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Jones: Plenty to learn from Llandovery defeat

Sunday 12th November 2023

Head coach Leighton Jones believes there is plenty for his players to learn from following the defeat at Indigo Premiership champions Llandovery.

Pooler travelled to Church Bank on the back of a seven-game winning run – the best record in the league – but they couldn’t keep that going as they came up against a well-drilled Drovers outfit.

The never-say-die attitude that has been evident in recent weeks ensured Pooler stayed in the game and never allowed the Drovers to pull away, although the late score did add gloss to the scoreline for the hosts.

Llandovery got off to a quick start with Lee Rees going over and Ioan Hughes adding the conversion after firing over a penalty.

Scott Matthews thundered Pooler back in to the game and Matthew Jarvis was on hand to deliver the conversion but the Drovers extended their lead through a Hughes penalty and a converted Harri Doel score.

Ashley Sweet forced the ball over the line and Jarvis converted to keep Pooler in sight but a penalty try on the stroke of half time handed control back to Llandovery.

The hosts threatened to pull away with a third Hughes penalty but debutant Owain Davies dived over the whitewash within minutes of his introduction to keep Pooler in reach.

However, Taylor Davies got the last word with a try at the death.

“We need to look at a few areas,” explained Jones.

“It wasn’t a great start but we got back into the game playing a certain way.

“In the second half, we looked to get better and had some joy but we didn’t really do it.

“They are a good team, they're on their own pitch and they have some great players and the game seemed to slip away from us.

“I don’t think it was one of our better performances, there were certainly areas that we were second best.

“Llandovery took the points when they were on offer and that showed there was respect from them.

“When we got back to 30-21, there was a crucial period.

“Arguably there was a yellow card before we scored.

“It wasn’t given and that’s something we’ve got to deal with but we didn’t go up a gear and stick to where we getting some joy.

“Llandovery played that five-to-six minute period very well.

“They’ve got some experienced players and they took the sting out of us.

“The disappointing part is to give away the bonus-point try right at the end of the game but this is a difficult place to come and we can definitely take some learnings from this game and improve on certain areas.

“We’ve said how tight we are in the last few weeks and months. You are only as tight as how you bounce back from a loss so we will look forward to next week.”


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