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Herbert relishing regular fixtures

Sunday 24th March 2024

Mike Herbert is looking forward to regular fixtures as the season enters its final stages.

Having played two games in eight weeks, the trip to Neath has kick-started the last sequence of games that sees the club face six fixtures in just five weeks.

Following the victory over the Welsh All Blacks, Pooler welcome Bridgend Ravens and RGC 1404 to Pontypool Park. Midweek games at Ebbw Vale and against Merthyr follow before the season concludes with a long journey to RGC.

That frequency is something that Herbert is looking forward to as he believes the squad can build on the momentum created from the victory over Neath.

The back-row forward was on the scoresheet to help Pooler claim a bonus-point victory over their rivals.

Joel Mahoney went over twice while Marcus Jones, Sam Scarfe and a penalty try bolstered the score. Matthew Jarvis chipped in with four conversions.

Neath played their part in an entertaining encounter with Kieran Charles, Ryan Griffiths and Taine Morgan going over and Steff Williams kicking the rest of the points.

Cards were free-flowing too as Jack Powell saw red early on before Scott Matthews, Mahoney and home prop Tarik Dabeh were sent to the sin-bin.

“There is definitely a rivalry there that has been built up over the years so it is always an exciting one to be fair,” explained Herbert.

“You can never tell which way it is going to go, it is always about who turns up on the day and wants it more.

“We identified that we could go after them in the scrum so that was something all the forwards bought in to and we targeted it in the game.

“It’s just a shame really, we need to stay composed and stop the silly yellow cards for ourselves, which allowed them to build back into the game when we could have run away with it a bit more.”

The victory keeps Pooler’s hopes of a top-four finish alive. They currently trail Cardiff, who occupy the final play-off place, by 12 points but have two games in hand.

Herbert feels that starting the run-in with a bonus-point win allows them to use the momentum and confidence to take into next week against Bridgend Ravens.

“It’s been quite stop-start the last couple of months so it will be good to have a good run-in,” he said.

“Playing week in week out we can build on something each week rather than working on things we need to improve for two or three weeks.

“We’re looking forward to maintaining this run and getting better each week.

“It’s a goal of ours to get into the top four so it’s about getting those five points each week and keeping the momentum going.”


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