DINGS Crusaders went down by four-tries to one in their opening pre-season friendly against Welsh out-fit Pontypool at Shaftesbury Park. Gale-force winds and sporadic driving rain hampered both sides, especially in the wider channels, but the visitors had a bit more grunt up front for the new look home side.
Wing Ben Robinson dashed over in the corner for Dings' only score of the game, but director of rugby Stean Williams believes that the final scoreline was of little importance and he was more interested in seeing how his players stood up against quality opposition.
He said: "One option would be to get pre-season fixtures against teams that make you look good. The problem with that is, while it's good for self-confidence and the ego, you don't really find out what's working and what's not.
"We knew Pontypool would be a very tough opponent. They really asked questions of us physically, and that's exactly what we wanted. We've had a lot of new guys join us during the summer, and it was great to see them all in action today. There were some really impressive performances today, and selection this season will be a real headache, but that's a good thing.
"There were a few things that didn't go so well for us today, but at least we've identified those issues and can work on putting them right at training. But over all I'm happy - everyone got a bit of game time, nobody picked up any injuries and we learned a few lessons."