PONTYPOOL aim to finish with a flourish on home soil against Merthyr tomorrow evening after a strong return to Wales’ top tier.

Pooler host the Ironmen tonight (kick-off 7.30pm) before finishing their Premiership campaign in Colwyn Bay in a rearranged clash against RGC.

Leighton Jones’ men were chasing the play-offs for much of the campaign but Cardiff’s strong finish secured fourth spot.

However, Pooler still have placings to play for and they trail Pontypridd, who are finished for the season, by a single point while Merthyr are five back, also with two games to play.

Victory in the final game on home soil would secure fifth place as the club looks to push on ahead of the Elite Domestic Competition.

Pontypool head into tonight’s game after a 16-10 defeat against third-placed Ebbw Vale in a tight contest in tough conditions at Eugene Cross Park.

Lock Ashley Sweet believes that display shows the strides made by Pooler since heading up from the Championship.

“We knew it was going to be a tough job but the scoreline showed how close it really was,” said the forward, who boasts plenty of Premiership experience with Cross Keys, Cardiff and Ebbw.

“I’m proud of the boys for the way they stuck at it and it was the fine margins that let us down.

“We are disappointed not to make the top four but we know we have a job to do every time we come out.

“We do it for the fans, we do it for our families. It’s about making everyone proud every time you pull on the jersey and that is what we pride ourselves on.

“We’re not far away. We’ll bring that physical edge and hopefully next season we will kick on and really challenge.”

Pooler have won 13 of 22 games so far this season and want to finish the campaign strongly after the derby disappointment.

“We’ve got two games to put things right and finish on a high ready for next year,” said Sweet. “It’s going to be exciting over the course of the next week.

“It’s a learning curve. We’ve learned a lot during that Ebbw Vale game and it is something we need to learn going forward as well.”

Newport and the Steelmen are waiting to learn whether they will clash in the Premiership semi-finals at Spytty Park on Saturday, May 4.

The Black and Ambers are currently top of the table but it looks likely that Llandovery will overtake them to finish first and host fourth-placed Cardiff.

The Drovers host Bridgend on Thursday night and a simple win without a bonus will be enough to claim top spot.

The Ravens were hammered 89-26 by Newport earlier this month yet beat Merthyr 76-35 on Saturday.