Pooler confident ahead of tough trip
5:08pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Sport
PONTYPOOL have been given a lift for their tough assignment away at Narberth on Saturday after pushing Swalec Championship holders Ebbw Vale all the way last weekend, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
Leaders Vale were given a scare at Pontypool Park before emerging 19-13 winners in a battle royal of a Gwent derby.
Pooler remain second in the table after Cardiff Met lost 17-16 at home to Bargoed last Saturday and have been buoyed by their excellent showing against the Steelmen.
Pontypool head coach Mike Hook believes it may have been an opportunity of a famous victory they let slip through their fingers as they led 13-12 late in a memorable clash played in front of 1,200 fans.
“It showed just how far this squad has come, not only to get that losing bonus point but to come back so well after being 12 points down after the first ten minutes,” he said.
“We have such character in this squad that we were going into that last five minutes with a chance of winning.
“Everyone was disappointed we lost because we gave them the first 15 minutes – we gave them too much respect – and that left us chasing the game.”
Narberth are on a roll after they were put to the sword 41-3 by Ebbw Vale in their last defeat in late September.
Since then they have won two and drawn one, hitting a real vein of form.
They hammered Bargoed 33-7 before holding Cardiff Met 36-36, both at home, and showing they can mix it away by beating Blackwood 30-28 last week.
“Narberth is a tough place to go and it’s another big test but we’ve travelled up to RGC 1404 in North Wales and came away with a win (26-20) so mentally we are more than capable of doing it,” Hook added.
Jason Strange’s Vale are now eight points clear at the top of the table after they beat Pooler.
Their home game with Tondu at their Eugene Cross Park fortress should be another bonus point win for the mighty Steelmen.
Last week their opponents were battered 46-12 by RGC 1404 at home so, in theory at least, they shouldn’t present too much of a problem.
In saying that however, they have beaten third placed Llanharan this season, no mugs, but they are also the only side to be defeated by basement side Bonymaen.
Newbridge demonstrated their potential after they despatched the bottom team from Swansea 31-0 at the Welfare Ground last weekend.
On Saturday they face the long trek to Colwyn Bay to play RGC 1404 who are doing well on the road but poorly at home, pulling off stunning victories on their travels but winless so far at Parc Eirias.
Blackwood aren’t having much luck so far after some agonising defeats, including last week’s narrow loss to Narberth.
They will hope their luck does change at Cardiff Met who will be smarting after failing to keep up with Ebbw Vale after that surprise home defeat to Bargoed.
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