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Sweet: We are still learning

Sunday 07th January 2024
 

Ashley Sweet insists the team is still learning on their return to the Indigo Premiership, despite the impressive run of results that has seen them challenging at the top end of the table.

Pontypool won seven of their first eight fixtures but have since won just two of the following six.

The latest defeat, to Aberavon, started with a difficult first half that saw Pooler trail 20-0 at the break.

Aled Thomas struck half of those points from two penalties and the conversions to tries from full-back Scott Delnevo and centre Callum Carson.

The hosts fought back well in the second half with number eight Dan Hill and winger Marcus Jones both going over the whitewash in the opening stages of the second half with outside-half Matthew Jarvis adding both conversions.

Another Thomas penalty stemmed the Pooler momentum but Ashley Sweet set up a thrilling finish when he touched down 10 minutes from time.

However, Pontypool couldn’t find the final pass to unlock the Aberavon defence before James Davies’ late penalty sealed the victory for the Wizards.

“We pride ourselves on playing at home and we didn’t show that in the first half,” admitted Sweet, who captained the side.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb but the boys showed character in the second half to come within touching distance, a couple of mistakes let us down.

“We can be proud of the second-half performance but we can’t be taking that first-half performance forward into the rest of the season.

“That is the worst we have played this year so we knew we couldn’t get any worse. Some stern and honest words were said at half time.

“We had to go out in the second half and believe in ourselves, which we always do, and things started to click for us.

“We were in the ascendency and a couple of key decisions let us down.

“There were some key moments towards the end where we were trying a miracle offload or a driving lineout didn’t work as well as it should have and these things cost us.

“We are a team that is still learning, it’s our first season back in the Premiership. We learn every week but we need to learn on the field on the day rather than learning from mistakes and defeats.

“I’d rather learn in a win than a defeat but we are punching above our weight and we are very proud of that and we’ll keep on battling.”

 

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