyone is ecstatic because of one moment and a win.

“That’s why we do it.

“It’s one I’ll remember just because of the magnitude of it but I want to step away from the drop goal.

“We worked hard to get back into the game. They put us under a lot of pressure.

“In the second half we managed to find a bit of ascendency with the contact area and in collisions. It showed our grit and determination as a team to grind out that win.

“It was hard fought, they made it really difficult for us and pulled out all the stops.

“It was like another cup final but it was nice to get the drop goal at the end and come away with another win.”

Focus now turns to the final game of the season at Ystalyfera on Saturday where Pooler can make history by becoming the first side to go unbeaten throughout a 14-team Championship season.


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