NEWPORT v CARDIFF (Tomorrow KO 7.15)
NEWPORT are determined to bounce back from the biggest defeat in the club’s history by getting one over their fiercest rivals Cardiff tomorrow night.
The Black and Ambers went down a mammoth 93-0 to Newcastle last Sunday in the British and Irish Cup, shipping 15 tries in the process.
But there was a vital mitigating factor in that emphatic loss for the part-timers were up against the might of the Falcons’ full-time professionals.
It was a far cry from the week before at Rodney Parade when Newport had given an excellent account of themselves against Dean Richards’ men, winning the second half 7-0 in a 26-10 defeat.
But the Newcastle director of rugby selected his strongest available side last weekend and Newport had no answer.
Tomorrow evening does present the Black and Ambers with the ideal chance of moving on from what happened against a side who are an Aviva Premiership outfit in waiting, having won 15 out of 15 games this season in all competitions.
And Newport head coach Sven Cronk admitted his side can’t wait to get stuck into their neighbours at Rodney Parade.
“The boys are well up for it and have put to bed what happened last week,” he said. “We just couldn’t compete with that level and realised within the first ten minutes it would be hard to keep it to under 100 points.
“Dean Richards apologised to me afterwards that he’d picked his number one side but he was building for their upcoming game with London Scottish. I think Newcastle would have given most regional sides a run for their money on Sunday.”
Newport are boosted for the visit of the Blue and Blacks by the likelihood that Dan Robinson will start. The centre made his comeback as a replacement last week in Newcastle after recovering from a knee injury sustained in Newport’s 62-17 hammering away to Cardiff in September.
“It’s a big plus to have Dan back – I thought he was one of the star centres in the Premiership last season,” Cronk said.