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Second-half control delights Jones

Monday 01st April 2024

Leighton Jones was pleased with how his side controlled the second half, which helped to deliver an important bonus-point victory over Bridgend Ravens.

A closely fought encounter saw the sides separated by just three points at the break with both sides suffering with profligacy in the opposition 22.

However, Pooler found their clinical edge after the break and pulled away from the Ravens to seal an emphatic win and hand them maximum points to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Evan Yardley had given Bridgend an early lead but Pontypool responded quickly with Marcus Jones going over, although he had to be immediately replaced after injuring himself in the process.

Replacement Harry Jarvis and Matthew Jarvis both went close to adding further tries before the hosts eventually took the lead courtesy of a penalty from the latter.

Morgan Lloyd saw an effort ruled out for offside before referee Dewi Phillips brought an end to the first half.

It didn’t take long for Jarvis to fire over a second penalty and then Pooler took control of the game.

Ashley Sweet made the decisive action on 50 minutes to touch down before Lloyd and Joel Mahoney went over within minutes of each other to all but seal the triumph.

Mathew Powell went close to getting his long-awaited try but the touch judge ruled that the ball had gone out of play.

Edd Howley managed to grab a late consolation for the Ravens after Sam Scarfe added gloss to the scoreline following a well-worked lineout routine that came straight from the training ground.

“We went to our catch and drive a few times and it didn’t really work,” explained head coach Jones.

“Fair play to the boys, they executed that trick play very well.

“That is something Ashley [Sweet] and Scott [Matthews] need to take credit for, they worked out that we could exploit them there and on the field they’ve pulled the trigger and executed it superbly.

“They have a lot of fight about them and made us work hard for the win.

“Another slowish start but then the boys reacted to that and in the second half we firmly took control of the game.

“A lot of factors [for second-half improvement], our bench will always come on and add.

“Maybe we adjusted our tactics in the second half, compared to the first half so add all that together and we expected to come out and dominate territory, possession and energy levels.

“We’ve altered training a few times this season and the last block of sessions we had, we are seeing the benefits in the style we are playing.”


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