Pontypridd face the prospect of two ‘must win’ cup games over the next two weekends, and in the knowledge that a step up in form is required to carry them through the challenge.
The disappointment of a last gasp defeat away at Bridgend in the league will have to be worked out of the system in training this week as Ponty prepare for a British & Irish Cup tie at Leinster on Sunday, followed by a SWALEC Cup tie at Llandovery the following weekend.
Coach Dale McIntosh appreciates the nature of the challenge, but has utmost faith in his squad’s ability to recover and to fulfil its potential.
“The players and ourselves as coaches were left totally frustrated by the Bridgend game” said McIntosh. “We played well enough for long periods but when we needed to close the game down, we couldn’t. We are good enough and experienced enough now to win games like that, which we should have done. We will draw a line in the sand and move on.”
As McIntosh explains, the squad have applied themselves well in training and are now relishing the challenge of travelling to Dublin to face Leinster A.
“Leinster will provide formidable opposition and we certainly have to play our A game to have any hope of a result. It will all be down to the performance, if we achieve our maximum then we are certainly capable of getting the win. We hope to go out there and do Pontypridd proud.”
Following on from the BIC game against Leinster, McIntosh will lead his players in defence of the SWALEC Cup away at Llandovery.
“A good show in Ireland will pave the way for another crucial tie against the Drovers, who are currently one of the form teams in the league. We will need to replicate our results against them earlier in the season, in a friendly and away in the league, which I know we can.
“A strong squad, with key players just about coming back from injury – the likes of Cory Hill, Craig Locke and Simon Humberstone – with a capability to hit form and consistency, will be the basis of our potential success.”