Pontypool visited Sardis Road for the first time in 11 years as they opened the pre-season account with a narrow defeat to Indigo Premiership rivals Pontypridd.
Leighton Jones took it as a chance to get minutes into the vast majority of his squad alongside a few players who are currently training with the team.
The game was split into three stages with two periods of 25 minutes followed by a final half-hour session.
The hosts led after the first break courtesy of a penalty try but Pooler fought back well with Joel Mahoney going over before new arrival Will Griffiths touched down.
Matthew Jarvis was on hand to land both conversions. However, a converted Rob Jones effort left the score level ahead of the final section.
McCauley Rowley and Harvey Nash pulled Ponty clear before Ben Moa had the final say, once again converted by Jarvis.
Centre Pat Lewis was delighted to be back on the pitch following the summer break.
“It’s always nice to get back into action,” he said.
“It does feel good to back, it feels like it’s gone really quick but it’s been just under three months.
“Despite the result it was a good performance.
“We put into practice what we wanted.
“It was great to get the new boys involved and to see where we are as a collective.
“It bodes well going into the Merthyr game and the first couple of weeks of the season.”
While working up fitness was the main benefit of the visit to Sardis Road – head coach Jones took 28 players the fixture – Lewis insisted that the result does bear some weight.
“It’s a double-edge sword,” Lewis added.
“The results are important but the main thing is getting minutes into the legs along with trying out what we’ve practiced [in training].
“No-one wants to lose, regardless of pre-season.
“Even though the result didn’t go our way the performance was good.
“We worked on what we needed to.
“Scoring 21 points at Sardis Road is difficult to achieve.
“Alongside that there were a couple of decisions that if they had been on the other foot the result could have changed, especially because of the weather.
“It was a nip-and-tuck game where anybody could have taken it.
“With them being in the same league, it’s nice to have an idea of where we are.”
There is now a two-week break until the visit of at Pontypool Park for the final pre-season friendly and Lewis is already looking forward to testing himself against another Premiership outfit.
“With them being in the same league, it’s nice to have an idea of where we are.
“Merthyr, in recent years, dominated the Premiership and Ponty, over the past 10 years, have always been there or thereabouts.
“I think we’ll have some work-ons but moving into that Merthyr game we’ll start to see a solid game plan of what we’ll take into training over the next two weeks.”