Pooler Celebrate Historic Double-Winning Invincible Season at Parkway Hotel
The 2022-2023 campaign will go down as one of the momentous seasons in the rich and proud history of Pontypool Rugby Football Club, writes Ray Ruddick. This was the season of winning all 30 games played, winning the National Championship Cup, lifting the prized Championship trophy (obtaining 129 league points out of a possible 130) and getting promoted to the Premiership for season 2023-2024.
This special season was celebrated at the club’s annual dinner and presentation evening at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran on Friday 9th June 2023 with around 200 guests in attendance.
Invited guests were club president, and one third of the famous Pontypool Front Row, Graham Price along with guest speaker and former Pooler captain, coach and chairman, John Perkins. These two club legends are the only two players in Pooler’s history to have played over 500 games for the club as well as achieving international honours – two great servants of Pontypool, Monmouthshire and Welsh rugby.
Other guests were WRU council member and District A representative Bryn Parker, MP for Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds, Lynne Neagle Torfaen’s Member of the Senedd and Torfaen County Borough Council Leader Anthony Hunt.
‘Perky’ entertained the guests with some witty stories from his playing days, told of his long association with the club and expressed how much the club still means to him.
The award winners were as follows:
Special Awards – Peter Jackson and Roy Barnwell
Captain’s Trophy – Scott Matthews
Most Improved Player of the Season – Kyan Best
Highest Points Scorer – Matthew Jarvis (345)
Highest Try Scorer – Scott Matthews (20)
Supporters’ Player of the Season – Scott Matthews
Players’ Player of the Season – Callum Davies
M5 Associates Player of the Season – Peter Lloyd
Special Award – Dai Langdon (who kicked that all-important drop goal at Ystrad Rhondda to maintain the 100% winning record)
50+ Appearances – Mike Herbert (71), Ieuan Jones (68), Scott Matthews (66), Pat Lewis (62), Joel Mahoney (58), Callum Davies (52), Geraint Walsh (50) and Gareth Betts (50)
Most Appearances in League and Cup – Matthew Jarvis (27)
Special Awards – Denise Emmett, Sarah Rouf, Linda Collier, Melissa Calder-Matthews, Gill Lynch
Player of the Season – Deon Smith
Chairman’s Award (Clubman of the Season) – Andy Giles
Executive chairman Peter Jeffreys compered the evening, congratulated all trophy winners and thanked each and every one who contributed to this historic season. He also congratulated three Pooler players who will represent Wales in the forthcoming Under 20s World Cup in South Africa later this month, namely full-back Huw Anderson, loosehead prop Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths and hooker Sam Scarfe. Go well boys.
Club archivist and statistician Ray Ruddick will be producing a brochure covering all the achievements of the season including reports from every match, statistics, player profiles thanks to rugby operations manager Lewis Roberts, team individual and action photographs courtesy of club photographer Neil Roberts, articles by inspirational captain Scott Matthews, head coach Leighton Jones and long-standing supporter Tony Jones along with coverage of the presentation evening. It should to be available at the first home league match of next season.